BitTorrent is looking to the Chinese movie industry to ramp up its future offering of legitimate rights-protected film downloads.

BitTorrent recently agreed to a deal with Warner Bros to sell some movies and television shows from that company through its distributed file-sharing service.

Now the company is speaking with several Hong Kong and Chinese movie studios about using its file sharing software for legal movie distribution of Chinese language films by the end of this year, according to Lily Lin, BitTorrent's director of communications.

The discussions highlight a move by makers of file-sharing software to promote themselves as a legal way to distribute large files such as movies and TV shows online. It marks a move by file-sharing software developers to modify their products to protect against internet piracy.

But the strategy could prove difficult in East Asia, where most people share files freely and DVDs of the latest movies can be had for as little as a few dollars in most major cities, unless the promoters offer their legal movies for free.

Japan, South Korea and Taiwan also boast major film studios with which BitTorrent could cooperate in Asia. Lin said her company was in talks in several countries across Asia, but declined to name them.