Hundreds of episodes of BBC programmes will be made available on a file-sharing network for the first time, the corporation has announced.
The move follows a deal between the commercial arm of the organisation, BBC Worldwide, and technology firm Azureus.
The agreement means that users of Azureus’ Zudeo software in the US can download titles such as Little Britain.
Until now, most BBC programmes found on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks have been illegal copies.
Beth Clearfield, vice president of program management and digital media at BBC Worldwide, said that the agreement was part of a drive to reach the largest audience possible.
"We are very excited to partner with Azureus and make our content available through this revolutionary distribution model," she said.