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CBC: Who Needs TV?

2008_03_19brokentv.jpgUniversity of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist is reporting that the nation’s public broadcaster is about to take a hugely progressive step in media distribution. On Monday, the day after Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister (the political fantasy reality show filled with keeners and bored ex-prime ministers) airs, the CBC is going to release a high-quality copy of the episode via BitTorrent, without any digital rights management (DRM) protection.
The CBC would be the first broadcaster in North America to do something like this, allowing anyone to download the episode and distribute it how they want to—burning it to a DVD, putting on it an iPod, whatever. Right now, any media content with DRM restricts the user to viewing it on particular machines, with certain keys, or for specific periods.
The CBC, at least on paper, is a not-for-profit corporation that’s supposed to benefit the Canadian people, so this is a logical step in the right distributional direction. Here’s hoping that we’ll see more content delivered over P2P, and even more experimentation with content distribution on the CBC’s part. Soon enough, CBC Television may no longer be exclusively on television.
But in the end, who doesn’t want to watch Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister over and over again?
Photo by Mute* from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

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