Thursday, April 14, 2005

Azureus ate my mouse ears

A Norwegian super-value reader alerts me to this story. Broadcaster TVNorge (a unit of SBS) commissioned an independent study of viewers, to assess BitTorrent use. Out of a sample of 1,000 persons, 9% claimed to have used BitTorrent, and out of that group, 8% said they had downloaded a SouthPark episode in the past month, while 18% had downloaded The Simpsons, and fully 38% had downloaded an episode of ABC's dystopian take on Gilligan's Island known as Lost.

This highlights a point I've raised before (both here and in "proper" research): the cracks in traditional industry structures expand to form gaping canyons in the IP world. Licensing, royalty collection, pay TV windows, many of the mechanisms that make the entertainment world tick, are based on notions of national borders and markets, which are made a nonsense by IP. The European market is a huge consumer of American TV, and doesn't have the patience to read about interesting shows online and then wait for the calendar to catch up with the arcane licensing regime - it will pursue its own brand of time-shifted viewing.

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