New distribution models, including peer-to-peer file sharing, should be seen as a boon to the digital entertainment industry, HDNet chairman Mark Cuban said in his keynote address today (Nov. 5) at th

New distribution models, including peer-to-peer file sharing, should be seen as a boon to the digital entertainment industry, HDNet chairman Mark Cuban said in his keynote address today (Nov. 5) at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles.

"We look at all these distribution networks as an opportunity, not a threat," said Cuban. "If you use it, it will work to your advantage. The [Motion Picture Assn. of America] has looked at every new technology as a threat, and they've been wrong every time."

Regardless, he said, new high-definition video will curb P2P trading of pirated films simply because the files are too large to be downloaded. "I'm a big believer that the growth in file sizes of HD video will outpace the growth in bandwidth to your homes," said Cuban.

Cuban also said that consumers' increasing demand for media when, where and how they want it has made staggered releases of content in various formats (known as "windowing") into an outdated practice. Cuban provided an anecdote about how he recently downloaded the film "The Grudge" because he couldn't make it to the movie theater. He also bought the DVD.

"If you offer the product day-and-date, you pre-empt the reason for piracy," said Cuban. HDNet releases its HD video products in all formats simultaneously.

"We think that day-and-date will enhance the value of a media property considerably because we'll be able to promote 'all of the above' in one single act," said Cuban.