The guy behind Torrentocracy, Gary Lerhaupt (blog), had an idea. What if you combined RSS, P2P and your television set? It would, they say, be a system that would let you, for the first time, enjoy the true power of television.

While space in traditional media is (by comparison) scarce and controlled by few, the promise of the new technology is that information and ideas will spread freely and that citizens will gain access to a plethora of opinions and voices. Being both a technical platform, combining some hardware and Linux software, the project is also negotiating deals with content owners to release materials to the public sphere under a more permissive licence, such as Creative Commons.

The system enables you to with your remote control select, download and watch material. Of course you need a geek in the house to set the system up, but it sounds simple enough. To quote Gary himself: “If you ever wondered how and when your computer, the internet and your television would merge into one seemless device with access to anything and everything, then at this very moment […] Also Sprach Zarathustra should be resounding through your head.”

The suggested system available today is clearly too complicated for the average user, I believe Gary has a point. The P2P-distribution technologies are a great way of getting content to the masses. (Provided our upload speed in effect is not taken away from us. More on that matter some other time. Watch this space.) Some material has already been released, most notably sequences from the documentary Outfoxed. Torrentocracy also carried the presidential debates, hopefully enabling a few more people to listen to the most powerful man on earth and his “opponent” battling it out.

The point is, even though the MPAA is whining about copyright infringements and reports that Bittorrent alone use 35% of all available bandwidth on the planet; one should remember that there are legit uses for the technology.

So would content owners really be interested in this? Well, clearly what is missing is stream of money back to the studios or TV-channels before the bigger studios would be interested. However, remember that Michael Moore actually encouraged people to download and spread his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 online to maximize the number of people who saw it before the American election. So, while it may not be a preferred system to distribute the latest Star Wars flick, it might well prove to be interesting for idealistic New Documentary directors, for whom money is not necessarily the greatest reward.