Paramount goes with no DRM bittorrent distribution

I’ve been meaning to blog this for a while but

In a little over two months time, the long-awaited horror movie The Tunnel will receive its world premiere. Rather than a traditional theatrical release, the movie – which is set in abandoned real-life tunnels under Sydney, Australia – will make its debut online for free with BitTorrent. Simultaneously it will be released on physical DVD, to be distributed by Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures.

I almost fell off my chair when I heard the news that Paramount will be releasing the Tunnel for free on bit torrent with no DRM of any kind!

No matter what the film is like, Paramount and the guys behind the tunnel have basically won. A film which would have gone straight to DVD somewhere in a junk bin somewhere could just have been elevated to the most downloaded movie of May (maybe).

Someone in Paramount must have done the maths…

The movie budget was $135000 and to be honest any film will easily eat that for a worldwide publicity. On top of that, its a small risk. The copyright owners (the team who created the film keep the copyright and are licensing it to Paramount) have created something which looks like a cross between Blair witch project and Creep so its got limited mainstream appeal. In actual fact, it would have made more sense of films like FAQ: about time travel would have blown away everything else if they had choose to do release in the same way. I also wonder if the process can be popular enough to get stuff back into the cinemas? Bit like my experience of Donnie Darko.

Paramount gets a Kudos +1 from me…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.