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BBC Views Content Piracy As Wake-Up Call

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the they're-starting-to-get-it dept.

Television 388

Peregr1n writes "The BBC is reporting that they view the piracy of a Doctor Who episode before its broadcast date earlier this year as a 'wake-up call about the demand for new technology', in a refreshing change of opinion from most media/broadcasting corporations, who would damn this piracy without hesitation. They are forming plans to simulcast the television channels BBC1 and BBC2 on the web, as well as allowing users (only in the UK to start with, unfortunately) access to shows for a week after the broadcast date. It is worth noting that they are already trying out a system where they make shows available on the web before television broadcast, with The Mighty Boosh. Other BBC3 comedies are due to follow suit and become available on the internet first." Relatedly, shadowlight1 writes "K9, Doctor Who's lovable robotic dog, is returning to the new series with a cameo in season 2."

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FP in violation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409347)

Prior art existing. Error, error

The British: (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | about 9 years ago | (#13409354)

"One step behind the rest of the world".

All I can say is: (3, Insightful)

RazorRaiser (895600) | about 9 years ago | (#13409355)

FINALLY!

mod parent up! (1)

coolGuyZak (844482) | about 9 years ago | (#13409457)

Heh... I thought the likelyhood of this happening was about the same as Debi-- no. Appl-- no. Windows Vista releasing with all of the promised features.

Re:mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409639)

Well done. We would also have accepted "Duke Nukem Forever".

Archers (1, Funny)

GraWil (571101) | about 9 years ago | (#13409357)

And yet, I still cannot listen to a podcast of the Archers [bbc.co.uk] !!! And please, no more excuses [bbc.co.uk] .

What, exactly, do you expect ? (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 9 years ago | (#13409420)


If I have signed a licencing agreement with X over a (presumably popular, though I've never listened to it myself) show, wouldn't X be rightfully annoyed if I then start giving it away ?

Say X's business depends on it, and they've committed funds on that basis - the beeb would be in obvious breach of the licence, and would be open to being sued. This is therefore not an excuse, it's a cold hard problem. Deal.

It annoys me when (anyone) makes a bold new move, and joe-random-nobody pops up with "yes, but it still doesn't do *this*". So what ? Progress is being made in a good direction. The idea is to applaud and encourage, not to bitch and moan. Some people are so unbelievably self-centred.

Simon
(who's noted that being critical of someone on /. is a karma-reducing option, but hey, critical points can be valid too...)

Re:What, exactly, do you expect ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409502)

lol what?

Re:What, exactly, do you expect ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409624)

what the hell are you rambling about?

there wasnt a coherent thought in that entire reply

Re:What, exactly, do you expect ? (1)

utnow (808790) | about 9 years ago | (#13409737)

Yes, but it still dosen't run *Linux*! (for which I applaud them)

This is what I'm paying a licence fee for. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409358)

Thank god the BBC have some common sense.

duh (3, Interesting)

JeffSh (71237) | about 9 years ago | (#13409359)

BBC, as a publicly funded institution, much like PBS, obviously views broadcast completely different than a for-profit station.

besides being obvious, this is very nice, and a credit to the BBC for showing that sometimes publicly run things do get it right.

**this is not an endorsement for state sponsored programs or wholesale socialism, because most of the time it sucks... but BBC seems to be doing it right, for a change.

Re:duh (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | about 9 years ago | (#13409441)

But who says a private individual (or even company) couldn't do the same, skipping or delaying the public television release in favour of a downloadable episode(s). Put in some overlay advertising or such. Actually putting in real commercials would result in the comercials being cut out and then the video being redistributed.

Re:duh (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | about 9 years ago | (#13409645)

Actually putting in real commercials would result in the comercials being cut out and then the video being redistributed.

I don't know about that.

Put it out on the web at the same time it is airing, and I'll watch it commercials and all. I just lack a TV (and the desire to buy one).

I'd rather watch it now with commercials than find it on bittorrent the next morning and wait for a download. No question in my mind.

Re:duh (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | about 9 years ago | (#13409712)

They could, especially if they weren't networks. The networks have a particular reason (economically speaking) to keep the shows private: access to the limited resource of public airwaves and/or cable TV space/satellite space.

These are extremely convenient ways to watch TV, so people prefer them to Internet broadcasts. Also, because of the high barrier-to-entry, there's a perception (true or not) that it's "better" content: it's "what's on TV". There's a considerable amount of simple inertia, too.

So advertisers will pay more for a 30-second commericial on TV than for an overtitle on your web broadcast. (You may well find overlays even more aggravating than commercials.) Or you could put in real commercials and watch the slashdotters scream about the DRM you put on to keep people from skipping them.

You'll find that the expense of producing a TV show, plus the expense of serving up 640x480 video images, rapidly exceeds the budget you get from advertising.

That said, feel free to prove me wrong. Overcome the inertia, make something good enough that people WANT to download it. Or build a set-top box for serving up Internet-based content, and hook it up to a simple remote.

(The remote alone is a big barrier. A TV remote has the simplicity of ten digits because of the limited number of channels. Full URLs are going to be a pain in the ass. Tie it in to full-scale web surfing, perhaps, with a wireless keyboard, preferably for a high-def TV so that you can read the screen...)

I'd love to see the Internet break the barriers that scarce spectrum/cable/satellite bandwiths bring up. It's starting to happen with music, which has lower start-up costs both in production and bandwidth. Video content may be next.

Re:duh (3, Insightful)

moviepig.com (745183) | about 9 years ago | (#13409540)

besides being obvious, this is very nice, and a credit to the BBC...

FWIW, it didn't seem obvious to me.

Pushing the content into the pirate's channels before the pirate can. Hmmm... why wouldn't that work for commercial TV too, with ads in place as originally broadcast? Sure, maybe ads could be fast-forwarded, as with TiVo, but maybe they wouldn't all be (as with TiVo).

(Nice they're reviving K9. Consonant with with their anti-piracy push-philosophy, makes him sort of a 'please-watch dog'...)

Re:duh (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | about 9 years ago | (#13409553)

BBC, as a publicly funded institution, much like PBS, obviously views broadcast completely different than a for-profit station.

I don't think so. At least where I live (Greece), for-profit TV stations make money by showing ads (and plenty of them, too). If they were streaming shows on the web at the same time they could include the ads, which would just give them more revenue while also being convenient for the users.

The BBC will follow the money. (4, Interesting)

emil (695) | about 9 years ago | (#13409677)

The BBC has a lot of content that I like; the few odd series that have made it to US public television that I specifically remember were Doctor Who, Are You Being Served, May to December (was that the name of it?), Mulberry, etc.

There were quite a few others that generated buzz but I never managed to see (Kumars of x Street, Yes Minister, some of the old crufty stuff like Upstairs Downstairs).

Heck, even MTV picked up The Young Ones.

The BBC has a large catalog of shows. Imagine charging an internet license for Bittorrent access to this archive and suddenly doubling their audience.

It was recently very difficult to get the entire Doctor Who 2005 down by bittorrent. If the BBC guarantees a few seeds for everything, then heck I'd pay.

It will be somewhat ironic if the BBC becomes a global media powerhouse while ABC, CBS and NBC go the way of the dinosaur.

duh (1)

Fuzzball963 (887814) | about 9 years ago | (#13409796)

Isn't PBS thinking of doing the same thing? I mean I know that the new Cringley show is going to be made available on the net, but I remember hearing that PBS may make more shows available online as time goes on.

Piracy or leak? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409366)

the piracy of a Doctor Who episode before its broadcast date

Those wacky Brits, and their funny spelling of "leak".

I was sure that most people knew it was a viral-style publicity stunt.

Re:Piracy or leak? (4, Interesting)

Akai (11434) | about 9 years ago | (#13409465)

I'm not convinced it was a stunt, I'm sure the "buzz" it generated was more welcome than shunned, but there a few things that indicate the "CBC employee leaked it" story are at least partially true.

The main one being that the leaked episode one was an NTSC rip (29.97 fps) and not a PAL (25 fps) that indicates that it did indeed come from an NTSC territory and not a PAL one.

BBC TV (5, Insightful)

superspaz (902023) | about 9 years ago | (#13409370)

If the BBC does this internationally I'd be willing to pay for their content. Currently they have news clips available on-line and I would welcome a move towards internet broadcasting. I am tired of paying for 50 channels of cable when I only watch 5 of them and one of my other favorite channels I can only get by paying another $25 a month for an extended plan.

Re:BBC TV (2, Interesting)

computechnica (171054) | about 9 years ago | (#13409404)

How can I pay a TV tax from the US to view this?

Of course BBC America shows commercial in the US.

Re:BBC TV (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409533)

Well, I imagine if there are enough Americans to vote to rescind that pesky "Declaration of Independance" thing, something could be worked out....

Re:BBC TV (1)

superspaz (902023) | about 9 years ago | (#13409595)

The BBC news service provides news clips for free in the UK. However if you are international you have to pay for a premium service since it isn't your tax dollars paying for it. I would guess that TV content would eventually be provided in the same way.

Re:BBC TV (1)

blowdart (31458) | about 9 years ago | (#13409602)

How can I pay a TV tax from the US to view this?

Well if you want to pay a license fee, my paypal account is ....

Re:BBC TV (2, Interesting)

adamstew (909658) | about 9 years ago | (#13409482)

I am assuming you are living in the UK, however, I've heard in the rumor mills that the USA FCC is working on forcing the cable and satelite TV companies to "un bundle" the TV channels, so people can pay only so much per channel, and not have to order all the channels in order to get the 2-7 that they really want to watch. ...But of course the cable and sat companies are going to fight this to the death also.

Re:BBC TV (1)

superspaz (902023) | about 9 years ago | (#13409620)

Actually I am in the US and will keep my fingers crossed that the FCC will do this. It would be nice to see them do more to help out thee littlw guy.

Re:BBC TV (2, Informative)

LocalH (28506) | about 9 years ago | (#13409754)

It's not the cable and satellite providers who are responsible for that, it's the programming providers who force the cable and satellite providers to get X number of channels in order to get things like ESPN.

Re:BBC TV (1)

dotpavan (829804) | about 9 years ago | (#13409708)

sorry.. this is the link:
mms://mplay.donga.com/bbc
(couldnt remember offhand)

Re:BBC TV (1)

PhilipPeake (711883) | about 9 years ago | (#13409744)

If you go look at the broadband links, there is a note saying that its free if you are in the UK, and you have to subscribe if you are not. I tried subscribing. Its a Real Networks subscription. I paid my money and signed up, downloaded the subscription player and went to look at the BBC content -- you still can't get the content linked to on the BBC website, you have to go through the Real subscription channel, fighting the pop-up adds and general garbage all the way. I found the BBC news -- which is really what wanted, the domestic 9 0'clock news broadcast. Real don't have that. They have a "news channel" which has a few random stories played on after the other, repeatin after about 3 minutes. No way to get all the other content from the BBC website. Useless. I asked for, and received, my money back. The problem is that the BBC have sold sole rights to BBC programming to the so called "BBC America", so we can't get BBC world, and apparently not the domestic content over the web either. BBC America sucks. If BBC World were available no-one would watch it -- which is, of course, why its not available.

About time (2, Interesting)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | about 9 years ago | (#13409378)

It's really about time that somebody said 'we really shouldn't blame the people. I mean, there are much better ways of getting them their content.'

It's about time (0, Redundant)

adamstew (909658) | about 9 years ago | (#13409392)

It's about time that some of these entrenched media giants finally get off their high horse and actually embrace change. EVERY time technology changes, they fight it tooth and nail...first the radio, then the VCR, then the CD recorder, the MP3 player, the internet, etc... Everytime they fight it to the death, and when they ultimately end up losing the fight, the new technology brings in BILLIONS of dollars in new sales channels... I say: it's about time one of them finally is deciding to embrace the changes that will enevitably come to the media industry.

Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409394)

BBC likes tech Wants to make videos free Thanks for a new way

Re:Haiku (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | about 9 years ago | (#13409500)

Preview Haiku First
HTML is Default
You Want Plain Old Text

I think this will continue... (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | about 9 years ago | (#13409400)

The Internet/computers and television will slowly merge together to become one. I'm sure lot's of people have seen this coming for a while. I see this as just the next logical step. I think it's great!

I wish more companies did this (5, Insightful)

OsirisX11 (598587) | about 9 years ago | (#13409409)

ACTUALLY LISTENED!

Look! Pay attention all who hate on piracy and despise users for doing what they want:

Google listens, gives everything away for free, yet is one of the richest and most loved companies.

BBC is just now listening to what people say,
and now we must give them respect for doing that.

MPAA recently said that they could be wrong too, and that their movies sucked. They do.

What a novel concept! Give people what they want and they won't hate you so much.

Go with the flow instead of against it. Gah, haven't you people read the Tao?

Re:I wish more companies did this (3, Funny)

coolGuyZak (844482) | about 9 years ago | (#13409507)

According to recent reports, google is the most hated company, though. They kill innovation, commit mass copyright infringement, and don't have nearly as many results as yahoo. Duh!

Err... (5, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | about 9 years ago | (#13409410)

K9, Doctor Who's lovable robotic dog...

Or "Satan's Hound Of Comedy-Sidekick Hell", to give him his full title.

I will never forgive the BBC, or indeed the world in general, for allowing the theme tune to K9 And Company to be inflicted on this poor unsuspecting child...

Cheers,
Ian

Reason for difference (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | about 9 years ago | (#13409411)

As much as people from abroad take the piss for our "TV license", it's nice to have a media corporation act in the public's interest rather than being legally obliged to do everything in its power to make money for its shareholders, unlike typical broadcast corporations.

"It's a great way of getting public service content, which people have already paid for, out to people in a different way," she said.

Here's the crucial difference: the BBC think "they've already paid for it, how can we give them better access to what they have paid for?", and other corporations think "they've already paid for it, how can we make them pay for it again?".

Compare and contrast with, say, the RIAA, who flatly deny that you buy music, rather "a license to listen", and run the upgrade treadmill - buy on vinyl, buy on cassette, buy on CD, buy on DVD-A, buy online - but tie it up in DRM so you'll still have to pay for a copy for the office and your car too.

At some point, corporations should recognise that they've been more than compensated for the cost of producing it, and let it go. But they are unable to do so as long as shareholders are able to turn around and sue them for not milking the public for every penny they can.

Re:Reason for difference (2, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#13409561)

As much as people from abroad take the piss for our "TV license",

Man, being a Mexican stutend in UK, I find that license REALLY anoying... when I arrived to UK I did not have a TV in the place where I was living. Now I just moved to a new apartment where the person living there happened to have a TV (and payed those £10 monthly which I find quite high for public TV).
Now I am living in the apartment and I do not watch TV, usually I see DVD's on my computer but someone told me that if I have the TV, the government do not care if you actually see broadcasting channels, you have to pay... and of course if you get cable tv, you have to pay it (it does not matter that you do not see public broadcasting tv channels)... this sucks! I only want to see DVD's or whatever!

Re:Reason for difference (1)

EiZei (848645) | about 9 years ago | (#13409622)

I am not sure about britain but in Finland they give you a special exemption from the license if you modify your TV in a manner that makes receiving terrestial broadcasts impossible.

Re:Reason for difference (2, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | about 9 years ago | (#13409789)

Now I am living in the apartment and I do not watch TV, usually I see DVD's on my computer but someone told me that if I have the TV, the government do not care if you actually see broadcasting channels, you have to pay... and of course if you get cable tv, you have to pay it (it does not matter that you do not see public broadcasting tv channels)... this sucks! I only want to see DVD's or whatever!

In general, "someone told me" counts for very little. You only need a license if you receive or record TV programmes [tvlicensing.co.uk] , however you do need to notify them [tvlicensing.co.uk] .

A word of warning though - if you get caught receiving broadcast TV without a license, claiming you are a helicopter doesn't work [tvlicensing.co.uk] .

Re:Reason for difference (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13409605)

Here's the crucial difference: the BBC think "they've already paid for it, how can we give them better access to what they have paid for?", and other corporations think "they've already paid for it, how can we make them pay for it again?".

In the case of the BBC, it is a government program more than anything else. For others, then it is the corporation that originally funded the program and as such, I think they do have certain exclusive rights to make what money they can from it. Of course, I don't believe they hare a right to guaranteed business or guaranteed profit, just the exclusive copyrights to make money from the work they own and funded. Unlike others, I don't see the abuses in this arena as a sufficient reason to completely throw away the copyright idea.

Compare and contrast with, say, the RIAA, who flatly deny that you buy music, rather "a license to listen", and run the upgrade treadmill - buy on vinyl, buy on cassette, buy on CD, buy on DVD-A, buy online - but tie it up in DRM so you'll still have to pay for a copy for the office and your car too.

I really don't see it that way. Though I don't liked DRM'd music, but DRM isn't a means to prevent an individual from using their music whereever they go, it is to reduce the redistribution to others that didn't pay for it. For example, Apple lets the same DRMed music be played on up to five computers. They also let the DRMed music be playable on an indeterminate number of their portable audio player products.

Re:Reason for difference (1)

Free_Trial_Thinking (818686) | about 9 years ago | (#13409636)

Just a thought. If the RIAA insists that you are only licensing the music, then there should be a law that requires them to state that on a CD package right on the front. It seems like false advertising to sell CDs in a store right alongside items like stereos that you do "buy" and "own".

They should also be required to say on the package what rights you are actually licensing.

Re:Reason for difference (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | about 9 years ago | (#13409694)

Corporations are out to make a profit. As such they can never be expected to turn down the chance to suck more money out of their customers. The only way to make corporations stop a dishonest business proactice is to make that practice illegal, and to properly enforce those laws.

Re:Reason for difference (2, Interesting)

Councilor Hart (673770) | about 9 years ago | (#13409722)

But they are unable to do so as long as shareholders are able to turn around and sue them for not milking the public for every penny they can.
Do you have stock? Do you have some fund or investment plan or retirement plan or ....
It's amazing how many people are whining about the shareholders demanding higher revenue causing less jobs or inferior products or whatever while they or their parents or neighbours are shareholders themselves whom start whining the moment stock prices are dropping.
Blame the managers for being clueless or whatever, but not the shareholders.

A mixed bag... (1)

Prospero's Grue (876407) | about 9 years ago | (#13409424)

Impressive to see the BBC attempt to embrace new technology instead of engaging in a losing battle against it. It demonstrates reasoned, informed judgement...

...and then they announce K9 is coming back?!?!?

Re:A mixed bag... (1)

derniers (792431) | about 9 years ago | (#13409655)

geez, your're right, K9 is coming back, I thought that your comment was a joke the BBC should make the content available (legally) to the folks in the US, but who knows when that will be (the new episodes are much better than I expected)

piracy isn't alway about getting it for free... (5, Insightful)

acomj (20611) | about 9 years ago | (#13409428)

Although most of time getting stuff for free is the goal. In this case, its fans wanting to see the new show in the first case. In this case the pirates or a good percentage of them would probably pay to buy the video/dvd etc.. I could be wrong but some of that BBC stuff isn't even available in the states, forcing die-hard fans into pirating.

Piracy for movies and songs that have been around in the market for a while, is all about getting it for free. These folks probably wouldn't pay no matter what.

There is talk about releasing dvds at the same time as movies in theaters. Seeing as a DVD costs about as much as 2 tickets, I think it might help with group 1, but not with the "i'm never going to pay" group.

Re:piracy isn't alway about getting it for free... (2, Insightful)

superspaz (902023) | about 9 years ago | (#13409566)

Sounds like the piracy anime fans have been doing for years.

nice time to produce state-funded content (2, Interesting)

Bluejay42 (234007) | about 9 years ago | (#13409429)

It's not about the content, it's about the commercials.

BBC, as a state-funded institution, is doing its job by achieving maximum reach. If it can expand its reach through online distribution, then it is doing a better job at fulfilling its state-funded mission.

I'm sure ABC doesn't mind that thousands of people watched LOST in high-definition on their computer monitors via BitTorrent downloads. What ABC must mind is that these home-edited, advertising-free distributions of their content subvert their entire business model.

Re:nice time to produce state-funded content (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 9 years ago | (#13409559)

I think you hit on a very important point.

I don't think TV content producers care how their programs are distributed. They care about whether or not people are watching the advertisements.

Let's face it; when it comes to any media outlet's business model, WE'RE the product being sold. Advertisers/sponsors pay very good money to media outlets to spread ads to as many people as possible.

It's natural that advertisers, and in turn broadcasters, are concerned by any technology that prevents the ad from getting to the consumer: hence Ted Turner's comments about channel-flippers being "thieves".

I'd be willing to bed that for-profit broadcasters would embrace any technology that gives their programs (and more importantly, ADS) wider distribution. Things like Tivo and P2P distribution of ad-stripped programs is a direct threat to their business.

One problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409447)

One problem with allowing people to view shows on the Internet before television is going to be with people spoiling plot points for those waiting to see a show on TV. I don't want to hear on the radio or read on the internet who got whacked in The Sopranos this week before the show has even aired.

Re:One problem. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | about 9 years ago | (#13409671)

'people spoiling plot points for those waiting to see a show on TV'

It's Dr Who... the plot is:

Dr Who is doing something (like trying to fix the tardis) only to discover that aliens are starting to overrun the planet and the only way to stop them is xyz. Dr Who, always finds xyz in the end and send the aliens back to where they came from. The End.

Hope they will do this internationally (5, Interesting)

earthlingpink (884677) | about 9 years ago | (#13409452)

The Beeb has been talking about doing this for a while (and trials have apparently started). It will be interesting to see if they can allow non-UK residents access to such a service.

It's not a technological issue preventing this; it's actually the BBC's Royal Charter, which states that any overseas venture has to be paid for with money that is not derived from the license fee (also, there could be potential international copyright issues; however, the fact that the World Service broadcasts music, amongst other things, to the four corners of the world suggests that the BBC is in a position where it can come to reasonable agreements with copyright holders).

So on that basis, a serious question: how many people outside of the UK would be willing to pay for access to BBC programming over the web?

Re:Hope they will do this internationally (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409590)

From the US, I wouldn't hesitate to pay, either on a per-view basis or monthly subscription. Truly. I would love to have regular, legal access to BBC News and Dramas, and would pay to do so.

During the bombings of 7/7, I gave up trying to get decent live coverage from any of my cable news channels in the first 5 hours of the event. I went directly to BBC on the web, and was able to watch the whole thing live, a streamed version of BBC1. Perfect.

Interestingly, I also managed to tap into a BBC multicast test earlier this year, apparently left over from the Olympics. And what did I manage to see LIVE that day? The DOCTOR WHO broadcast of "Dalek"!

I'd still like to know who I should send my $10 to for *that* event! I hope this news is an indication of better days ahead for those outside of the UK. Just imagine: what if fees from viewers in other countries would make the UK TV fee obsolete!?!

Re:Hope they will do this internationally (1)

cornface (900179) | about 9 years ago | (#13409731)

During the bombings of 7/7, I gave up trying to get decent live coverage from any of my cable news channels in the first 5 hours of the event. I went directly to BBC on the web, and was able to watch the whole thing live, a streamed version of BBC1. Perfect.

*click*

"...I don't mind about the war, that's one of the things I like to watch, if it's a war going on, 'cause then I know if our side's winning, if our side's losing..."

*click*

Re:Hope they will do this internationally (1)

RandoX (828285) | about 9 years ago | (#13409596)

Once it's available to users in the UK, it will be available to the rest of the world, one way or another.

Re: TV license fee (2, Informative)

deinol (210478) | about 9 years ago | (#13409640)

I'd be willing to pay the same TV license fee that everyone in the UK pays. Only seems fair.

I want to watch Doctor Who, and right now the only way I can do it is over the internet.

Re:Hope they will do this internationally (1)

absurd23 (820259) | about 9 years ago | (#13409689)

I'd pay

Re:Hope they will do this internationally (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | about 9 years ago | (#13409795)

So on that basis, a serious question: how many people outside of the UK would be willing to pay for access to BBC programming over the web?
While the quality of their programs are usually good, their TV programming sucks mostly. I prefer the Canvas (Belgium TV) programming. They show the best the BBC has to offer but with a better schedule.
Having said that, I would love the pay for easy to use, high quality, iTunes like DRM (nog **AA like DRM) visual content on a pay per episode/show/season base.
Going online is a good move, but don't pretend the internet is just another TV channel in need of a strict schedule.

Those Brits never give up. (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 years ago | (#13409453)

We won, fair and square, almost 250 years ago, and yet they just keep trying to undermine our way of life here in the US. This type of economic warfare will not go unnoticed by our leaders. When the poor and infirm media executives can barely afford to feed their families, and have to go begging on the street for face-lift and breast augmentation money, there will be action. As Americans, we shouldn't have to put up with this kind of communistic pandering to the "people". We have the miltary might to thrash you again...don't test us!

(remember to post AC, remember to poast AC, remember to post AC...)

Re:Those Brits never give up. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409564)

We won, fair and square, almost 250 years ago

I wouldn't say it was entirely fair. Your unexpected stategy of cowering behind the French left us helpless with laughter.

Re:Those Brits never give up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409687)

Yes, the British are widely known for giggling like nancy schoolgirls.

It was all King George could do to keep the troops from marching into the colonies in shortpants and frilly topcoats.

Re:Those Brits never give up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409653)

(remember to post AC, remember to poast AC, remember to post AC...)
You didn't post AC.

Re:Those Brits never give up. (2, Funny)

Rorschach1 (174480) | about 9 years ago | (#13409659)

"We have the miltary might to thrash you again...don't test us!"

Yeah, but remember - the UK actually HAS weapons of mass destruction!

Besides, they make some really good meat pies. And some decent beer.

You'll just have to wait for the MPAA to use their mercenary army to take out the BBC.

Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409700)

"the UK actually HAS weapons of mass destruction!"

True, but if those weapons require an electrical system, god help you if it was of british design and manufacture.

Re:Those Brits never give up. (1)

rob123 (889566) | about 9 years ago | (#13409783)

We have the miltary might to thrash you

And us Brits have the might to thrash you too. Those nuclear missiles and subs designed to be able to destroy the entire USSR could have a new mission. =)

Beeb is *big* online (4, Interesting)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | about 9 years ago | (#13409460)

Take a look, their online part is he 11th most popular English language site:

http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?ts_mode=lan g&lang=en [alexa.com]

They're ahead of CNN, ahead of NBC, Fox all the USA networks, all print media. They're even ahead of Fastclick (the web advertising network!).

You gotta be impressed at how they've grasped the Internet.

Re:Beeb is *big* online (0)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13409695)

And Alexa ranks MSN ahead of Google. Nuf said.

refreshing (5, Interesting)

tero (39203) | about 9 years ago | (#13409475)

If only other media companies would pick this up!

Next thing we need is a global service - I understand BBC limiting itself to UK to begin with, it is financed with UK tax money after all, however I really would like to see the day when broadcasters realize the power of global audience.. most companies are already global, and I would think the likes of Coca Cola, Nokia, Sony and Microsoft would see the possibilies of global marketing and the money they'd save/make by running their advers with something like that.

The superduper DRM schemes and limiting products to special markets only (through DVD regions for example) seems like a very odd and counter-productive thing to do from a global point of view.

Maybe what I'm asking for is utopia and maybe the current money flow is enough to keep us inprisoned to strange regional marketing schemes for years to come.. but maybe some day we consumers get the point through.. here's to hoping!

Hollywood is starting to change as well (5, Insightful)

Samir Gupta (623651) | about 9 years ago | (#13409489)

Ever notice how nowadays, almost all major movies are simultaneously released worldwide -- or at the most, within a few days?

Before Internet piracy took off, movies would be delayed for months before overseas release.

And I would guess that broadband ISPs, hard drive makers, CD /DVD media or burner manufacturers, PC makers in general have also benefitted enormously over the past few years due to illicit copying, These technologies -- all with legitimate non-piracy applications -- are now inexpensive ubiquitous. Had it not been for piracy, I'd submit it wouldn't be the case today.

I'm not claiming it's justifiable morally, but it's not all 100% evil.

Please oh please, (3, Funny)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | about 9 years ago | (#13409494)

put Benny Hill [wikipedia.org] online..

Thanks Beeb...

Re:Please oh please, (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | about 9 years ago | (#13409612)

The Benny Hill Show was on ITV, not the BBC.

That is nice, but . . . (3, Interesting)

ndansmith (582590) | about 9 years ago | (#13409505)

. . . I'd rather be able to download the media via bittorrent (even with commercials) rather than watch it streaming from a BBC server. Perhaps once the BBC realizes the expense (in terms of bandwidth) of streaming all their programs to a wide audience they will offer downloads via bittorrent.

... yes, but no ... (1)

splint3r (315106) | about 9 years ago | (#13409536)

Good on them, I've always had faith in the BBC.

I noticed a few days ago that I could watch a few documentarys online from their site, which was nice. A friend who works there told me they had plans to do stuff like this, so it's good to see that they're going ahead with it.

The only problem is that it's in Real format, which is fine on my Linux desktop, but an absolute pain on my iBook (I have to view the HTML source and look for the .ram file, then feed that into Realplayer manually).

Maybe it's my fault and I'm doing something wrong on my iBook (though I've tried to fix it for ages), but that's not the point really. I wish they'd hurry up with their new open format [zdnet.co.uk] and release stuff in that soon.

K-9 and Company (1)

vistic (556838) | about 9 years ago | (#13409541)

When will K-9 get his own spin-off series again?

What is the story with no Dr Who in the US ? (2, Funny)

zymano (581466) | about 9 years ago | (#13409569)

IS the BBC greedy or are cable networks not wanting it ?

Re:What is the story with no Dr Who in the US ? (1)

Prospero's Grue (876407) | about 9 years ago | (#13409650)

The Sci-Fi Channel previewed some of the first few episodes, and passed on it - finding them "lacking."

No greediness from the BBC, AFAIK - I'm lucky to be watching it up in Canada on our own CBC.

Re:What is the story with no Dr Who in the US ? (1)

zymano (581466) | about 9 years ago | (#13409734)

You got to be kidding me.

Someone should sued the SciPhony network for misrepresentation or bait and switch.

Pirates wouldn't exist if they didn't limit distro (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13409580)

Half of the pirates out there are because they won't let us play the original Japanese content versions of videos because we're "in the wrong region", or let us watch Samurai films in Mandarin.

Or because they embargo films for years.

I just say a really cool film, which the moron critics hated but the audience loved, especially the teens, called The Brothers Grimm - which was held up for a couple of years.

Now, I pay to see my movies, but if I were one of those Terry Gilliam fans one can see how one might get desperate with no films from him for years.

It's like music - if the industry didn't charge $18 for a CD and offered music we wanted, that would be half the market right there. That plus make you buy a whole CD when you only liked the one song.

God, Socialism sucks doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409581)

I mean, look at it. Advert free television, companies that try to do things the customer wants ...

Re:God, Socialism sucks doesn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409736)

Uhm, seriously though, you guys know we're not socialists right? I mean, right? ...

Re:God, Socialism sucks doesn't it? (0)

fnj (64210) | about 9 years ago | (#13409779)

I mean, look at it. Advert free television, companies that try to do things the customer wants ...

An annual excise tax on every TV and every radio you own. In the UK, the annual "licence" fee (i.e., excise tax) for each color TV is over 100 pounds sterling. They take this seriously. Roving vans are used to detect RFI and catch non compliers.

It is pretty good! (1)

zmollusc (763634) | about 9 years ago | (#13409588)

I watch the live broadcast of The Mighty Boosh, then watch the next weeks episode in crummy Realplayer-o-vision (it sucks but I just tell myself it is quantum interference from the episode travelling backwards a week in time). When, a week later, that episode airs, it is still a treat to see it in all its PAL glory.

The license fee is far too low.
I would gladly sell my house and all its contents to help the BBC.

I just want to know one thing... (1)

portwojc (201398) | about 9 years ago | (#13409597)

What is the reason for not putting Doctor Who on BBC America?

little britan (4, Interesting)

crabpeople (720852) | about 9 years ago | (#13409607)

If not for bittorrent, i would never know the joys of little britain [bbc.co.uk] (basically kids in the hall but british). this show has perminantly enhanced my life i believe. Hopefully the BBC will be smart and allow users outside UK to download from BT (i loath streaming). Note to any bbc'ers reading this. I will pay for it per month. I find the quality of BBC programming, to be astounding.

Recent finds

The Power of nightmares [thepiratebay.org]

Global Dimming [thepiratebay.org]

The Private life of plants [thepiratebay.org]

If drugs were legal [thepiratebay.org]

also things like little britian and dr who. I would say that i download more BBC content than content from any other company/org. If this were provided for say 20 dollars a month, for fast not dead at 98.2% torrents, i would happily stop using the free ones.

BBC advances humanity once again.

The power of honesty (4, Interesting)

Cloud K (125581) | about 9 years ago | (#13409632)

This is why the Beeb quite simply 'rock' and why the license fee is worth every penny.

Imagine if the RIAA or MPAA were in their shoes. "RAWWWWRRR!! SUE!!!! DIE!!!111!1one" - but the Beeb are different. They actually listen and take a pro-active approach. Instead of shouting at people for... ahem... "pirating" their show they ask themselves why and what they can do to *persuade* people not to or to do something even better that prevents people from needing to in the first place.

Heck, they even have a show (Points of View) where they allow people to blantantly and openly slag them off and read out the letters on air. Okay if someone's being a numpty then they'll just turn around and say "don't be silly." But often someone comes up with a valid point, and the appointed representative holds his hands up and says "yes you're right. Here's our apology and here's what we're going to do to prevent it happening in future"

You don't get that from many companies. One that actually listens to its customers is so worth it...

Of course they also get bonus points for inventing the BBC Micro... and BBC News Online which everyone around the world like to read... and embracing open source... and...

Nice to see they're with it (3, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about 9 years ago | (#13409642)

My first thought as I read the beginning of the article was that the BBC would go on a witch-hunt against P2P and perhaps internal leaks. A little further in and I am still quite amazed that they've taken such an informed and tolerance approach. In the days where the makers of such technology are sued, and the users sued en-masse... it's very nice indeed to see that somebody actually gets it

If this service becomes available outside of the UK I think I'd probably be quite interested in signing up as I do like a lot of the BBC content.

Torrent-like broadcasting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409652)


Maybe BBC could use torrent-broadcasting systems like DTV [participatoryculture.org] ?
 

yuo f41l it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409669)

Positive step, but not unexpected (4, Interesting)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | about 9 years ago | (#13409683)

The BBC has long held with the idea that the content they produced should be as available as possible, at least to the British people. This is interesting in that it marks a step away from the idea of being UK-only focused (at least potentially).

Now, as an ex pat myself I still find myself drawn to BBC programming; partly becuase I still find the English accents more "comfortable" than American for certain types of TV, but mostly because I find the general quality of writing and acting tends to be better. US TV is awfully focused on "How can we sell something to the public using the ruse of a drama", while the BBC has always subscribed to the notion "Let's entertain our people with good drama." This leads to a lot of good quality American TV shows that eventually pander too much to advertisers and/or "consumer advocate groups" and as such tend to eventually target at the lowest common denominator of the audience. This is why subsequent seasons of many TV shows seem to become progressively worse than the last.

This isn't really just an American phenomenon; I see this in some British TV shows as well, but in general it seems more prevalent in the US. Perhaps that because there are more hours of TV produced, more channels or something... I haven't really performed any sort of analysis; just my observations.

Getting back on topic though I have to say that I enjoy BBC content and would gladly pay an annual fee (like the license fee) for unlimited and unfettered access to this content. To me it would be better value than most of the crap I get on my satellite TV and never watch... and BBC America doesn't really count because many of the shows pre-date my moving to this country (10 years ago), and those that are more recent are often repeated incessantly and thus lose some of their "luster". A subscription to content would allow me to grab content on my broadband connection as I want to see it, then dump it to the hard drive of my MythTV box for viewing on the family television. Better than crowding around a monitor and just as comfortable as sitting watching regular TV.

I can't be the only person out there to be able to count the number of programs they actually watch on American TV on the fingers of one hand... not to mention being able to put my finger on what I consider quality TV because it is so different from all the other chaff on TV.

In unrelated news... (0, Redundant)

rincebrain (776480) | about 9 years ago | (#13409702)

UK-hosted proxy services experienced an enormous upsurge in business...

I really love BBC - theyre always a step ahead. (2, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | about 9 years ago | (#13409704)

Award winning documentaries, always impartial in news
and no difference when the OS issues came became an issue.

When the Linux users complained about not beeing able to
listen to online radio provided for windows media player, BBC
reacted and started to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/audiohelp_nix.shtml [bbc.co.uk] support Linux users as well .

Its good to see these wonderful public service freethinkers
go at it again - this time to figth piracy the democratic way!

Packing my Bags (1)

PacketScan (797299) | about 9 years ago | (#13409716)

I'm packing it up and moving to the UK. BBC thanks for waking up, hopefully everyone will follow in your ground breaking foot steps.

Uitzending gemist (3, Informative)

Quarkness (48056) | about 9 years ago | (#13409738)

All content from Dutch public channels have been freely available for all at http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/ [uitzendinggemist.nl] (missed broadcast) since the last two years or so. Everything is available the day after the broadcast and news are bulletins even sooner available.

Now moan... (-1, Flamebait)

ledow (319597) | about 9 years ago | (#13409771)

Now can we please insert the standard anti-UK "I'm not paying for a license to watch TV" garb. The BBC are always doing stuff like this... they support Linux for their websites/broadcasts, they have been trailling Ogg Vorbis downloads for some of their media, and now CHOOSING to see piracy as a sign of demand rather than as an opportunity for a lawsuit.

The BBC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bbc [wikipedia.org] are a publically funded independent entity, not just a channel.

only in UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13409774)

I've got an American friend who never pirated anything before Dr. Who. Once the new Dr. Who came out and he couldn't get it in the US... well, he figured if the BBC wasn't going to offer it to him, he'd take it.

I'm not saying that it's right. But if the BBC wants to cut down on piracy, they should consider sending it to more of the world simultaneously. My friend claims he'd happily just watch it on tv or buy it on DVD if he could.
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