BitTorrent launched a new, legal digital entertainment service today (Feb. 26) in an attempt to put a legitimate face on a technology that has been associated with piracy for years.

The BiTtorrent Entertainment Network will feature movies, TV shows, videogames, music videos and soon, music. The service relies on the BitTorrent peer-assisted download technology that to date has been used to swap large movie files for free.

The service relies on a new, proprietary version of the BitTorrent technology that the company is not releasing for broader use, a stark departure from the days when a BitTorrent client was free to all.

The launch follows a year of negotiations with the entertainment industry – in all 35 providers -- including MTV Networks, 20th Century Fox and labels like Koch Entertainment and distributors IODA.

It's library now consists of more than 3,000 movies, 1,000 video games and 1,000 music videos. Users can rent movies at $4 each, download-to-own TV shows and music videos for $2, and get user-generated content free.

The company plans to add a music download service in the near future as well; however it wants to do so with files free of DRM.

For more in BitTorrent and other new online video services, read this weeks' Digital Entertainment Column.