Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation sets up its own bittorrent tracker

A bold move from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation – the national broadcaster is to set up its own bittorrent tracker and to distribute content on a regular basis using OpenTracker software.

NRKbeta logo

Writes the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation in a news story posted on the corporation’s excellent tech/new media site NRKBeta :

After some very successful tests through 2008 the Norwegian state broadcaster has decided to set up their own BitTorrent tracker and start offering content through this form of distribution on a more regular basis.

The tracker is based on the same OpenTracker software that the Pirate Bay has been using for the last couple of years. But it will only be used to distribute content from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

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.

“By using BitTorrent we can reach our audience with full quality media files. Experience from our early tests show that if we’re the best provider of our own content we also gain control of it.

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.

The first show we’re putting on our new tracker is a very popular television series about people living in remote places in Norway. It features fascinating people and spectacular scenery. We have provided all the Norwegian subtitle files and if people want to fansub any of the episodes we’re more than happy to let you do that. Please let us know in the comments and we’ll link to your translations.

Rights issues

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.

In addition to this we look into new providers. Pump Audio, Magnatune and other companies with easier licensing systems are interesting sources.”

More info on the NRKBeta site.

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