The BBC is to extend its trial of downloadable content from 5,000 to 20,000 people. Anyone signing up for the trial will get access to TV and radio archive programmes, as well as scripts and programme notes. The original trial involved 1,500, which was increased to 5,000 in 2005. The final aim is to allow viewers to download …
"proprietary and closed framework for digital rights management gives us headaches".
Previously, the BBC was using WMV and some custom DRM component and forcing users to use XP + SP2. So that was non-proprietary and open?
Hard to get on
I experimented this morning with trying to sign up, using various combinations of answers from my research the following will all FAIL the applciation form
being between 15 and 54
being in full time employment
being a bbc worker
using fast broadband or dialup
the follwing will instanly pass the recommendation,
using internet cafes,
being non of the listed extensively ethnic backgrounds apart from "Other"
having more than 3 children in your house
And Microsoft's DRM was free?
As opposed to what? Microsoft's proprietary and closed DRM framework? Or they could -gasp- not put DRM on their broadcasts.
I can only assume that the BBC is licensing the DRM from Apple, as Audible.com apparently did. Otherwise they would be trying to reverse-engineer it, as Real did, and it would be ludicrous to complain about how complicated it is.
However, it's pretty amazing to me that Apple would allow that, instead of pushing for the BBC to make it available through the Apple store.
Could it be that they really are trying to reverse engineer Apple's FairPlay, instead of writing their own? And complaining about it? Ye gods.
What about Linux
Oh come on Apple Macs arn't good enough; it's like supporting Labour and Tories and telling the Lib Dems that their not big enough so not worth writing any news about.
I thought the BBC had rules about not being discriminatory.
I have yet to understand the concept of putting DRM on somthing that supposedly was produced using Government funding. Surely the public has ALREADY paid for it.
Personally, I download the stuff I want to watch when some kind soul puts it up on the 'Net... and buy the DVDs when they become available in Oz (or in the US, or anywhere the 'Net allows me to buy them from).
Oh, and if anyone from the Beeb is reading this, can I just say that what I have seen of season 3 of Doctor Who more than makes up for the crap that was season 2. Many thanks and keep it up! (and hurry up with those DVDs!)
At least Macs are now in scope...
I sit on one of the BBC Trust regional councils,. and can say when we first saw the iPlayer proposal Macs were a 'long term' goal, and there was no plan to launch providing Mac or Linux compatibility. The issues around DRM was in the main around UK broadcast rights and not exceeding the terms of the licence, one of the reasons behind the Trust pulling BBC Jam; also the costs of developing the system were raised and there were several calls not to spend any licence fee money on iPlayer at all.
A vocal minority of us spoke up in defence of Macs and Linux, and hence the additional trial; however we had no sway on how the platform would be developed, so we're not sure how they intend to implement on Macs.
License Fee or Commercial?!
So we pay TV license to watch TV live. But we have to pay again in order to watch a missed show (because maybe out earning a living)? Or is this "you should set your video"?, but then that's illegal too. Talk about Apple having restrictive DRM, what's that saying about pots and kettles?
I think they should offer this service as part of the the TV license (no price increase either) to at least make it value for money.
Then again, if you watched TV via the internet and had no actual TV receiver, I guess TV license wouldn't apply??
I don't think they could go for a "Commercial" service, as noted above, they already discriminate against people who work for a living.
Anyway BBC, when are we going to get TRUE HD (1920x1080) digital terrestrial TV?? Or will that be subscription based too!? Here's to pixel tax!??
The problem the BBC faces with DRM is that, whoever paid for the making of a programme, the BBC does not own exclusive rights so cannot dispense it any way it likes. This is a fairly fundamental sticking point.
A further problem is the tight regulation it is subjected to - whenever it does anything the commercial sector will bleat that it is distorting the market, so DRM may be seen to be a way of reducing this by restricting the availability of the material released.
The problem with Apple DRM is that it doesn't offer the facilities (timed expiry) that Windows DRM does. I fully appreciate the irony of accusing it of being proprietary and closed compared with Windows DRM though.
What was not mentioned in the article was Linux. The BBC Trust's interim Public Value Test report specifically states that the iPlayer must work under Linux, and gives two years for this to be achieved. Whether or not the final (binding) report says the same thing remains to be seen. Unfortunately the public consultation period has closed.
Oh, and do remember that however much you might object to the poll tax that is the licence fee, commercial programmes aren't free - you are paying for them whenever you buy a product that is advertised there, whether you watch the programme or not. And of course the advertising distorts the content - a commercial broadcaster is not going to make a programme criticising a company that advertises on it.
In response to "License Fee or Commercial?!"
First of all, it's a licence fee (with a 'c') - the noun/adjective is spelled that way in UK English.
"But we have to pay again in order to watch a missed show (because maybe out earning a living)?"
Do we? I thought that the iPlayer was going to be a free service (if you happen to have a Microsoft Windows PC and enough bandwidth allowance) in the same way that 4OD is.
"Or is this "you should set your video"?, but then that's illegal too."
No it isn't. Time-shifting is perfectly legal. Keeping stuff forever isn't.
"I think they should offer this service as part of the the TV license (no price increase either) to at least make it value for money."
Which is exactly what is proposed.
"Then again, if you watched TV via the internet and had no actual TV receiver, I guess TV license wouldn't apply??"
Yes it would. A common fallacy. "You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, set-top boxes, video or DVD recorders, computers or mobile phones to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV." Look it up on the TV Licensing website.
"Anyway BBC, when are we going to get TRUE HD (1920x1080) digital terrestrial TV?? Or will that be subscription based too!?"
Interlaced or progressive? There's more to TV than pixels. And you should be asking OFCOM about that - it depends whether the BBC gets the bandwidth for it at an affordable price. You might not get HD of any sort on Freeview if it's all given to the highest bidder.