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Canadian TV to Adopt DRM-Free BitTorrents 229

An anonymous reader writes "Canada's public broadcast network, CBC, is to adopt DRM free BitTorrent distribution of one of its major primetime shows, Canada's Next Great Prime Minister. The effort has already been hailed by Canadian copyright guru Michael Geist, who expects the decision to add fuel to Canada's net neutrality debate. A CBC producer behind the show told CNET that the motivation for the move was that CBC 'wanted the show to be as accessible as possible to as many Canadians as possible, in the format that they want it in.' As for DRM, she said 'I think DRM is dead, even if a lot of broadcasters don't realize it.' She added that 'if it's bad for the consumers, its bad for the company.'"
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Canadian TV to Adopt DRM-Free BitTorrents

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  • by jmcnaught ( 915264 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:26PM (#22798176) Homepage
    Hopefully this means that Bell and Rogers will both have to stop throttling Bittorrent downloads. Some days on rogers I would get faster downloads on dialup.
    • by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:29PM (#22798202) Homepage

      An excellent point that I didn't even think of until you mentioned it. I totally agree; I'm on Bell where I am and it's awful; ALL of my P2P traffic is capped to 30KiB/s and it's quite painful when I should be able to access that content in a matter of minutes as opposed to a matter of hours.


      • by esaul ( 686848 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:15PM (#22798704)
        Fortunately, as opposed to the US, you do not have to solely depend on large ISPs as Bell, Videotron or Rogers. Remember this [] story? There are dozens of independent ISPs, and while they often use Bell's networks, I have not seen any throttling on P2P as of yet. I routinely get speeds of close to 500KB/s.
        • Bell has me "Locked" to their sympatico service. Which means they will let me get Sympatico but they won't allow anyone else to provide it.

          Which of course totally blows, I was going to go with teksavvy.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by billcopc ( 196330 )
            How does that work ? I thought they were required by law to grant CLECs access to the lines. I obviously don't know the details in your case, but if they're not giving you good excuses, I'd verbally tear them several new assholes until you get what you want. From what friends have told me, TekSavvy is da bomb.
          • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @04:55PM (#22799856)
            If by "locked", you mean you need to pay an ETF to get out, you're not really stuck. They're required by law to offer wholesale service, assuming you're hooked up to an ADSL or ADSL2+ DSLAM.

            You might still want to consider a $10/mth secondary login with TekSavvy (not advertised, but still available). 100GB of bandwidth per month. Not a huge amount, but it's still a lot better than what you're getting with Bell (and you can add another 100GB for another $10 per month).

            Of course, you'd still have to pay your full Sympatico bill, as the TekSavvy login is just a PPPoE account. If your Sympatico subscription is PPPoE-based, you can get a secondary login and avoid the throttling and ultra-low caps.

            I suggest you call in (1-877-779-1575) between 8AM and 2AM EST and discuss your options with TekSavvy. I'm sure they can work something out with you.

            If you'd be so kind, because your situation is quite interesting, it'd be appreciated if you could post about your story in the official TekSavvy forums (, as I'm sure many of us would be very interested in hearing the details of your issues with Bell.
            • OK, point of interest here...

              You have a Sympatico account. You sign up for Techsavvy as a secondary. Doesn't the 'last mile' still come through Sympatico? And won't you still be subject to their throttling?

              • by PsychoSlashDot ( 207849 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @06:35PM (#22801064)

                You have a Sympatico account. You sign up for Techsavvy as a secondary. Doesn't the 'last mile' still come through Sympatico? And won't you still be subject to their throttling?

                Not exactly. DSL services are handled by a division of Bell called Nexxia. ISPs, Sympatico included are all attached to the Nexxia infrastructure. If a consumer subscribes with an independent ISP, that ISP issues a service order to Bell to provision the copper 'last mile'. A Bell tech goes to the CO (Central Office) and hooks up some Nexxia gear to the subscriber's copper. Nexxia bills the ISP, the ISP bills the subscriber, and everyone's happy. Yes, Sympatico is a Bell Canada division as well, but they're effectively a subscriber to the Nexxia division just the same as any other DSL ISP.

                An amusing aside to all of this is that the end-user technically can't call up Bell and request removal of services, for instance in the case that they wish to change providers. They aren't the purchaser of the DSL service. Twisted, but true. The subscriber needs the current ISP to issue a service-removal order to Bell/Nexxia.

                I personally had an entertaining time moving off Sympatico to a local provider a few years ago. I called Sympatico and was told that there were exactly two days a month when I was ALLOWED to terminate my service, and I'd just missed my two days by a couple days. I'd be stuck another month. I told them I was content to lose the service for the remainder of the month and continue paying, but they wouldn't allow it. I spoke to Bell's DSL provisioning department, and they told me they couldn't accept service instructions from me. I talked to the owner of my (then) new ISP, and he placed a provisioning order anyway. A Bell tech went out, and disconnected my copper from Nexxia's DSLAM to one of his (this ISP has their own DSLAMs in some COs, still backend connected to Nexxia). The tech thought something was amiss but did the work. I was happy. My sync rates went up, everything was grand, and I started to wait until I could cancel Sympatico. Two days later, I lost sync. We made some calls. The tech had investigated and found out that I didn't have a cancel-service order from Sympatico, so went back and moved my copper back into Nexxia's DSLAM. My ISP made a phone call, spoke to the tech personally, who then re-corrected "illegally", and that tech knew to wait for and disregard the eventual Symaptico de-provisioning order when it came. Eventually I cancelled with Sympatico and everything's been heaven since.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by taylortbb ( 759869 ) *
                Bell is split up into two sections, Bell Nexxia which provides DSL connectivity and Bell Sympatico which provides internet connectivity using DSL lines from Bell Nexxia. Nexxia doesn't sell their DSL connectivity service just to Sympatico, any company can buy service from them. The most common is use is for other DSL ISPs to offer internet service, but it would also be possible for a large company (it's expensive) to create a private WAN using this service. When you perform PPPoE authentication Nexxia exami
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by taylortbb ( 759869 ) *
            You can get a TekSavvy login-only account for $10/month. Your line is still with Bell but they give you a PPPoE login to their network so you use their transit and avoid throttling. It's not advertised but if you phone in and ask you can get it.
      • My P2P traffic is capped as well, I say we should blame Ca..

        Oh wait..
      • I'm on Bell where I am and it's awful;

        Bell/Sympatico internet access is awful almost everywhere. I have seen two reviews and Bell was the bottom-of-the-barrel both times (the Marketplace story was pretty entertaining if lacking in technical details).

        If you can go with Shaw or Telus or Rogers you are going to be far better off. Even better than that, there are still a few independents out there that offer superior service and won't throttle your connection so badly (if at all). For example, even though it
    • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:48PM (#22798408)
      Try activating encryption in your bit torrent client. I'm certain you'll see a dramatic difference.
      • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:53PM (#22798460)
        They don't need to inspect the packets to identify them as p2p. Encryption doesn't do a damn thing for me (Rogers) unless I tunnel it all through a VPN.

        • by BForrester ( 946915 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:22PM (#22798770)
          I'm on Rogers, and it works for me. If there are sufficient seeders and peers, I regularly get up to 600 KB / sec on regular high-speed, up from 20 KB / sec without.

          Make sure you're using a non-standard port. Also, don't force encryption, just enable it. That will net you encrypted traffic + whatever low level of throttled traffic your ISP allows.
          • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:44PM (#22799006)
            Let me clarify a little. I have encryption enabled and I do get high speed downloads, it's my upstream that is throttled to hell and back. Upstream usually floats around 1 - 4 k/s. Once in a while I will temporarily get a fast upstream connection to some other client and I assume what is happening here is I am connected to another Rogers user so it is exempt from the throttling rules. If I force all my traffic through a ssh tunnel then suddenly my upstream shoots up near where it should be (80+ k/s).

            My guess is that under normal circumstances Rogers is able to identify the traffic patterns of p2p (tons of connections to many different clients) without needing to look inside the individual packets. They then go ahead and close off most of the connections which results in the throttling. If I force it all through my ssh tunnel, it's all going to 1 host so it no longer looks like p2p traffic, just some unidentifiable high speed encrypted stream and therefore it's not subject to throttling.

            • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @04:38PM (#22799636) Homepage Journal
              I wish P2P designers would take a cue from the internet worm designers and prioritize "nearby" IP addresses first when choosing from a list (IE, if someone is in the same /16 as you, choose them over someone in a totally foreign network). My guess is that it would improve your throughput enough to make it worth the effort, and it would be really simple to add the logic.
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by billcopc ( 196330 )
                The problem, of course, is when P2P starts prioritizing same-network peers, ISPs will start throttling inside and piss on everyone's parade.

                It's never been about bandwidth, there's tons of bandwidth. It's about control.
        • They don't need to inspect the packets to identify them as p2p

          Uhh, yes, they do. While, unless you're using a standard P2P port. 'course, if you're doing that, you're not that serious about circumventing your ISPs throttling (BTW, I'm on Shaw, and while they throttle, enabling encryption and using a non-standard port gets around it quite neatly).
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by tattood ( 855883 )

            Uhh, yes, they do. While, unless you're using a standard P2P port.

            They don't need to read the packets, because they can tell based on number of connections. A "normal" web connection to a website will probably only get you maybe 5-10 different IP destinations, depending on where and how many banner ads and images are on the site. They are also started and finished fairly quickly, so the total amount of traffic is not alot. All they need to do is look for a constant high amount of bandwidth from a single IP address to more than, say, 30 hosts, and they can be pretty

    • by Minwee ( 522556 )

      Absolutely. Why would Rogers, whose major business is in selling cable TV services, and Bell, who sell the same content via satellite, _not_ want to provide their Internet customers with high speed free access to TV programs that they would otherwise have to, um, pay for.

      That is, pay the big Cable and Satellite providers for.

      You know, have to pay Rogers and Bell for.

      Wait. Why is this a good idea for them again?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jhylkema ( 545853 )
      Get Shaw, they don't throttle. I'm a Shaw customer and I've had great luck with them.

      And no, I'm not an astroturfer.
      • Tres' gauche to respond to one's own post, I know. I wanted to add that Shaw's tech support actively supports BitTorrent and will tell you exactly how to set it up.

        Again, not an astroturfer, just a very happy customer. Stay away from Telus, they suck. When their guy didn't show up despite my giving them an all-day window, I called Shaw. They were out the next day and got me up and running. Telus finally deigned to grace me with their presence the next day. So, for about two days, I had both Telus and
  • No Offense (Score:5, Funny)

    by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:27PM (#22798182) Homepage

    But I'm not sure I would have watched this on T.V. (if I had one), let alone downloaded it (legally or otherwise) =/


    • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:34PM (#22798246)
      But come on, this is so cool, suddenoutbreakofcommonsense, etc etc. Is it just me or is canada suddenly awesome? Eh?
      • by ( 1108067 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:38PM (#22798302) Homepage Journal

        What it means is that the **AA, seeing the writing on the wall, is going to BLAME CANADA!

        This time it will be Bush who accidently says into a live microphopne "We start bombing in 15 minutes."

        He'll tell the voters "We're liberating all our oil from their commie socialist rule."

        Plus, now that Canadian Tire money is worth more than the US Dollar ... what has he got to lose?

      • Re:No Offense (Score:5, Informative)

        by Drooling Iguana ( 61479 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:39PM (#22798314)
        We've been awesome for nearly a century and a half. People just didn't start noticing until now.
        • by David_W ( 35680 )

          We've been awesome for nearly a century and a half.

          Says the drooling iguana? ;)

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by HungSoLow ( 809760 )
        Canada has a terrific history of human rights reform, health care reform and engineering excellence. The problem with Canada (I am one, eh?) is selling out to American politics and businesses. To name a few:

        - Canada should be charging the US with a slew of war-crime related offenses over Khadr.

        - We should bitch-slap your current administration over Maher Arar, who by the way, is an amazing person who I speak to daily (he's in the research lab next to mine).
        - We should be blocking purchases of Canadian

    • Ditto, but I might consider downloading it to do some seeding ... and also, if I'm *really* bored one day after the playoffs, I might watch it. :)
    • Re:No Offense (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:08PM (#22798626)
      one point on this. there is a Canadian TV show I really like. I cannot get it here in the States. Even their web page has a "This show cannot be viewed in your country" error when you attempt to load clips. Does this mean that soon the actually good programming in Canada will be legally viewable here? I sometimes see TV from S Africa, Argentina, Singapore and India. it pains me to think I may need to use not legal means to be informed about these countries and about Canada....
  • by Jax Omen ( 1248086 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:27PM (#22798184)
    The best way to make money in the long term is to have happy customers. Period. Now if only some US companies would learn that...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nos. ( 179609 )
      That's a gross over simplification. Best way to make me happy is to give me the product/service for free, without any ads. That kills most revenue streams, so how do you make money if you have no revenue streams? Happy customers are better than unhappy ones, but that's not the only factor to consider.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        But hordes of furious consumers rallying the entire internet against all DRM is a significant factor to consider.
        • But hordes of furious consumers rallying the entire internet against all DRM is a significant factor to consider.

          But I hardly see any hordes anywhere.

          Plus, I don't know that I want people who don't know about DRM getting on the same torrents as me. That nice download speed I enjoyed with NIN's Ghosts 1 release? Now throw hundreds of uneducated torrent users on there that remove the torrent as soon as they have it downloaded, and never seed to 1.5 ratio, and I'll show you a slow torrent.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        There are a lot of ways to make it work. A successful show could pay for itself with product placement, and this doesn't have to be offensive. Alternatively, a 5 second ad at the beginning of the show might be sufficient. We are talking about a global audience, nearly zero distribution cost. You'd make a profit on less than a penny a viewer.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Hmm. Variable content length (5-20 minutes) and a 5-15 second ad that ties into said discussion.

          Easy to watch, and a pain in the ass to remove. The AD companies get their stream of revenue, and we get our content. Win-win.. it seems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The best way to make money in the long term is to have happy customers. Period. Now if only some US companies would learn that...

      Why is that important to a public company today? A privately owned company has tons of reasons to do that but a public company has few. Stockholders will sell their stock in a heartbeat and they would be more than pleased with the destruction of a company if they made a profit (like buyouts). High level managers and executives have little need to be loyal since they can easily jump ship at any time and even if they run the company into the ground their golden parachutes will ensure a soft landing. The

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm not sure how this would exactly correlate to the US, unless the videos were to include commercials or some other form of revenue. This story says that the program in on the CBC, which is Canada's version of PBS, so they don't have the same commercial interests. Its naive to think that US broadcasters would give away content no matter how "happy" it would make you feel.
  • companies in the US would catch on. DRM is a dead horse. And it's been beaten to a pulp.
  • Add more shows! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Filter ( 6719 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:30PM (#22798218)
    22 Minutes and jPod would be excellent!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by FPCat ( 646737 )
      Sadly, jPod has already been canceled.
      • by DerWulf ( 782458 )
        Bastards! Again with the friday night pid of death that also killed Firefly. What-the-fuck!? Why is it that any show I enjoy seems to be a prime canditate for cancelation?
  • Oh Canada.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by molex333 ( 1230136 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:44PM (#22798368) Homepage
    From healthcare to Hockey, why do the Canadiens constantly get things right where we can not. As an example, anyone who has ever gone to Niagra falls can tell you that the Canadiens are better than us at almost everything. The New York side of the falls is horriblly dirty and devoid of any decent food or lodgings, while the Canadian side is clean, has a vast number of resteraunts(including a Hard Rock cafe), and even has gambling. All this and you could eat off the streets! Why is this, does anyone even know?
    • Not a good example (Score:4, Informative)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:52PM (#22798450) Homepage
      Niagara falls is not a good example becase nature itself is on Canada's side. The reason the Canadian side of the falls has grown into such a tourist attraction is the horseshoe falls, which are the most dramatic portion, is best visible from the Canadian side. You can hardly see anything from the New York side.

      So, over time, more and more money went to the Canadian side developing the tourist area. Think about it, if you are a developer spending $100 million on a hotel, you want it to have the best possible view - so you put it on the Canadian side.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The view is one thing. New York doesn't even have volunteer "trash pickers" or anything. It's like the ghetto, but in nature, compared to Canada.
      • Canada didn't even TRY to alter its view of the falls; NY used explosives to create a custom effect on their side .. and the view still sucks. Too bad the point wasn't about the view, the point was about the INFRASTRUCTURE.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by molex333 ( 1230136 )
        While this may in fact be true, as a native New Yorker(and usually proud of it) I am really upset about the fact that we can not even keep the American side clean! It is horrible and dirty. Having been to both sides, the dirtiness takes away from what is still a particullarly beautiful site!
    • Re:Oh Canada.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by theheadlessrabbit ( 1022587 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @08:36PM (#22802210) Homepage Journal

      why do the Canadiens constantly get things right where we can not. As an example, anyone who has ever gone to Niagra falls can tell you that the Canadiens are better than us at almost everything
      my personal favorite...

      Americans have the right to bear arms.
      Canadian women have the right to bear breasts.

      I believe the reason for us getting everything right while the US gets everything wrong, is that section 15 of the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms only extends rights to 'actual persons', not 'legal persons' like the US system (corporations are classified as 'legal persons') so we don't have the same problem of having to constantly welcome our evil corporate overlords.
  • by usedtolosing ( 938953 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:47PM (#22798404)
    Keep in mind folks.

    The good 'ole CBC is a publicly funded crown corp. So yeah, if they want to cut out a revenue stream...go for it...but we're paying for it in taxes.

    It's a novel experiment, and I love the idea. But I'm not sure that this exact model would work for a Private US broadcaster or private Canadian Broadcaster.

    Keep in mind. PBS has had documentary downloads available forever. PBS Frontline.

    • Of course, PBS also sets the broadcast flag [] on their digital transmissions.
    • For publically broadcast media, I don't see why this isn't the best idea since sliced bread! the broadcast was already free. They got advertising revenue when it aired.

      By distributing it through torrents, they get:
      - no need to manually encode, produce, and deal with formats of the media. It gets released without DRM and nuts everywhere will recode it for them into a dozen formats.
      - No real distribution costs, why buy a big pipe when we can use theirs! Push it out to a few hundred people, and millions of
    • by Mantle ( 104724 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @04:26PM (#22799468)
      What is with you and all the FUD?

      Is it cutting out a revenue stream? Or increasing the size of the pie? How do you know they aren't embedding commercials in the bt version and making MORE money by telling advertisers they are reaching MORE eyes? Show me.

      Even if we accept that they will make less money with this distribution method, is it going to be significant to overshadow the savings to the CBC by using bt as a distribution channel? About 1/3 of CBC's funding comes from non-taxpayer sources, according to their 2005-2006 annual report. Of that 1/3, only a fraction of it is from advertising. Of that fraction, only a smaller portion yet comes from TV advertising. Is that a significant amount? Show me.

      Why are you so ready to draw negative conclusions so early?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheSync ( 5291 ) *
      PBS has had documentary downloads available forever. PBS Frontline.

      As PBS produces no content, they are dependent on obtaining streaming rights from the producers in addition to the limited broadcast rights they negotiate for terrestrial broadcast by public television stations. But most public television stations are not enthusiastic about paying PBS more to obtain streaming rights from producers just so those shows can be streamed from rather than viewed on the local public television stations (c
    • Maybe I'm a bit ignorant about this, but so far as I know, CBC losing revenue doesn't mean they automatically get more funding. It just means they lose revenue. If I'm not mistaken, changing the amount of money the CBC gets from public sources would require an act of parliament. That's why the CBC has been trying to squeeze out more advertising dollars in recent years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jardine ( 398197 )
      The good 'ole CBC is a publicly funded crown corp. So yeah, if they want to cut out a revenue stream...go for it...but we're paying for it in taxes.

      Except that pretty much any good show is going to show up on your friendly neighbourhood torrent site anyway. A lot of the shows are available in streaming clips anyway. By putting up a torrent themselves, they can save on bandwidth and provide a show that isn't as limited in video and audio quality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mxs ( 42717 )
      The experiment is not novel. The BBC is running circles around them. It is, however, a decent experiment.

      Furthermore, I do believe this could work for private broadcasters as well. Right now, you find all the shows out there on P2P without ads with decent seeding without hassle. If they actually came together to figure out how to provide a better user experience (even with ads), they'd win. Of course, boxed-in low-bitrate streams of mediocre quality on their homepage that disappear after a day or a week are
  • by Coraon ( 1080675 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:05PM (#22798596)
    Guys, you may think that this is the rare exceptions, but in reality this is the way the wind is blowing in Canada. We have a privacy act in Canada that many legal scollars agree that DRM violates because it requires to much information about the user of the file. The long and short of it is this. In Canada you can buy a lawnmower take it apart and make something out of it, In the US if you did that you violate the you see the problem here?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by diodeus ( 96408 )
      No healthcare bills
      No DMCA
      No "war on drugs"
      No billtiontrillion dollar deficit
      No gun-toting citizens ...and in Quebec the minimum drinking age (and rules of the road) are merely suggestions!
      • No healthcare bills
        No DMCA
        No "war on drugs"
        No billtiontrillion dollar deficit
        No gun-toting citizens ...and in Quebec the minimum drinking age (and rules of the road) are merely suggestions!

        Ah, but we enjoy things like Newegg.

        I ordered from NCIXUS (the US version of NCIX, both operate in Canada) over Christmas, they are a competing computer parts provider.

        In the US, when supply lines get overwhelmed we hire more folk for the season and get stuff out on time. Ever had a slow shipment from newegg? If I order one day, 99% of the time it's out in the mail the next. Not so in Canada apparently; minimum wage there is $11 and they can't just grab new hires and lay them off a month and a half later.

        • I should mention it was the simple, cheap, Fedex Express Saver, not special 2 day delivery (even though that's what I got).
  • When I visit Canadia this summer, you know what I'll be downloading 24/7!
    CBC episodes of Canada's Next Great Prime Minister!!! (and I'll be going down to Future Shop for Trailer Park Boys DVDs).

    • Trailer Park Boys is available on Netflix in the US.
    • It gets even better. Due to the falling American dollar it is harder for growers to sell pot to American dealers. So Canada is expected to have a glut of extra pot and probably falling prices.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
  • As for DRM, she (Guinevere Orvis) said 'I think DRM is dead, even if a lot of broadcasters don't realize it'.

    I think I'm in love... :-)
    To bad Guinevere [] is taken.

  • Well Battlestar Galactica obviously
    Traders: Drama about Bay St.(Toronto's Wall St.) Stock market
    This is Wonderland: Canadian court drama, very Canadian, problematic legal issues.
    Kenny vs. Spenny: Some debate over realism, but intense... roomates competing in a variety of competitons... required stoned viewing.
    Road to Avonlea: Now megastar Sarah Polley, kind of like Anne of Green Gables... very very solid show. No action.

    There's tonnes more but those are probably the best dramas.

    I'd love some recommendat
    • by hether ( 101201 )
      Not dramas, but try Corner Gas and Little Mosque On The Prairie.
      • by rikkards ( 98006 )
        I love Corner Gas and supposedly it is going into Syndication. I don't like Little Mosque on the Prairie although the idea for the show is brilliant, I find the writing is your typical "CBC"ish writing that was good in the 70's but now is too... safe. It's hard to explain but anyone who has watched CBC material should be able to understand.

          Mind you this is from watching the first couple of episodes. Not sure if it has changed since the first season.
        • by ashitaka ( 27544 )
          Little Mosque got much better and had a couple of episodes, especially around the holidays that really allowed the actors to expand their characters. The Bollywood dance sequence where Amaar had to work around his parent's attempts at arranged marriage was classic.

          There's still a ton of issues they could attack and they have yet to show a really positive, understanding non-Muslim Caucasian character but there's hope.
          • by rikkards ( 98006 )
            That was one of the things I didn't like about it. Pretty much every white person I saw was pretty much shown in a bad light (except the priest) but that could be how you might feel as a muslim in a post-911 world.

            Another show that shows the other side but does a good job is Big Love (which I do love) shows the opposite that not all polygamists are kooky commune dwelling old men preying on young girls. That show I downloaded through bittorrent as we don't get HBO. It had been recommended by an American I kn
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The CBC's mandate, as provided in the Broadcasting Act (, requires it to make its programming 'available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means.'"
  • ...they put their good older programs, like 4 On The Floor, out on DVD or make available as a Torrent. The Frantics have been trying to get that out of the CBC's cold dead hands for ages to no avail, and the fans want it.

    What I'm saying is, one current program does not a "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" make.
  • by georgeav ( 965554 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @06:03PM (#22800720)

    "Canada's public broadcast network, CBC, is to adopt DRM free BitTorrent distribution of one of its major primetime shows, Canada's Next Great Prime Minister.
    What's this ? The Canadian version of American Idol ?
  • by ivar ( 31153 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @09:50PM (#22802722)
    I was a software developer on the CBC programme ZeD, and we torrented [] (and streamed and broadcast) our " New new media" episode almost 3 years ago (April 1st, 2005 to be exact). And while the torrent file still exists, sadly the torrent server is no longer running. I believe we used Xvid as the codec too (or was it divx?), but I am certain there was no DRM on the file. Anyway, ZeD was web 2.0 [] in 2002 !

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.