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back to article Beeb deletes iPlayer app from iPhone

Two iPhone developers have been slapped with a 10-page cease and desist order from the BBC for trying to create an app that would cache iPlayer content. The application, Rewat.ch, has been in development for the last few months, and the two-man Manchester-based team Camiloo dropped the BBC a line when development started. But it …

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Alert

Try the S60 iPlayer App

The BBC isn't bound by content providers to only allow streaming. On my Nokia 5800 and presumable other S60 phones, the BBC iplayer app allows me to download and watch content at a later point. The media is still timed locked - and the only reason I can think a similar function hasn't been put on the iphone is it doesn't support the DRM the beeb want to use.

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Jobs Horns

So it's broken.

Want to watch iPlayer on the move? There's an app for that. But not on iPhail though.

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What's the legal basis for the cease and desist?

The app does not enable any illlegal actvity, so on what basis can they be forced to stop distributing it?

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Unhappy

Attrition

British justice (sic) doesn't come into it these days - its whoever has the deepest pockets.

Their prime objective us to stifle innovation. And thanks to the Lib Dem peers today, they just won another battle.

Fortunately, in the corporate's war against anything they're not making money on, they're fighting some of the brightest people on the planet.

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FAIL

The BBC is right this time.

Before those developers went too far with making their iPhone app they should have got themselves a basic understanding of what content rights means. El Reg has covered this on many occasions, so how hard can it be?

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Flame

Content rights?

I think it's totally acceptable to question "content rights" when they start micromanaging how "content consumers" watch or listen (sorry, "consume") content. It's apparently not enough for "rights holders" to forbid redistribution, or even to impose geographical restrictions: they now seek to control the recipients' devices, to require time-bombing and remote deletion, and soon they'll be wanting to control the actual user experience as well. Not looking at the screen when the adverts are playing? Not watching the Sh, erm, Brit Awards with Bono and Lily Allen while drinking the right brand of champagne? Quick, impose an immediate content blackout! Kick them off the Internet, too!

That's where your sheepish adherence to the blanket notion of "content rights" defined by a bunch of multinationals gets you.

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FAIL

Everything should be free innit

Creative programs cost a lot of money to make. Admittedly some A LOT more than others, but qualitative measurements aren't the discussion right now ;-)

Now if the program is something you would actually like to watch, then surely that has a value to you which you should be happy to pay, either directly through subscription, or indirectly through a licence fee or advertising? And you should therefore accept that cost to create, and accept the restriction the creator includes in an effort to try and see some return on that investment.

Otherwise if you disagree with that then fine just vote with your eyeballs and don't consume that content.

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Flame

Re: Everything should be free innit

Way to portray the situation as "accept all the bizarre terms" versus "we are teh pir8tz'.

I don't dispute the need to get money to make content, whether that's from audiences, advertisers, patrons or wherever. What I dispute is the apparent need of the content industry to say "Please watch our stuff - it's popular culture! Here's this music video for the 58th time today: buy the album!" Only then to turn round and tell you that you have to listen to the album on specific devices, not on anything else you own, not if you live in countries X, Y and Z where someone else is "the distributor", and you can't transfer your copy to someone else when you've listened to it once and have discovered how dull it is. Oh, and don't try and get the video: that's for "promotional purposes" only, so if you thought that was good and would like to refer people to it, then you are "a pirate". Don't sing the song, perform it, quote the lyrics - all we're waiting for is someone to tell us to "look into the light" so that we then have no memory of it and have the urge to buy the damned thing again.

Of course, if "content rights" are this black and white issue then feel free to vote with your head and shove it where it can't be tempted to comprehend the nuances of the actual issue.

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FAIL

But...

The BBC is banning on one platform what they support on another. How stupid is that? Therefore the BBC cannot be right. Either this is allowed - regardless of platform - or it is not. This should simply come down to a demonstration that expiration dates are respected and that there is no way to redistribute the files elsewhere. This is no better than Apple puling adult-rated apps but leaving the ones from companies with enough money to sue.

I agree that content distributors need a degree of control over their content but the moment they get into this type of hair-splitting, they have already lost the argument. And that's before you consider that the DRM models used by 99%of all content distributors is flawed, cracked or both.

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FAIL

BBCtards. Again.

The BBC really are being monumentally stupid. And the content providers too. Their current antics simply mean that illegal content is easier to acquire and consume than legal. So guess what people will use?

The iPlayer was so good it has hard to believe it came from the BBC. Now it is just getting turned into a sack of vomit by all this Adobe crap.

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You're the tard

This has nothing to do with either the BBC or Adobe. Thievetards like yourself just open your big flapping mouth at an easy target without researching the facts. How is legal content hard to consume? Watch it on a TV (click a couple buttons) on iplayer (click a couple buttons)?

Ah but a dozen linux thievetards out of the entire uk are inconvenienced by drm and now have to run an extra few lines of bash comands before they steal and distibute the hard work of others to their loud mouthed mates, well boo fucking hoo. As for this ipod app, a man standing outside a supermarket reselling shoplifted goods is in a similar position as are any buyers, my heart fucking bleeds.

The BBC receive licensed content to distribute as long as they agree to the restrictions, they are just enforcing their end of the deal. If it was up to thievetards, the vast majority of the British public wouldn't get to watch anything decent due to nobody willing to sell it to a nation of rip off merchants unwilling to pay for its production.

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@Mike G

If people want to do that, they'll not be using the iphone for it!

They'll download a higher quality stream on a home computer, or simply rip from a DTV card.

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Stop

Pardon?

You really didn't actually bother to read or comprehend the article, did you?

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Go

Caching

Streaming data is also cached. Its cached in memory to create a better viewing experience. How do the BEEB define this APP as caching being bad!

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Linux

Piss off

If there was ever a culture of thieves, it would be Windows end-users.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it too late to go back to VHS?

When we all used video tape to time shift our television programs the content providers could not time-bomb our tapes, could not prevent recording from occuring on brand Y machines allowing only Brand X and could not prevent playback of my tape at my friends home. During those giddy times we were not insulted and called 'thievetards', but now that everything is digital the rules have changed and we are thieves? Please explain why this is so.

A recording is a recording is a recording, be it an analog recording or a digital one. The only thing I see that is really different (aside from the quality and speed with which they can be duplicated) is that the digital version gives the "content providers" more opportunity to control the sheeple and take them for as much as they can, all while they cry in their beer that piracy is ruining their business model. The only thing ruining their business model is themselves.

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Overtard

"This has nothing to do with either the BBC or Adobe."

Erm, yes it does: "Beeb deletes iPlayer app from iPhone"

Maybe Adobe are off the hook, but not in the wider sense, given recent developments. And this is about policy, not whether you personally get to see Top Gear (or whatever distracts the average Britard the most these days) in a timely fashion.

"How is legal content hard to consume?"

Did the whole "copy protected" fiasco pass you by?

"Ah but a dozen linux thievetards out of the entire uk [...] standing outside a supermarket reselling shoplifted goods"

We have cliché bingo right there. In case you weren't aware, the entire open source movement is predicated on copyright law, so your ignorant preconceptions are somewhat misplaced. I would also imagine that most people affected by the Beeb's antics actually run Windows or use Apple products - ever read articles, by any chance? - so those supposedly violating the licensing and thus committing copyright infringement have nothing to do with Linux.

And it is copyright infringement, not theft. But I guess you've bought into the "spoon-fed content on our terms is good, only teh pir8tz disagree" propaganda that keeps the average Britard in consumer limbo, distracted by the latest shiny object to be dangled in front of them while a bunch of executives skim off their legislated cream and, amongst other things, defecate on the developing world in your name.

Don't bother using the "tard" label - you haven't mastered the lesser arts yet, like knowing when it might be floating over your head.

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Thanks,

I'm a theiving bastard on account of the OS prebundled with my machine am I? I've got dark hair and green eyes too, and I'm left handed, just thought you wanted to know in case you forgot to include any more retarded medievil generalisations around.

You sure do put the Tard in luxtard mate

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Flame

You are making a fool out of yourself with that ignorance

"The BBC receive licensed content to distribute as long as they agree to the restrictions,"

And this is exactly the point. You make it sound like this normal. It's an absolutely completely stupid backwardsway of doing things.

Big content is the only industry that forbids you to use their products and than complains that they are not selling enough. I can't be the only one to think this is strange way to do business.

Time for civil disobedience. Download. Share. Make players that give the people what they want. All until big content changes their behavior to something more normal. There is no shame for creators to ask money for the things they make. But the copyright *law* as it is now, is ridiculous and outrages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau) ; "It argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences"

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@MikeG -- Assumptions make you the ass

You said "Thievetards like yourself "

What made you think that he hasn't properly paid for a TV license, and is thus entitled to BBC content?

What does it matter if this is watched live (on a TV), delayed (via iPlayer hooked to your PC, via an iPhone, via a PVR at home) or delayed at another location (cached on on iPhone for watching on the train)?

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Are you accusing me of...

...illegally accessing content? Are you accusing me of illegally distributing content?

Be very, very careful what you say, buster. And go look up the work "libel". Yes, it does apply to forums such as this.

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Paris Hilton

Bending over for the networks...

I suspect the actual issue is that the Beeb have bent over in front of the various networks to ensure that iPlayer content can only be accessed over 3G (Instead of WiFi) by users of certain networks (3 and Voda) and this would allow users not on those networks to circumvent this.

Making this more a case of networks not wanting to have the load of iPlayer (Which is still bugger all due to the crappy bitrate) and everyone else paying because the BBC didn't want to piss off the oh so precious bit pipes...

Paris, because shes all about pipes.

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BBC... not bent over anything

I can access iplayer content vi WiFi ok on my n96...

Bloody good job too as 3g signal where i live is pants

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Stop

All content everywhere should be free...

...and without adverts. The notion of controlling or paying for content is disgusting. The BBC, all writers, musical performers and composers, actors, film producers, technical staff et al should do the work for free. Equipment companies should donate their highest spec kit for free to these people. Studio space will just appear out of nowhere, as will broadcast and content distribution infrastructure. Simples.

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WTF?

@ Tim J 13:40

Err, I think it should be free at point of access, as my monthly direct debit proves the fact that I am already paying for beeb content thank you very much. And this isn't a liscense fee bash, I like the beeb (most of it) and happily pay for the hours of entertainment / education / distraction it offers me for large chunks of my day.

Free it is not though.

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Not trolling

But did you read past the title? It was plainly obvious that this was a tongue in cheek piss take of the trolls lurking around here.

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Right on, right on!

Stick it to the man! These suits are just sucking the blood out of the poor oppressed consumer! I never knew any really creative person who did it for the money anyway. All of the groups you mentioned should go into live performance!

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Pirate

Re: Not trolling

"It was plainly obvious that this was a tongue in cheek piss take of the trolls lurking around here."

The trolls? Well, despite the sarcasm, the whole "studio people don't deserve remuneration" remark sort of resonates with the whole Cliff Richard argument for extending copyrights into the far, chimpanzee-dominated future: that Sir Cliff might feel bad that a bunch of people worked hard to get his bank balance where it is today, and so a few coins might be thrown in their direction - just ignore the extra zero on Sir Cliff's royalties.

But hey: Sir Cliff and the "content industry" must be right. Right?

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Stop

Was it not recently reported..

..that the BBC now have their own iPlayer app (among others) due for release next month?

Could this be as much to do with that?

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Buy it?

Hang on, after the BBC releasing a post stating they're looking to create applications on the various platforms for iplayer and news, surely if they just bought this application, or even just a license to use it it would prevent them wasting money on litigation/developing their own?

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Always the bloody tube

What is it with El Reg and their presumption that the London Underground is the only place that broadband / streaming / 3G / WiFi is not available?

This app would be ideal for me, commuting across the Cotswolds. We get 3G in the larger villages and market towns, but in the open countryside, you're lucky to get EGPRS. And we all know (or should know) that 3G mast handover doesn't really work at anything over 20mph; try using 3G on an intercity train, even on a "posh" route like Oxford - Paddington, and it's a whole world of fail.

Stop wittering on about the damned tube as if it's the only disconnected place in existence.

(And yes, we get the Metro on Cotswold buses. It has theatre reviews for Bristol, for some reason. Dunno why the buses need flat-screen CCTV, though, given that the most anti-social behaviour we witness is some deaf old dear failing to thank the driver as she disembarks. And yes, we do actually use buses. Just because I own a 4x4 for scuttling around the countryside, doesn't necessarily mean I want to waste time driving it through Cheltenham or Oxford city centre traffic jams only to fail to find somewhere to park. A £70/month bus pass takes me anywhere from the M50 to the M4).

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Pint

The horror, the sheer unadulterated horror

"We get 3G in the larger villages and market towns, but in the open countryside, you're lucky to get EGPRS"

Jesus christ, that's practically medieval. Just the thought gives me the hives. Oop north the countryside is so well served for cellular that even the rabbits have iPhones, fortunately.

"And we all know (or should know) that 3G mast handover doesn't really work at anything over 20mph; try using 3G on an intercity train, even on a "posh" route like Oxford - Paddington, and it's a whole world of fail."

The intercity route I use has free WiFi, for one thing ( also, pico cells in the undergrounds, you heathen cockney peasants - god the urban south is backward ) and for another that has nothing to do with mast handover and everything to do with the fact that most railways are in cuttings, viz V shaped dents in the ground into and out of which radio waves have a hard time propagating.

Oh and you get "The Metro" everywhere. Although not the theater reviews for Bristol.

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Grenade

Pico Cells in the tube?

God, no. Please! NO! NOOOOOOOO!!!

Can you IMAGINE a carriage, rammed to the rafters, somebody's armpit in your face and briefcase in your nadgers - then a sodding phone rings. And they try to answer it...

KILL.

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Anonymous Coward

Risk

Yup they took a risk.

Lets imagine that you're not 100% clear from the wording of your car insurance whether it covers you to drive in a particular foreign country. You decide to email your insurers to ask for clarification. You receive no reply so you decide that your insurance will cover you and set off to drive in a foreign country. Having had an accident you claim from the insurance only to find that they won't pay out. You find yourself slapped with hefty repair bills and a ticket for driving without insurance. If you did that nobody would sympathise and I don't sympathise with these fuckwits either.

If the BBC didn't get back to them they should have pestered them until they did respond. Otherwise they should have found something else to do with their time.

Oh and, @MojoJojo, you do realise you've just called the Beeb's attention to that particular app don't you? How long before the cease and desist notice goes out on that one then?

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I think the Beeb already know about it.

<Quote>

Oh and, @MojoJojo, you do realise you've just called the Beeb's attention to that particular app don't you? How long before the cease and desist notice goes out on that one then?

</Quote>

Probably quite a while seeing as you get it from the BBC iPlayer site when using the Nokia 5800 browser.

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Your name to will go on zee list

Yes you can watch public service broadcasting but only how we, the publically funded and therefore accountable too let you....

I USED to enjoy watching the BEEB on XBMC - no more, now phone apps are being nuked.. What gives guys ( to the BBC TRUST).

Hmmm is it me or is the BBC becoming more and more paranoid these days?

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Boxee still works...

... that is all.

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get_iplayer

get_iplayer still works for me, touch wood. It also respects the content-expiry date, but allows it to be overridden pretty easily. It's easily the best and most useful Perl application I've found since, oh,.. ever? (It's mostly "just" a glorified wrapper for ffmpeg, flvstreamer and other fine Free software, but stuff like the PVR mode make it indispensable. )

http://linuxcentre.net/get_iplayer/get_iplayer.1.html

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Big Brother

Apple v Adobe?

I may have got this around my neck but is this not just a ramping up of the Adobe v Apple spat over flash etc?

As does the iPlayer software on a desktop at least run on the Adobe Air platform and so any excuse to pull the iPlayer from Apple?

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FAIL

Oh FFS

"One could argue that Camiloo shouldn't have taken that risk"

Yes, one could argue that. Because it is, in fact, true.

Having heard nothing back from the BBC, the correct action is to persist in eliciting a response, not start ploughing time and resources into a project that will likely be killed once it comes to light, with clearly no idea about the terms of license under which BBC iPlayer content is provided and just hoping for the best.

Is this going to turn into a continuing series on sparky underdog developers with bright ideas but no fucking business sense whatsoever ? Because if it is, could we maybe turn the whining down a bit and focus on the lessons that these dickwads are learning the hard way ?

Let's take a look at what we've gleaned so far :

1) Always, always, always RTFM and in particular take the time to read and properly understand any legally binding agreements that you are considering entering to. Ideally this should happen BEFORE you agree to them, duh!

2) If you're considering making money off someone else's content, check the legal situation first, most likely you will need to get permission unless it is explicitly stated somewhere that you don't. This seems pretty obvious, but clearly some people are so terminally dense that it bears repeating.

3) Real companies will bitch slap your ass in court in nothing flat if you fail at numbers 1 or 2, get used to it.

4) Real companies do not do 'nice' or 'fair' or any other cuddly anthropomorphic bullshit, because they are not, in fact, people. They are corporate legal entities with narrowly defined agendas and goals. Any attempt to characterise them otherwise will end in tears. Yours.

5) If you are incapable of analysing the inherent risk in your business strategies it is most likely time to fuck off back to the safety of the cubicle farm that spawned you with all the other crayon waving web monkeys. Or if, in your cock waving arrogance, you told your boss to stuff his job up his arse because you were off to be a K Rad iPhone dewd, the dole queue. With the level of business aptitude you have displayed you should have no trouble getting a new job. I hear KFC are hiring.

6) Apple are dicks, get used to it.

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Badgers

Wow.

What a massively offensive response.

"Is this going to turn into a continuing series on sparky underdog developers with bright ideas but no fucking business sense whatsoever ?"

A fair amount of technology was born from such "sparky underdogs with no fucking business sense whatever". Often, it's the dreamers and creators that produce the best tech, while the bread heads tie it in knots with licenses, laws and court actions. (One need only consider a certain Bill Gates's response to the original "computer club" and some of the wounds that are yet to be healed from that response, to see this principle in action).

Not having any business sense is not actually a crime, other than in your world perhaps.

It is not unreasonable to consider that an App that doesn't actually breach any DRM limitations would be considered acceptable. Naive perhaps, but not unreasonable.

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Anonymous Coward

wow II

Yes it was harsh. Perhaps very harsh.

But certainly fair.

If the CEO had spoken to them in that way (and I've heard them far harsher than that) it would have saved them time and money.

The loss of time and money kills startups. Leaves people out of jobs. Harsh language doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow II reposte

Bollocks

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Anonymous Coward

oh dear

I'm afraid the eloquence and nigh philosophical nature of your response was undermined by your inability to spell "riposte".

Better stick to rude words in future eh ? And bus shelter graffiti rather than the reg.

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ipod Touch

There's more than one app out there for PC that will pretend to be an ipod and download programs for the iplayer quickly and easily for transfer to touch/iphone later.

I think the BBC need to get off their arses and sort out an app that will cache the content (with the 30 day DRM) so that folk don't have to take it in other ways.

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Silver badge

3G

Actually, the 3G operators want you to pay in advance and then not use it up. It's so totally in the 3G operators' interest for data to via other means.

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Linux

Flash Boredom

I've always been narked that the Beeb uses a proprietary format anyway.

get_iplayer FTW

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BBC is ignoring its own licences

There are people with licences to store and show TV forever, not just for 7 days. Why cannot we use applications to see iPlayer downloads forever?

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WTF

..are people doing giving the above comment a thumbs down? The LAW allows us to record broadcast content (video, dvd, pvr) for future viewing - WITH NO TIME LIMIT. Why should this not apply to digital media from iPlayer.

On what basis is this comment bad? Do you think the BBC should be allowed to erase you old video tapes too? Idiots.

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RE: BBC is ignoring its own licences

"There are people with licences to store and show TV forever, not just for 7 days. Why cannot we use applications to see iPlayer downloads forever?"

Why do you keep posting this, when it's been pointed out to you again, and again, and again that your ERA licence doesn't cover iPlayer?

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