Norway’s public broadcaster launches BitTorrent tracker

NRK Tyholt Tower by Fredrik Thommesen

NRK Tyholt Tower by Fredrik Thommesen

“NRK, Norway’s public broadcaster, has decided that its BitTorrent distribution experiment has gone so well that the company will launch its own tracker in order to distribute its programming. Norway’s commitment to openness means that the files are DRM-free and even available for fansubbing.” –  Norway’s public broadcaster launches BitTorrent tracker.

Several public broadcasters have experimented with BitTorrent as a distribution platform.  The example that comes to mind for me is the CBC distributing Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister on BitTorrent around this time last year.

NRK has taken this a step further and started their own tracker to distribute programming and get some sense of the analytics.  Granted, one of the main reasons NRK can do this is because 94% of their revenue comes from a licensing fee paid by television owners, similar to the system in the UK.

I imagine this is an exciting development for Norwegian ex-patriates, but I wonder how the owners of televisions feel about their fee supporting viewing on computers.  It will be interesting to see if Norway adopts a broadband or computer licensing fee to replace the television licensing fee, or if revenues simply drop as viewers switch from TVs to computers.

Ryan Sohmer Rails Against Internet Regulation

Ryan Sohmer is the author of the wildly succesful webcomics Least I Could Do, and Looking For Group.  His recent post in the LICD forums is a response to the Writer’s Guild of Canada’s calls to begin regulating the internet in Canada, especially in the realm of online video.

“Say what you will about the web, and there is much to be said, it breeds innovation. The reason for that is because it’s non-regulated, because an ass like me can produce whatever he likes, however he likes in an effort to entertain others. The majority of the things we try don’t/won’t/shouldn’t work, but if 1 out of every 100 projects works, that’s a success.” – Ryan Sohmer

excerpted from “Union Woes” – Least I Could Do Forum.

As one of a select few who make their entire living from independently publishing content on the web (and associated merchandise sales), Ryan’s opinion should certainly carry some weight.  

Canadian media has typically been less reactionary in new media intellectual property concerns, with the CBC going so far as to release a DRM-free, high quality version of “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister” via Bittorrent last March.