Friday, 10 April 2009

Torrents and Public Broadcasting

TorrentFreak reports that the BBC is starting to move into BitTorrent and will be releasing shows under the creative commons license allowing downloaders the chance to share This is a big step up for public broadcasters.

Most public broadcasters such as Television New Zealand included have a broadcasting mandate to provide some form of 'public service' including archival. Any member of the public for example, can request something from the broadcasting archives for personal use for example.

A key problem with this mandate of public service is that information is locked away and can't be browsed nor shared despite the advances in modern IT technology which would. Can a public broadcaster be said to be performing its mandate of public service when information remains under lock and key? Wouldn't TVNZ be better serving the public if it made available old TVNZ shows via bittorrent, maybe TVNZ documentaries?

This is a step in the right direction for public broadcasters. I hope TVNZ will follow suit.

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