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United Kingdom Leads the World in TV Downloads 1077

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the stolen-telly dept.
SumDog writes "The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women. However, according to a story on the Guardian, a new study puts the UK ahead in one more category: it leads the world in TV piracy, accounting for 38.4% of the world's TV downloads, with Australia coming in second at 15.6% and the US in third at a pitiful 7.3%"
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United Kingdom Leads the World in TV Downloads

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  • by Xner (96363) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:34AM (#11709578) Homepage
    "The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women."

    My sarcasm detector must be malfunctioning, I actually had to read that twice before it blipped ...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:01AM (#11709728)
      What do you call a pretty girl in the UK? A tourist.
      • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:33AM (#11709893) Homepage Journal
        Oh, woe to be British and lumbered with all these ugly [syr.edu], ugly [photobucket.com], women [photobucket.com].
        They're not glamourous [tgfmall.com] or sexy [extractando.com], which is why Hollywood won't touch them with a bargepole.

        If only we could produce hotties like Madeleine Albright, Condaleeza Rice, and Barbara Bush.
        • They're not glamourous or
          sexy [extractando.com]
          I'm sorry: were you trying to be sarcastic?
        • First of get your examples straight...

          Your first example is of Catherine Zeta-Jones, she's Welsh not British.

          The second is Thandie Newton, while her father was British, she's Zambian and her mother was the princess of Zimbabwe.

          The third I'm not familiar with.

          Elizabeth Taylor, while BORN in England, is painfully American. Both parents were from St Louis and she only resided in the UK for seven years.

          Your only true correct example is Elizabeth Hurley.

          I think you're leaving out the fabulous Bond girls t

        • by pla (258480) on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:44AM (#11710785) Journal
          If only we could produce hotties like Madeleine Albright, Condaleeza Rice, and Barbara Bush.

          Well, you do have Margaret Thatcher...

          Not to mention the whole royal family... ;-)
        • by Loco3KGT (141999) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:16AM (#11711067)
          5 out of 59 million ain't bad!
    • by meitsjustme (415702) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:04AM (#11709742) Journal
      Britain, Britain, Britain! Discovered by Sir Henry Britain in sixteen-oh-ten. Sold to Germany a year later for a pfennig and the promise of a kiss. Destroyed in eighteen thirty-fourty two, and rebuilt a week later by a man. This we know. Hello. But what of the people of Britain? Who they? What do? And why?
    • by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@NosPAm.ColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:04AM (#11709746) Homepage
      A sarcasm detector? Oh that's useful.


      -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • by chrisbeatty (811646) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:06AM (#11709764)
      There are some hot women, you just need to have drunk quite a lot first!!! (-;
    • by druid_getafix (609536) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:10AM (#11709786)
      "The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women."

      Reminds me of a joke (told from an Indian's perspective of course!!).

      Heaven is: American Salary, British Home, Chinese Food, Indian Wife.

      Hell is: Indian Salary, Chinese Home, British Food, American Wife.

    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:11AM (#11709791) Journal
      The climate is wonderful if you're a duck! There's also great food in the UK too - things like Indian, Chinese, Italian. There's also plenty of beautiful women, and most of the beautiful women have cute foreign accents!
      • by Malc (1751) on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:08AM (#11710302)
        Seriously though, how many N. Americans who are here knocking the climate have actually spent sufficient time in the UK to judge? I think you'll find the stereotype is a little far fetched.

        I'm a Briton who now lives in Canada. I miss the climate. Vancouver sounds pretty appealing on this frosty morning in Toronto. It was below -20 here before Christmas. I was in the UK over Christmas and out running in T-shirt and sun glasses - no worries about frost bite there. The second year in a row for me. Yeah, it did get below 5C some days, but after what we put up with here that's nothing. No gloves, no hat, just pull on your coat. No shoes melting in to huge filthy puddles by the front door. No shovelling the driveway. In the summer when it's revoltingly hot and humid here, England will be a pleasant 20-25C. The thing is with that place is that the weather is so variable: sun, cloud, wind, rain, everyday! Of course, we're not going see any life here until May, when we get our short month of spring. The UK will start seeing signs of spring very soon (well, at least in the SE where I grew up).
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:18AM (#11710344)
        As the comedian Billy Connolly once said, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes."
    • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:30AM (#11709885) Homepage
      I'll have you know that the British climate has improved dramatically since Americans started driving 10-mile-a-gallon SUVs.

      It hits 100F pretty much every year nowadays.

      Global warming may be turning Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean into arrid deserts, but... actually, now I come to think of it, some silver linings don't have a cloud! (Disclaimer: I'm British and drive a 4x4... albeit only a 1.3 litre, and I live next to a farm)

      • I'll have you know that the British climate has improved dramatically since Americans started driving 10-mile-a-gallon SUVs.

        Unfortunatly, the consensus seems to be that global warming will likely result in the UK reverting to the climate you'd expect at this latitude. Think Moscow, Labrador, the Alaskan pan-handle, then warm them just a little from now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2005 @07:50AM (#11710237)
      Again with the stereotypes.
      As an Expat I am sick of people saying that Britain is a lousy place, with lousy weather, food, beer, women etc.
      I hate the politicians [all partys], one reason I will never return, but the climate is great.
      [Warm and moist!]
      Try living in a semi-arid climate like Colorado. You have to wear skin moisturizer like some girly-man. And the static shocks off of car doors will drive you mad.
      Then the food. It is a pitty that the people who appreciate British food the least are the British themselves. The french and italians love their own food, and by talking loudly about it for many years have made it popular worldwide.
      The British propensity for self deprecating humour has extended to their food, and made it a global joke. Which Is unfortunate. British food Is actually a damn sight better than it is given credit.
      We have hundreds of varieties of cheeses like Cheddar, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Leicester [Red and normal], Wenslydale, to name just a few.
      We also have a huge variety of sausages, think lincolnshire and cumberland, and even a meatball called a faggot [Not very PC nowadays, but hey the UK definition is older than the US definition], made from liver and onions, for which I used to run home from secondary school for on Thursdays. ["Thursdays. Faggots and chips for tea"]
      We also have the traditional Roast dinner, with Yorkshire Puddings, and it is delicious. [Far better than the US so-called London Broil rip-off.], many different types of meat pie, bread that tastes like bread [How can Americans put up with the bread they eat is beyond me], and of course, our famous fish and chips.
      Plus the beer is a damn sight better than the water that comes out of the US. [Except for some small microbreweries and brew-pubs that actually make something with a flavour that you can drink at non-cryogenic temperatures.]
      Having lived in various countries I can also testify that the ratio of "mighty-fine" to "minger" is not so bad in the UK as common prejudice would dictate.
      Even in the bleak industrial north of the country. ["Eeh, It's grim up north"]
      So stop with the ridiculous, sarcastic, and ignorant, jokes about some of the things I, and most other expats, actually miss of the "home country".
  • by ABeowulfCluster (854634) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:34AM (#11709579)
    .. not like any of you whippersnappers know what USENET is...
  • Wrong number (Score:5, Informative)

    by ghoti (60903) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:36AM (#11709588) Homepage
    According to TFA, the UK accounts for 38.4% of _EU_ downloads, but only 18.5% worldwide. For comparison, the worldwide number makes a bit more sense ;)
    • more numbers... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cryptnotic (154382) * on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:49AM (#11709674) Homepage
      Considering that the UK has roughly 1/5th or so of the population of the U.S. (60 million UK, compared to probably 300 million US), the number of downloads per capita is much larger over there.

      • Re:more numbers... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Marlor (643698)
        Considering that the UK has roughly 1/5th or so of the population of the U.S. (60 million UK, compared to probably 300 million US), the number of downloads per capita is much larger over there.

        Well, in that case, Australia's per-capita TV downloads are even higher again, since total proportion of downloads is only slightly lower (18.5% vs 15.6%), yet our population is approximately 1/3rd of the UK's.

        I don't know what this says about Australians - other than providing fodder for the old, innacurate convic
        • Re:more numbers... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by antic (29198) on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:20AM (#11710348)
          Actually, the count is higher in the UK and Australia because new shows/series screening in the US are delayed before they're shown here.

          If there was no lag, I think you'd find the download counts a lot more even, or weighted towards the US.

          Australia, as you noted, really doesn't have the best speeds/rates for broadband -- a lot of customers would be hit with huge bandwidth bills if they were to regularly download movies/TV shows.
      • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#11711384) Homepage Journal
        Whadaya expect from a country that has FOUR channels?!

        We Americans lead the world in quantities of cheap, mindless TV. We are the envy of the world! And half of it is copied from British TV in the first place.

  • winge (Score:5, Funny)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@NosPAm.ColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:36AM (#11709594) Homepage
    The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women.

    ...and for complaining about absolutely everything in a sarcastic manner.


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • Re:winge (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mr_Silver (213637)
      ...and for complaining about absolutely everything in a sarcastic manner.

      You forgot singing about the London Underground [ic.ac.uk] too!

      (warning, don't play the link on speakers if you're in an office full of easily offended people)

  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:37AM (#11709601) Homepage
    Well, since US television tends not to make it to Britain for a long time after it airs here, it makes a bit of sense. A lot of shows have a one- or two-season lag time. It makes sense that fans who follow the show online would want to see the show as it comes out.

    On the other hand, I score TV shows because I fucking hate commercials, and because I don't have an actual television any more. Funny how original Star Trek was about fifty-five minutes long, while newer "full hour" shows are more like forty-two minutes. That's nearly four times the ads. Yecch.

    Also, it's convenient to be able to watch them when and how I'd like. And I get to insulate myself from the vast bulk of crap that's on TV most of the time, and pick the best of what's out there. (Firefly, Babylon 5 and perhaps some softcore lesbian porn: The L Word.)

    --grendel drago
    • by Xner (96363) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:45AM (#11709649) Homepage
      Well, since US television tends not to make it to Britain for a long time after it airs here, it makes a bit of sense. A lot of shows have a one- or two-season lag time. It makes sense that fans who follow the show online would want to see the show as it comes out.

      It is also common for some of the less popular series (including some that we geeks tend to appreciate more than the normal tv-watching person) to get cancelled or postponed by the broadcaster mid-season, or to undergo some intruiging re-arrangements in broadcast schedule etc. For example here in Holland, I have seen the first seaon of Futurama on three different broadcasters, but the final season is just now hitting the cable.

      If you really case to watch a whole series properly in order and in a timely manner, downloading is pretty much your only option. If you drop the timely requirement, waiting for the DVD releases is a close second.

    • Exactly why I download. I have a long train journey every day. I love being able to watch 24 or whatever I've got on the way home and pass the time a lot quicker. No adverts either which a bonus for me. I'm still going to get the boxsets when they come out but why should I wait when with the technology available means I can watch it the next day? I'd happily pay for the service if it was offered, so that I could watch the TV shows I want to watch at a suitable time. The time between a show airing in America
    • by Rainier Wolfecastle (591298) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:10AM (#11709788)
      And add to this that there are a lot of popular shows that just don't make it over at all (Daily Show for one) and it seems very reasonable.
    • by BRSloth (578824)
      Well, since US television tends not to make it to Britain for a long time after it airs here, it makes a bit of sense. A lot of shows have a one- or two-season lag time.

      Lucky bastard. I live in Brazil and we still didnt get the final episode of "Deep Space 9". I won't even mention "Voyager"...
    • It would be interesting to see a breakdown of content by origin.

      I suspect a much higher proportion of the content is uk originated and older than many of our American cousins would think.

      Sure, the lag between US and UK airing of big new shows is important, but the UK has a huge back catalogue of high quality indigenous content.

      The blessed BBC and our private sector public service broadcasters have decades' worth of timeless gems sitting in their archives.

      Only a very tiny proportion of this back catalogu
  • America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mboverload (657893) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:37AM (#11709602) Journal
    This makes perfect sense. With the proliferation of boradband and the anger of watching TV shows a year or more after their American counterparts, it it understandable. I know what it feels like because Europe got to watch Battlestar Galactica before we did, so I just donwloaded it.

    Didn't have to watch comercials and it was better quality then the crap Comcast quality I get. I would have paid money to see them in high resolution and with better sound, but these executives just don't seem to get it. I can download a TV show in less than an hour, in fact, I can download faster than I can watch. It is all about the industry clinging to a dieing business model and not seeing the future. Fine, do a 5-computer iTunes thing with DRM, it is not like music where I need to listen to them anywhere.

    • Re:America (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lispy (136512)
      You know what. I actually had a funny experience in the states (I'm german). Beeing the huge Buffy fan back then I already owned seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. Then I went to NYC to see SW Episode II (what a lame movie) and while beeing there I went into the Warner Superstore and looked for season 3 (hmm.Faith!) on DVD. The lady told me it wasn't out and that only season 1 was available in the states. Then I told her that in germany season 2 was already available. Her answer was neat: "Hey, man. Why don't you just
  • We do pay for it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tod_miller (792541) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:38AM (#11709608) Journal
    I know a lot of countries have TV Licenses - but the BBC takes the piss. We *PAY FOR THE PRODUCTION* of a TV show, but then pay OVER THE ODDS for the DVD's when they come out.

    BBC make enough money to either a) scrap tv license or b) give us cheaper DVD's.

    To be honest, I would preffer latter, Most people spend more on BBC DVD's than they do on licenses nowwadays (only takes one or two Christmas prezzies of the office to do that).

    So I say, I paid for it already, give it to me. I think it is legal for me to download the prisoner DVD rips (I have never seen this show, I want to) because I pay the license fees already.

    TV rental, a lovely fiscal model already in place.
    • by lxt (724570) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:15AM (#11709812) Journal
      "So I say, I paid for it already, give it to me. I think it is legal for me to download the prisoner DVD rips (I have never seen this show, I want to) because I pay the license fees already."

      You're a bit off the mark there - The Prisoner was not a BBC show. It was an ITC show, produced for Channel 3 (or whatever it was called then). It was nothing, repeat nothing, to do with the licence fee. If you actually bothered to look at the DVD box, you'd have noticed it was published by Carlton, not the BBC. So do you still think it's legal?

      Increasingly, the BBC isn't publishing the DVDs - another company is. Take the Spooks (or MI-6, as it's called in the US) DVDs - they're published not by the BBC, but by the production company (Kudos), who get all the money.

      And to be honest, I think some of the BBC dvds are very well priced - take the Red Dwarf DVDs, which retail for about £11 on Amazon for an entire season. I debate you pay "over the odds" for BBC DVDs - I think you pay the same as DVDs produced by any other company or studio.

      You do raise some valid points though:

      "So I say, I paid for it already, give it to me."

      If you read the news, you'd see that's what the BBC want to do. It's even been posted on Slashdot before, for God's sake. The BBC actually WANTS you to be able to download TV shows and radio shows they produce for free. They're investing in P2P technology to try and make it possible. The thing stopping them is actually the issue of repeat fees for writers / producers etc.

      "BBC make enough money to either a) scrap tv license or b) give us cheaper DVD's."

      The TV license doesn't just pay for TV though...it pays for commercial free radio, one of the most popular internet sites in the world, educational programs and resources, transmission infrastructure, high tech R&D, etc. The DVDs the BBC produce are typically cheaper than other DVDs anyway, or at least around the same price.

      "Most people spend more on BBC DVD's than they do on licenses nowwadays (only takes one or two Christmas prezzies of the office to do that)."

      Erm. Let me see. Seasons 1 and 2 of The Office cost £15 on Amazon. £15. For 2 seasons. The licence fee is around £115. 15 x 2 doesn't = 115.

      Perhaps you'd be interested in what the BBC actually spends the money on - they are accountable for it after all. See the website below:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/licencefee/

      So what's your problem?
    • Re:We do pay for it (Score:4, Informative)

      by hairykrishna (740240) on Friday February 18, 2005 @07:11AM (#11710087)
      The bbc is internally testing a new TV episode download system. They want to archive ALL of their programs online after they've aired them.

      That's one of the reasons why the BBC rocks. Personally I think it's worth the price of the licence fee for just the BBC news.

  • by sirdude (578412) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:38AM (#11709611)
    when the press spouts statistics without any reference as to how the data was collected..
  • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:41AM (#11709625)

    "The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women..."

    I'm assuming this is an attempt at sarcasm, but apart from the "wonderful climate" I wouldn't have realised. Sure we have a reputation for crap food, but then Americans have a reputation as ignorant redneck fuckwits, and we all know that's true, right?

    Hmmm, someone has a problem with Brits, no?

    • Brilliant. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by i41Overlord (829913) on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:37AM (#11710406)
      Point out how stereotypes are bad, then proceed to cast your own stereotype about Americans. Brilliant.

      One guy wrote that article, there's no need to offend the other 280 million people living here.

      I went to England last year and I liked it. Didn't meet too many people like you.
  • Excuse me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexwcovington (855979) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:41AM (#11709630) Journal
    Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but it's television. Signals broadcast through the air. Sorry to burst the bubbles of the folks in Hollywood, but you can't control the genie if you're throwing it out of the bottle at the speed of light. Accept the fact that people have the right to record their television shows, and don't complain when they trade them.
    • Re:Excuse me? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259) on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:20AM (#11710350)
      Accept the fact that people have the right to record their television shows

      Yes, they do - that's specifically allowed for in copyright law.

      don't complain when they trade them

      That doesn't follow. Just because I'm allowed to record a TV show for the purposes of time-shifting doesn't mean that I'm allowed to copy it and give it to you. The copyright holder still retains copyright over it. Also, what people seem to forget is that while you are allowed to time-shift broadcasts, you're not actually allowed to keep them indefinitely (at least under UK copyright law).

      Now, I'm not saying that there's really any point to complaining about people trading recordings of broadcasts, but they're within their legal rights to do so. If you don't like that, don't moan about the studios, moan about the law that allows them to do it, and work to get it changed. You can't really blame them for acting within their rights.
  • Piracy? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mr.Progressive (812475) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:46AM (#11709656)
    Piracy is a pretty strong word for this particular act. I like to think of it as Distributed Tivo.
  • My Boss (Score:3, Funny)

    by krumms (613921) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:46AM (#11709658) Journal
    My supervisor at work probably accounts for about half of all the Australian TV downloads. Absolute champion.

    I personally don't see the point: Just go watch the TV for real you fucking nerds! :P
  • Private vs Public (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BrynM (217883) * on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:48AM (#11709666) Homepage Journal
    I know TFA is about pirated content, but with the amount of public TV in the UK, it doesn't surprise me that they feel more of an "ownership" to what's broadcasted. Sadly, no matter how much time/money I dontate to PBS here in the US, they will probably never do what the BBC is doing [slashdot.org] with their old shows. Though I must admit, with new content PBS is on the right [pbs.org] track [pbs.org].

    I personally hope downloads become more of a broadcast medium. Sure, throw some commercials in that 320x240 video! I'll watch them to watch decent News/Information/Entertainment. If I could subscribe to the Daily Show [comedycentral.com] and scrap cable, I would. Even for like $10-$20 a month. I grab legal stuff from some places like Archive.org [archive.org] and play it on my PDA. There's some good content online both streaming and to download, but the models for getting to it (subscribe al la iFilm/Real, finesse google syntax, pray) suck when compared to downloading a file that I can convert into any format for any player I wish from the pirate channels. This, like other entertainment IP problems, comes down to convenience for a lot of folks. Listen up Networks!

  • Women? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rxmd (205533) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:51AM (#11709681) Homepage
    The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women.
    Don't forget the excellent beer!
    • Re:Women? (Score:3, Funny)

      by phusg (699891)
      >> The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women.

      > Don't forget the excellent beer!
      Exactly, this is what makes the food, climate and women so great in the first place!!!
  • by JamieF (16832) on Friday February 18, 2005 @05:52AM (#11709690) Homepage
    People will pay for bandwidth, then spend time searching and downloading and burning to CD-R that which you broadcast for free.

    Bottled water. Seriously. It's a business model. You don't have to sue people who drink from the tap to make it work, either.

    I can think of quite a few shows that I'd pay a bit to see again, and maybe burn to CD. If I knew they'd be available at the same price essentially forever, I wouldn't even bother hoarding them.

  • by gspr (602968) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:06AM (#11709761)
    This is such a good example of a current gigantic industry failing to adapt to the new world. Take for instance the exceptionally good (well, for TV these days, anyway) series LOST. It airs at a specific time each week, meaning I would have to be at a specific location, namely in front of my television, at that time each week in order to follow the series. That's a lot to demand when you're really busy. Instead, I have been downloading the series from the Internet, so that I can see the episodes whenever I have time and feel like it.
    Now, what the industry needs to grasp is that if they provided me a service with:
    • Fast download speeds
    • No DRM
    • Open format video
    • Acceptable price
    , then I would USE IT instead of getting the episodes using BitTorrent without paying for them.

    I am not downloading the series because I am cheap, I am downloading the series because of the flexibility it gives me. This is something the TV industry can EXPLOIT to earn money. The Internet will not kill the TV industry, as long as the TV industry understands that it needs to adapt.
  • by chrispl (189217) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:11AM (#11709793) Homepage
    I will never forget the hot Florida summer my girlfriend and I spent indoors hooked watching British and Australian Big Brother... I'm not kidding, I downloaded about 40 GB worth a month off of usenet as it was posted, quite fun to keep track of with the time differences. Marco should have won.
  • Sarcasm? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:14AM (#11709810)
    "The UK is known for many things, great food, a wonderful climate and beautiful women."

    Well, there's chicken tikka masala, no hurricanes or tornadoes, and Keira Knightley. So maybe the /. eds aren't being sarcastic after all.

  • by ayjay29 (144994) on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:19AM (#11709828)
    As a Brtitsh ex pat I must be contributing to that statistic somewhat. I'm really missing BBC, and Channel 4, Phoenix Nights, Father Ted, and a load of good documentories and stuff. Thanks to BitTorrent, and a DIVX campatible DVD player (i recommend one of those), I am getting my fix again. (Check out "The Power Of Nightmares, The Rise Of The Politics Of Fear" fro example, I don't think this will be aired in the US in a hurry...)

    I'd be more than happy to pay the BBC licence fee, and watch UK-TV legally here in Sweden, but it's not possible. I can't get it through my cable provider, or over the net.

    Channel 4 [channel4.com] have a broadband service you can subscribe to, unfortunatly it's not available outside the UK.

    The only way to get access to most Brittish TV is via BitTorrent, and the networks can't be loosing too much revenue as they are not provising a service to compete with the illegal downloads. I hope they get their act together soon, I'd much prefer to pay and see the stuff when it's aired.

    As for UK leading the world for downloads, what do you expect US TV is crap! We produced this [imdb.com] and this [imdb.com], you guys produced this [imdb.com] and this [imdb.com].

    I WANT MY, I WANT MY, I WANT MY BBC
  • piracy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:20AM (#11709832)
    However, according to a story on the Guardian, a new study puts the UK ahead in one more category: it leads the world in TV piracy,

    Boys and girls, remember that every time you use the word "piracy" in this context you are guilty of newspeak. The people who want the public to use these words have a political agenda. The **AA want you to associate not for profit copying with attacking ships and murdering people.
    • The term "piracy" has been used to refer to this sort of activity since well before the **AA existed. This meaning is listed in every dictionary I own, and has been for years. In fact, from the Online Etymology Dictionary entry for "pirate" [etymonline.com]:

      Meaning "one who takes another's work without permission" first recorded 1701; sense of "unlicensed radio broadcaster" is from 1913.

      It's sad how many people on Slashdot seem to accept compaints about using "piracy" or "theft" for copyright infringement as a substitut

  • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@NoSpAm.annexia.org> on Friday February 18, 2005 @06:46AM (#11709969) Homepage
    Shouldn't that be "London leads the world in TV downloads"?

    Rich.

  • Who'd've guessed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ignavus (213578) on Friday February 18, 2005 @07:09AM (#11710078)
    So ... English speaking countries that get second class treatment from the media companies take the matter into their own hands by downloading behind the bloated backs of those media companies.

    To borrow a phrase: the market treats restrictions as damage and routes around them. I call "market failure" - or rather, the failure of government intervention in the form of artificial monopolies and de-facto cartels. Britain and Australia download, because the market isn't serving them - it expects consumers to serve the corporations' own fantasies of total control.

    The state should let the media companies adapt or perish. THAT is capitalism. Not the fascist state of play in which the government props up corporate monopolies and acts as the corporate policeman. Imagine if carriage builders had been able to block the use of any vehicle that didn't use a horse ... why does a free nation ALLOW stupid things like region encoding: it is a complete restraint on free and fair trade, a profit maintenance scheme. Why should $1 of taxpayers' money going into upholding or policing such a anti-consumer scheme?
  • by ItsIllak (95786) on Friday February 18, 2005 @07:19AM (#11710127) Homepage
    If you consider the following.

    1/ The US networks insist on giving us shows AT LEAST 8 or 9 weeks behind them.

    2/ Some are then subject to the whim of Sky's programming schedule (Alias for instance has been hopping time and channel since it's inception).

    3/ Some don't, or may not make it over here at all (not seen any word on Lost yet?

    So, how about a brave new world for the networks? Start up their own bittorrent site. Allow the international TV stations to buy shows to be shown 5 days behind the US broadcast, then after a week seed them for general download. The bonus? They can leave the adverts IN! It would mean a new sales model for them (selling adverts at the BT site point), but it would also mean a new revenue stream. It should't affect thier ability to sell the repeats as there's little difference (and BT would not likely be mass market for a while).

    If any TV execs are listening, I'd be happy to quote to manage the service for you!
  • by Gord (23773) on Friday February 18, 2005 @08:24AM (#11710366) Homepage
    The BBC is planning to offer a TV on demand service over the internet blogcritics.org article [blogcritics.org].

    They are working to introduce a service where the last 7 days of shows are available for download in a similar fasion to their online radio player.

    Additionally they are hoping to introduce a service where archive content is also available for download, featuring old shows that no longer have the same broadcast restrictions as recent content.

    TV on demand is already available through networks such as HomeChoice [homechoice.co.uk] which offer both recent archive (spaced, black books etc..) content and some of the shows broadcast in the last 7 days (from EastEnders to 'The Sky At Night'), all provided over a ADSL/LLU network.

    To me, all this suggest that the BBC is looking to embrace the new delivery technologies now available. I wouldn't be surpried if they found articles like this Guardian piece to be encouraging, in indiating the public's desire to adopt more flexible viewing choices.
  • I mean come on, we practically wrote the book on piracy. Black Bart, Blackbeard, Chris Condent, Calico Jack, Henry Morgan [wikipedia.org] for chrissakes. Hell you could add Francis Drake to the list, the Spanish wouldn't argue.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

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