Friday, February 20, 2009

Could torrents save newspapers?

For those who don't know what a Bit Torrent is, I'll just quickly explain that its a Per-to-peer file sharing service that enable you to download large files from a collection of smaller ones scattered across the Internet.
Note:
I'll not visit the legality of the issue or where intellectual theft occurs when you download a copyrighted / licensed file such as some software or a digitally encoded movie. Suffice to say its enough of an issue to get those who run sites thank link off to these collection of files (torrents) in enough trouble from official bodies. But exist they do and you don't have to download illegal material from them (although you do have to wonder why they name themselves 'Pirate Bay', etc. )

Instead you can use them as a new distribution method, or so one Swedish newspaper thinks . Sydsvenskan (no, don't ask me to pronounce it, I have enough trouble reading the credits on my DVD collection) has started distributing a nicely produced PDF of its newspaper.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/feb/20/bittorrent-newspaperformats

However the jury is still out on whether this legal use of P2P technology is actually worth it, let alone a sensible business model (e.g. if it was, why aren't other media companies doing this more?)
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