The Norwegian Broadcast Corporation (NRK), which previously tried --- and failed
--- to bring the Beatles to the Web, has set up its own BitTorrent tracker to distribute their TV-shows.
Acknowledging what many already know, that P2P technology has valid uses (besides the obvious illegal ones), NRK announced the tracker on its own website
For its tracker, NRK has chosen the Opentracker software currently favored by (heh, heh) The Pirate Bay
. NRK stated that one of the reasons for their own tracker is so they can gather more data on their viewers downloading habits. However, it's also because traditional downloading services pounded their servers.
NRK is license funded and aims to reach their audience with the best possible quality. Tests with traditional download methods have proven difficult because of the large files and extreme load on the servers.
With our own tracker we will get better statistics and gather important data about how this technology works. And as we did with our early tests we’ll also try to share the knowledge as we grow this service.
We are providing full quality video files with no DRM. The biggest problem regarding this project is to clear all the rights we need to be able to distribute content in such an open system. NRK is a big content producer, but record labels, actors, external production companies and format rights owners usually have contracts that prevent us from distributing our content freely in the internet. We are in constant negotiations over these issues. And it seems like it should be possible to find a solution where NRK gets the rights it needs and the rights holders get the compensation they want.
Obviously this tracker isn't being used the same way as The Pirate Bay's tracker is, for just about anything, but what's great here is that NRK "gets it." Much as with their earlier attempt with The Beatles music, it's showing it is more open to the digital world.
Hopefully the rest of the world is watching.