* Posts by Sig FPE

7 posts • joined 5 Jun 2007

BBC's download iPlayer goes titsup



People forget that many people live or die by the number of times a programme is shown.

DRM is the seemingly obvious solution to this - they can guarantee (*cough*) that n users are watching the stuff.

There are, of course, better ways - better torrent tracker logs, plus better education of others - how many people would begrudge an anonymous count of playback if people knew it actually meant food on the table for the people who'd made it and who'd agreed to do so under conditions that were offered and now need to be either renegotiated - which will take some time, to put it mildly, if even successful - or adapted to? The license fee is a fixed sum, and it has to be shared out somehow.

Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster?


Rights and residuals

People seem to forget that people get paid for repeats, under contracts predicated on the assumption that TV would forever be as it was in its mechanism. That is the killer. Moreover, the BBC is already moderately disliked for its onerous contract terms by the independent sector, and (last time I looked) they only ask for two network showing rights. Now, they've been changing these contracts to deal with internet-distributed material, but there will very likely still be issues for the producers' alliance PACT and Equity to agree on, and it's not impossible we might end up with the sort of action that the US is having problems with at the moment.

However, if the entire TV distribution system becomes "we make programmes; you download more of ours, we get paid more of your license fee" across at least the BBC and perhaps with some cultural wriggles ITV/4/5 then you get to redefine your residuals formulae based on the calculated audience figures used to dole out the money.

So: TV Licensing become the keepers of the license fee, audited by BARB/RAJAR, BBC and the other networks highly specialised banks (which they already are, just less obviously so) that independent producers can go to if they want, or both the BBC from in-house sources and the independents can flog programmes/streams directly if they can raise the capital from other sources.

Whither, then, the need for vicious politics? Apart from Stop Microsoft, of course.

Students get lecture on ID crime


Same old, same old, with a new insidious spin

The narrative that it is *your* fault for being careless, rather than the banks' (or whomever's) fault for allowing truthy data to be used, and that your identity can indeed be stolen, continues. Now, they're getting younger in the groups they aim it at. What are the bets that some dim spark will think it a good wheeze to talk to teenagers about this? Those doing the notional education will, of course, not think to come at the central fact of things sideways, and point out exactly where the problems lie: that the burden of proof is on you to show that you *didn't*, rather them to show you *did*.

Stealth bombers to get bunker-nobbling weapons



Dirty bombs have never and never will work.

Dick Destiny Reveals All!

Steve Jobs: struggling to redefine the TV paradigm


Robert Long: Google

The bandwidth for this will come from Google, bet you.

Yes, the thing should fill itself via an aerial, but without, say, six tuners - this is what they have.

Microsoft recruits latest open source expert



Everyone has their price.

Book publisher steals Google laptops



Copying a book that is in digital form takes no raw materials aside from recycled electrons. Copying a laptop requires raw physical material to be moulded. Duplication is not cost free, and therefore you are depriving someone of the fruits of their ration book and by extension actual rations if you remove their laptop from their possession. That is theft.

If you duplicate digital material, you have two identical copies, and another person's possession has not been affected.

That is why the book/laptop analogy is flawed. Patents are not the issue here, and are separate bargain with their own political history.

Everyone is shouting past each other here, because the terms of the debate are highly emotive, and wholly inaccurate.


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