Bittorrent TV distribution works – Norway blazing a path into the future

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nrk-bittorrent-results-in-12-points.jpgRemember this update about Norwegian broadcaster NRK putting an episode of a TV show on Bittorrent? Probably not. It’s not like developments in Norwegian TV are particularly big news. We understand.

Still, the DRM-free download was a massive success for NRK. It turned out that no one criticised the broadcaster for using “pirate system” Bittorrent, and the users were public-spirited enough to keep their downloads seeded afterwards for others to use – and 90,000 people have watched the half-hour show.

NRK’s Eirik Solheim told a German news site “For years our most popular content have been available on BitTorrent and on sites like YouTube anyway. DRM doesn’t work. The only way to control your content is to be the best provider of it. If people want it on YouTube then you should publish it on YouTube or in a system that give the same experience. If people want it on BitTorrent then you should provide that.”

But it sounds like there’s a long way to go before DRM-free torrents of shows become the norm, even with European backing – the NRK experiment used an episode specifically put together for the test.

There were no sponsors, no musicians to pay, and the actor/film maker waived his rights to repeat fees and the like. So until the cast of EastEnders agree to work for the love of it, don’t expect DRM-free TV to become commonplace.

(Via NRK beta)

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Gary Cutlack