An executive from a Hollywood studio has described BitTorrent Inc's recent promotional deal with independent studio Cinedigm as "a deal with the devil".
The executive, who spoke to The Wrap anonymously, called out Cinedigm for working together with BitTorrent Inc. to promote the new Emily Blunt, Colin Firth indie "Arthur Newman".
The first seven minutes of the new film will be offered exclusively as a download on BitTorrent.
But BitTorrent's move into the heart of the film industry may have incensed studios who have long associated the company with online piracy.
While BitTorrent transfer protocol is indeed an important conduit for web piracy, the actual protocol itself is not actually owned by BitTorrent Inc. Instead, the protocol is an open sourced one that any company or individual can use, for free.
What BitTorrent Inc does produce is the popular uTorrent client, the most popular software for downloading content shared by the BitTorrent protocol. And this is enough to get Hollywood studios, or at least one executive, to call out Cinedigm on this "deal with the devil".
"It's great for BitTorrent and disingenuous of Cinedigm," said the executive. "The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of the industry."
Executives from Warner Brothers and Sony also expressed similar views when speaking to The Wrap, blaming Cinedigm for selling out just to get some much needed attention for its new film.
Cinedigm defended the marketing partnership, with chief marketing officer Jill Calcaterra urging for the creation of a workable truce between Hollywood and BitTorrent.
"Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers," said Calcaterra. "How people use it can be positive for the industry or it can hurt the industry. We want it help us make this indie film successful."
BitTorrent Inc's vice president of marketing Matt Mason, also speaking to The Wrap, said that Hollywood has wrongly blamed the company for its piracy woes.
"We have never endorsed piracy," said Mason. "We'll be working with all of [the studios] one day. It's really up to them how quickly they come to the table and realize we're not the villain, we're the heroes."
But the anonymous executive did not agree, and blamed BitTorrent Inc for not doing enough to distance itself from the technology's piracy problems. "They don’t give a shit," the executive is said to have told The Wrap.