Following in the wake of BitTorrent announcing plans to develop a commercial digital retail service, Azureus, an open-source peer-to-peer solution based on BitTorrent technology, says it too wants to reinvent itself as a copyright-friendly service for consumers.

The company today (Dec. 4) is launching a new YouTube-style digital media platform called Zude. It is available at www.zudeo.com. Users can also download an updated version of the Azureus client that features Zudeo.

The service will allow for delivery of downloadable tracks, albums and other audio content. However, it will be geared primarily toward video file-swapping.
Company executives are looking to position Zudeo as a next generation viral video service for sharing film, television and music content.

Because the service is based on BitTorrent technology, users will be able to download high quality full-length movies, TV shows, albums and more, as opposed to only streaming short, low-resolution clips. Users will also be able to download high definition video content. In addition the company plans to launch soon a "P2P streaming" feature.

Azureus is launching Zudeo without advertising or shopping cart capabilities. But Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Palo Alto-based Azureus, says that the company plans to add those features in the coming months.

As a result, the service will be geared toward indie film-makers, musicians and labels in the near term. BianRosa says the company will announce label and studio partners as well as commerce plans in the next two weeks.

The company also doesn't have a content filtering solution in place. BianRosa says Azureus is still exploring technology partners for fingerprinting and filtering. He says the company will be manually monitoring popular content traded on Zudeo for the time being.

Zudeo is the first consumer facing application from Azureus that offers content. Previously Azureus didn't offer direct access to content. Users of the software application had to search the Web for third parties -- "indexing sites," in BitTorrent speak -- offering music, video and game files.

In addition to the Zudeo launch, Azureus says it has completed a $12 million Series B round of venture capital financing. Redpoint Ventures was the lead investor. Also participating were Greycroft Partners, Jarl Mohn, chairman of CNET, and former CEO of Liberty Digital and E! Entertainment Television; and existing investor, BV Capital.

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