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Shanghai: Motion Seeks Investors to Help Indie Streaming, Beat Piracy

European movie technology company Motion will be in Shanghai from this week seeking investors and content partners for its online distribution tool.

The company positions itself as enabling paid-for peer-to-peer streaming, by connecting movie producers and sales agents directly with their audience.

Backed by a trio of companies — Cinemarket, White Rabbit and LeapDAO – it launched in Cannes last month.

The company is currently attempting to raise EUR1 million in a funding round that will close at the end of June. It says it has over EUR500,000 of financial commitments.

French production companies Haut et Court, Elzevir and Le Bureau “have invested their library and have committed to investing cash,” Motion told Variety. “It’s important for us that the film industry owns the technology and is represented on the board of Motion.”

Motion says it is significantly different from the rights trading platforms and streaming services, such as TRX, BidSlate and FilmHub that have emerged in the past couple of years to address the independent film sector. “We are not another platform, but rather a tool, a browser plug-in. The user only needs to install the Motion plug-in. Then when users stream peer-to-peer content, we facilitate a direct payment from them to the rights holders in under three seconds,” the company said. It is also available as an app that can be downloaded to a user’s smartphone.

“The plug-in is a tool which can go with any platform or streaming site. Users can choose their favorite P2P sites and stream however they want, from wherever they have the films or the user experience they prefer. The plug-in sorts out the rest.” Motion uses Ethereum blockchain-enabled technology for micro-payments.

Anne-Spohie Lehec, former head of sales for Hong Kong-based Asian Shadows and previously head of festivals partnerships at MUBI.com, will be in Shanghai representing the company.

In Cannes, co-founder Florian Glatz presented the technology from a legal perspective, illustrating how IP rights can be better protected and exploited via blockchain. The company contends that many people who use piracy services to view content are simply frustrated fans without a legal means to pay.

But Motion also positions itself and the peer to peer streaming market as a rival to the world’s global streaming giants. China has three of the largest streaming platforms, accounting for 60% of global streaming subscribers according to a recent study, as well as a host of fast-growing specialty streamers that are emerging in specific areas such as games streaming, short-form video, and which cross-over into social media.

“Peer-to-peer is a potential 10x larger market than Netflix – and it will be in the hands of content creators, not Silicon Valley,” said co-CEO and film producer Alan R. Milligan. “Tech companies have taken advantage of our content and put themselves in a dominant position for digital distribution and recently, production. It’s time the film industry owns the tech, and ensures that its used to our advantage, rather than being subject to tech companies pushing the film industry aside. Not only will the film industry become shareholders, they will also be actively taking part in our development and on our board.”

Berlin-based Motion is currently developing the Beta version of its ecosystem, with plans to launch it in test markets in January 2020. Results are planned to be presented at the next Cannes film festival, May 2020 and in Shanghai in June 2020.

Founded by Milligan, White Rabbit is a company seeking to professionalize the peer-to-peer market, collect data and revenue for rights holders. Cinemarket is a services company specializing in copyright management and licensing for the consolidation of film and video catalogs. It was created by French film writer and director Adrian Lugol and German lawyer Glatz. LeapDAO (formerly PARSEC Labs), was created by Johann Barbie and pitches itself as “the first ever decentralized adaptive organization.”

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