Download defense

WB reeling out Teuton P2P pic service

BERLIN — Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Bertelsmann’s mobile entertainment division Arvato Mobile are setting up In2Movies, Germany’s first legal peer-to-peer service to offer films and TV shows day-and-date with the German-language DVD releases.

Service, announced Monday and bowing in March, will also be available in Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.

Aimed at curbing illegal downloads, In2Movies will initially feature more than 80 Warner Bros. releases including “Batman Begins,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Must Love Dogs,” “The Little Polar Bear — The Mysterious Island” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” as well as TV series “The OC” and “Friends.”

It also will carry programming from local distributors and third-party content providers.

With the initial rollout, consumers will be able to download movies and TV shows onto their computers.

The second version of the service will expand download options, enabling downloads directly to DVD recorders and various portable devices.

“Through this partnership with Arvato Mobile, Warner Bros. will be breaking new ground in legal digital delivery,” said Kevin Tsujihara, prexy of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. “One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy-to-use alternatives.”

Tsujihara added that “initial efforts will focus on the German market, but in the months ahead, we will leverage this technology to better serve markets around the world.”

Consumers will be able to download programming directly from the In2Movies Web site or via a click-through from other sites.

In the first half of 2005, some 1.7 million German Internet users illegally downloaded 11.9 million movies, according to Warners.

Warner Bros. Entertainment in Germany will support the venture with content and marketing.

Arvato Mobile earlier this month inked the first pan-European download agreement for a P2P music service with EMI Music.

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