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BBC (unlike MPAA) considers entering 21st century
Bar Harbor
BBC Trials Internet Download Service.
The revolutionary plan has been drawn up by Ashley Highfield, the BBC's director of new media and technology. He revealed details of the project to The Independent last week. He said: "If we don't enter this market, then exactly what happened to the music industry could happen to us, where we ignore it, keep our heads in the sand and everybody starts posting the content up there and ripping us off."

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Well, the Beeb has some leeway to be sensible: they're heavily state-subsidized by what amounts to a mandatory fee on all TV owners. That's always given them more room to experiment than most TV stations, which tend to be more focused on the immediate bottom line.

With any luck, the experiment will work well, and inspire other TV services to join in. I'm reasonably certain that broadcast-oriented TV-as-we-know-it will be at least half-dead within ten years, with non-time-critical shows replaced by download-oriented services. (Some free, some not.) But it'll be interesting to see how bumpy the ride to get there is...

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