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BBC Activates DRM For Its iPlayer Content

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the approved-channels dept.

Media 282

oik writes "The BBC has quietly added DRM to its iPlayer content. This breaks support for things like the XBMC plugin as well as other non-approved third-party players. The get-iplayer download page has a good summary of what happened, including links to The Reg articles and the BBC's response to users' complaints."

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Oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649696)

DRM is bad

Yup (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649756)

This is why you don't touch DRM even a little bit. It doesn't matter if you only buy the open content and so the DRM sits there unused. The purpose for that DRM framework is to do stuff like this to you further down the line. DRM is a tool designed for the sole purpose to take stuff away from you, and you shouldn't tolerate its presence.

Re:Yup (-1, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649808)

DRM is a tool designed for the sole purpose to take stuff away from you, and you shouldn't tolerate its presence.

No, DRM allows you to watch content. That's why it's called Digital Rights Management.

Re:Yup (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649856)

How is it that DRM allows one to watch content? Surely people could watch content before DRM came around?

Re:Yup (3, Interesting)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649876)

No, it is about taking rights away from the consumer, in an attempt to enforce and manage the rights of the producer.

Unfortunately, it is often not really enforceable making people that attempts to use their fair-use rights into criminals, but still not providing the sought after control of the producers.

So, it is a loose-loose situation.

A great deal of re-thinking of the situation ought to be done.

Re:Yup (0, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650108)

You realize with IP that there's also *producer* rights not just consumer rights?

You can't just leave the content producers out in the cold. Particularly when you're trying to convince them to pay a TV license fee.

Re:Yup (2, Interesting)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650280)

And did I write that I wanted the rights of the producer erased and leave the content provider in the cold? Please show me how you read that into it? (atarashii meagane katta ho ga ii kamoshirenai?).

It is a digital world, and the producer side, or what seems to be the defenders of the content producers have amalgamated too much political backing, actually leaving the consumers out in the cold, and I would like to move the balance the other way, even just a little.

And I am not trying to convince anyone to pay a TV license fee or any other fee. Where did I write that?
Actually, I just want content producers to concentrate on doing that, produce content and make it available on reasonable terms.

Today, too often some content is either not available or not on reasonable terms if it is.

Re:Yup (3, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650384)

Because you say that DRM removes rights of the consumer, which rights? Redistribution and authorized playback are the rights of the producer, not the consumer. Which is important when you're trying to convince someone to pay for a TV license on materials they can easily download online.

Consumers aren't left out in the cold! They fire up iPlayer and they get the fucking video.

Re:Yup (3, Interesting)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650508)

The right to play the content on any device I see fit? At any time?

When I have bought a tune or a video the producer shouldn't care where I play it as along as it is for myself or my household. Your rights stops at my front door.

And I am still not trying to convince anyone to pay a TV license for materials and I don't "fire up iPlayer and get the fucking video". So now you want to combine the consumers usage with a specific device?

I just want to be able to purchase a CD or DVD with music or video content on it. As simple as that.

Re:Yup (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650534)

Redistribution and authorized playback are the rights of the producer, not the consumer.

except that the consumer should have a say in this. i should be able to watch on whatever system i want. i assume ads are embedded in the stream, so they get the ad hits regardless. otherwise, you can't blame people for just torrenting the stuff.

Re:Yup (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650686)

In this case, this is the BBC, so viewers are already paying for the content in their TV fees, and the BBC isn't even allowed to show ads in the UK.

Re:Yup (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650700)

Amongst others the right to include (small) quotes of the work as part of critical analysis or commentary.

Re:Yup (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650672)

But it is equally wrong to only enforce the producer's rights, especially if doing so infringes the consumer's rights.

Re:Yup (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650114)

it is a loose-loose situation.

You mean it's extremely baggy?

Re:Yup (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650212)

DRM is anything but loose. I'm assuming you mean lose.

Re:Yup (1)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650312)

Yes, of course, but I probably should have put a smiley there :-)

Re:Yup (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650602)

Sorry I'm not normally so anal - I won't do it again I promise :-)

Re:Yup (1)

lalleglad (39849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650734)

No, that's OK, you were right and I was wrong.

And as you can see, I got two comments from it, so probably a few didn't receive the message as I had intended, and I am now wiser than before.

So, thank you for the feedback! :-)

Re:Yup (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650044)

No, it allows you to watch content how they want you to watch it. We could watch it beforehand just fine.

When you want to debate whether or not it is right or not; it doesn't stop people from file sharing their content. You can record it from the TV and then share it.

What it does do is take away rights people had from the TV where you could record content and watch it when you felt like it. I know iPlayer does keep things for awhile and you don't have to watch things at the precise moment it is on but you are still limited by a timeframe and you can't keep it or transfer it to the device of your choice.

Sure you can do that if you grab it from the TV but why should people have to?

Re:Yup (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650324)

No, DRM allows you to watch content.

Oh, it allows me to watch the movies I own? I never looked at it that way. DRM in the games I bought is really there to let me play them. How nice of corporations to be so kind to me! If there was no DRM in our content we'd never be able to use it!

Now that you've removed the scales from my eyes, I will only be grateful for DRM. I'm going to compose thank you letters to the RIAA, the MPAA and the GNAA right now.

Re:Yup (1)

quantumpineal (1724214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649940)

The DRM has been on iPlayer content for a while now. i usually strip it out using Fair Use 4 WM. It's on rapidshare @ google

Re:Yup (3, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650146)

There was until recently no DRM on the flash video versions, and that's what get_iplayer and the xbmc plugin used. FairUse4WM doesn't work in versions of Windows later than XP, and in any case there are less programs available in wmv format than flv format.

Re:Oh noes (5, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650342)

iPlayer has been broken since day one, as far as I'm concerned. "You're in America, and we refuse to play anything for you, you colonial barbarian. All content on this site is reserved for refined, sophisticated subjects of Her Majesty, the Queen, properly located within Her Majesty's Realm."

Re:Oh noes (2, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650466)

Since you likely do not contribute to the funding of BBC what exactly is your complaint? That you do not get to free-ride?

Re:Oh noes (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650732)

Perhaps I do contribute to the BBC. What makes you think otherwise? Have I ever posted anything to indicate that I do or do not contribute anything to the BBC?

Free ride? What about citizens of the UK who can't watch their favorite whatever, because the are in France, or Belgium, or wherever, on business for a day or a week?

DRM is broken, and any attempt to control content is broken. Simple as that.

Re:Oh noes (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650486)

The BBC only has distribution rights within the UK. They have sold those rights to a 3rd party in the US. They can't stream the content to you because they are legally not allowed to.

Well, fuck that (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649704)

Way to go all nigger-like on us. Maybe it's time we quit paying the fee?

If enough do, they might start listening.

Re:Well, fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649726)

I, for one, don't plan on ever paying it.

Signed, a Canadian Doctor Who fan.

Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649744)

And then dropped their service. Hitting them in the pocketbook is the only hope to stop DRM. Act today!

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (3, Informative)

VMaN (164134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649786)

I don't think its optional. If you have a TV, you pay for BBC etc, like in Denmark.

ooooor am I getting it wrong?

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649848)

They'll let you off if they visit and you don't have any receiving equipment set up, i.e. no cable or satellite box in your home, and no antenna connected. There was talk of them changing the licence fee so that anyone who could use the iPlayer (i.e. anyone with flash and an internet connection) would be billable though.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650060)

My plan is to get rid of my TV and only have a big ass monitor to hook up consoles onto and I do only watch DVDs and the one or two shows on the iPlayer every so often. Then I'll quit paying the licence

I'm sure there are others that do this and they want to force people to pay but once I make the switch, until I'm forced to pay I won't. I just don't use their services enough to warrant and I don't like the idea of supporting East Enders.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (4, Informative)

broeman (638571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650296)

I don't know how they are doing it in the UK, but already several European countries (e.g. Denmark, Germany) also charges for an Internet connection as well. They actually found a way to tax access to the Internet, with the reason that you have the possibility to use the state radio/television online services. Many have been wondering if binoculars will be next (watching TV from your neighbor could be a possibility of use as well).

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (2, Informative)

Zenzay42 (1150143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650382)

In Denmark they're a bit more strict. They've recently decided that you must pay license if you have ANY means of recieving TV. That means; if your mobile phone can recieve TV then you gotta cough up the money - whether you use it or not.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650546)

billable would be fine, if there wasn't any ads.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

growse (928427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650344)

Nope, you pay the fee if you watch or receive TV broadcasts as they are broadcast. Ownership of a TV doesn't come into it. It's actually very difficult for them to legally force you to pay it, as they'd have to take you to court with sufficient evidence that you watched or received TV as it was broadcast whilst not having a license.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650560)

The rules have changed a bit since the internet.

You dont need a license if you dont watch any broadcast TV (free, cable, sat). You can watch shows on the internet as long as the show your watching is not being broadcast at the exact same time. For example you cant watch newsnight while that show is being broadcast on TV, but after the show has finished (ie 1 hr later) you can watch the show. This is also true for non-uk broadcasts, so you cannot watch a US show on the internet if that specific episode is being broadcast (in the US) at the exact same time, even though you have no way to watch that TV channel even if you wanted to.

You can own a TV (for watching DVD's, games etc) as long as its not able to receive broadcast TV (no freeview, cable, sat box attached, aerial removed).

There is talk of scraping the TV license and funding it from income tax.

In my experience the TV license people are cool about cancelling your TV license, but Virgin & Sky don't understand "I don't watch TV" so be prepared for lots of cold calls, junk mail and visits from both.

However this can cause problems if your using Virgin internet. Virgin charge high rates for broadband and give away cable TV for free. So if want high speed Virgin broadband you have no choice but to have TV. BT is poor in my village, so Virgin is unfortunately the only ISP I can use. I have 1M broadband (with no TV), but that never gets above 300-400K.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (5, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649802)

Only the people who read this website actually care. DRM will never die because users are used to putting up with inconvenience and absurd costs for their media. Customers just accept anything, be it overpriced cable TV service(you pay a monthly fee, then you also have to pay per view), or an extremely disruptive level of advertising in programs.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650140)

+1 Damn shame

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649932)

I stopped paying the TV license when they introduced MS DRM on iPlayer originally (I haven't had a TV for a while, but I kept paying the license fee because I thought the online news was valuable). I'm absolutely disgusted by this. The BBC streams HD H.264 unencrypted over the air. It's absolutely ludicrous that they should DRM the online streams. If you want to pirate their content, just stick a DVB-T card in your computer, grab the streams, and upload them (optionally after transcoding). This is exactly what happens - you can get anything on iPlayer from various torrent sites at a higher quality from the OTA broadcast. So why are they adding DRM? There is absolutely no legitimate justification for it.

The BBC is a large organisation. They should not bow to pressure on this issue - if content is not available DRM free then they should refuse to license it at all, even for terrestrial broadcast.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (2, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650170)

The BBC streams HD H.264 unencrypted over the air.

They have been trying to get permission to encrypt that too.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650216)

No they haven't - and they can't because it would break millions of deployed set-top boxes. They have been asking for permission to encrypt the channel guide metadata, but they weren't able to provide any rational justification for needing to.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650372)

If people can receive BBC signals via their aerials they are likely residing in the UK, and thus, more than likely pay a TV license.

The BBC has been under pressure recently to reduce its costs, I suspect subsiding non-UK free-loaders is something they are trying to eliminate. I wouldn't be surprised if they added a paid subscription to iPlayer for non-UK residents in the future.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650754)

If people can receive BBC signals via their aerials they are likely residing in the UK, and thus, more than likely pay a TV license.

I think that you will find that the BBC signals are receivable by aerial throughout most, if not all, of the Netherlands and in many places in Northern France.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650394)

> I haven't had a TV for a while, but I kept paying the license fee because I thought the online news was valuable

Well that was silly. The license fee is only if you watch broadcast TV. It doesn't cover online streams.

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650542)

The license fee is only required if you own a TV, but some of the money goes to paying for the online services. I continued paying it after I stopped having a TV, because I felt that I was getting good value for money from the BBC services that I did use, even though I was not legally obliged to pay for them. I have no objection to paying for entertainment, but I do object to my money being used to promote DRM.

Whoosh (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649934)

And then dropped their service. Hitting them in the pocketbook is the only

I agree fully. But then, the government unfortunately doesn't, and they have guns.

 

Re:Whoosh (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649982)

I agree fully. But then, the government unfortunately doesn't, and they have guns.

And they made sure the peasantry didn't.

Re:Whoosh (3, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650062)

Even if we had guns, we're not exactly going to launch an armed insurrection because the BBC has asked someone to stop running an open-source iPlayer client.

Hell, the Yanks couldn't be bothered to get another revolution together for the PATRIOT act, let alone a TV licensing spat.

Re:Whoosh (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650094)

Hell, the Yanks couldn't be bothered to get another revolution together for the PATRIOT act, let alone a TV licensing spat

They are much more likely to have a revolution if someone stopped them watching TV than if Bush or Obama had declared themselves king and abolished elections.

Re:Whoosh (0, Offtopic)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650452)

I'm not so sure about that. A few years ago I would have agreed. However, I listen to the talk in restaurants, coffee shops, supermarket lines, and talk radio, and I hear a great deal of anger over Obama basically declaring himself king and decreeing laws against the expressed will of the American people.

If this continues to be the way he governs, I don't doubt if there will be a revolution. It will be a political one in which the entire mass of the silent majority expresses its will at the voting booth this next election, but if that doesn't stop government spending, look out.... The old saws about this are "don't awaken the sleeping giant" and "let sleeping dogs lie", and Obama has violated both. My prediction is: He's going to have quite a rude awakening as he has vastly underestimated the power of an awakened, riled, American citizenry.

Re:Whoosh (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650628)

I'm not so sure about that. A few years ago I would have agreed. However, I listen to the talk in restaurants, coffee shops, supermarket lines, and talk radio, and I hear a great deal of anger over bullshit made up by Fox and friends.

FTFY.

Re:Whoosh (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650186)

The straws add up. Eventually it only takes one to break a camel's back.

The French peasants had it rough long before they rebelled, it was a bunch of little things, and a few big ones, that eventually ended up with a lot of people loosing their heads.

Eventually people will say "Enough", and seek change, if they get it without the use of force great, but if not they will still get it, it will just be messier.

Re:Whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650584)

lose, not loose.

Re:Whoosh (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650268)

And of course the only way to kill people is with a gun. You can't use a knife, a club or an improvised bomb or anything like that.

Oh but I thought was the protect you? (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650668)

Hahaha. Second amendment for the win!

Re:Its like 1000's of customers cried out (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650026)

It's a tax supported public service (which, of course, only makes their DRM even more despicable). You can only opt out by not watching any TV channels.

Stupid (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649774)

A stupid decision given the BBC broadcast DRM free mpeg2 over the airwaves. A £30 USB TV card will let you record broadcast quality TV, so why do they feel that lower quality net streaming is a risk?

Re:Stupid (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649862)

How much does it cost them if you download a torrent of a show that someone taped from 'the airwaves'? Nothing.

How much does it cost them if you watch the show online using their bandwidth? Not nothing.

That's a pretty big difference.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649954)

Nonsense. It costs them exactly the same amount when you watch a show online whether it is DRM'd or not. In fact, the lack of DRM reduces their bandwidth usage - you can download the file and watch it more than once, just as you can record shows from TV.

Re:Stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650028)

How much does it cost them if you watch the show online using their bandwidth? Not nothing.

And how does DRM change those bandwidth costs? It doesn't. I don't think you've thought about this very clearly.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650168)

If I want to watch the program a second time, then without DRM I can play the mp4 file saved to my hard drive, whereas with DRM, I must download it again.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649870)

Maybe because it's British Broadcast Corporation and is, you know, paid for by British citizens that don't particularly want to pay for the internet to leach off of them? Kind of hard over air.

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649996)

Uh, what? iPlayer uses GeoIP so only British citizens can download directly from them anyway (and they have peering agreements with British ISPs, so they aren't paying for bandwidth anyway). People in the UK can (and do) dump the DVB streams from the BBC and upload them to torrents. I doubt that they do the same with the iPlayer streams, because they're more traceable and lower quality.

It's worth noting that get_iplayer doesn't let you do anything that you can do with a DVR anyway. You can grab digital streams via a DVR or computer with a DVB-t card and keep them forever. There is no DRM on the OTA streams, so why does there need to be on the Internet ones?

Re:Stupid (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649886)

I believe, in addition to the usual blind-spot media execs seem to have about DRM, that there's an element of getting control over the client viewing platform. E.g. the BBC are developing a set-top-box for internet TV (Project Canvas).

Gah. (-1, Offtopic)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649900)

It's nothing to do with any of all that old bollocks, I do wish people would read the FUCKING article, or maybe sod off & just read bog-roll packets. Yeah, that'll do it. Bollocks I'm off down the pub. Tosser.

I like BBC content. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649788)

Thankfully, there's always bittorrent.

I am not a English resident.

The TV market is broken (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649814)

All of the broadcast rights contracts are based on market exclusivity. The Beeb is obligated to make an effort not to step on the toes of broadcasters in other markets.

Still, disappointing.

Re:The TV market is broken (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649914)

This has absolutely nothing to do with market exclusivity. DRM exists to maintain control over the content AFTER the user has downloaded it, to prevent the user from being able to store and playback indefinitely. Market exclusivity has been handled since the inception of iPlayer by IP geolocation lockouts. You have to be using a UK-based to access the content.

Who wants DRM? Who wants platform neutrality? (5, Insightful)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649858)

There's a long discussion on this on a BBC blog [bbc.co.uk] .

Also, bear in mind that when the BBC says "Rights holders require us to implement DRM" that the BBC potentially is being obfuscatory, because the rights holders it's talking about may in fact be companies the BBC owns in part or in full. I.e. the BBC might be trying to hide "We want DRM". E.g. see this post from Anthony Rose [bbc.co.uk] giving BBC Worldwide as the prime example of the DRM-requiring rights holders.

Finally, this is from a comment I left on the linuxcentre blog:

BBC Trust is running a consultation [bbc.co.uk] on the BBC strategic review. One of the key questions is regarding platform neutrality. It is very important that people fill in that survey and let the Trust know how important open ly specified access is. In particular the following is important for platform neutrality:

* BBC Ondemand should *not* be built on proprietary, single-vendor technologies, such as Adobe Flash.
* BBC Ondemand should be built on multi-vendor, open, non-discriminatory standards, such as HTML5 video.
* The BBC should *not* be in the business of dictating which ondemand client implementations may access iPlayer and which may not.

These things are important both for free software, but also more generally for a healthy market. It is not in the public interest for the BBC to become the king-maker of client device implementations. Please take the time to let the Trust know your views on platform neutrality and how the current situation is bad for the greater public interest.

HTML5 is NOT the solution to DRM! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650162)

Please, PLEASE do not suggest that HTML5 is an adequate solution to this problem. It is not. HTML5 is shaping up to be one of the biggest fuck-ups we've ever seen. The major vendors cannot and will not agree on standard codecs. It won't happen.

The only solution is for the BBC to offer their videos for download in completely-open formats. We're basically talking two options here:
1) As an Ogg container holding Theora-encoded video and Vorbis-encoded audio.
2) As a Matroska container holding Theora-encoded video and Vorbis-encoded audio.

That's the only sure-fire way to succeed. Anything solely browser-based is an automatic failure. We don't want to be restricted to watching videos in some goddamn awful HTML5 canvas-based video player. That will be worse than the Flash experience we're currently stuck with for many video sites.

Re:HTML5 is NOT the solution to DRM! (2, Informative)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650254)

As per the other /. story on H.264 v Ogg Theora, I'm of the opinion that the codec issue should not be conflated with the delivery platform issue [slashdot.org] .

Also, note "such as HTML5" does not exclude any other specifications, including any the BBC might openly specify itself.

Re:Who wants DRM? Who wants platform neutrality? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650174)

BBC owns the rights to many programs that they then sell to other markets.

For example the currently very popular "Life" series is a BBC program but the Discovery channel has bought rebroadcast rights.

If you can stream the iPlayer in the US because a player includes no DRM then the Discovery channel can sue the BBC for breaching their exclusive distribution rights.

This is true of all of their programs. It's the BBC's responsibility to extract as much profit as possible from foreign markets. It's part of how they fund their operations beyond local taxes. So while they may have originally had the rights to the programs they relinquish limited distribution rights to others around the world. The BBC World Service for instance is another example of this. Radio stations around the world license BBC World Service for broadcast.

Re:Who wants DRM? Who wants platform neutrality? (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650292)

No one is arguing that the BBC not apply their geo-IP checks, as they were doing with XBMC and get_iplayer clients all along.

Re:Who wants DRM? Who wants platform neutrality? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650654)

> Also, bear in mind that when the BBC says "Rights holders require us to implement DRM" that the BBC potentially is being obfuscatory, because the rights holders it's talking about may in
> fact be companies the BBC owns in part or in full. I.e. the BBC might be trying to hide "We want DRM". E.g. see this post from Anthony Rose giving BBC Worldwide as the prime example of the
> DRM-requiring rights holders.

They're 'trying to hide' nothing. Whether or not the BBC owns them, they're different companies. BBC Worldwide is not the BBC, and is allowed to make a profit. They're going to be less interested in licensing and distributing BBC shows around the world if the BBC is streaming high quality shows for free around the world - it makes no point.

Works for me (2, Informative)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649908)

I'm a bit confused by this. TFA is talking about how the author of get_iplayer is ceasing development of it in protest at the BBC's DRM actions (the clue being in the title "get_iplayer dropped in response to BBC’s lack of support for open source"). It doesn't say get_iplayer doesn't work any more, or that the BBC have prevented its use.

Indeed, I just installed it (on Ubuntu) and it appears to work just fine - I have a nicely encoded file of some quite funny children's programme that's apparently completely free of any DRM.

Re:Works for me (4, Interesting)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649962)

Do you have rtmpdump installed by any chance?

The BBC make available low-res streams. Totem supports these. My understanding is the higher-res streams now require rtmpdump installed to access, which is a tool that's hard for distros to ship due to anti-circumvention laws. E.g. Adobe have tried to use the DMCA to take down rtmpdump.

I.e. my understanding is that the BBCs' move only frustrates those who must shy away from all legal risk. It doesn't really stop anyone - DRM never does.

Re:Works for me (4, Informative)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650014)

Oh, rtmpdump implements "SWF verification", a silly little Flash DRM support scheme, which is what the BBC have enabled on iPlayer recently.

Re:Works for me (4, Interesting)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650350)

I've not got rtmpdump installed to the best of my knowledge (at least, there's no file containing that name on my system). I've just tried this:

get_iplayer --get --modes=flashvhigh 859

Which gets a pretty large (670Mb) Flash file containing a 45-min episode of Top Gear which I assume that's hi-res (it looks it).

So again - works for me using a pretty much default install of Ubuntu 9.10.

Re:Works for me (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650432)

interesting. does "strace -e open -f get_iplayer --get 859 |& grep rtmp" say anything? has it been built with patches to enable SWF verification support in some way?

It definitely appears broken on Fedora, where get_iplayer does not support SWF verification enabled RTMP streams.

Re:Works for me (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650516)

"strace -e open -f get_iplayer --get 859 |& grep rtmp" says nothing at all. I'm using v2.41 of get_iplayer if that's any help.

I notice a comment in the source that says:

# rtmpdump/flvstreamer version detection e.g. 'RTMPDump v1.5' or 'FLVStreamer v1.7a'

I have flvstreamer installed - would that be a clue?

Re:Works for me (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650622)

Yeah, flvstreamer is a fork of rtmpdump with the SWF verification stuff removed. My understanding is that flvstreamer shouldn't be sufficient - unless someone patched that to add back in the DRM-support bits?

Are these get_iplayer and flvstreamer packages shipped in Canonical hosted repositories? What patches are applied in the packages?

18 day old news - old news for slow nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31649926)

This "news" is 18 days old.

Re:18 day old news - old news for slow nerds (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649950)

This "news" is 18 days old.

So? It needs discussing. Does the fact that it didn't happen yesterday change its significance?

They haven't activated anything (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649952)

They haven't "activated" anything, there have always been restrictions on the content available via the iPlayer, both downloadable and streaming - thanks mostly to all the spanners in the "content" industry demanding time limits and (more reasonably) geographic limits.

I have to say I'm torn here; on the one hand I understand that while a lot of the content on the iPlayer is owned in whole or in part by the BBC, there's a lot that isn't and they have to play nice with the owners of that content - in this case preventing 3rd party applications from downloading or re-streaming their content outside of the above limits - but at the same time, as a licence fee payer, I want the BBC to play nice with me as well.

The BBC do a pretty good job when you compare the iPlayer to offerings from other media organisations, but I'd rather lose a few imported shows to the commercial networks if it means they can be less restrictive about what they broadcast.

Re:They haven't activated anything (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650164)

The high-level usage restrictions the BBC had as policy have not changed.

The BBC *have* changed the format of the service. It now uses SWF verification [wikipedia.org] . If you don't believe me, believe the BBC [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:They haven't activated anything (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650232)

I have to say I'm torn here; on the one hand I understand that while a lot of the content on the iPlayer is owned in whole or in part by the BBC, there's a lot that isn't and they have to play nice with the owners of that content

That they make no effort to separate out what's theirs and what's not indicates to me that they want the restrictions, that they are actively working against open standards, open source, and open (non-DRM) files. The BBC wants the restrictions on the content they own, and lie when they pretend it's other content owners that require it and they are only doing what's required of them to continue the service (notably without identifying any actual complainants, just "THEY").

I get the BBC the old fashioned way (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31649974)

with a Halicrafter's shortwave receiver and a HUGE loop antenna.
plus NPR broadcasts the BBC every night, (not sure if NPR does that nationwide)

Re:I get the BBC the old fashioned way (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650234)

Not everywhere, as it's a station-by-station choice.

I spent a good portion of last night listening to a number of stations listed on shoutcast, and it did seem like half of them *did* have BBC World News as their overnight programming.

Reasons to Abolish the License Fee #306 (1)

harlequinade (1122273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650010)

So dear old Auntie Beeb has added DRM to all over their content so the dear British taxpayer has to fork over more cash to watch programmes they already paid for. Brilliant....Not.

Upstairs, Downstairs (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650192)

So dear old Auntie Beeb has added DRM to all over their content so the dear British taxpayer has to fork over more cash to watch programmes they already paid for. Brilliant....Not.

The BBC has co-production and distribution agreements with companies all over the world. That translates directly into bigger budgets, production on locations abroad, recruitment of A-list talents, and so on.

Brighton, England--February 22, 2010-- MASTERPIECE on PBS and BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution, Americas have announced a major co-production deal that includes a new production, with the BBC, of Upstairs Downstairs--one of the most-loved and honored television series of all time. Upstairs Downstairs will air in the U.S. in 2011 as part of MASTERPIECE 's 40th anniversary season on PBS.

The deal also includes Sherlock, a 21st-century spin on Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes novels, and three Aurelio Zen mysteries, adapted from the best-selling novels by Michael Dibden set in Italy.

Jean Marsh, who will reprise her role in the new three-part series as Rose, the parlor maid. Dame Eileen Atkins, the co-creator of the original program, will also star. Screenwriter Heidi Thomas (Cranford) is setting the new Upstairs Downstairs in the same house at 165 Eaton Place in 1936, during the period leading up to World War II.

The thrilling new Sherlock series is a fast-paced, witty take on the legendary crime drama, now set in present day London and starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, The Last Enemy) as the eponymous detective. Martin Freeman (The Office UK, Hot Fuzz) plays his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson, and Rupert Graves (God on Trial, The Forsyte Saga) is Inspector Lestrade. Co-created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling, Jekyll) and Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Crooked House), the iconic details from Arthur Conan Doyle's original books remain: same address, same names--and somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting.

Rufus Sewell (The Eleventh Hour, Middlemarch, John Adams) will star as Italian detective Aurelio Zen in three episodes based on the popular mysteries by Michael Dibden. The series is being shot on location in Italy by Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind the acclaimed Wallander television series.

MASTERPIECE AND BBC WORLDWIDE ANNOUNCE DRAMA CO-PRODUCTIONS, INCLUDING NEW UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS [thefutoncritic.com]

Re:Upstairs, Downstairs (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650274)

How does applying DRM to UK residents help? The bulk of non-residents can't access iPlayer anyway (geo-IP) and so if they're watching BBC material online they're not using the DRMed BBC stuff anyway.

Re:Reasons to Abolish the License Fee #306 (1)

InsertWitticismHere (1091735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650472)

... what? The BBC has simply added DRM to prevent people ripping iPlayer streams. No one has to "fork over more cash to watch programmes they already paid for." In fact, one can watch iPlayer without having paid any TV License fee at all.

Instead of whining about the License fee, why not complain about the substance of the matter: that of DRM in online media?

Is this entirely accurate? (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650024)

I use the OS X app iPlayer Downloader occasionally, to grab programs I missed and will want to see in a few days. Some of the content refuses to download, but others download just fine still.

Complain to Ofcom (1)

marto (110299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650138)

You can register your disapproval with ofcom online. [ofcom.org.uk]

SpongE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650188)

has run faster userS o7 NetBSD Are there? Oh,

Class-War continues. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650256)

The BBC are suckers. They fell for the first layer of negotiating tactics: providers said they wanted DRM. The BBC took this as an absolute not an initial position. Hardly surprising nowadays given the level of piracy: citizens being fleeced every which way. But still sad, that the BBC is in effect saying: "You must own a Dell computer to access BBC content!" or in other words shackling their information to third-parties who don't actually give a fuck about the BBC or UK citizens. Way to show your publicly funded stupidity Beeb.

WHY BBC WHY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650374)

I'm ashamed to have used RSS feeds from BBC for so long; don't worry, they're gone now!

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31650414)

DRM is only evil when it's limiting what you can do with products you own, here it's being used to let you watch content online while still retaining much of its resale value and saving YOU money. This exactly where DRM SHOULD be used. Now you can complain that their content is not available for your platform (can't think of any off the top of my head), but then again they don't broadcast midget skat porn either, the aim of the BBC isn't to keep everybody happy, just the vast majority of us, don't like it? Then fuck off and see how you like television in a country without a license fee.

XBMC bug-fix to support SWF Verification (5, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31650646)

http://trac.xbmc.org/ticket/8971 [xbmc.org] adds support to use librtmp which supports RTMPE including SWF Verification and Adobe's so-called "Secure" Token authentication.

it's worth repeating that there is absolutely zero security of any kind in Adobe Flash RTMPE. everything can be obtained publicly; or is "magic constants", or is simply a complex chain of algorithms, the result of which is merely an increase in CPU usage, heat generated and money wasted, along with the dangerous illusion of security.

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