Television software engineer Guido Ciburski wants to launch Cybersky, a Web service that aims to do for TV what Napster did for music.

At the end of January, Ciburski's company, TC Unterhaltungselektronic, will unveil its Cybersky TV web service, which will enable broadband users to distribute video programs free and exchange them with others.

Viewers will need a television connected to a computer set up to upload a chosen television program to the internet, where other viewers will be able to download and broadcast it on their own sets almost instantaneously.

As soon as one subscriber uploads a program on site, it becomes immediately available to other participants. So, the more subscribers, the greater the choice of programs.

The concept has alarmed Germany's established TV companies, and is likely to concern other broadcasters around the world.

Cybersky's response to charges that it will be illegally broadcasting copyrighted programs without permission is that its peer-to-peer system does not technically amount to distribution.

His company is used to going to court to defend its innovations. Six years ago, they developed a device called the TeleFairy which enabled viewers to skip TV advertising.

Germany's broadcasters sued but a five-year legal battle ended in victory for the inventors last summer.

Via: "Deutsche Welle" and Cybersky

Find additional offbeat real-life stories in the DEC/JAN issue of "Arte Six."