If U can’t fight P2P, use it

The BBC is planning to test a file-sharing system to distribute its TV programs to viewers over the internet.

Over the next three months, 1000 people will test the BBC’s new Interactive Media Player (iMP) software based on P2P and allowing them to download TV programs and view them for up to a week after they are broadcast.

The iMP system brings together an existing P2P file-sharing system with off-the-shelf digital rights-management software that gives the BBC control over how long a program.

It is still too early to make conclusions, but this BBC’s endorsement of P2P systems can be crucial for a technology that has been shunned by the establishment. Together with the growth in broadband connections and digital video recorders, the demand for cheap and easy ways to share large amounts of data looks set to rocket.

More details in The Age.