Frankie says Relakks

Relakks, the first commerical example of a Darknet has launched in Sweden.

Typically the domain of underground sub-cultures (hackers and sexual oddballs) this is a development of some note.

The entertainment industries aren’t happy – Relakks seemingly will facilitate music and movie file sharing with reduced risk – and with the recent clampdowns on illicit swapping seemingly having some impact (paid-for downloads shooting up) this is potentially a worrying setback for those with financial interest in these areas.

With the UK already leading the rest of the world for illegal downloads of TV shows, if Relakks (and the inevitable competition) take off, this trend is bound to accelerate. For those that would love to watch US imports before they come over here, but worry about having their wrists slapped, commerical darknets will offer a solution.

The impact on TV broadcasters could be immense. 2006 has already seen C4 bring forward the launch of Lost to try and prevent audiences jumping ship to the web. With dwindling viewer numbers a real cause for concern, could the rise of darknets be the catlyst for the development of decent, watchable, accessible and mainstream IPTV by the major networks?

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