Skype creators developing free IPTV service

After introducing free Internet voice service Skype and free song-sharing service Kazaa, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are now developing a free IPTV service, according to London daily The Business.

The report said the service, codenamed "Venice Project," aimed to offer free high-quality, full-screen TV programs and videos over the Internet.

After going through successful trials, the launch of the service had been scheduled to coincide with that of UK telco BT's Internet TV service, BT Vision, the report said.

To use the service, all users have to do is install a piece of software that enables them to access the service and content providers will be able to access tools to upload content to the site.

The report said Friis and Zennstrom were not planning to duplicate the peer-to-peer model that had caused so much controversy in the music industry. While the service would be free, the "Venice Project" was designed to work within the intellectual property rights system and not against it.

Unlike Kazaa, the report said Venice was not a file-sharing system. Videos would be streamed to users' computers and the data would not become a permanent file on users' systems.