BitTorrent's legitimate download site to launch today

BitTorrent is scheduled to become legit today as it launches its new pay-per-movie download site.

The BitTorrent Entertainment Network has not yet gone live, as there is a holding page up right now.

It will offer films and TV shows from Fox, Warner Bros, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Maer, Paramount Pictures, and MTV Networks, with more deals to come.

The TV shows will be available for $1.99, while movies will rent for either $2.99 or $3.99, depending on age.

Rather disappointingly, at launch there will be no option for download-to-own. Courtesy of Microsoft DRM, the content will stop playing after 30 days, or 24 hours after you start watching.

At the moment, there's no mention of transferring content to a portable device, either.

And Apple Mac users will be disappointed to hear that downloads will only play in Windows Media Player 11, leaving them to download illegally, using the P2P technology that BitTorrent pioneered, or buy from iTunes.

The launch will test if people are really interested or willing to pay for content when it's offered almost side-by-side with illegitimate content.

The element that may give BitTorrent the edge over other sites like Amazon.com or Wal-Mart is that download speeds should be faster as they're distributed via the P2P network.

However, without a download-to-own option, it's hard to see how BitTorrent will survive.