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PBS and BBC could boost BitTorrent

Friday, November 27, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named ladder.jpgYesterday the popular Mininova search engine for BitTorrent radically cut back its service.  Permalink to this paragraph

Previously, they indexed torrents for all programming that was submitted, without concern for who owned the copyright. A Dutch court ruled that they could no longer do that. So now they only index torrents where copyright ownership can be validated. Note the Mininova never stored the content, just links to files that pointed to the content.  Permalink to this paragraph

Probably some uses of the site were illegal, in some jurisdictions, even though the mainstream media has generally been saying all uses are illegal. For example, consider this BBC articlePermalink to this paragraph

I often used Mininova to locate downloads of BBC programming. I've watched excellent dramatic series such as State of Play and documentaries on black holes, Darwin, wars, you name it. I also used Mininova to find PBS shows such as Frontline, Bill Moyers and Nova.  Permalink to this paragraph

For example, last night I watched an episode of Frontline about credit and debit cards that would be hugely more powerful if everyone who had a credit or debit card would watch. It opened my eyes. An hour totally well spent. Permalink to this paragraph

I don't know how the BBC and PBS feel about this. Part of the purpose of this essay is to put the question out there. Since neither network charges directly for programming, is there any reason not to make the programming freely available over BitTorrent? Permalink to this paragraph

I've been trying to figure out the best way to ask this question, and decided that making a public appeal to both PBS and BBC was the best approach. Please consider making your content available, with your permission, via BitTorrent. Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

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"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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