BitTorrent for birders!
Were you a bit annoyed the other day when that program about the British Twitchers was streamed on the BBC 4 web-site – and you, when trying to watch it, were getting the message: Not available in your area? Same thing with the Birds Britannia series: “Not available in your area!” Yet, I have just finished watching the first program in Bird Britannia series from Peru.
How did I do that?
Simple! I downloaded a bittorrent and then ran the torrent with Vuze to get the film to my computer.
Isn’t that illegal?
You have probably heard about file-sharing busts, due to copyright infringements. Not going to answer the question for you with a simple yes or no – but point you to this web-page which does conclude that if the the song, video, software or game is available for purchase – it is also illegal to copy it for private use. Nevertheless, file-sharing promoters argue that copyright on the Internet works differently. And sure, anyone can copy a photograph or a pdf on the internet and even share these – not making it legal of course – but how can it be controlled. It is impossible! Videos are uploaded to YouTube all the time. If you are watching these of not official origin, you are technically also infringing copyright laws. Nevertheless, we think not much of it -and it is difficult to know what on YouTube is legally and correctly uploaded content and what isn’t.
In recent years the concept Creative Commons and Copyleft have revolutionized the copyright concept. Some people, like Chris Brogan, Brian Solis and Darren Rowse, have gained fame and fortune, by actually giving away content for free when sharing blogging tips, giving away ebooks and pdf:s of brilliant content. On Flickr one may find lots of photos that are free to use as long as credits are given under the Creative Commons license.
I guess one could say that there is a huge gray area on the net. If you go on and download huge amounts of films, music and software – in many North American and European countries there is a risk that the internet service provider will notice your activity, which in turn can turn the copyright police on you (represented by the evil Big Record and Film companies). See this post of my Twitter friend lawyer Ray Beckerman to see how evil the Record companies really are!
There is a change in the way society looks upon copyright in the traditional sense. If a film or a song is available for download somewhere….How morally wrong can it be if you download it for personal view, especially if the film or song is not available for you in your country -as the case of the BBC series.
In this case the stuff is available for FREE on BBC – if you live in the right country – it seems even less of a moral dilemma, as it is not available commercially in any way. So, there you go….clean conscience now?
How to see BBC outside of Britain!
This is what you need to do.
- Download the program Vuze on www.vuze.com. You may also have to download a Java program to make it work.
- Download the torrent.
- Run the torrent in Vuze and the download starts.
- It is an .avi format, which neither my version of Windows Media nor RealPlayer could read straight away, but I downloaded an excellent free player called VLC that read all sorts of formats. Here is a download link of VLC from Sourceforge.
There are 3 more programs in the series that hopefully someone will make a bittorrent for. Additionally, if someone made a video recording of the Twicher program, it would be great if you could make a torrent. Here is how to make a torrent.
While I was working on this post, I saw a note from Rob Fergus, where he makes a link to The Twitcher program on YouTube. Uploaded at last! Probably not totally legal in terms of copyright…but there you go. At least you won’t be busted for watching it.
Watch it before it becomes reported to the BBC – and taken off YouTube!
Also available in full length on MEGAVIDEO.
Thanks to Thijs Calu who tipped about this on Twitter!
The Feds got to MEGAVIDEO. Ooops!