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May 23, 2005

The Argument For BitTorrent

Via PVRBlog, Mark Pesce has a wonderful two part piece on BitTorrent and how it is effecting television distribution. I'm still not certain what the future of television will look like, but it's pretty clear there are going to be a few big winners and few big losers as a result.

I think the missing piece of the puzzle, which Alexander from eHomeUpgrade has mentioned a lot recently is a DRM technology that is platform independent. If there was a standard, ubiquitous encoding technology that was easy to implement on any platform and allow transfer to most devices, it would be a win for producers that don't want unrestricted duplication without getting some stipend for their work, but also a win for consumers that can have access to more content legally.

You only need to try to get Tivo with Tivo2Go to transfer a show to a PSP (Sony Playstation Portable) to realize things just ain't right.

Posted on May 23, 2005

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Pesce's essay was excellent. A univeral DRM standard would be nice, but I think we'll shift more towards minimizing DRM intrusions once content producers embrace cheap open distribution. Anything that will slow down the proliferation of any content asset will slowly gets worked out of the system. If they can land on a DRM standard that is so ubiquitous that you don't even know it's there, but if open networks evolve the way I think they will, DRM will just seem counterproductive to the economic mechanisms that drive the new market.

Posted by: Alex Rowland at May 25, 2005 07:34 PM


I think you are probably right about the future of DRM. I find myself spending more time wishing that someone will find a quick easy way to remove the DRM from Tivo2Go than wishing that someone will find an easy way to get Tivo2Go support on the PSP. At the consumer end of things, there isn't much incentive to have DRM so it will always be viewed as an intrusion.

Posted by: Will at May 26, 2005 09:20 AM

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