Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Thrifty, Anonymous Benefactor Backs Up BBC Websites Before They Go Dark

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the slurp-and-emit dept.

The Media 159

revealingheart writes "The BBC is set to close down 200 of its websites in the near future as part of cost-cutting measures. Hearing that 172 of these sites would be deleted from the Web entirely, an anonymous individual has taken matters into his or her own hands. The result is a BitTorrent file that anyone can download to store a backup of these 'lost' websites forever. The cost of the project? Apparently no more than $3.99 for a VPS server to crawl and retrieve all the sites."

cancel ×

159 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What I want to know.... (3, Interesting)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35171920)

Is how many millions of pounds were spent developing all those sites.

Re:What I want to know.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35171936)

I also want to know where the hell I can get a VPS server for $3.99. I'd imagine a virtual private server server would be the actual box which hosts the VPS containers. Way to summarize, faggots.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35171960)

aws.amazon.com. Hourly rates, and a big pipe. Only takes a couple of lines of script and some hours to crawl everything, then shut the server down...

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35171988)

But why use a new server? Any client machine could crawl the sites. I have a home server which could do it.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172004)

Big pipe...

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172048)

You should check the comments on the article on torrentfreak, I was linked to thrustvps [thrustvps.com] who offer servers at £4 incl tax (although cant be 100% this is who the uploader bought from)

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172318)

The figure of $3.99 was arrived at through bistromath.

Re:What I want to know.... (5, Informative)

PenguinJames (789051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172498)

Well, if you read the article, you find a link: "You can read the full background to the story here [http://178.63.252.42/]." Look up 178.63.252.42 at ripe.org and you find it's owned by spacerich.com. Visit spacerich.com and you see in large, friendly letters: "Virtual Private Servers from $3.99/month"

So there you go, spacerich.com offers VPS for $3.99/month.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

PenguinJames (789051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172546)

And by ripe.org, I obviously meant ripe.net.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173724)

I'm pretty sure the poster was trying to make a stupid joke, and failing miserably because almost nobody gives a shit about "PIN number", "FTP protocol", and all the other such things that get some people worked up into a frenzy.

See i says "VPS server", which would be "Virtual Private Server server", Which like an "FTP server" is a server that provides FTP must be a server that provides VPSs in other words a reasonably capable real server. Ha-ha-ha-ha.

And yes, it isn't funny in any way at all. But as I should have said at he beginning the poster is clearly retarded.

Re:What I want to know.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35171944)

42.

Re:What I want to know.... (3, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35171984)

What, you want them in Altarian Dollars? Can't do, as they no longer exist. I wouldn't bother with Triganic Pu, that has too many problems. Or how about one Ningis, you can get eight of those for one Pu, but nobody has ever rich enough to own one Pu so it isn't worth thinking about.

Re:What I want to know.... (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172102)

I preferred it when is was Somebody Else's Problem to preserve these abandoned BBC sites.

Re:What I want to know.... (0)

DeanLearner (1639959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172000)

Thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded, this doesn't matter. Money, money, money!

(In the UK, if you own a device that can receive TV signals, you HAVE to have a TV license which the BBC gets funds from)

Re:What I want to know.... (2)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172010)

Actually, Its that if you actively receive TV signals that you have to pay the licence fee, and even then you only need one. Better than the alternative, advertisement flooded, channels that dont rely on public funding.

Re:What I want to know.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172036)

Actually, It is only required if you watch or record TV as it's being shown over the air (live).

You can in fact have a Freeview TV set up, plugged in, receiving signals, but so long as you only use it to read text services or listen to radio - you don't need a licence.

I have previously written to the BBC for clarification on these points, and they have confirmed that this is truth.

Re:What I want to know.... (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172094)

Actually, the wording is that one has to "receive broadcasts as they are transmitted". If you want to argue that iPlayer programmes are TV signals then this distinction is important. I watch perhaps 2 hours of TV programming per week using iPlayer and sometimes 4OD so I don't pay a license fee. If I want to watch something else I'll just go to a streaming site or my DVD collection.

FWIW I believe Channel 4 does receive some small amount of the fee.

Re:What I want to know.... (3, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172026)

(In the UK, if you own a device that can receive TV signals, you HAVE to have a TV license which the BBC gets funds from)

No. In the UK, iff you use a device to watch television as it is broadcast then your residence has to have a TV licence. A TV used for CCTV, amateur television or watching DVDs does not create a requirement for a licence. A computer used for iPlayer's "Watch live" service does create a requirement for a licence.

A license is some American invention which you probably need to jaywalk from the sidewalks to the theater.

Re:What I want to know.... (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172144)

Could be worse. The German equivalent is similar but a tad crazier.
There you're also required to have a license if the device is just capable of receiving publicly funded TV or radio (allowing them to grab money from more people and extend the whole thing to online-capable devices which could theoretically be used to access their online streaming content).

Re:What I want to know.... (2)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172186)

Yeah, that's where I'd draw the line and consider the licence unacceptable.

A well regulated TV licence funds a broadcast service separate from and balancing against dominant commercial interests. If Murdoch, say, is given a licence to broadcast on some frequency (parts of the e-m spectrum not being in any reasonable way ownable) then in return for exclusive access to broadcast on this frequency he and his customers must accept that the people get to have something to challenge a service acting in his interests.

IOW, if you're paying money for a Sky subscription, you're benefitting from Murdoch's exclusive control of various radio frequencies. In return for the people allocating those frequencies for your benefit, you gotta pay for the counterbalance that is the BBC.

"What about when TV goes all Internet and is no longer broadcast over the air?" I hear you hypothesise based on your own experience and that of half a dozen geeks who use iPlayer and torrents. Well, land communications networks suffer precisely the same problem of "natural" monopoly requiring regulation to ensure competition and balance. It's a variation of a net neutrality argument.

This all applies before you even consider the content value of the BBC.

Re:What I want to know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172534)

Since the Murdoch signals are delivered by satellite, the frequencies can be reused by other broadcasters. Indeed this is exactly what happens; if you point your dish in a different direction you can receive broadcasts from different satellites on other frequencies. Therefore you cannot (correctly) say that he has exclusive control of them. Murdoch is only occupying a small area of geostationary orbit, which is hardly property of the UK anyway. (I don't think it's even above the UK; more likely central Europe.) So I don't think this argument works.

Also, how is the BBC a "counterbalance"? I thought it was supposed to be "impartial"? :)

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172670)

Since the Murdoch signals are delivered by satellite,

Regulation (of another sort) has intervened to specifically prevent Murdoch's ownership of certain terrestrial broadcasters. Sky 3 sure is doing a good job of reaching the DVB-T-connected TV I'm sitting in front of, and most terrestrial broadcasters remain under private ownership.

the frequencies can be reused by other broadcasters. Indeed this is exactly what happens; if you point your dish in a different direction you can receive broadcasts from different satellites on other frequencies.

The fact that a signal is directional doesn't mean Murdoch gets any more natural right to ownership of the spectrum. There's no cone extending from his satellite a few centimetres down into the ground through everyone's property which he has an inherent right to use in any way.

Therefore you cannot (correctly) say that he has exclusive control of them.

I couldn't in any case, technically, because digital terrestrial channels are delivered on multiplexes managed by the cunts at Arqiva. But he has an exclusive right to content delivery on some part of the spectrum in the sense that you have the privilege of enjoying it uninterrupted. Put another way, I don't get to fly an aircraft over your village and interrupt his signal to rescue you from his dross. You pay for that privilege.

Murdoch is only occupying a small area of geostationary orbit, which is hardly property of the UK anyway.

The privilege of launching a satellite and controlling an area of space is yet another thing for which he owes the system which has given him the freedom and stability to do that - but that's another matter entirely.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173590)

(I don't think it's even above the UK; more likely central Europe.)

[mode="pedantic"] The geostationary orbit is by definition not above Europe, since Europe is not on the equator.[/mode]
If, for example, the channels are on the Astra 2 satellite, they are at 19.2 degrees longtitude east. This means they are above Congo [google.com] , and due south from central europe.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173620)

Don't knock it. It got you the best version of The Office, didn't it?

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Illicon (1588477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173622)

In Soviet Russia, device owns you!

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172192)

I'm not sure how to convert Libraries of Congress to pounds.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Enigma23 (460910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172538)

I'm not sure how to convert Libraries of Congress to pounds.

How much does the Library of Congress weigh in pounds..?

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172742)

How much does the Library of Congress weigh in pounds..?

Not sure about pounds but it's about 6.5 Oprahs.

Re:What I want to know.... (5, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172452)

BBC has a real problem understanding the concept of "archiving". For some reason they think just because they are done with the sites, nobody else wants them either, so just erase them.

It's somewhat similar to how they destroyed 1950s and 60s television tapes.

Re:What I want to know.... (-1, Offtopic)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172468)

c64love wrote:

BBC has a real problem understanding the concept of "archiving". For some reason they think just because they are done with the sites, nobody else wants them either, so just erase them.

It's somewhat similar to how they destroyed 1950s and 60s television tapes.

Shutup Troll. Or I and my friends will mod you into oblivion.

Re:What I want to know.... (1, Funny)

Enigma23 (460910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172552)

Shutup Troll.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

So what was wrong with what he said? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173422)

So what was wrong with what he said? Or is the problem that he asked a pertinent question which you don't like so it became impertinence?

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

Nineteen-Delta (1892866) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173426)

Actually the tapes of old programmes were erased to be recycled. At the time there was a considerable cost to buy and archive. These days though, storage for digital media are mere fractions of the cost. - One would imagine a reasonable sized hard drive could archive thousands of webpages, and with a bit of tech know-how take no more than a few hours to set up and copy everything. - Job done.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

etwills (471396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172560)

Its' not the cost to date, but this morning's Metro stated:

The BBC announced last month it would remove the sites from the web as part of cuts to its £34million online budget. It is also axing 360 staff.

and

While the torrent was created anonymously, some sources have suggested that the person behind it is Ben Metcalfe, also known as dotBen, who posted a link to the archive on Twitter with the message: ‘So here it is... if you want to download the torrent backup of all the sites the BBC are closing.’
Metcalfe is a former BBC software engineer, who helped launch the BBC blog network, now living in the US.

Re:What I want to know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172978)

They switched to the metric system you idiot, it's not pounds, it's like kilo... millimeters or something.

Re:What I want to know.... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173730)

Hogsheads and bushels were good enough for my grandpa, they're good enough for me! If you can't tell me the weight in stone, I got no use for you.

author makes no reasonable point (1, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35171958)

So, what you're saying is that to reprint a book costs wildly less than to produce a book? That an electronic copy with no attempts to guarantee availability is much cheaper than a resilient set of servers which deliver instantly and accessibly to goodness-knows-how-many-people per minute? And that the cheapest thing of all is to do so without asking anyone's permission?

Look, we can all observe an assault undique to neuter and privatise the BBC. But OP is attention whoring with a cheap technical demonstration which alienates him from the very people he might think he is supporting.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

The Outlander (1279696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172028)

Agreed,

I think main reason to remove the websites is to avoid the costs in keeping the sites updated, thats where all the money is spent.

Abandoning websites looks very bad on the company doing the abandoning, much better to remove from the web entirely.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

Darkon (206829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172046)

Look, we can all observe an assault undique to neuter and privatise the BBC.

We can? In case you hadn't noticed there's a recession on. Why should the BBC be exempt from making the same cost savings that all public bodies are having to make?

Re:author makes no reasonable point (3, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172114)

Firstly, the privatisation began years ago under New Tories - the worst hit from a geeky PoV being selling of infrastructure to Siemens.

Secondly, the BBC isn't a public body in the sense that is, say, the British Army. The Army is funded by a general, compulsory taxes on income and other trade. The BBC is funded by a licence which you only need to pay if you choose to watch (possibly time-shifted) live broadcast television.

Thirdly, anyone who thinks that this round of government cost cutting is even slightly relevant to getting out of recession is an idiot. Money is wasted because government acts as an agent for private benefactors, in particular (i) units are sold off and services contracted back to well-back-scratched government officials at profit; (ii) money invested in private wars, trade and military, under the guise of "free trade" or defence of the realm. Much of our debt represents investment in banks from which (if we do things right) we stand to make huge profit once we've sold off again.

Finally, government debt per se is not bad - it acts as a mirror private wealth of creditors. What matters is whether debt is sustainable. The approach after WW2 to a record level of debt was to invest more to grow local technology, industry and services. The approach today is to burn all society's bridges for firewood. Thatcher executed round one, and Cameron prepares kindling for remaining edifices. Then there's nothing left, and Britain will have got exactly what she asked for.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (4, Insightful)

Darkon (206829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172174)

the BBC isn't a public body in the sense that is, say, the British Army. The Army is funded by a general, compulsory taxes on income and other trade. The BBC is funded by a licence which you only need to pay if you choose to watch (possibly time-shifted) live broadcast television

A tax doesn't have to be universal, unless you're also going to argue that the tax on cigarettes and alcohol aren't really taxes because only smokers and drinkers pay them. The licence fee is a compulsory tax on anyone who watches broadcast TV, whether or not they consume or even care about BBC services. Now I'm not saying that I don't enjoy BBC output, or even that I necessarily resent paying the licence fee, but please don't try to use weasel words and pretend it's something it isn't. It might be a special purpose tax and the money it generates might be ring fenced, but it's a tax and the BBC is a public body.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172262)

A tax doesn't have to be universal, unless you're also going to argue that the tax on cigarettes and alcohol aren't really taxes because only smokers and drinkers pay them.

You seem to be overly worried about whether something can be called a "tax" or not based on whether it's compulsory (I'd like to propose, then, that food purchases are taxes because they are compulsory for survival). Consider instead the allocation of funds.

Scrapping Trident is a valid cost-cutting measure when the government has decided that it's overspending on unnecessary shit during a recession: if you scrap Trident, you suddenly have a few 10s of billions more GBP to allocate other than against an imaginary enemy who is already being sufficiently resisted.

Even tax on fags and booze goes to central government. The extra taxation isn't allocated for health or policiing services for cancer patients and drunks.

But, as you say, BBC money is separately funded. If you shut down a few small BBC web sites, you achieve precisely nothing to help anyone. The money won't go to firing one civil service PPP management bureaucrat or tearing up one agency contract in favour of well-trained full time employees.

What is more, I regard the licence fee as the cost the viewer pays for (i) the content produced by the BBC; (ii) even if he chooses not to watch the BBC, the permission given by the people to private broadcasters to use parts of the e-m spectrum (and other artificial/natural monopolies) to broadcast stuff in their interests. The "cost" in this case is the right for the people to provide a counterpoint - something sorely lacking, in, say, the bastion of free press that is the USA.

The BBC is (ideally) the people's counterbalance to the freedom of the press belonging to the owners of the presses.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172326)

The BBC is (ideally) the people's counterbalance to the freedom of the press belonging to the owners of the presses.

The BBC speaks for nobody except the Guardian-reading leftists who work for it. They consistently monster any Conservative (or lately LibDem) who appears on their programmes while giving Labour an easy ride and packing the audiences of shows like Question Time with baying Trotskyites.

"people's counterbalance"... don't make me laugh!

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172396)

Go back to reading the Daily Mail, asshole.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172526)

Go back to reading the Guardian, commie.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172926)

I think you'll find its spelt "arsehole". HTH.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173320)

Although the GP post was a bit harsh, there is no denying that the BBC, one of the great institutions of British society, is biased as an institution. It has been admitted repeatedly by the BBC over the years on various matters (and you don't have to read it in the Daily Mail). Perhaps the first one I quote from 1994 helps explain the others.

Birts admits BBC has London bias - Friday, 25 March 1994 [independent.co.uk]
The BBC is too London- based and 'must make a huge leap forward in reflecting life, activity, culture and events in the whole of the UK,' John Birt, the corporation's director-general said yesterday.

In a speech in Glasgow, Mr Birt conceded that the BBC had 'developed far too much' in London, where more than 80 per cent of network television and radio programmes were made.

Yes, we are biased on religion and politics, admit BBC executives - 22.10.06 [thisislondon.co.uk]
BBC executives have been forced to admit what critics have known for years - that the corporation is institutionally biased.

The revelation came after details of an 'impartiality' summit called by its chairman, Michael Grade, were leaked.

Senior figures admitted that the BBC is guilty of promoting Left-wing views and an anti-Christian sentiment.

They also said that as an organisation it was disproportionately over-represented by gays and ethnic minorities.

It was also suggested that the Beeb is guilty of political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism and of being anti-American and against the countryside.

During the meeting, hosted by Sue Lawley, executives admitted they would happily broadcast the image of a Bible being thrown away - but would not do the same for the Koran.

BBC was biased against Thatcher, admits Mark Thompson - 02 Sep 2010 [telegraph.co.uk]
The BBC was "massively" biased against Margaret Thatcher and journalists allowed their left-wing politics to set the corporation's agenda, director-general Mark Thompson has admitted.
Critics of the BBC have long accused it of left-wing bias and a hatred of the former Tory leader.

Confirming their fears, Mr Thompson said: "In the BBC I joined 30 years ago there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left.

"The organisation did struggle then with impartiality. And journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher."

Why the BBC ignored the Holocaust: Anti-Semitism in the top ranks of broadcasting and Foreign Office staff led to the news being suppressed, says Stephen Ward - 22 August 1993 [independent.co.uk]
ANTI-SEMITISM in the higher ranks of the Foreign Office and the BBC during the Second World War led to a policy which suppressed news about Germany's attempt to exterminate European Jews, new research will show this week.

The attitude was reinforced by a belief that the British population was anti-Semitic and that anti-German propaganda about atrocities in the First World War, which was often fiction, had made the public sceptical of such stories. Early in the war the Government and the BBC agreed that this time, British propaganda would contrast Nazi 'lies' with British truthfulness and a 'good clean fight'.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (3, Informative)

Enigma23 (460910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172590)

The BBC is (ideally) the people's counterbalance to the freedom of the press belonging to the owners of the presses.

The BBC speaks for nobody except the Guardian-reading leftists who work for it. They consistently monster any Conservative (or lately LibDem) who appears on their programmes while giving Labour an easy ride and packing the audiences of shows like Question Time with baying Trotskyites. "people's counterbalance"... don't make me laugh!

Question Time audiences are designed to give a fair representation of the local population - they're not "packed" at all. The BBC balances the private media (well, News International, since they control 90% of the UK's print and TV media that's not the BBC). When Labour was in power, The Sun newspaper fell over themselves worshipping New Labour and the BBC counterbalanced that. Now that we have a Lib Dem/Conservative coalition, BBC balances the now blatantly, staunchly Tory-loving media output. Thus the balance of the Universe is maintained...

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172712)

The radio counterpart Any Questions? was hosted by one of my old schools and was "packed" with, well, mostly parents and students of the school. I live in a constituency which hasn't seen a Labour MP since before I was born, and the audience represented an even more well-off Tory-leaning set than was regular for the area.

I shan't ask you for proof of your assertion because it's obvious you're trolling in the guise of a well-known British stereotype.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172480)

You seem to be overly worried about whether something can be called a "tax" or not based on whether it's compulsory (I'd like to propose, then, that food purchases are taxes because they are compulsory for survival). Consider instead the allocation of funds.

Uh, the definition of a tax is that it is compulsory, and nobody is going to force you to eat. AFAICT, starving yourself is the only legal way to commit suicide in most jurisdictions.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172736)

Uh, the definition of a tax is that it is compulsory,

It is not compulsory to watch TV as it is broadcast, so you'll need to give a better definition than that.

AFAICT, starving yourself is the only legal way to commit suicide in most jurisdictions.

The '60s called.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172830)

The '60s called.

Did they explain to you that attempted suicide is illegal all over the place?

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172998)

Did they explain to you that attempted suicide is illegal all over the place?

In the '60s, yes.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172764)

Your definition of a tax is outdated - a tax is defined as whatever the government say it is.

The BBC License Fee was reclassified as a tax in 2006 by the Office of National Statistics, and has been treated as one by the Government and the BBC ever since.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172706)

But, as you say, BBC money is separately funded. If you shut down a few small BBC web sites, you achieve precisely nothing to help anyone. The money won't go to firing one civil service PPP management bureaucrat or tearing up one agency contract in favour of well-trained full time employees.

In the last license fee review, the BBC was given responsibility for funding the World Service, S4C and BBC Monitoring, as well as providing funding for setting up local TV services and various other schemes - all while the license fee was held at its current rate. In other words, the Government offloaded a load of its own expenditure onto the BBC without increasing the BBCs funding, meaning that not only do the Government save its own money, it forces the BBC to reduce costs.

So yes, while the BBC is separately funded, that doesn't mean that it doesn't get screwed by the government and forced to carry out its own cost savings measures...

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172508)

Ah, the old "anyone who doesn't agree with me is an idiot" strategy. Wins you many arguments, does it?

You might want to look at the whole "making profit from investment in banks" thing from a slightly more macro-economic standpoint.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

Enigma23 (460910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172556)

Then there's nothing left, and Britain will have got exactly what she asked for.

I didn't ask for it, nor did the vast majority of people in the UK. Governments presume to think they know best when they clearly don't most of the time.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172130)

There's always a politically convenient lie going on. Why should anyone believe this one?

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172604)

Surely they know what "penny wise, pound foolish" means? If that's not a phrase with British origins, they must have one like it. I wonder what it really costs to host the sites in question.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172070)

So, what you're saying is that to reprint a book costs wildly less than to produce a book?

Websites aren't books.

That an electronic copy with no attempts to guarantee availability is much cheaper than a resilient set of servers which deliver instantly and accessibly to goodness-knows-how-many-people per minute?

Yes, electronic copies don't cost Auntie anything, which is sort of the point.

And that the cheapest thing of all is to do so without asking anyone's permission?

If he's british then the matter of permission is a grey one: having paid his license fee it could be argued that he has a right to this material and making it available to other Britons is merely an extension. Of course, sticking it on BT for all to grab would complicate matters but I don't see Auntie getting her knickers in too much of a twist.

Look, we can all observe an assault undique to neuter and privatise the BBC. But OP is attention whoring with a cheap technical demonstration which alienates him from the very people he might think he is supporting.

If there is an assault on the BBC it's coming from the government and not even the shower we have now would privatise the Beeb (hell, not even Thatcher tried that). OP may be attention-seeking - he's a Twitterer, go figure - and what he did may have been simple but it's hardly alienating. It never hurts to have another alternative archive of lost material, especially when one has been stung in the past by all those lost tapes of Dr. Who.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172146)

Websites aren't books.

True. Maintaining a web site may be more difficult, as it may involve interactive services. But I get the impression that what was being mirrored could essentially be put into book form.

Yes, electronic copies don't cost Auntie anything, which is sort of the point.

The electronic copy just made doesn't. So what you're saying is that this is a campaign for the BBC to link to the .torrent file for an archive of its decommissioned web sites?

If he's british then the matter of permission is a grey one: having paid his license fee it could be argued that he has a right to this material

Nothing of the sort can be argued. Firstly, the BBC isn't funded by general taxation. Secondly, even if it were, there is no English concept mirroring the US idea that Federal works are in the public domain. Actually, not even the US has that in practice, because so much work produced by private entities under contract to government remains the intellectual property of the private entity. Then you have all the software and documents that, for reasons from laziness to national security, are never released.

Of course, sticking it on BT for all to grab would complicate matters but I don't see Auntie getting her knickers in too much of a twist.

Perhaps not. Does everything on all these web sites have BBC copyright? What do the authors who perhaps have an affinity for the BBC but not for promoting random attention-whoring private individuals have to say? Is Bittorrent availability likely to elicit a BBC response, "We don't need to host this stuff - just download it from that Ben Metcalfe guy if you really care"?

Re:author makes no reasonable point (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172084)

He is not alone, archive.org and I expect many others have done the same thing. It is trivial to do with free software from your own PC at no cost.

I'm sure the BBC will keep copies too. The pages will be removed from the web but we are talking about data that can easily fit on a USB flash drive. The BBC probably has some kind of long term archival system too, e.g. tape. No-one wants a repeat of the video tape wiping debacle of the 70s.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172248)

I wouldn't call this attention whoring. Attention whoring involves being a whore. Neither the person who made the copy of the sites, nor the author of this post, are attempting to receive anything for what they have done.

Also, production of a book costs little more than what it costs to pay the author to write it, and the editor to review it. The cost of reprinting, or the cost of printing the first time, would be roughly similar, allowing for market differences.

Finally, if you download the file, you have availability of the data even without access to the internet. And moreover, unlike a server, a p2p network sharing this torrent will be nearly impossible to shut down, especially for what it would be worth.

In short, reprinting does not cost wildly less than publication unless you have an all-star author and editor, and a freely shared torrent is pretty steeped in availability. Your argument is invalid.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172298)

I wouldn't call this attention whoring. Attention whoring involves being a whore. Neither the person who made the copy of the sites, nor the author of this post, are attempting to receive anything for what they have done.

Nonsense. Ben Metcalfe [twitter.com] is a somewhat bitter ex-BBC employee [benmetcalfe.com] and his reward is reputation (as it often is on the Interwebs). TFA, his web site and about 20 seconds' worth of mouse clicks between them make this clear.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172266)

It was either this or those sites would move to /dev/null.
In this case a lot of cultural references (like h2g2.co.uk) will be kept.

Whether it's legal or not, it is our duty to preserve our culture.

Re:duty (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172666)

(Satire)

"It is never your duty to violate copyright! You must dispose of the materials immediately! Who cares if the originator feels like letting them sink into oblivion! That is their glorious prerogative as copyright holder while you, the consumer get to moan in anguish at what might have been saved!"

(/Satire)

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172768)

Bittorrented websights hosted for pennies... there could be a market for that.

Re:author makes no reasonable point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172862)

Now that's how to write a letter.
http://www.privateline.com/Orwell/orwell.html

You had me at undique.

Umm , won't the internet archive do this for free? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172018)

Or have I missed something?

http://web.archive.org/ [archive.org]

Re:Umm , won't the internet archive do this for fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172040)

This is a full archive with all the dependencies. Archive.org tends to miss them.

Re:Umm , won't the internet archive do this for fr (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172050)

Yes, you've probably missed most images on those sites.

Re:Umm , won't the internet archive do this for fr (3, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172062)

The wayback machine is unreliable and slow. It also goes out of its way to make it difficult to make local copies of anything found there. Torrents are much better.

Real reason the BBC is cutting back online (5, Informative)

doperative (1958782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172066)

The real reason the BBC is cutting back on its online presence is hidden pressure from the commercial sector who have always seen it as a threat to their revenue. "News Corporation's James Murdoch has said that a "dominant [bbc.co.uk] " BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK". Of course we all know what kind of 'independent' journalism he really means. One where some Australian pornographer decides who gets to be president or Primeminister.

"James Murdoch, son of Rupert and the man in charge of BSkyB has criticised the BBC iPlayer, insisting that the popular online VOD service is squashing competition" link [techradar.com]

Re:Real reason the BBC is cutting back online (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172278)

I assumed it was because they're going to be scaling back their new online output to save money, and want to reduce how bad that looks. Either they have a sparse site where there's a bare minimum of content, or they have the same sparse site alongside a huge sprawling matrix of brilliant ideas to constantly remind people of the kind of incredible projects the BBC used to spearhead online.

The BBC is hardly unbiased (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172376)

Theres a very noticable left wing bias at the BBC, especially on Radio 4. We need right wingers like murdoch to provide balance.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (-1, Flamebait)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172410)

Ha! Whatever, buddy. Paranoid, much? Maybe you're just a right-wing asshole the rest of the country (apart from the EDL) doesn't want.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (1)

gadders (73754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173498)

Yes, that's why the right-wing party won the recent election.

And to conflate Murdoch or recognition of the BBC bias with the EDL is just assinine.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (4, Informative)

mister_dave (1613441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172562)

Two BBC journos have written books denouncing left wing bias throughout the BBC. Most recently Peter Sissons [dailymail.co.uk] , but before that Robin Aitken [amazon.co.uk] .

left wing bias at the BBC (0)

doperative (1958782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172622)

"Theres a very noticable left wing bias at the BBC, especially on Radio 4. We need right wingers like murdoch to provide balance"

Snort .... !!!!!!

Re:left wing bias at the BBC (3, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172720)

BBC features have a bit of a bias, but the hard news is straight-up, objective journalism. Your claim that Murdoch, whose media have been proven to slant and misrepresent hard news, will provide "balance" us complete, utter bullshit.

Thats not what I meant by balance (1, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173034)

I don't mean balance in the sense of providing the truth, but if you are fed left wing bias and right wing bias then somewhere in the middle lies the truth which hopefully someone could figure out.

eg: If what you hear from the BBC is poor palestinians , look at those nasty israelis and from News Corp you hear poor israelis look at those nasty palestinians then its a fair bet that neither side is acting properly and there has been injustice done to both.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (0)

IainMH (176964) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172752)

That is very much your opinion.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173768)

Apart from some of the late night reports from John Simpson, the BBC is pretty rubbish and uses some really odd language - I think Newswipe explains all (see Charlie Brookers Newswipe on yourtube).

EXAMPLE OF BBC BIAS
The bias really showed when Georgia were attacking Russia, and the BBC kept saying how bad the Russians were... but they were protecting their people after Georgia attacked! The BBC never really put any emphasis on the fact Georia fired the first missiles.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173142)

Theres a very noticable left wing bias at the BBC, especially on Radio 4. We need right wingers like murdoch to provide balance.

Balance in journalism is important. The problem with the thought process that a Right Wing ideologue somehow "balances" out a Left Wing ideologue, or vice versa, is that you have two ideologues and no balance.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173166)

And there's nothing keeping the Murdoch's from setting up shop in the UK. They know this quite well, as their rags are a country-wide laughing stock, everyone who's anyone knows to keep away from them. They're free to try feeding their POV and opinion-pieces-peddled-as-news to the British public, but unfortunately for them the Britons have become accustomed to real journalism.

News Corp's only actual contribution to the journalistic landscape has been Page 3 [wikipedia.org] . (I read it for the articles, you see...)

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (2)

gadders (73754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173188)

Agreed. The BBC is very left wing, and basically takes it's news agenda from the Guardian.

Re:The BBC is hardly unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173604)

BBC has some great investigative journalism. Just look at what they did to the Soccer world cup board!

Re:Real reason the BBC is cutting back online (3, Interesting)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172412)

The same thing is going on in Germany. Our public broadcasting system was modeled after the BBC. The same huge media lobby groups comically defending independent journalism (yeah, right).

As a result, the public broadcasters now have a list of criteria that everything they publish online has to conform with; the list is narrow enough that they're required to remove a huge amount of stuff from the archives -- aparently as much as 80%. They're also constantly under fire for everything they introduce, eg. smartphone apps. There was an effort to mirror data before it was deleted (@depub), but all the domains are dead, nobody seems to really know what happened to it. Couldn't find a torrent on the Pirate Bay, either.

The guy who made this is AWESOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172104)

I love you man!!

Maybe it's different in the UK (5, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172204)

But in the USA you do something like that you end up in court.

"But your honor, I was only trying to help them."

"Your honor, he has no RIGHT to help us!"

But seriously it would be a great clause in the copyright scheme that if a copyrighted work is taken out of distribution it should automatically go public domain. Otherwise publishers can simply delete history like those old racist Warner Brothers videos they keep taking down from Youtube.

Re:Maybe it's different in the UK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172384)

The BBC is publicy funded.

If the person who did is is a UK citizen who pays their taxes and TV license fee, then they can argue they are a legitimate owner of the BBC, and therefore are protecting their assets. As one of the other 26 million or so other owners, I support the intent, however misguided it may have been in terms of strict interpretation of the copyright laws.

Re:Maybe it's different in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172488)

That's plain stupid! "Copyrighted", What does it mean? It means that the copyright holder owns the rights to the material to do with what ever the owner wishes to do. If they don't wish to share the information, it is the owners right. Only Communists would think that the ownership is wrong.

What is the public's right in copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35173644)

What is the public's right in copyright? Oh, that's right, in exchange for ALLOWING a monopoly, we get more works in the public domain.

Now, what is the penalty for breaching copyright? Reinstatement of losses. Which, if you are deleting your work, is negative. So in essence we could ask the copyright owner to pay us for the work we did in keeping his product available.

Re:Maybe it's different in the UK (2)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35173500)

But in the USA you do something like that you end up in court.

"But your honor, I was only trying to help them."

"Your honor, he has no RIGHT to help us!"

But seriously it would be a great clause in the copyright scheme that if a copyrighted work is taken out of distribution it should automatically go public domain. Otherwise publishers can simply delete history like those old racist Warner Brothers videos they keep taking down from Youtube.

Disney would never let it happen. A big part of their revenue is based on burying beloved moves so that they do not end up in Walmart's $5 bin, and they can demand full price for the anniversary edition of a thirty year old movie. Apparently, creating artificial shortages is good for business.

Fire up the lawyers! (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172210)

Cue the BBC legal department in 3... 2... 1...

I wonder how long before they try to track down the person behind this.

Only content? (1)

synackpshfin (1622285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172220)

If intention was to keep those web sites alive they'd better also obtain applications and databases. The way as I understand this is being done it will be just another archive.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172438)

Anonymous is that guy who attacked paypal and mastercard!

What's a terrorist doing nice things for? It's surely deception of the most devious kind!

How is this different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35172620)

So, how is this different from the archive that the wayback machine already has of the sites?

BBC (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172652)

that's ok, there is plenty of other Big Black Cock porn out there.

More than 3.99 to keep running (3, Insightful)

gadders (73754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35172692)

I have a couple of points to make:

1. People shouldn't assume that this means that shutting the websites would have only saved £3.99 from the BBC budget. Given large orgs and the cost mulitpliers for internally supported servers, it could well be tens of thousands of pounds per year.

2. Instead of people like Ben Goldacre [badscience.net] boo-hooing and expecting the government (which the BBC is effectively an arm of) to save the sites, he could have shelled out the £4 and done it himself. Could it be that - GASP - sometimes governments aren't the best way to get things done? :-O

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>