Sunday, January 28, 2007

TV industry to enforce BitTorrent?

I've just read a rather naive article in the BBC Technology website on the rise of BitTorrent TV-show sharing. According to the report this is the next stage in the fight against piracy, as the top shared material online now is made up of TV shows.

I'm sure that TV industries must be concerned. Shows are now offered with the commercials removed, ready for download though the many torrent sites available. Downloading also affects viewing figures and it makes it more difficult to measure a show's popularity.

I admit that I have become fond of downloading shows from BitTorrent, particularly Battlestar Galactica. Over my holidays I also downloaded Terry Pratchett's Hogfather and Torchwood. Is this infringing? Certainly, but then I have purchased Galactica DVD's after viewing, so not watching the show "live" is offset by the income gained through a DVD.

Honestly, I cannot see how the industry can try to stop BitTorrent sharing. Its nature is different to traditional client-based P2P sharing such as Limewire, there is no central network to attack, only individual users. You could also try attacking the torrent search engines, but as the content is not hosted by them, the legal case against them would be less straight-forward.

1 comment:

Jia said...

It seems that the TV industry is quite disadvantaged in terms of technological incompetence to prevent circumvention and downloading and subsequent unceratin legal posistion if there is a law suit launched against a circumventing user. I'm an advocator of the promotion of pubic access to information, however, on reading this blog, I cann't help feel a bit sympathetic of those who invested money in producing TV shows (or other things) but found their production shared and downloaded for free. What do you think of the battle between copyright control and piracy (perhaps "sharing")?