First out to try BitTorrent distribution was NRK in Norway a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, CBC (the Canadian public broadcasting service) read about it and decided to give it a try too.
CBC will release high quality, DRM-free copies of one of its major primetime shows, "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister" for free to everyone in the world. This is a bold move but a correct one and hopefully this will have an impact throughout the commercial broadcasting world too (I talked to Swedish public service TV, SVT, about this a week ago but there are currently no plans for trying this with Swedish programmes at the moment).
Today's words of wisdom come from Tessa Sproule, the CBC manager that got the idea and made it happen. She said in an interview about the reason for not having DRM:
And she added that
Such statements don't really need to be commented on 'cause this ought to be obvious. Yet some doesn't seem to get it. Though winds have slowly begun to blow in drm-free directions and services such as ours are coming to life, it is a slow transition. And every day more people are enjoying drm-free from non authorized services. Above words should be printed and posted on office walls all over. Especially on some companies' walls. If you want people to change - you got to do it first.
Until now only Windows users have been able to enjoy DRM free DVD downloads from Headweb. Starting today, our fellow Mac OS X users can download a public beta version of the Headweb client software.
If you are a Mac user (Intel only) and would like to give legal DRM-free downloads a try, you can download Headweb-0.3.2.3304.dmg by clicking here.
Remember that this is a beta version. If you encounter problems with it, we would appreciate if you send a line or twelve describing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any thoughts or ideas about what can be improved, please use email@example.com.
In today's DN I read an article about the problems with the online movie market in Sweden. To summarize: the weak legal market is the fault of pirates, a weak legislation and broader selections on illegal services.
According to the article, a recent study shows that more than 25% of the Swedish population downloads a movie or TV-series episode EVERY week. This tells me that we can no longer talk about pirates - 25% of the Swedish population is 2,25 million people. I wouldn't refer to them as either computer experts or pirates because I believe that most of them are NOT - they are ordinary Consumers.
And if only 2% of these people use legal services it's obvious, at least to me, that we need to look into what's wrong with the services.
Fundamentally, if you have a store/service/product and it doesn't sell, what can you do? I believe most would say:
A bad option would be to try and change your customers. Yet, this is what the file sharing debate seems to be about and what some are trying to do. But if you look back in history: you can never stop technical or democratic progress no matter what you do.
So, my view of this is that there are two things consumers (again, let's not refer to them as pirates, let's be polite to our customers) want:
Retailers really have to be easier and better in almost every aspect when compared to illegal services. This is not an easy task to accomplish but neccessary to build a customer base.
The movie studios also have to take a more active part in this and help retailers get the services going. Without movies there's never going to be any change in consumer behaviour and of course no revenues either - just more losses to illegal downloads. Retailers such as Headweb, Film2Home and Publiken are really trying hard to find ways to increase the revenue streams for the movie studios and it makes me wonder who will deliver those streams if the studios wont help out?
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