Broadband News

BBC Newsnight apologises over file sharing comments

Newsnight on the BBC may not be the top ranking BBC show, but it seems a lot of computer users watch it, as after a four minute piece that covered areas such as BitTorrent and encryption one of the shows many producers has responded online to "the torrent of abuse streamed our way over our piece on Friday 24 February". His full reply can be read over at BBC News.

Adam Livingstone on behalf of the BBC Newsnight team apologises for the script line that was wrong, and has given the perception that 'file sharing is theft', to quote in full Adam had this to say "First though, an apology. File sharing is not theft. It has never been theft. Anyone who says it is theft is wrong and has unthinkingly absorbed too many Recording Industry Association of America press releases. We know that script line was wrong. It was a mistake. We're very, very sorry. ".

One cannot help but wonder whether many of the arguments for and against file sharing were at one time used against other forms of media, stretching at least back to the invention of the printing press.

The next year or so will present big challenges to service providers, particularly if on-demand video content at a decent resolution takes off in a big way. There is potential for this traffic to replace things like BitTorrent at the top of the usage tree. The widespread use of usage systems will lessen the impact, but if new applications prove popular the usage systems could kill off emerging markets.

Update Friday 3rd March 2006: A small alteration to correct the implication that Adam Livingstone was the producer of the original item, while a producer on BBC Newsnight he was not the producer or reporter on that four minute item.


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