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back to article Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is planning protests at key BBC sites because it believes the national broadcaster's management has been corrupted by Microsoft. Protests will be mounted outside Television Centre in London and outside the corporation's Manchester offices on Tuesday, 14 August. The activists' move has been …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The FSF can FO

"At the end of the day all these on-demand things are a pile shit so does anyone really give a fuck?"

Indeed, point strongly made and taken.

"Aren't there six billion other things more interesting than being stuck in front of the tube?"

Certainly, but the statistics on average viewing times is scary - according to Ofcom in 2006 UK TV viewers watched an av. of 3.8 hours a day. That means *on average* half of Joe Public's leisure time is spent watching telly.

Unfortunately that figure makes it important that we stop a convicted monopolist utterly dominating this medium too. We need all the help we can get to do this, even from our friends in the US.

BTW not all Americans are neo-con, Christian fundamentalist retards.

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Good Grief

The Beeb don't have to make it run on ANY platform & they'll still be charging you a license fee if you watch television.

Truth is, they've delivered a proof of concept Beta version that runs on a platform with a wide enough userbase to give it a decent test.

Sounds pretty sensible to me.

As for Linux - in the UK, the Beeb broadcast their program's in English. That's because the most common language in the UK, is (surprisingly) English.

The broadest reach for the least development cost. Sensing a pattern yet?

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Anonymous Coward

Rise up!

Burn your sandals and shave your beards!

Seriously though, the BBC is doing nothing more than catering to their market profile, iirc, the plan is XP then Mac then Vista. Clearly in order of user base size.

It would be great if Linux had the same sorts of numbers but it just dosen't. And until it does you'll see this issue again & again with drivers, software packages, services...

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Sorta Right

Anon wrote : "1) The BBC has a duty of care to license-fee payers - all of them, not just those who have chosen to use Windows XP and Internet Explorer. Imagine the brouhaha if only Sony televisions could receive BBC1, only Samsung panels could show BBC 3 content (ok, so very few would notice that .. )"

The BBC has a duty to provide a service to as many people as is possible, but only upto a certain point. For instance, if Sony were to introduce a new TV set which is SuperHD or w/e which required a special signal, the BBC would be under no obligation to supply the signal for this TV. If however 500,000 people bought this TV set and then required the signal the BBC would be have to start transmitting this signal.

Yes its a silly analogy because no one in their right mind would bring an unsupported format, but if you apply it to the computer world, and use made up figures, lets say 10 million homes in the UK have DSL and of them 10% will use the iPlayer, thats 1 million computers. How many of them computers will be Windows XP, OSX, Solaris, Vista, Linux etc..? The BBC has an obligation and a duty to provide this service for Windows XP (largest market share), but does it really have a duty to make the iPlayer available for say, Windows Mobile? How about the PSP? Nintendo DS?

The BBC has to, and can only, do what is best for its shareholders (us) and by spending more than it should do on a minority system it would need to divert funds and shareholders really dont like that kinda thing.

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Anonymous Coward

It dosen't even work!

I've tried to get the dam software to work on three different PC's (all of which had meet the requirements decribed) and it's not worked properly once. I'd rather they spent there time getting this version to work before they start writting a version for Linux and OS-X.

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Mo

Re: Which TV?

“Also, if you're using Linux, haven't you bought into the FSF idealogy anyway? If so, stop complaining and write your own iPlayer-for-Linux emulator!”

You can't. The specifications for the platform are closed and owned by Microsoft and Kontiki.

That's the _point_.

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E-petition

Congratulations! As I write this, the petition has 14473 signatures!

Which puts it one above: Make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister

Fuck.

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Silver badge

Pity I'm not in Manchester!

Otherwise I could give these FSF nerds a good kicking. Talk about picking the wrong issue to fight over...

We have more and more video on demand from the public networks in Germany which are now partly funded by a licence fee on computers with an internet connection. Some video is already available online live and some is available for video on demand. You've got a choice of RealPlayer and Windows MediaPlayer. Some of the streams work with OpenVLC, some don't. The quality is perfectly acceptable and there is no P2P client because they are co-operating with the network providers who are already running TVoIP. Germany is a hotbed of open source but I haven't noticed many requests to open source all this stuff.

As for the insinuation that one guy who used to work at Microsoft is now going to borg the BBC - that should be treated with contempt. Yes, the guy might have a MS bias but seeing as >95% of the public do as well that isn't the issue. He'll also have something in his contract about independence from suppliers no doubt but that doesn't make for as good headlines.

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Rob
Bronze badge

So far....

.... we have established that the iPlayer is in a Beta phase, we have also established that other OS's will be provided for after a release of current beta (no time frame mind you for that) and generally speaking it doesn't really matter if someone in another country who doesn't pay the fee is able to access it.

Which leaves me with the conclusion of, what a bunch of fools the FSF are making themselves look. In what way is this going to help the profile of the FSF and open source in general, I think that perhaps the FSF needs to pay for someone who knows PR, because at the moment they remind me of animal activists in the ineptitude of this whole protest.

P.S. @FSF, I can fit you in for some PR consultancy if you like, I have space in my calendar for the next 2 weeks.

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Anonymous Coward

Linux and stuff

Lets put the Linux thing to one side for a minute.

the BBC have produced a product that :

a) Requires you to be running XP (although Vista apparently works, sort of)

b) Requires you to use Internet Explorer (6 or 7 I presume)

c) Requires you to install and use Windows Media Player 10

d) Requires you to install a crappy P2P application which you have no easy control over.

a - is understandable as its the predominant OS in home machines

b - similar to a but Firefox is used by a significant proportion of people as they dont trust IE due to its inherent security problems

c - this is a problem. WMP 10 is an nasty bit of work and a lot of people refuse to use it for a variety of reasons (like giving Microsoft rights to decide that any media on your computer is "illegal")

d - what sort of fuckwit came up with this idea. I can understand that by using p2p the BBC can balance out the load but to use a product that behaves like this is just stupid.

If c and d were applications developed from the ground up by the BBC, either internally or as an open source project, then moving to other platforms would be easier.

The DRM is being forced on them by their content providers - of course in the old days before Birt and co outsouced most of the BBC production this wouldn't have been a problem. However there would be nothing to stop the BBC developing a closed source, cross platform DRM module.

The fact is that the BBC have climbed into bed with Microsoft and handed them the vaseline and we are the ones getting screwed.

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Anonymous Coward

RE "No taxation without iPlayer representation" ?

Your "only Fords and Vauxhalls on the motorway" is false.

Asking people to use Microsoft technologies for the initial iPlayer release is more akin to saying "for the first 12 months, the Motorway will only be available to vehicles with an even number of wheels."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mr Martin - iPlayer has enough REAL problems...

If you'd read the Ts & Cs when you installed the damn thing, you wouldn't be able to claim ignorance of the P2P core of iPlayer.

RTFM

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Anonymous Coward

Name?

But it's named the iPlayer - surely that means it's an iApple product?

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Anonymous Coward

No worries - its broken anyway

"for the first 12 months, the Motorway will only be available to vehicles with an even number of wheels."

The argument that Mac support (a possibly even Linux) is round the corner is a dead-herring.

As it stands iPlayer will *never* support anything else other than Windows - it's so tightly bound into the Windows DRM and associated technologies. Quite deliberately.

But at the end of the day, none of this really matters at the moment. I got invited to join the Beta this morning, downloaded all the crap they asked me to, signed up for all sorts of pointless BBC memberships and ... nothing.

iPlayer, or at least this beta, is simply broken.

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Anonymous Coward

Get it in proportion

Percentage of British homes that can access digital terrestrial TV 73%

Percentage with broadband (required for iPlayer) 45%

Percentage of PCs sold with Windows 90%

And people think the BBC is unfair on people without Windows - there's lots of people paying for BBC services they can't use. Luckily, it seems that iPlayer is being done on the cheap, so they're not wasting too much money of the majority of people who don't have broadband or who would never make use of the service for other reasons.

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Just a few problems with the iPlayer

First: It seems really sluggish. Granted, I'm using it an a laptop that's a few years old (Celeron 2.6GHz, 512mb RAM, winXP) but 4oD runs fine on the same machine.

Secondly: After browsing the content, I suddenly remembered how much dross is on the BBC these days (just about the only thing I've found that's worth watching is a rerun of life on Mars) - I tend to use 4oD much more then iPlayer.

So the players not too bad, just a shame there's very little that's actually worth watching.

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BBC content already available DRM-free

... if you live in France. Most of the big ISPs here also do IPTV, some in HD. Generally you need to plug a SCART cable into the modem/set-top box, but free.fr also offers streaming over ethernet to one or more computers using VLC. That's an open source player. And BBC World and Prime are among the channels you can get this way.

Seems the DRM requirement is not absolute.

-A.

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Silver badge

It's not an OS issue, it's an implementation issue!

Chris, fair enough, I get your point, but it's not entirely addressing my point.

Also, I feel alot of the other posters are missing the point.

Of course, if you are a commercial company, testing a beta, or doing a rollout, you can rightly test to a smaller audience, or any audience of your choice.

That's not the point. The point is that they are taking the wrong route. Especially as a public company, they should be using an open source DRM solution, if that have to use DRM at all.

Although not specifically said, I assume some people have flung me into the Linux camp. - I don't use windows, linux, or a mac, but this helps prove my point - this isn't about providing a version for specific systems, and I'd still have the same opinion if they made a version for "my system" using their current methologies (and, I'm not an anti-binary, open-source only zealot - I happily run binary-only programs)

The point is, as has already been mentioned, there ARE opensource DRM possibilities - in fact, probably more secure than the closed 'security by obscurity' models.

Simply restricting in the way they are is not the way to go.

Now, if they were doing this 'the right way', yet still, the only working version was for windows only, I'd not be moaning, I'd patiently wait until an alternative worked on my system - well actually, I'd probably not bother - I don't watch TV anyway!

But the point is, it's not the current availability, it's the closed way it's being done.

As for Neil, I understand that there was an attempt to legalise home video off-air recordings for 28 days, because it was (and is) actually illegal to video anything off air at all!

However, from what I understand, the law was never thrashed out as workable, so it's still technically illegal to do at all.

The whole DRM thing is stupid, anyway. If anyone wants to record and distribute these things, they'll simply record an off-air broadcast which would be of much better quality (especially a digital recording directly from a digital feed) - if they want to restrict this thing, there is no point trying to do anything more than restrict the service to UK IP addresses via Uk participatring ISPs

(apologies for incoherency, need coffee)

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Silver badge

BBC licence fee

If the BBC encrypted their broadcasts, and a viewing card was required to watch or record BBC TV programmes, then anyone who hadn't paid for a viewing card would be unable to watch any BBC content. This would ensure that nobody could evade paying the TV licence. It would also mean that those who choose to live without a television set would not be subject to a campaign of harassment and poison-pen letters (is it actually an offence to accuse someone of an offence without reasonable suspicion?) Unfortunately, it would also require that every TV receiver (including the ones built into VCRs) would need to be upgraded.

The move to digital broadcasting imposed the requirement that every TV receiver (including the ones built into VCRs) would need to be upgraded.

So why wasn't the decision made -- years ago when the switchover to digital was first mooted -- to build in a requirement that set-top boxes be equipped with the wherewithal to deal with scrambled broadcasts and viewing cards?

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Dam

tax payers

Reckon the non microsoft tax payers get a discount then?

They can't be forced to pay for a service they can't use, obviously...

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Not understanding all the sound and fury

iPlayer is an ADDITIONAL service from the BBC; no one has lost anything from its introduction.

All of the BBC's output is still being pumped out on analogue and digital in regular and high definition. Any TV sold in the last few decades can receive BBC broadcasting. TiVo can still record BBC programmes, as can Sky+, EyeTV, a DVD recorder or even a VCR.

Who's suffering?

I can't get digital in my area and I'd need to borrow Jodrell Bank if I want satellite reception, but I'm not screaming that the BBC is corrupt for providing those options to those who can use the service.

As a Mac I can't use iPlayer - so what?

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Title

"Percentage of PCs sold with Windows 90%"

Yes, but considering over half of all PC sales go into the workplace where Mac and Linux uptake are virtually non-existent, that translates to just over 20% of the UK computer owning public using Windows alternatives in their homes. Adding in that those choosing alternatives to the default choice are more likely to be tech savvy, you can bet your backside that those 20% virtually all have broadband. Which means that using your combination of numbers the BBC is possibly alienating over 40% of its target market by going Windows only.

As for alternative DRMs, what happened to the one built into Adobe Apollo? Isn't that supposed to have Windows and Mac release imminent with Linux to follow in a couple of months? That would pretty much cover the bases wouldn't it? If the current Windows DRM iPlayer is broken anyway surely moving the entire thing onto Apollo would be a better idea.

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Anonymous Coward

80/20 Rule

Lets be fair like it or not 80%+ of all potential consumers of BBC products are likely to be running windows based products, therefore why not tlet them have their cake.

For those of you who knowingly bought niche products, tough you made your choice live with it!

in the same way most people buy fords or toyotas - do all the Porsche drivers or kit car drivers insist we reengineer the round about and junctions for their own needs?

finally, i bet the winging Linux Geeks probably moan that so much BBC License payers money is wasted on obscure digital channels and regional radio !! - with the possible exception of MAC users who probably want BBC1 + 2 shut sown and BBC 3+4 adopted as the national media!

lets get over this "new Labour" obsession with fringe and minorities groups and lets get the balance right, and support the 80% of mainstream users irregardless of what the underlying technology is!

finally do people not realize the movements still owns a significant oif not majority share of Channel 4 and a minority stake in Ch 5? - I didnt hear any one complain about license payers money (or tax money) wasted on 40D 4WMP?

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Anonymous Coward

80/20 Rule

Lets be fair like it or not 80%+ of all potential consumers of BBC products are likely to be running windows based products, therefore why not tlet them have their cake.

For those of you who knowingly bought niche products, tough you made your choice live with it!

in the same way most people buy fords or toyotas - do all the Porsche drivers or kit car drivers insist we reengineer the round about and junctions for their own needs?

finally, i bet the winging Linux Geeks probably moan that so much BBC License payers money is wasted on obscure digital channels and regional radio !! - with the possible exception of MAC users who probably want BBC1 + 2 shut sown and BBC 3+4 adopted as the national media!

lets get over this "new Labour" obsession with fringe and minorities groups and lets get the balance right, and support the 80% of mainstream users irregardless of what the underlying technology is!

finally do people not realize the movements still owns a significant oif not majority share of Channel 4 and a minority stake in Ch 5? - I didnt hear any one complain about license payers money (or tax money) wasted on 40D 4WMP?

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J

Tax

"Can you imagine if microsoft had a Computer licence and you had to pay it even if you used linux well thats what the TV licence is!"

Er... that has already been happening since forever, pay some attention. Well, not in those terms (computer license) for sure, but try and buy a computer without OS (alternative: build your own, which is what I did). Or try to get your money back from Microsoft/retailer if you won't use their stuff (and they are legally obliged to refund you, unless they've bought some new laws since I last read about this). Some people did, major pain in the arse. It's called the Microsoft tax. It's getting a bit better now with some places selling Linux machines and all that. But still, you pay the MS tax most of the time no matter what you decide to do with your computer.

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Silver badge

to Mike Richards

> I can't get digital in my area and I'd need to borrow Jodrell Bank if I want satellite reception,

> but I'm not screaming that the BBC is corrupt for providing those options to those who can

> use the service.I can't get digital in my area and I'd need to borrow Jodrell Bank if I want

> satellite reception, but I'm not screaming that the BBC is corrupt for providing those options

> to those who can use the service.

Yet, if you were unable to get digital terrestrial or satellite where you live simply because the BBC decided to use a more expensive, less flexible, and less efficient means of making their transmissions that could only reach 80% of the population, instead of a cheaper, better option that could reach these same 80% and an extra 15%, you'd still be a bit miffed, no ? Especially if people then say "well, they are still reaching 80%, so stop complaining"

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DRM, iPhone, Windows and Macs

DRM on the iPlayer is here to stay - sure, no DRM system is unbreakable, but it is not trivial to crack it, plus if it does get cracked DRM can be updated. The BBC won't be releasing their television programs without DRM full stop. If you want DRM free stuff, get it via bittorrent.

iPlayer on iPhone and other mobiles - get a life, so what people can't watch TV on a tiny mobile screen, who actually wants to. Not an issue.

iPlayer on a Mac - it'll come soon enough, with DRM. One of the things Mac owners should just accept is that it takes longer for some things to come to Mac.

iPlayer on Linux - it won't happen. There isn't any reliable DRM available for Linux, so the iPlayer won't be available on Linux.

iPlayer too restrictive/ picture quality not up to scratch? Get a hard-disk recorder.

All is sorted.

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Anonymous Coward

DRM, Kontiki etc

Oh come on - sure Microsoft only DRM is far from ideal - but as the other posters have said: it is the studios who typically demand Microsoft DRM for their content.

Sky, Channel 4 and the BBC have all copied each other by producing very similar systems all based on Windows DRM and Kontiki. In fact many of the same people were involved on some of these projects.

Besides I've heard Microsoft DRM is being spun off to a new company and will be made cross-platform. In which case who should give a monkeys which codec it's using so long as it's free?

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DRM is not the problem as such...

The problem is that iPlayer requires Windows and Internet Explorer. Let me repeat that. *Internet Explorer*. The very same security nightmare everyone knowledgeable has been warning everyone off, and a primary infection vector for all kinds of nastiness. At the very least this sends mixed signals, at the worst this makes the BBC look like idiots when the first exploit targets iPlayer and then takes ages to fix.

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Bronze badge

The Issue, (and SECAM)

The issue isn't that the BBC should provide an iPlayer for other systems, (it doesn't provide TVs does it?)

It is the fact that it should provide the producers of other systems the means to produce their own BBC content players .

A firm can produce manufacture its own TV design. The same should be true for Computer operating system manufacturers.

Not doing this is supporting a monopoly (or Duopoly when a Mac iPlayer arrives, which it will, due to the popularity of the Mac in the media).

If they are unable to do this then they should stick to normal broadcast, or become a commercial organisation and drop the TV license.

Perhaps this could be achieved by creating DRM modules (for various processor types or maybe java, depending on whther its providing keys or doing the decription) for incorporation into programs.

Chris wrote: "From experience the only difference between SECAM and PAL is how the colours were encoded (or some such). You can quite easily watch SECAM signals on a PAL TV or vice versa it'll just be in B&W. I've tried this with videos bought in France."

That is the only differnce in the video signal. (Laserdisk players had PAL recorded on them and french players just converted the colour to SECAM)

The broadcast signal is modulated differently too. (Just as European PAL sound is different from UK sound.) Basically with french signals on a UK (only) TV you get a negative black and white image, which usually won't lock properly and no sound. (Other European signals would just give no sound)

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Silver badge

Title

"Also, if you're using Linux, haven't you bought into the FSF idealogy anyway? If so, stop complaining and write your own iPlayer-for-Linux emulator!" -- Anonymous Coward

Great idea! Unfortunately, Microsoft and the BBC are deliberately withholding the information that we would require in order to do this. THAT is where the problem begins and ends.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Correspondence

My formal complaint to the BBC about this was answered with an equivocal reply and a link to a document that they claimed required cross-platform compliance within two years.

The document required no such thing. It merely required the BBC to report to the trust, in two years time, what progress had been made toward cross-platform.

My point that the solutions should have been cross-platform from the beginning, to avoid the BBC engineers having to do the same thing twice was ignored.

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Gold badge

Freeview has no DRM

Freeview has no DRM, I easily record programming with a DVB card in glorious broadcast quality. It's good to be able to watch programs again until the DVD is out.

So given I can do this at much higher quality than internet files, why do they bother putting DRM on the internet files?

Also, with my DVB card I am required to have a TV licence. With the iPlayer you aren't. So people are freeloading.

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squiffy!

Two points, the BBC is a Corporation, the BBC is chartered by the Royal Sovereign of the time. If the BBC did not adhere to standards of practices that are industry-wide, heads will roll. One such standard is Copywright, Television and Media artists have enjoyed having their work protected from economic parasitisation (piracey and also plaguerism). Allowing unprotected content out to the whole web is against the interests of the copywright holders who may wish to continue making residual profits from their works, which is entirely reasonable.

I am sure to maximise their market, the BBC will, in fact, develop players for Mac and the opensource community. I personally don't care much as the iplayer is low-resolution, bandwidth dependant, and poor sound quality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Recording off air

"The poster, like most people posting on this issue, is talking absolute rubbish (and you can guess the poster doesn't actually know what he is talking about because he says, "was (and is)", instead of just "is". The fact "is" that the copyright act makes time shift recording (that is recording so you can watch something at a different time to that at which it was broadcast) explicitly legal."

The poster said "was (and is)" because he/she was referring to the situation both before, and after the attempted "28 day law". Therefore, perfectly fine by context.

The poster also said "as far as i understand" -- I read that to mean he/she wasn't offering it as a fact.

Anyway, it is illegal to archive a recording, so the question is, how long before a home video recording stops being a 'time-shift' recording, and becomes an 'archived recording' ?

Thanks for clarifying the situation, though.

However, selective quoting so you can throw abuse must make you feel very big, Mark. Maybe next time you can do it without sounding like a jerk?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Bin the Beeb....

Some arsewipe earlier commented that he'd like to 'kick' the FSF. Another no-brainer wrote something to he effect that you should 'just lump it you nerd'.

Great. If 9 million households in Britain are on broadband, and only 90% of PCs are FOB with windows, that's a million of us who can't access the stuff. Imagine that, a large number of people can't access TVOD because.... they're black? Stupid? Need a good arse kicking?

Frankly, it's some of you fascists on here that need a good kicking... Here's what C4 responded with to a query about 4oD..

>Thank you for your email regarding 4oD.

>

> Unfortunately we cannot say when the 4oD service will be available to users of other platforms, including Mac OS and Linux. The problem is, our content providers (e.g. the production companies who make our shows), insist on using a DRM licensing system.

>

> The DRM (Digital Rights Management) system basically protects the video content from duplication and broadcast outside the UK & ROI. Currently they insist on using Microsoft's DRM, and because of this we can only support Microsoft operating systems.

>

> Linux currently has no such DRM system available and so our content providers will not allow us to support the Linux operating system. Macintosh do have a solution, however the closed DRM system used by Apple is not currently available for licence by third parties and there is no other Mac-compatible DRM solution which meets the protection requirements of our content owners. Unfortunately, we are therefore unable to offer 4oD and other video content to Mac users at this stage.

>

> We are sorry to disappoint on this occasion and assure you that if changes throughout the industry happen, as we would like, we will ensure the support of other operating systems.

>End.

So nothing there, then. Don't expect the BBC to be any better. And the bloody point is, they SHOULD be!

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Anonymous Coward

You PAY to watch TV?

I can't believe that the British are so gullible as to believe they must pay a fee to watch terrestial TV. I suppose the "TV Detector Vans" are patrolling right as I type. LOL Get a life, don;t pay your fee, watch the (crap on) TV for free!!!

TV license = DRM of another kind.

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious Solution!

Maybe we should turn the colck back 20 years!

The real solution would be for the BBC to make its own universially available computers, backed with with TV And Community and Further Education establishmentss to further the interestes of IT hardware and software for future generations that would surely give this nation a headstart in the world of Data Processing!

Then we could have a proper british player UKPLayer showing repeats of nice period dramas and Black and white programs from the open university by proffessor sporting beards reminsicent of the !st Editon of the Joy of S*x books (so i am told)

As this BBC computer would have its own Operating system and specific applicaitons it would surely make eveyone happy as we would no be party to any American or Gatesian Imperial Hedgemony!

And who needs 16 million colours when those of use bought up and black and white computers thought that 32 colours was aspirational.

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Anonymous Coward

Security

If people are worried about the security holes in Internet Explorer, why dont we liberate from all hardware and implement a platform independnat download streem ala allofmp3m but link the whole thing to a National ID card scheme to ensure only those british residents rightlyfully entitled to view*.

Rather than develop some fancy player software, the BBC and the Home office could join forces an enable all uk residents (as indicated by an entitlement linked to the National ID scheme - i.e a portable licence linked to your identity allowing you to watch any BBC output regardless of delveiy channel or location) to be able to down load the data encoded in a selection of fomats (well if allofmp3 can do it for audio?) thus making all the various hardware and software fanbois happy.

After all we would have already paid for the licence and it would just be giving us the freedom to watch the "repeats" when we wanted too rahter than having to wait for tem to be dished up randomly on the main channels of on UKTVreapeats or UKTVrepeatsGold+1

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Anonymous Coward

As for Company spefic hardware - doe any one remember ?

In the 30s there where two competing system of analogue TV transmission, the different systems where transmitted on alternate weeks until the BBC engineers (obviously in those days market forces, or consumer where not educated enough to make choices of this technical nature) decided that the current analuge system in this country was superior (according to the criteria they defined) and we now have a singe universal system. Obviosulthose people who had the wrong type of TV Were forced to turn them into cocktail cabinets and go out and by the new standard tvs!

http://www.teletronic.co.uk/tvera.htm

Then ther was second time when technology was restricted by Company specifc hardware, Video machines where once not universally compatible!

Sony = Betamax

JVC = VHS

Phillips = Video2000 (at least they had better luck with the CD-rom)

i remember the days of home taping a programme ( hhm, did kill tv?) and taking it around to friend only to find they had the wrong kind of VCR Player!

obviosuly these days its not an issue, as i dont take or mail anything to and "linux" friends as they are too busy recompliing there kernal or trying be a LEE7 at FreeCiv or h4x0rs using Q!bert running under pixie on ArZ on their firmware hacked central heating systems.

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why drm at all

Is DRM the last stand of the media industry? I can't understand why they don't accept that we are at the cusp of a new era and distribution will change.

I don't think its coincidense that even now, with all the hoo ha about torrents and file sharing that the majority of people still pay for thier products. Given the fact that you can go to sites like torrentspy or piratebay and download dvd rips that people still choose to pay to download (larger) files which they can only watch for a limited time or number of times, and only on thier PC.

With dodgy stuff available on torrents (poor quality/odd versions etc) it would be nice to be able to get legitimate copies of stuff even with adverts, if people knew that the feed will be very high quality and that they can share the torrent without feeling they will get some sort of comeback.

Surely even the BBC would consider that a thousand people sharing the latest release of Dr Who (or whatever) would cost them less (and be faster for the usr) than if they were to host it on thier own servers, and have it played via an internally developed piece of software, especially given that people may come around to the fact that its just plain easier to download a torrent of the same files.

If I were the BBC I would have done a test and released an episode of one of thier popular shows on a torrent site, put in some ads or whatever and guaged the response.

Like people say DRM only affects legitimate customers, so why bother at all?

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Why iPlayer is deemed to fail

It has an "i" at the front - which means Apple will most likely sue... don't they have rights on anything that starts with an i ?? :-)

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Kontiki is horrid anyway

If you're sensible/paranoid enough to be running Linux in the first place, the absolute last thing you'd want to do is install a rootkit to give the people behind Kontiki complete unrestricted control over your network connection. So why do you want iPlayer?

If you can get Freeview, buy a decoder card and record the digital stream at around 4 times the quality iPlayer gives.

If you can't, help yourself to a torrent stream from someone who did. Sure, there are legal questions over it, but it's hardly a bit ethical dilemma.

Or have you been petitioning for a Linux port of Gator, too?

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Anonymous Coward

hhmm

I see the linux guys have abandoned this debate already, I assume there rushing of to the next latest and greatest flame war on how thier niche is beater than your nich whilst the rest of us pick up the peices they leave behind....

its all a bit gullivers travel.......

now how to you take the top of an egg in linux AWK -% Grep £A£ Finger// *

at least in windows there would be a File/open/egg menu option -rememebr to check the "Big Endian" or "Little Endian" as appropriate - after all you wouldnt want to get aint o futile pointless argument on how to take the top off an egg would you!?

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Why do these so-called "Content providers" want DRM anyway?

What are they afraid of? That we might actually watch their junk? Apparently, the things are already transmitted in the clear over the airwaves. So anyone with a VCR can copy them already.

If these "content providers" insist on accusing me of theft every time I watch a movie, then they can bloody well keep their "content" and shove it.

Yes, I also get annoyed by DVD peddlers that insist on making me watch their bloody "You know, copying this is Bad and Wrong. Stop doing it immediately". For five minutes, in twenty different languages! If I get a pirated DVD, then I don't get those messages. Who are they inconveniencing again?

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Oh, so what?

I am a Linux user. I don't support locking people out for making decisions about what tool they want to use.

And I know that it is unlikely that Linux et al will ever get an iPlayer client.

Is this a big loss?

I very rarely watch TV now, and the only stuff I watch can quite easily be found on t'internet.

(Actually, I only watch TV for CSI and a few interesting documentaries.(In other words, never the Beeb. :p ))

Most of the stuff that is pumped out by the BBC is complete and utter dross. ('Panorama' and 'Doctor Who' for want of examples *dons asbestos longjohns*)

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Rob

Hahahahahahaha.

Sorry. I just laugh everytime I see the words "iPhone " and "will be a major platform for downloaded TV" in the same sentence. Who're you kidding?

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Anonymous Coward

Linux & Windows

"When the iplayer is launched and if it is a success then by all means demand that it is put on other viable platforms (Vista, Firefox, etc.) but lets not hold up progress because some small percentage of geeky conspiracy theorists expect a team of programmers to know Linux."

I found out relativley recently that WINDOWS IS ACTUALLY BUILT ON A LINUX / BSD base. That was until the advent of Windows Vista.

Why cant the BBC take notice of what the public actually want, a reliable DRM free, not MS reliant player, that would actually shut up us LUG (Linux User Group) shouters and the FSF.

Its not the fact that there is DRM on the offerings that is annoying us most, it is the fact the so far the BBC / BBC Trust have refused to give any concrete details of which "other operating systems" that they will make a player available for, they have not (as far as i am aware) even confirmed that they are actively developing something.

The only pc I have access to that runs windows at home is the PC my son plays on, all the rest run a variety of flavours of linux.

I am not anti-microsoft, just anti-microsoft-monopoly and completely anti the extremely inflated prices they think they can charge for (as far as i can see - and i have seen) software that is at best buggy and at worst incomplete. after all, who in their right minds releases software that has to be patched on day of issue (ie VISTA, and there wasnt just one patch released on that day). Personally I think that OPEN OFFICE is just as good as office, and the cost .... FREE, available for windows, linux AND mac.

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