Stephen Fry, the award-winning British comic, has revealed he occasionally downloads files illegally. Speaking at the iTunes Festival in London this week, Fry said he sometimes watches illegal copies of television shows online.
The comic commented that he has downloaded episodes of American medical drama House – starring his long-term collaboration partner Hugh Laurie – and action series 24. Fry then went on to say he always downloaded these episodes legally when they became available.
His comments came during a keynote speech about the future of the entertainment industry on the internet. When asked about the prosecution of users caught downloading material illegally, Fry said:
“Making an example of ordinary people is the stupidest thing the record industry can do.”
The actor, and host of hit BBC 2 quiz show Qi, later said that he supported the prosecution of users who downloaded material on an ‘industrial scale’, but that he did not necessarily mind if people watched his own work without paying.
“I'm against cynical bootlegging but I work in a very molly coddled, overpaid business, ” he said.
Breaking (the bank) News
The editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, has said that most news organisations will begin charging users for viewing their online content within the next 12 months. Speaking at the Media Standards Trust event on Thursday 16 June, Barber confidently stated that print media would start charging readers to access articles online.
"I confidently predict that within the next 12 months, almost all news organisations will be charging for content.
"How these online payment models work and how much revenue they can generate is still up in the air," he added.
The Financial Times allows users to view a limited selection of articles before asking for a subscription fee.
"We are seeing sustained and growing revenue as a result of our strategy of premium pricing for quality, niche global content – crucial at a time of weakening advertising," Barber added.
His comments come a month after Rupert Murdoch, head of global media group News Corporation, said that he expected the company's published titles to begin charging for online content in the near future. News Corporation owns the British newspapers The Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun.
The social networking site Twitter is considering legal action after a website published a series of confidential documents stolen from the firm. TechCrunch, an American technology blog posted several confidential documents which had been stolen by a French hacker.
The published files included details of business plans, financial projections and the building layout of the Twitter HQ in San Francisco.
"We are in touch with our legal counsel about what this theft means for Twitter, the hacker, and anyone who accepts and subsequently shares or publishes these stolen documents," said Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter.
News in 140 characters:
Microsoft is said to be close to buying rival Yahoo. Reports suggest the deal would cost Microsoft around $3 billion (£1.8 billion).
Google have posted a $1.48 billion profit for the previous three months. Net profit grew by 18 per cent from last August.
A US file-sharer who leaked the latest Guns N’ Roses LP online before its release in 2008 has been sentenced to two months of home confinement.