BBC 'legalizes' video exchange via BitTorrent

BBC Worldwide, the internationally operating branch of the English public broadcaster, will offer hundreds of episodes of series like 'Doctor Who', 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Keeping Up Appearances' via BitTorrent. To this end, the English company signed an agreement with technology company Azureus

BBC Worldwide, the internationally operating branch of the English public broadcaster, will offer hundreds of episodes of series like 'Doctor Who', 'Fawlty Towers' and 'Keeping Up Appearances' via BitTorrent.

To this end, the English company signed an agreement with technology company Azureus. Azureus is known for the BitTorrent software of the same name, a program for downloading and uploading large files. The episodes will be offered via Azureus' distribution platform Zudeo.com from next year. The videos are protected against unauthorized viewers and disseminators through anti-theft technology (DRM).

For the time being, the BBC series are only for sale in the US. Prices have not been announced.

BBC, the first sheep

Just like the company BitTorrent, the inventor of the distribution technology of the same name, last year Azureus developed a portal site that serves as a central 'pick-up point' for consumers. On BitTorrent.com, internet users can legally download games, trailers and full films. In addition, video producers can use the site as a vehicle to quickly bring their new works to the attention of a wide audience. Azureus developed Zudeo.com for the same reason, with the difference that the site only wants to accommodate high quality filmed videos.

BBC Worldwide is the first partner of name that Azureus binds to. The company says it will make more collaborations with well-known publishers in the first weeks of 2007.

Tens of millions of potential viewers

Site administrators can link from their own site to .torrent files on BitTorrent.com and Zudeo.com to give readers of their publishing tips. Internet users who have watched a video production can publish written responses via the Zudeo software, give a grade for the quality and send viewing tips to friends and acquaintances.

Azureus' BitTorrent software has, according to the BBC, been downloaded more than 130 million times.

Smet falls from p2p

BitTorrent technology is gaining recognition from the media industry as a legitimate distribution vehicle for large video files. In the summer of 2007, participants of the European broadcaster EBU discussed the technology. The Dutch public broadcaster goes beyond speech and works on distribution trials with the scientifically founded BitTorrent program Tribler.

In the United States, at the end of November 2006, the BitTorrent company signed distribution contracts with TV and film companies such as 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures. Warner Brothers already had a partnership with the company. The affiliated publishers rent and sell their media productions via the portal site.