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October 13, 2015

Man steals television show because he actually has a life

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 13th 2006 11:17AM

Forget the DVR, use BitTorrentLast year, Bob Sassone asked if the Internet would one day replace television. One of the points he made was why BitTorrent software wasn't being used by the networks to allow viewers to download an episode of their favorite show to watch at their convenience.

Well, BitTorrent is now being used by a number of users in an, um, illegal fashion. OK, the networks are pretty much calling it piracy. In a recent development, HBO has sent letters out to a number of cable companies asking their subscribers to stop BitTorrenting episodes of such shows as The Sopranos. What's happening here is that HBO is watching the BitTorrent sessions come through a particular IP address and then they are tracking the address back to its source.  Once they find out it's a cable company they send a letter out that, subsequently, goes out to the subscribers.

At this point it doesn't seem like the networks or cable companies will change their minds any time soon to exclusively use BitTorrent. However, with the recent influx of downloadable shows going to places such as iTunes and the increase of DVR machines this could change.

[via Digg]

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Hear, hear, Lampbane. I'd absolutely put up with ads if I could Torrent stuff straight from the network - it'd be nice to stop worrying about finding bad torrents, mislabeled torrents, arguments about NO YOU MORONS IT IZ SEASON 4/5 OF FAMILY GUY!...

Ah, but we can dream, right?

April 14 2006 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Companies should really be offering episodes to torrent. Maybe they could stick a commercial in there. Maybe they could have their own client that displays advertising. But either way, I think being able to DL stuff directly from the companies would be better for us and them.

April 13 2006 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MarkF, I agree completely. I see where HBO has a problem with people using BitTorrent to get around paying subscription fees. However, I would have no qualms about downloading an HBO show because I do pay. Same thing with other shows - I pay for my cable, so it's not even like I'm getting around paying for anything there. I simply download because I don't have a DVR right now and am too lazy to build/buy one.

Consider this - if I get a TV tuner for my PC, set it to record a show when I'm not around, use various apps to skip commercials and batch convert it to DIVX or whatever, I wind up with, essentially, the same exact file I would have downloaded. Where's the issue? What's illegal? You can't tell me the act of downloading makes this situation any different than digitally recording something. Ironically, with my crappy broadband, it typically takes longer to download a show than it would to actually watch it.

April 13 2006 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Trying to ask people to not use the technology available to them is a loosing game. I do however agree with them that since they rely on paid subscriptions that someone downloading their content without a subscription is violating the law. The sooner they update their business model and actually take advantage of technology rather then trying to defeat it the better off we will all be. iTunes, while not the perfect model, has shown that there is a market for legally downloadable content. I am constantly disappointed in media companies inability to walk toward the money tree and embrace this opportunity.
On a related note, I use bitTornado frequently to get shows that I either forget to record, or that slip their schedule by a few minutes. I feel comfortable with this under "Fair Use" since I am addressing shows that I already have the legal right to record.

April 13 2006 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron Peck

They're just going to shoot themselves in the foot like the music companies have. Plus, isn't TV public domain? TV companies are going to kill themselves by doing this. The comsumer is always right. These big companies have forgotten this. They did it with music, where consumers weren't willing to pay so much for CD's so they decided to download music instead, and they haven't been able to stop that. I think this will be the same way. TV companies are alienating the very people that keep them in business. Not too long ago the TV companies tried to get a law passed that would make it illegal to record a show on a VCR, that's the kind of crap people wont put up with. Screw'em all until the idiots learn how to embrace technology.

April 13 2006 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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