Government-Owned Norwegian TV Station Launches BitTorrent Tracker

from the legitimate-uses... dept

As some entertainment industry folks continue to insist that BitTorrent tracker search engines have no redeeming value, we keep hearing more and more stories of content providers willingly and eagerly putting up their own torrent trackers, knowing that it’s an incredibly efficient means of distributing their content. In the past, we’ve seen TV networks in Australia and Canada do this with individual shows, and now TorrentFreak is reporting that the government-owned Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has set up a BitTorrent tracker for distributing a bunch of its shows, noting that: “This type of distribution is reliable, cheap and popular with our audience.” Indeed. Not only that, but by running its own tracker, NRK realizes: “we will get better statistics and gather important data about how this technology works.” Even better, it plans to share some of that data for others to learn from as well.

The shows will be DRM-free, and it’s looking to employ a Creative Commons license on the content “to allow full freedom for our audience.” Definitely nice to see someone not going down the same well-trodden road of self-defeat:

“It is important for us to start experimenting with new distribution methods. We don’t want to do like the music industry. Running around thinking that people will keep driving down to a record store when they can have the content delivered with the push of a button at home.”

If only some others in the entertainment industry would recognize the same thing.

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Companies: norwegian broadcasting

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Comments on “Government-Owned Norwegian TV Station Launches BitTorrent Tracker”

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Weird Harold (user link) says:

Gotta love it. They are doing it for all the reasons that ISPs get freaky on it – they are doing it because “This type of distribution is reliable, cheap and popular with our audience.” . Quite simply, if I have a product to distribute and I don’t have to pay the bandwidth to distribute it, of course it is cheap. Bandwidth is the biggest single expense of online distribution. Shoveling that cost off to all the ISPs in the world is a nice business model.

WTG Mike, you prove my points for me 🙂

Weird Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:


I don’t have a problem with YOU using your bandwidth to download for yourself, but setting up a server and helping a company distribute their programming is beyond what your home internet connection was made for.

Basically, the company is shifting their cost to distribute to others off to you. You are no longer getting anything for “FREE!”. That has got to suck.

some old guy (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Basically, the company is shifting their cost to distribute to others off to you.

Actually, it’s eliminating the cost, not shifting it.

Noone has to upload more than they download, and the protocol is actually so smart now it prefers to peer with those “closest” via the least number of route hops. So ISP’s actually save bandwidth as well, cause their customers wind up sharing with each other on the cheap side of the connection, thus GREATLY reducing the bandwidth the ISP needs on the perimeter.

Anonymous Coward says:

some subtitles, too

I was going to ask about subtitles, but it appears that they’re hosting a few English fansubs as well.

If they’re serious about growing their audience via bittorrent, allowing (even encouraging) 3rd-party subtitles is necessary. It’s nice to see a network actively supporting this, instead of merely tolerating or being outright hostile to it.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: some subtitles, too

Ahh sweet.
I was going to ask about the subtitles.

I have said it before and I will say it again, there is tons of content out there. As time progresses more and more people will want me to see their content. I see no reason to pay for it when there is already tons of free content out there. I shall have to download some of these shows to check them out. The people who want me to pay before I even see it or hear it are insane. The stuff I really like, I buy the DVDs of or something similar.

Eric V says:

Although I usually agree with Mike’s opinions, this time I have to disagree as well. I really don’t like having to use bit torrent for anything. I is extremely inefficient, unreliable, and too slow. If ISPs continue to roll out bandwidth caps it will cost the users even more. If you want the content online pay to distribute it yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

one: bandwidth caps just shouldn’t exist, you pay for a certain speed and you should get that speed any time. We aren’t talking about a scarce resource here. In America we haven’t come close to the speeds that other countries have and they get those faster speeds for the same price or cheaper than we get our slow connections. Once the cable is in place as long as the company doesn’t over-sell the lines they wouldn’t see a price difference of maintaining the lines whether everyone used their connection full bore or they never used it. It isn’t like routers have a magical, arbitrary limit on how much data they can process each month.

two: torrents are very reliable and any inefficiencies or speed problems are due to poor configuration and/or an inactive torrent (which is why you should use multiple trackers and DHT to get more seeders).

some old guy (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, when people have problems with BT being flaky, unreliable, inefficient, whatever theres one of two things going on.

Either your ISP is fucking with you connection ’cause they hate you, or your router is crying for mercy because it’s not being adequately powered or cooled.

If you ask your isp, and they say they are not throttling BT, then its time to get a new router.

Weird Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

BT is unreliable and flaky because people shut down their machines, disconnect from the net, nobody actually has to keep a full copy, the only guy with the parts you need is playing a game and turned the bandwidth down to 10bps, etc.

BT is a very inefficient protocol, because it is way too dependent on too many moving parts. Sort of like Mike’s opinion of the music business. Your average download might involve 20 or 30 different people, that many networks, routing, and all that stuff. Instead of a single effecient connection between you and the company’s server, you have all sorts of connections to all sorts of places, most of which are not effecient for moving data.

BT is good for companies because distribution costs are NIL. It’s the only reason anyone does it.

some old guy (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, weird harold, the reason Blizzard distributes its large game patches via bittorrent is because the ISP’s prefer it that way It’s an incredibly massive reduction in bandwidth at the ISP’s gateway, and all of blizzards customers can get that 300mb patch in a matter of minutes.

It’s a win for everyone.

Why youre railing against it for business use is just… ignorant?

Anonymous Coward says:

What planet is this?

What planet did I wake up on this morning? Industry people with a clue. Amazing.

Now, if the BITTORRENT IS EVIL crew would get a clue. Yes, I am helping pay their distribution costs and that makes it not free. But it is incredibly cheap. I know the cost, and if I want to shut down my torrent after I get my download I am able to do so.

Overall Bittorrent is incredibly efficient. Instead of making my packets hop through a couple of dozen routers from the far side of the world I may be getting them from just down the street.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

that is why you cap the upstream badwitdh at ~70% of what your limit is, even the designers of the protocol say to do that. The protocol is designed to be faster for everyone involved as you upload. Think about the requirements to distribute a large file to 100 people, how fast will those people get it? look at the steam servers this past weekend; there were hundreds, if not thousands of complaints because a single area was hit with a storm bringing down servers and the demand created by new releases could not be met. That would never happen with torrent, if you lose a single server no one really cares because there are so many of them

maxing bandwidth (at least download) is pretty much a good thing, it means you are getting the files fast. With bit torrent you are more likely to max your download speed and download as fast as your connection allows than you are with the a single connection to some random server. yes it will piss off other computer users, but it isn’t an efficiency problem, the torrent program is being incredibly efficient by downloading as fast as it possibly can, usually much faster than the single server the user would normally download from. Here is a link with more info on how to properly configure your torrent client:

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