The Future of File-Sharing and Television

Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC New Media & Technology, recently gave a speech at the Royal Television Society about the nature of the BBC’s ambitious and grand Internet plans:

Downloading and sharing this video is the final piece of the jigsaw and will create a killer combination that I believe could undermine the existing models of pay-TV.

The killer combination is broadband together with digital TV and PVRs, plus the ability to share this video in the same peer-to-peer model with which music files are exchanged on the net…

We are exploring legitimate peer-to-peer models to get our users to share our content, on our behalf, amongst themselves, transparently.

And as an industry, we should be more active in creating legitimate content download products, whether that’s as a pay-model, or rights-cleared for free. We need to help consumers leap-frog the illegal downloading issues that have wrecked havoc on the music industry. Here’s what we believe is the shape of things to come, a way for people to search for whatever they are interested in — perhaps in the case of a natural history for a school project — searching from Buffalos to Bears — and then download it for their use.

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