BitTorrent keeps going legit’; Azureus to offer BBC shows

It looks like another BitTorrent client server is looking for file-sharing legitimacy.

Today it was announced that Azureus agreed to a content partnership deal with BBC Worldwide, which is the first ever P2P distribution partnership for the network.

The content will be offered via Azureus’s Zudeo video content store and file-sharing website. It will also be directly accessible via Azureus’s recently launched 3.0 BETA.

Zudeo, which was recently incorporated in the new 3.0 BETA platform, allows content providers to easily publish, showcase, and distribute high resolution, long form content, including video and games in high definition or DVD quality. There are even a few content channels available which are: “HD,” Films,” Tony Hawk-Boom Boom Sabotage,” Animation,” Fan Films,” and “Trailers.”

Innovative features include content discovery through search, browsing, channels and tagging, as well as easier integration with firewalls, and a completely revamped, easy-to-use interface. Enhanced features such as P2P streaming will be released in the near future.

“BBC Worldwide understands our commitment to providing consumers with a rich entertainment experience and our desire to offer quality content to our diverse global audience,” said Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Azureus. “We are thrilled to offer programming that encompasses such a robust fan base, as well as the opportunity to expose a new generation to cult favorites from BBC Worldwide catalogue via our new entertainment platform.”

Oddly enough, under the terms of the agreement the BBC will only allow U.S. users of the service to purchase the licensed content, leaving customers in the UK to no doubt continue using their favorite torrent tracker sites like The Pirate Bay or Mininova.

Available content will include:

Red Dwarf, Strange and Invasion Earth, Little Britain, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers (starring John Cleese of Monty Python), Coupling, Keeping Up Appearances, League of Gentlemen and Ideal.

Additional content partnerships are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are very excited to partner with Azureus and make our content available through this revolutionary distribution model,” said Beth Clearfield, Vice President, Program Management and Digital Media, BBC Worldwide. “We want to ensure that our most popular content – as well as programs that have rarely been seen in the territory – are part of the latest dynamic entertainment environment and can reach the largest audience possible.”

This development follows other recent shakeups in P2P video-file distribution.

BitTorrent Inc., if you recall, announced a few weeks ago that it had signed distribution agreements with Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Palm Pictures and Kadokawa Pictures USA.

This was in addition to its purchase of uTorrent for probable incorporation into mobil-phone handsets and other mobile media type devices.

This new partnership between Azureus and the BBC is but another step in what is to no doubt be an inevitable progression towards BitTorrent file-sharing legitimacy.

It was heralded a few years ago that the strain of video traffic, i.e. streaming and downloading, would bring internet traffic as a whole to its knees. Yet, again it looks as though P2P may be its savior.

P2P revolutionized legal audio-file distribution methods, and it appears to be on the verge of doing the same for video as well.