It's great to see/hear this kind of thinking coming from a major broadcast media company. This is precisely the kind of approach that Maven Networks has taken in building a broadband media system, focused on the broadband-connected PC rather than the PVR/TV (for now, though as convergence devices come about and the bridge between PC hard-disk and PVR/TV disappears, that will change). Early Maven customers are exploring all of these options — download free content; download DRM content; download, DRM-enabled paid and subscription content, and soon will leverage P2P technology in the Maven client and server software for viral and cost-effective distribution.
BBCi director's stunning speech on file-sharing and TV
Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC New Media & Technology, gave a speech on Monday at the Royal Television Society about the nature of the BBC's ambitious and grand Internet plans. It's a stunner of a talk, filled with extreme sensibleness:
Downloading and sharing this video is the final piece of the jigsaw and will create a killer combination that I believe could undermine the existing models of pay-TV.
The killer combination is broadband together with digital TV and PVRs, plus the ability to share this video in the same peer-to-peer model with which music files are exchanged on the net…
We are exploring legitimate peer-to-peer models to get our users to share our content, on our behalf, amongst themselves, transparently.
And as an industry, we should be more active in creating legitimate content download products, whether that's as a pay-model, or rights-cleared for free. We need to help consumers leap-frog the illegal downloading issues that have wrecked havoc on the music industry. Here's what we believe is the shape of things to come, a way for people to search for whatever they are interested in — perhaps in the case of a natural history for a school project — searching from Buffalos to Bears — and then download it for their use. [ BoingBoing ]