BBC Goes P2P

By Jon Newton 5/15/05

Following recent news that the movie studio cartel is now after BitTorrent TV sites comes a BBC announcement that it plans to use p2p in a new interactive Media Player (iMP) TV trial.

Five thousand people with high-speed Net access drawn randomly from around the UK will be able to search for programs, filter them by channel, select subtitles and, in for some series, “collect and watch episodes that they may otherwise have missed,” it says.

Will non-British surfers be able to check out iMP? Definitely not, says the Beeb. “Geo-IP technology to restrict iMP to UK internet users only."

Jon Newton

But as usual, there's DRM.

“A technical trial took place in Summer 2004 with a limited number of participants and a small amount of rights-cleared programmes to test the concept of using peer-to-peer technology and digital rights management (DRM) to protect rights holders,” says the statement

And DRM will also be part of the new trial.

“The pilot will use digital rights management software to delete programmes seven days after the programme has aired on TV and users will no longer be able to watch it,” it says.

“DRM also prevents users emailing the files to other computer users or sharing it via disc.”

The pilot will run from September to December this year to assess the demand of particular types of programs and determine if iMP, “has an impact on the commercial market,” says the item, adding, “This will assist the BBC Governors in evaluating its public value.”


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


The U2 iPod is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:

Copyright Bill Passed in Congress Will Criminalize File Sharing
What Makes a Journalist? Thoughts on Apple and Think Secret
Can Free Broadcast TV Really Be Napsterized?


Back to