The recent closure of a number of bittorent sites seems to have drawn a line in the sand for file sharing on the Internet. The end is nigh. One that I used often for a number of years was BTJunkie, and I was disappointed but not surprised to see it close its doors. Before its doors were closed by the authorities.
While there is the side of the argument about copyright and protecting the income of artists and all the other arguments that are well known and documented, there was another side to file sharing and was the type of file I was looking for.
No, I wasn’t stealing the latest Hollywood movies or the latest CD releases. I was using BTJunkie to find free to air television programs from my home county in Australia. Something that I miss here in Switzerland and I felt ‘guilt free’ in downloading these files. After all, they were free to air. Free being the operative word. Unfortunately free to air television has taken to becoming extremely protective of their programs because of course, advertising is not included in the files available by Bitttorent. Well, that argument would hold except for the fact that even public broadcasters who are not supported by advertising are getting their nickers in a knot about file sharing.
The proof can be found in the number of dedicated television ‘Players’ available on the Internet. Great stuff. Watch any program at your leisure. But they are all territory protected. So when I go to any of the ‘TV Player’ sites for television stations in Australia, I’m barred from access because I don’t live in Australia.
This territorial barring is becoming so prevalent on the Internet, one can easily see that the ‘Net’ is being privatised and the days of it being ‘Your Window To The World’ are numbered, if not already dead and buried.
The RIP notice BTJunkie posted on their site could well be applied to many forms of entertainment on the Internet. The honeymoon is over. And it won’t be just a matter of what you’re prepared to pay for, but far worse. It will be what you are permitted to access, and of course pay for, by territorial market protection applied by media corporations.
Oh well, I’m off to watch my TV. In a language I don’t really understand.