* Posts by Ben Mortimer

2 posts • joined 7 Nov 2007

El Reg space paper plane christened Vulture 1

Ben Mortimer

Altitude release

Presumably the rate of climb of the baloon is constant predictable, allowing some sort of timed release mechanism could be used (in the vein of the time pencils used to detonate explosives during WW2).

TV-Links man: 'I'm no master criminal'

Ben Mortimer

The real irony

is that the popularity of programs such as Battlestar Galactica and Heroes is partially down to (indeed in the UK almost exclusively down to) sites like this. Let's face it, how many people from the UK watched shows through TV links, then told our mates about them?

Why were Heroes, Dexter and Lost popular in the UK? Because of sites like this (this article http://www.mindjack.com/feature/piracy051305.html has a lot to say on the issue). Anyone who listens to radio one regularly could quite easily tell Edith Bowman had been watching hookie downloads of Heroes long before it came out, and she, like everyone else who had done the same thing raved about it to the less technologically savvy folk, who then watched it a few months down the line.

Even more ironic is the fact that I will STILL watch repeats of shows on TV despite having seen them online.

And if I'm wrong, why is it that pilots for Pushing Daisies; The Bionic Woman and The Sarah Connor Chronicles have been flying around the internet for months if not to build up publicity for shows. It's not like they've been put online by anyone other than studio marketing execs to do the same job as preview screenings for a lot less money.

I can understand studios being a bit narked about links to brand new films being posted, on the site, but even in this case most people who watch these will STILL go out and watch the film. If you don't believe me look at the increase in box office take this year over previous years, despite the increase in piracy.

Let's be totally honest here, the prosecution of David Rock isn't about money (I can't imagine he made a great deal from TV links), and it wasn't about posting copyrighted content freely available online (all the major TV studios are now posting episodes of their shows on their own websites). It was entirely to do with a fear on the part of the studios of a loss of control. Control over release dates, schedules and of course territorial screening rights.

The irony is, of course that by fighting people like Rock the studios are shooting themselves in the foot. As has been said before, if you take down one site a new one will spring up. If you beat one technology a more anonymous one will be created. What these studios, and also companies like Sky and the BBC should be doing is working with people like David Rock to work out some way of turning a profit from these services. It wouldn't even be hard: TV-links pays a premium for the UK linking & hosting rights, and then gets to cover their site in banner ads. Or perhaps a 30 second commercial before every screening (as already happens on the sites of the US TV networks)

At the end of the day a lack of patience with the vast gaps between US and UK air dates and a desire for viewing convenience are the main reason for sites like this, not an unwillingness to pay a small fee (and I stress SMALL, and monthly, not pay per view) and this is in no way funding other crimes (ironic that an organisation named FACT can be so wrong). If these concerns were addressed properly and in a reasonable fashion then this whole ridiculous situation would never have needed happen in the first place

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