The BBC has made a progressive move in the battle against piracy. Where news like this would usually segue in to astory about some unexpecting media-junkie suddenly finding themselves on the wrong side of a court battle, or a company pushing for harsher regulations regarding bit-torrenting, the BBC has taken a different route.
As we’ve said many times, one of the major driving forces behind piracy is the media industry’s current content distribution methods. Specifically, it’s often easier and faster to pirate a movie or TV show than it is to acquire it illegally, especially if it’s newly released content. Often movies or new series are aired days or even weeks apart in different countries.
In today’s world, within hours of a new episode airing, posts and tweets regarding its content spew forth over the internet with unprejudiced proliferation. Where the week-long (or even year-long) time-delay between a show airing in America and Australia used to be a minor inconvenience causing nothing but an extended wait, fans are now turning to piracy just to make sure they don’t encounter spoilers by the simple act of logging on. Or, alternatively, if they wish to go about their daily internet-related lives without the constant fear of encountering said spoilers, ultimately causing them to avoid services like Facebook or Twitter.
What the BBC has done is release the new episode of Dr Who on the ABC’s iView player at 5:10pm on Sunday September 2 within hours of it originally airing in the UK. The show will then also be available on ABC1 at its regular time of 7:30pm on Saturday, September 8.
The decision was aimed at combatting piracy, as Whovians (Dr Who fans) have waited almost a year to see the intrepid Doctor return to the screen. The extended wait has created a keen haze of anticipation that was likely to cause more than a few Whovians to download the episode immediately, rather than waiting almost another week to see it aired on TV.
ABC1 controller Brendan Dahill reportedly said:
” Piracy is wrong, as you are denying someone their rights and income for their intellectual property,” Mr Dahill said. “The fact that it is happening is indicative that as broadcasters we are not meeting demand for a segment of the population.
So as broadcasters we need to find convenient ways of making programs available via legal means to discourage the need for piracy.”
Brendan Dahill via News.com.au
We think this is a fantastic and, even better, clever move to combat piracy. In a time dubbed “the information age” it’s important to make sure that everyone gets the information they want at the same time. The alternatives are either some people being left out of the loop or those that don’t want to be left out fulfilling their wishes via alternate avenues.
We applaud both the BBC and ABC for this action and hope to see more of its ilk in the future.