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NBC reconsidering iTunes, wants anti-piracy measures

updated 07:30 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2008

NBC reconsiders iTunes

NBC is again considering distribution of its TV shows through the iTunes store, pending a more rigid anti-piracy stance. According to CNET, George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer for NBC Universal, says that digital piracy hurts the company to the point where it is not viable to distribute its content digitally. The statement comes after NBC Universal pulled shows such as Heroes and The Office from iTunes over a pricing dispute between itself and Apple.

"If you look at studies about MP3 players, especially leading MP3 players and what portion of that content is pirated, and think about how that content gets onto that device, it has to go through a gatekeeping piece of software, which would be a convenient place to put some antipiracy measures," said Kliavkoff during an interview at the Ad:Tech conference.

Kliavkoff says this despite several movies from Universal being present on the store. "We'd love to be on iTunes," notes Kliavkoff. "It has a great customer experience. We'd love to figure out a way to distribute our content on iTunes."

NBC Universal still maintains strict requirements for pricing, with the company setting a wholesale price for sale to distributors, who can in turn sell the content for whatever they wish.

by MacNN Staff



  1. syzygi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    NBC never should have pulled there stuff to begin with.

    Notes Kliavkoff, "It has a great customer experience. We'd love to figure out a way to distribute our content on iTunes."

    Just agree to what you had before and sign again on the dotted line, you fool.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    YOU F'ING IDIOT YOUR CONTENT IS RIPPED FROM DVDS AND PUT ON BIT TORRENT AND DOWNLOADED! By pulling content off itunes you removed a avenue for people willing to pay for content and did absolutly nothing to prevent pirated movies. JESUS THESE PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!

  1. rmansfield

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lost is not an NBC show

    Lost is an ABC show, not an NBC show and is actually still on iTunes.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are there any shows...

    ...worth watching on TV...?

  1. chas_m



    Aaannnddd ...

    ... the crawling back continues.

    As predicted.

    Kinda sad to watch, really.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NBC Considering iTunes

    Don't bother, I haven't missed you...

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Guess Hulu

    Ain't cutting it, eh? Maybe they should just admit defeat and quickly come back with minimum fanfare....

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why does anyone have to wonder why Project Runway (Bravo's ex-cash cow) bailed? NBC's probably looking at Top Chef bailing, looking at all the other fairly lucrative shows bailing. Get them back on iTunes before they ALL Way to go NBC *shrug*.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is this idiot really implying that the "gatekeeper" software that is/was allowing his shows to be pirated is iTunes? Has there ever been a single reported incident or even rumor of Apple's video content being de-DRM'd and posted online for people to download? If I wanted to steal his shows, there are much easier ways to do it. And as has already been pointed out, by pulling out from iTunes he is actually pushing me in that direction!

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    antipiracy 'gatekeepers'

    sooo... Kliavkoff is implying that iTunes should have some sort of DRM built into it, to check if library contents are pirated or not.

    If a given song or movie has DRM built into it, fine. Apple already does that.

    If a given song or movie does NOT have DRM attached to it... what then? I'm thinking Kliavkoff would insist that any non-DRM'd MP3 or M2V should be presumed pirated? Because that's the only way I could think of that his idea might be practical.

    (and what about music/video protected by a non-Apple DRM system? is he going to demand that Microsoft make its DRM available for use by Apple?)

    But how do you differentiate between a non-DRM bit torrented song/video which is pirated, a non-DRM bit torrented song/video which is legally ripped from one's library of purchased, legal music/films, and a non-DRM song/video which is an original creation?

    You can't. iTunes can't, not without draconian treatment of non-DRM media which would be hugely unpopular with consumers.

    So either he really doesn't know what he's talking about, or he's trying to pretend that the issue is really about piracy (because I have never heard this argument before from NBC) so that he can save face while going back to Apple with his tail between his legs, signing the same deal he had before NBC had its hissy fit.

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