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In typical Slashdot fashion... (3, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314646)

I have not RTFA. I'm wondering if Warner Home Video will lay the hammer down on me if I want to watch Red Dwarf in this manner...being in the U.S. and Warner Home Video being the U.S. distributor of many BBC programs.

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314686)

I'm wondering if Warner Home Video will lay the hammer down on me if I want to watch Red Dwarf in this manner...being in the U.S. and Warner Home Video being the U.S. distributor of many BBC programs.

You do not have an agreement with Warner not to purchase Red Dwarf from another source. If the beeb has an agreement with them not to distribute it to you, then they have something to talk about, but it doesn't involve you.

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (0, Offtopic)

toad3k (882007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314904)

There is no difference between this and downloading Warner's shows off non BBC torrent site.

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315050)

There is no difference between this and downloading Warner's shows off non BBC torrent site.

The difference is that it's a legally acquired, licensed download approved by the BBC.

Try to RTFA next time and the student will be enlightened.

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315132)

Try to go fucking kill yourself next time fucktard so there will be one less fucktard in the gene pool.

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315772)

If the BBC transferred copyright to Warner in the US (I'm not 100% sure this is possible and it's probably not done in any case), then the BBC can't authorize it any more than the torrent originator can authorize that D/L. Now, anyone who gets it would have a very strong case to plead ignorance, and if the BBC *didn't* transfer copyright then it doesn't involve anyone who downloads it.

IANAL, blah blah

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315374)

To quote TFA "No pricing structure for the BBC content on Zudeo has been revealed."

So there might be a difference...

Re:In typical Slashdot fashion... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315256)

That's an excellent question. Warner's contract with the BBC probably makes them the exclusive US distributor. If the BBC allows downloading from the US, then they may be in violation of the contract.

I'd love to believe that the BBC's lawyers have thought about this first.

Misleading Headline & Summary (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314650)

It won't be available for free on Azureus, it will be a DRM-infested pay-download on Azureus' pay service, Zudeo [zudeo.com] , and they haven't even decided what they're charging.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314748)

That's fine. p2p (and Bittorrent, specifically) solves a major bandwidth issue for content distribution. In fact, releasing these shows on common p2p services would really make it difficult to discern legal from illegal content on these services. How do I know if the Dr. Who I'm downloading is authorized or not? How do I know if BBC authorized Dr. Who at all?

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315012)

p2p (and Bittorrent, specifically) solves a major bandwidth issue for content distribution.

Yah, it solves the issue of media companies who want to charge money for content but don't want to pay for the distribution of that content. If I purchase a DVD, I am paying for the content, and the distribution of that content (getting the DVD to the store so I can purchase it) is paid by the content provider (albeit rolled into the cost of the DVD). Now, thanks to P2P I can pay the same price for the same content, only this time without a physical copy, and I have to pay for the distribution (bandwidth) myself. How is that a good deal?

If they want to provide this content at a discount that reflects the fact that they're getting distribution of their product for free, then maybe it would be a good deal. As it is now, though, it's just content providers getting something for nothing.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (5, Interesting)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315474)

Or maybe it just lowers the barrier to entry of the market.
Right now the money makers are distributors. And you get the to choose your stuff stuff mostly from distributors (you buy channel packages).
With this kind of deal, other content providers who have no deals with big distributors could enter the game, and the competition could be over content, and maybe price, and not over distribution channels. It could be a nice thing for the guy who actually buys the stuff.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314750)

It's also only available in the US. Those of us in the UK, who are paying £130 to the BBC each year and funded many of these programs when they were originally made would quite like to be able to download them too, especially since the BBC Charter says they must do whatever they can to make their material available to the British public...

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (-1, Offtopic)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315290)

I got a reminder from the TV licence people the other day, so I called up and asked for a direct debit form be sent to me. On reflection, I've decided I'm not going to pay for it. I've moved my TV to the opposite side of the room away from the aerial point (which got barely any reception anyhow) and am quite prepared for an inspector to come round like they threaten. I use my TV for video out from my PC only now.

They can fuck off if they think I'm paying £130 a year just because I own a television. I have a moral objection to the BBC anyway. Their news site is top notch though, plenty of coverage of my home town of Ipswich lately!

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315448)

Well, at least BBC produces some quality programmes for that sum.

Here we pay ~100 EURO for mostly crap (about the only good stuff they show
is the documentaries, many of them bought from BBC, mostly several years old).

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

thebudgie (810919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315964)

I wrote to them saying I only use the TV for console gaming- been waiting over 6 months for their inspection now. I doubt they will ever come...

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316176)

greed is not a "moral objection".

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (3, Interesting)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315530)

the BBC Charter says they must do whatever they can to make their material available to the British public

Does it say "for free"? Not flaming you, just curious. Or at least, does it say "at no additional cost other than your license"? I'm also curious as to how this relates to BBC shows that air in the US on public TV at a later time. For example, they air tons of old British comedies (including that hilarious EastEnders show) that are several years out of date. Am I right in guessing these episodes aren't currently available in the UK? I wonder how that fits with the aforementioned duty.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315680)

They're available in a way. Many older BBC programmes are shown on channels like UKTV Gold - which isn't freely available. So basically we've paid for the BBC to produce this content, now they've sold it to be shown on a different channel which we have to pay to receive. Bastards.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (2, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315886)

Right, so this isn't uprecendented.

My main point is that there is no way for them to make the programs available to you that doesn't cost them money. This is especially true for older programs. They have to get them from the old tapes and such and convert and encode them. Then they have to distribute them somehow. Even if they used p2p, they would take a hit from being the initial seeder. Someone would need to manage all this, and IT stuff isn't cheap. So they would have to get money for this from somewhere. What are their sources of money? 1) The TV license, 2) govt money, 3) money from doing deals where people pay to see BBC programs. Both 1 and 2 are going to be coming out of the pocket of UK citizens. So you'll really just be paying to watch anyway. So they pursue #3. Assumedly, the money that is made from this is what causes your TV license to be the price it is. Or does the BBC make a profit that goes to shareholders? If not, then I would think adding new costs for making shows available to the UK for "free" would just increase the license price. And as others have pointed out, if they start putting stuff out for p2p, it makes it more likely that these files will be redistributed worldwide, eroding their ability to make deals for #3, which would think decrease their money and raise your TV license again.

So while I wish they would make all their shows available on p2p for free with no DRM for anyone to download, I think the reality is that if this happens, it will come out of your pocket.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316126)

The BBC has more than enough resource to run a tracker and initial seed. Most of what they put out daily is also available through digital feeds, already converted to mpeg and accessible to people online, and I don't mean the crap you can access on the main site. The access is much better quality and hidden, not available to the public, and the links move around to prevent those that previously had access from coming back or giving the links out to "friends".

Old material is already being sold on DVDs, so converting from analogue media has already been done for the better programming.

The BBC needs additional income to keep the empire in shape. They do not need 100s of regional offices anymore, they do not need massive replication of the same services, news being particularly wasteful. The license fee would be much reduced if the BBC was forced to go back to a zero base budget and justify its costs each year.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315590)

Actually, you're most likely to end up getting them for free if you live in the UK, via the iPlayer project...

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315608)

Patience, dear boy, patience :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPlayer [wikipedia.org]

It IS coming - just rather slowly. It's shame that it is going to be WMP based DRM, but you have to appease the Indies/Film companies, etc, somehow.

There is going to be the Open Archive some time next year too, with old BBC content being brought online.

Next year is going to be a BIG year for the BBC online, should all go well. One shouldn't underestimate the complexities of a project such as iPlayer - it's probably the biggest Internet based software project in the UK at the moment, and the BBC really has to deliver correctly first time, otherwise there will (rightly) be uproar from the license fee payer.

But hey, it's all a step in the right direction!

Linux users not required. (1)

raidient (751898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17316000)

"It's also only available in the US."

It is worse than that. It is only available to Windows users. Is the BBC a subsidiary of Microsoft?

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17316096)

> It's also only available in the US. Those of us in the UK, who are paying £130 to the BBC each year and funded many of these
> programs when they were originally made would quite like to be able to download them too, especially since the BBC Charter says
> they must do whatever they can to make their material available to the British public...

Heh - there's always http://www.uknova.com/ [uknova.com]

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0, Flamebait)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314804)

Don't worry. That won't stop future slashdot articles and comments making reference to "Now that the BBC has put its entire content into the public domain on P2P..."

Nor will it stop people from reaching the conclusion that since the beeb has put some content on a (very limited) form a non-free P2P network that they therefore have the right to put ANY bbc content onto the P2p network of their choice.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314988)

It may not be what you hoped reading the headline but it's far from misleading. The headline and article neither made mention of the file format of the download nor discussed the how free the download would be. It also didn't mention availability. You read too much into the summary and now you're mad at Slashdot that ideas you added on your own aren't available. The summary is very short on detail but the detail it provides is correct.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315152)

The summary is very short on detail but the detail it provides is correct.

I didn't say it was incorrect. I said it was misleading. The implication when you say something is available via P2P is that it's available for free.

It also says it's going to be available on Azureus, which is strictly incorrect since Azureus is a client, not a network. Correct would be to say it would be available via Azureus - but that would be incorrect too, since it will be on their new network and require their new client.

My point still stands, and I am still correct. HTH, HAND.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315414)

"The implication when you say something is available via P2P is that it's available for free."

How is that the implication? P2P is a distribution method. It has nothing to do with the cost of the item. If you have been misled, then make a mental note that P2P != free or you'll be getting misled a lot in the near future since some movie studios are now partnering up with various companies who create BT clients to presumably distribute content.

I suppose you have a point on the second comment, but when I read "Azureus network" I just took it at face value and assumed that they were referring to some sort of Azureus-controlled network I was not aware of. It gets complex since Azureus is the name of both the company and the BT client.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315418)

And incredibly misleading, I read the summary, had a double-take, went HOLY ****** clicked on the article and read a story about these shows being available in a proprietary service for money, a lot like most paid for download content, and actually completely unavailable to Azureus or standard P2P clients. P2P distribution being in the background is just a way to transfer files, a great way, so technically this is cool, but socially/politcally nothing has changed.
Now if they included a BBC channel in Democracy Player for free that would be different.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (1)

k12linux (627320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315920)

Awesome! So the BBC gets you to do some of the work of distributing their content... and you get to pay them for the right?

If companies want to use P2P to distribute restricted content I can only think of one way it would be really accepted. Charge the customer a nominal fee for the content but don't bill it for x days... during that time credit some $ back to the customer based on the # of MB re-distributed from their PC to other paying customers. Someone with a nice fast upstream connection who is willing to leave their PC running P2P sharing files for a couple of weeks might get a final bill of a few cents or even $0. Heck maybe even better would be just to give the user a cut of each purchase based on how much of that purchase was downloaded from them. (Help pay for that 36Mb upstream FiOS connection.)

Then again I guess they can always count on users being completely ignorant of the fact that it's *their own* bandwidth being used to distribute something the BBC is getting paid for.

Re:Misleading Headline & Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316174)

If the price is reasonable and it's really P2P, I'd pay for these even though the DRM sucks.

My major motivation, apart from being able to watch old BBC shows (any Ronnie Barker, "Porridge", "Open All Hours", etc.) is that it's a legal use for P2P and that screws the RIAA/MPAA's theory that all P2P is sharing of illegal files. Anything that hurts the RIAA/MPAA in their legal battles is a good thing.

How hard is this? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314656)

Just how hard is it to make anything available on P2P. It just has to be digital, interesting, and you promise not to sue for distributing it. Even big companies can usually manage this much.

Good for the US (4, Interesting)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314662)

But this is not what they promised to do. As a British Licensefee payer I expect them to open up their content on UK filesharing networks, as they promised. Offering DRM'd content to overseas markets is not part of their charter. Making money should be a secondary concern to their primary purpose - delivering good tv to a British audience.

Count your blessings (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17314886)

As a British Licensefee payer I expect them to open up their content on UK filesharing networks, as they promised. Offering DRM'd content to overseas markets is not part of their charter. Making money should be a secondary concern to their primary purpose - delivering good tv to a British audience.

It seems to me that they're already delivering good tv to a British audience via a technology known as 'broadcast'. I would gladly trade places with you. 99% of current American television is utter mindless crap. About the only TV I watch these days is the smattering of BBC programs that PBS airs, including the BBC news, which along with the Canadian CBC news (I'm close to the border) is about the only source of reality-based news on the air in the colonies these days.

Re:Count your blessings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315790)

Posit: The amount of "reality" available on television is constant.
Conclusion: The more "reality" that shows like Survivor consume, the less is available for the evening news.

Makes sense in an eerie sort of way..;)

Re:Count your blessings (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315828)

I can't say that I agree with you. I'm not sure the precise percentages, so perhaps 99% is crap, however there are many US produced TV shows that are far superior to any produced in other countries.

Some examples out of many: My Name is Earl, Boston Legal, The West Wing, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Studio 60, Futurama, Veronica Mars, Firefly (may it rest in peace), Northern Exposure, Hill Street Blues, The Sopranos, St Elsewhere (barring the finale), M*A*S*H, Star Trek (well most franchises), Buffy, Babylon 5.... etc etc etc etc. One hour TV drama in the US is as tough as filmmaking gets - no other country can deliver that quality in that timeline season over season.

The BBC has a handful of shows since the beginning of time that come close to some of these. It's inconceivable that the BBC could ever fund a show to the point that delivered the innovation and quality of the opening titles tracking shot to Hill Street Blues. I was working as a cameraman at the time that show debuted and my colleagues and I talked of little else the next day, that shot was groundbreaking. Similarly, the editing in Boston Legal, pure genius, nothing like it anywhere. Schlamme's direction on the West Wing cast drive and energy into verbose scripts. Don't even get me started on Joss Whedon, and I could go on.

US TV is the best funded, has the best writers, the best performers, the best directors and the best crew. It's just the system for the most part that sucks, as Firefly proves.

Compare if you will the two versions of "The Office". Same writer, but the US version has vastly superior production values and much better performers and much better direction. It's not simply that Gervais had the opportunity to revisit some of the writing and polish it.

I'm British by the way, not American.

Re:Count your blessings (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17316148)

Compare if you will the two versions of "The Office". Same writer, but the US version has vastly superior production values and much better performers and much better direction. It's not simply that Gervais had the opportunity to revisit some of the writing and polish it.

Same writer? The US pilot was taken from the UK version (which had two writers, not one, as I'm sure you knew), and Gervais/Merchant wrote another episode, but apart from that, the US version of The Office has been written by the US team (with some oversight by Gervais/Merchant). Production values on a programme like this are fairly irrelevant - it's supposed to be a fly on the wall documentary, with deliberately shaky/on the fly camera-work, which both versions manage to portray without getting in the way. As for much better performers, I'd also disagree - both ensemble casts are very good in each programme.

I'm British, and I like the UK version of The Office, but I also like the US version, which surprised me greatly as the very concept seemed doomed from the start, but they really pulled it off. I don't view one as inherently better than the other. The US episodes don't sustain the high-octane cringeworthy pain that the UK episodes did, but on the other hand, there are more episodes of the US version, and I'm not sure we could take 30+ episodes of the sort of pain and embarrassment that Gervais and Merchant produced.

Re:Good for the US (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314998)

I live in a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as the reigning monarch. As such, she is our head of state as much as she is yours. Since the BBC derives its charter through her authority, and since her authority extends to my country, I expect the BBC to deliver good British TV to this side of the pond as well.

We could send you episodes of Corner Gas, Holmes on Homes, and Anne of Green Gables, if you wish.

Re:Good for the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316098)

And we shall happily let them do so provided your entire country gets the same manditory TV licensing crap that we all have to put up with! I'd happily ditch the BBC if I didn't have to pay their ransom fee anymore *just* for owning television. I prefer watching other channels and the series I *am* interested in that come from the BBC I can get on DVD. It'd save me a whole lot of money.

Re:Good for the US (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315214)

Making money should be a secondary concern to their primary purpose - delivering good tv to a British audience.
By making money out of the spin-offs from the broadcasts you receive for the ludicrously low price of 130 GBP the BBC is able to pay for things like 'Life On Earth' and 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

It is beholden on the BBC to chase up any money raising venture within the confines of its charter, or, you're left with the choice between ads or rubbish.

Re:Good for the US (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315524)

But this is not what they promised to do. As a British Licensefee payer I expect them to open up their content on UK filesharing networks, as they promised. Offering DRM'd content to overseas markets is not part of their charter. Making money should be a secondary concern to their primary purpose - delivering good tv to a British audience.

Um, before you Brits start complaining about your beloved BBC; think alittle. You had to pay a license fee. Those in the US, the EU, and the rest of the world didn't pay the UK BBC lic. fee. If the BBC put non-DRM content into most P2P networks, it would also be downloadable to those outside of the UK. Heck, if the BBC offerred non-DRM content to those within the UK on its on special UK only P2P the content would stay within the UK for only as long it your average Britain would keep the content out of their shared folders for their other P2P programs. I live in the US and would love to see current BBC content for free. I don't blame the BBC for trying to get some money out of the US, EU and other rest of the world. I'd think that the BBC would release DRM content that would play only if you've payed your BBC lic. fee. An idea would be to offer foreigners such as myself to pay this lic. fee and be able to download BBC content.

Re:Good for the US (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315912)

When they started aiming at charter renewel a few years ago they came up with their original promises for releasing digital content. Sure, DRM'd crap for foreign markets is a part of that, but they also promised legal peer-to-peer downloads for UK residents. There are several ways to accomplish that.

One difference is that the stuff that residents are interested in is not current programs. It's the back catalogue. I wouldn't mind if they distribute some kind of customised BitTorrent that is locked to uk ip addresses, and has a proxy blacklist. Putting DRM on the media would be kindof pointless, and it directly contridicts their stated aims. The back-catalogue of BBC media belongs to the British people, not the coroporation.

Note, I'm not saying that these things are mutually exclusive. Selling current content to the overseas market is a separate concern from opening the back catalogue to free download for UK residents. Also, making the highres versions available does not affect the resale anymore than DVD rips on peer-to-peer networks do currently. It's not good - but no worse than the current situation.

Re:Good for the US (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315754)

Making money should be a secondary concern to their primary purpose - delivering good tv to a British audience.

But as someone living in the US who enjoys good good british tv, I'd gladly pay good money. You have some good shows that are unavailable to us. My current favorite is Catherine Tate. Yes, she's all over Youtube, but if I could download high-def episodes, all the better.

Cost (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314670)

Article implies there might be a charge for these downloads (I'm guessing an open P2P but you need to buy a key to watch it). That would suck..

Re:Cost (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314992)

Then just get it off a standard torrent and don't give them anything. No one said you had to get it this way.

What exactly "sucks" about paying for this? I can understand if it's outrageously priced, like CDs these days, but if it was a buck or two an episode it'd be cheaper than getting the DVDs and since you're not getting anything tangible, probably works out in the end.

Might check it out myself if it's not too much; I've been meaning to see Red Dwarf for a while (since someone introduced it to me and NEVER FINISHED IT! grr...) but at nearly $40 for seasons 1 and 2 (at only about 12 episodes total) it's a bit pricey. I personally think it's worth it to compensate them something for this, I did like it and I'd like to encourage more work like this.

DRM sucks, sure, but I don't see them ever getting rid of it. At least they're trying.

Re:Cost (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315112)

Yea, I didn't mean I would mind paying for it. Just the typical pay for it seems to be heavily DRM loaded for $5. This would especially be true if its intended to be shared on p2p meaning your payment would only register it on one device.

Legally available, but still drm'ed (1)

HvitRavn (813950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314678)

The movies will be crippled with DRM, according to the article. Also they won't be free, though TFA doesn't say anything explicitly about cost except "No pricing structure for the BBC content on Zudeo has been revealed".

That's ok though (4, Insightful)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314692)

I already have all Red Dwarf seasons on DVD, not that expensive and more than worth it :)
But that's only my opinion.

Smeghead ;)

Hmm.. (-1, Troll)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314708)

News for nerds? No.

Stuff that matters? Not even remotely.

This post does not deliver. 0/2


Re:Hmm.. (-1, Troll)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314852)

Mod me Troll, it's obvious I couldn't care less. But shouldn't you be modding up good posts rather than modding down ones that nobody is going to see anyway? Nice job with those mod points morons.

Slashdot articles of late are like email spam. They entice you to want to read them, and then when you do you find that something else entirely is the case. Like I said, news for nerds, stuff that matters? Bullshit.

Re:Hmm.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315016)

"Mod me Troll, it's obvious I couldn't care less"


You care enough to notice, and post a reply whining about it. Obviously, you could care less than you do.

Re:Hmm.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315896)

The thing is that the people who do that majority of the modding have an unlimited supply of points. They are the editors of the site and they moderate to further the site's message and pander to its demographic. Slashdot is about making high school and college undergrad kids feel smarter than everyone else, and about promoting the business interests of Slashdot, OSTG, and VA Software.

If anyone actually believes that a for profit business would allow the 'community' to determine the marketing message delivered by one of its business units they are severely deluded. The editors do nearly all of the moderating here.

Well smeg! (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314732)

"I tell you one thing. I've been to a parallel universe, I've seen time running backwards, I've played pool with planets, and I've given birth to twins, but I never thought in my entire life I'd taste an edible Pot Noodle."
- Lister, Demons and Angels

It's a trap! (3, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314810)

I don't have a TV license. I regularly get threatening letters from the collections agency asking me to turn myself in for my heinous crime.

They got so bad at one point that I actually wrote to them refusing to partake in any further correspondence until they sent me a civil letter. They wrote back - with a threat about how large the fine will be when they haul me in.

The fun part? I don't have a television. But I'm not telling them that until they ask politely. Yes, it's probably stupid and it's certainly obstinate but I refuse to be intimidated.

Now, of course, with them making a move like this I actually feel like I might *want* to give them money. It's a pretty cool thing to do and I'm proud of the BBC for being forward looking and generally a great service. So that's what this is all about folks. They are just trying to shame me into paying up. The worked out what my buttons were and pushed them. As soon as I hand over the cash, the whole thing will go away. It's a freaking trap I tell you.

Fortunately for all of you I'm holding out for them to switch to ogg for their radio streams before I buy a TV license. You should be safe to enjoy this content for another couple of decades. My present to all of you! /tinfoilhat

Re:It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315058)

I'm in a slightly similar situation, where I moved house recently and purchased a TV license for the new address. The thing is I keep getting letters to the old address (I get my mail forwarded) threatening me that I'd better buy a TV license or else! I haven't bothered responding yet either, just because their increasingly hysterical threats are quite funny. I've lost count of the number of times they've threatened to send someone 'round to 'catch me in the act'.

As for this service, it's all very nice, but will only be available in the US. It should also be made available in the UK, but for free.

Re:It's a trap! (2, Informative)

ethanms (319039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315574)

For those of us in parts of the world unfamiliar w/ the UK's practices:

http://www.taith.org.uk/tv/newapproach.htm [taith.org.uk] (an interesting letter w/ commentary)

http://www.marmalade.net/lime/#people [marmalade.net] (personal accounts of dealing w/ the licensing)

Apparently these letters aren't from the BBC anymore, it's from a form of collections/enforcement agency that the BBC contracts... hired goons--

"As a result of The Broadcast Act 1990, the BBC were made responsible for licence administration. TV Licensing is a trading name used by entities contracted by the Licensing Authority (the BBC) to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of the administration of TV Licensing is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd, with the administration of cash easy payment schemes contracted to Revenue Management Services Ltd, and marketing and public relations activities contracted to the AMV Consortium."
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/aboutus/index.jsp [tvlicensing.co.uk]

Re:It's a trap! (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315188)

Excuse my Westpondlander ignorance, but what the hell is a TV license?

Re:It's a trap! (4, Informative)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315326)

A yearly payment that allows you to operate a TV in a premises. The costs are used to pay for BBC TV, Radio and Interactive services.

Re:It's a trap! (5, Funny)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315364)

what the hell is a TV license?

It's an initiative geared to solving the problem of stray televisions wandering the streets. Apparently they cause a lot of traffic congestion, that's why you have to pay to drive in downtown London. They also like to pee on some guy named Lou. Weirdos.

Horrendous journalism (0, Flamebait)

Asmor (775910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314818)

From TFA: Azureus is best known for developing a BitTorrent client, or program, that allows large media files to be easily shared over the internet.

That's just... so... gah. I mean, it's one thing when the media oversimplifies things, that at least doesn't hurt anything, but in this case they make it sound like Azureus invented bit torrent!

Also: "...a BitTorrent client, or program..." Now this is more like the oversimplification thing, but that's just plain stupid. Was that really a neccessary clarification to make? I mean, I'm not saying that everyone out there would understand what a client is, but defining it as a program just seems unneccessary. I think the meaning of a client is at least somewhat obvious from the context.

Re:Horrendous journalism (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315492)

Actually, they don't make it sound like Azereus made BitTorrent. Notice they say "for developing a BitTorrent client", not "for developing the BitTorrent client." The latter case does imply that Azereus made it.

Balls of Steel (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314834)

I hope they make Balls of Steel available. That has to be the funniest show I've seen in months. The Bunny Boiler, Annoying Devil, Big Gay Folllwing and Alex's games are hilarious. Check YouTube out if you haven't seen the show yet.

Tag story "itsatrap" (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17314842)

This is yet another attempt to curtail my rights online. Azureus has sold its soul to the content mafia and is attempting to destroy the Bittorrent community. Utorrent has also sold out to Hollywood fascists [slashdot.org] . The way I see it, corporate software is the problem here. Do you ever notice native Linux torrent clients don't have this problem? Thank the gods for *nix torrent clients, like rTorrent [rakshasa.no] and Deluge [deluge-torrent.org] . If you're still on Winblows, sorry charlie. That's what happens when you let Micro$oft and other proprietary Nazis on your box. To all the corporate whores who want a piece of my upload bandwidth to further your goals of DRM, I say "Fuck you". Fuck co-optation and selling out; your infected files will go straight to /dev/null, assholes.

Re:Tag story "itsatrap" (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315662)

I think I found the thrust of your post (it was a bit like finding the pony). Basically, the problem is that the windows BT client's wind up getting sold off because most people use windows? And the linux ones never "have this problem" because they're basically worthless to anyone with money to invest? Okay, I'm agreeing with you 100%. But then you get to the part where you said this would be fixed if people would just stop using Windows, you lost me. Wouldn't a lot of people switching to linux actually make it attractive for these kinds of buyouts? Also, I'm not sure what Hitler had to do with this...

They should be available (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17314894)

The BBC is taxpayer funded. All taxpayer funded programming should be available for "free."

Re:They should be available (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314966)

Hmm, there seem to be a large absence of video recorders in Britain. If someone wants to make a killing, they should convert VCR's and Tivo's to PAL format. The market is ripe!

Fergit it twits (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17314964)

Well I was all set to say YIPPI till I read it will be laden with DRM snot. NO thanks shit heads.

Re:Fergit it twits (2)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315936)

Wow, such hostility. Are you british and upset that your licence fee funded the shows and you should have them free? or non british, and just reckon you were born with the right to have them for free anyway, while us lot pay for it?

Why not iTunes Store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17315022)

Azureus Network and Zuedo are dubious organizations while the iTunes Store is a respectable and reputable business. Any DRM system is bad, but at least Apple system is somewhat acceptable, you can play tv shows, songs and audiobooks simultaneously on 5 computers (movies only on 3 computers). I spent about $300 on TV shows from iTunes (about 70GB), mostly brand new documentaries which are not available on DVDs yet. In general PBS shows are MUCH CHEAPER on iTunes than on DVD (usually 4 to 8 times cheaper with some exceptions)

If BBC shows would be available on iTunes at the regular price, $1.99 per episode, I would buy some of them. I would never buy anything from Azureus or Zuedo.

Re:Why not iTunes Store? (1)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315102)

Yeah, that occurred to me as well -- in addition, going through iTunes would make it easy to allow the content free to viewers in the UK. (That is, with UK billing addresses)

The price point for iTunes is rather high, though. I can't see myself paying $2 for an episode of Red Dwarf, even though it's my favorite of the ones mentioned. Perhaps Azureus is offering a more reasonable price plan?

Re:Why not iTunes Store? (2, Interesting)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315744)

The new problem is how much software can I possibly install to watch content? I happen to use iTunes so that I can watch content on my Mac and PC. I already find it inconvenient that I can not watch content in an open source operating system. Now I'm supposed to add additional bloat to my Windows install for Amazon's service, iTunes, this Azerus pay service, along with any other vendor entering the ring. I usually watch DVDs on my PC anyway so these download services are great in one sense. I no longer have to go to the store or buy and wait. (well download time) I don't have a problem with DRM that protects content in itself, but I do have a problem with the lack of versatility in devices and operating systems which can PLAY this content.

I suppose we should just accept that not everyone likes iTunes. If you don't like windows or own a Mac, it would be rather inconvenient. Its one of the many hurdles I face with MidnightBSD and I'm sure the Linux community feels the same way.

Still it is nice they are distributing content.

What we really need are some new laws that force companies to make their content available on multiple services so that there isn't a monopoly. This would also have the benefit of possibly putting it into different DRM formats which might be more acceptable to some. Imagine if only walmart sold movies. That's what we get now. Amazon sells star trek episodes, but Apple does not. Apple has some exclusive content on iTunes that amazon does not have. (unbox) More competition *could* keep content prices low.

Matching legal to reality (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315052)

This would be the only way to actually deal with torrents. They're here, and they're here to stay. If they crack down on torrent sites, like they try now, something new will come into existance, if nothing else, people will post torrent hashes on usenet. It's not like you could technically stop the distribution of content.

The only way to really deal with it is to give it some leeway while trying to make some revenue, somehow, out of it all. The fact that those files will be tacked down with DRM will surely keep this from flying, but generally the idea is a good one. It could've been done with a "members only" torrent tracker (where you gotta pay the BBC to become a member), with the torrent info only available on their tracker.

THEN it is possible to crack down on sites offering that torrent, too, because the torrent hash itself is owned by the BBC, not by someone who just "allows" others to use it. It's their 'content', so to speak.

Yes, that could've been a success. Devaluating it by adding enough DRM to weigh it down certainly doesn't help it.

Simple Solution (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315126)

People here on Slashdot in various countries make a connection with people in countries where services are offered. For example, I live in the U.S. I've quite like to see the programs from Channel 4 that they have available online. But that's currently U.K. only and is not likely to change. (I WANT to see Green Wing's Xmas Special) So, if someone in the U.K. is willing, we can establish private VPN connections between our machines and route specific traffic overseas via the VPN. Then it would be as if I was in the U.K. and the other person was in the U.S. for various services they may want to access here. Simple.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

SimDarth (975287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315510)

Also opens up the possibility of someone in a country who doesn't cooperate with international copyright laws to open up a streaming video service and offer a sampling of international television. Of course, YouTube seems to already have a lot of that... but you could offer people the ability to stream in entire seasons of Doctor Who or Sleeper Cell or whatever.

The global marketplace can be a wonderful thing sometimes.

For a moment I thought the BBC had a clue... (2, Insightful)

paol (461811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315206)

"The titles will be protected by digital rights management software to prevent the programmes being traded illegally on the internet."

...no, I guess not. And it goes without saying that whatever stupid DRM format they come up with will only run on windows, so I couldn't use it even if I wanted to. Back to getting BBC shows from emule for me (got to get that Top Gear fix :)

Leaving Feedback? (1)

spaceboy33 (513089) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315316)

Has anyone found a way to leave feedback with either Azureus/Zudeo or the correct BBC division over this deal? In addition to not buying their product, I'd love to let either company know that the DRM is the only thing preventing me from throwing money at them, which is true. I would have liked to do the same for the equally flawed Amazon Unbox service, but never found a way to. In addition to weak sales, hopefully enough anti-DRM feedback would help get the point across.

Sounds awesome to me (1)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315322)

iTunes movies are DRM crippled, but I still found season 2 of LOST to be worth the paltry $2.00 per episode fee when I got behind on the show and wanted to catch up. I'd like it if Apple would allow me to at least burn the episodes to a DVD so I could watch them on my DVD player, but alas I can't. The solution is simply to hook my PC up to the TV, which is a fairly simple process.

If this service let's me download episodes of Red Dwarf for a similar or a smaller fee... I would be intrigued. I wouldn't really care if they have DRM or not, but it'd be nice to at least be able to burn a DVD for myself.

It all depends on the pricing model, whether or not it'll be worth it to download the episodes, or just go out and buy the DVDs.

Either way, more legal content available is a good thing.

Re:Sounds awesome to me (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315756)

The real solution (if such a thing exists) to p2p is for the companies to post at least their broadcast material ASAP with the ads still in it. Considering they have the original sources, they can post the best quality encoding at the earliest possible moment, beating out the cappers. They could even add in little bonuses every now and then (like maybe a minute of footage that was cut for time) that would make them more attractive. Some people would bother downloading the corporate version, cutting out the ads and reupping it, but they would already be behind all the others who have already seeded the ad-including version. Plus, they might have some quality loss snipping out the ads (I'm not really that clued in on editing a video once it's encoded).

While a lot of us would skip over the ads - plenty of others would not.

Yes, it would hurt their DVD and syndication sales. But that's a moot point as you can already get ad-free high quality copies if you are willing to watch the show the next day.

Azeureus NETWORK? (1)

DaPhil (811162) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315344)

OK, my first thought here was "damn, one of them guys who can't differentiate between protocols and client applications". But no, turns out they were talking about Zureo (http://www.zudeo.com/), a separate app/business model which may yet require payment for their service.

So, there's two questions out for the /. crew to answer:

1) Was this move anticipated when the Azureus app was first released? I.e. gather a following and then move on with the name?

2) How much is a "community name" like Azureus worth these days, appearing on the news?


BBC really are far from independent (0, Troll)

davro (539320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315346)

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was formed in 1927 by means of a royal charter. (For the history of the BBC before 1927 see British
Broadcasting Company, and for a complete list of articles see BBC (index).) Today the BBC is the national publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom.

OK i live in the UK have done all my life and the "BBC" is the reason i refuse to watch TV.
The reason is due to the BBC's all encompassing TV License, if you own a TV you must have a (BBC TV license) even if you do not want to watch there television channels, and say only watch ITV CHANNEL4. ... channels that do not receive any TV license funding.

Why do the BBC receive all the funding from the UK TV License fees in an nut shell (because of a old german woman called the Queen)

The Royal Charter for the continuance of the BBC, which was accepted by Her Majesty The Queen in Council on 19 July and printed on vellum, has now been sealed and laid in Parliament. The new arrangements will take full effect on 1 January 2007. Until then, certain transitional arrangements will operate and the current Charter will remain in force.

Are Government Parliament even supports this, suppose it is a cheap price for a propaganda machine.

Google define:independant
Independent to be free from external control and constraint; "an independent mind"; "a series of independent judgments"; "fiercely independent individualism"; "an independent republic" # not dependent on or conditioned by or relative to anything else

dr. who (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315400)

Depending on the cost, this might be what many of us has been waiting for: a reasonable priced way to get Dr. Who. So far the Doctor has been one show that has not been packages as a series. Rather episodes have been put together into show, and the shows has been sold as if they were feature length major movies, that is at $20 a pop. All this while other popular show, like Are You Being Served, are sold at $100 for the complete set of series.

I hope series are going to be put together into reasonably priced packages. Sometimes it seems like the BBC has one cash generating property, and they are going to milk it for all it is worth.

Re:dr. who (1)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17316566)

I like the way the BBC have been releasing Dr Who: this way I can have (for example) Vengence on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks for the cost of two DVDs, without shelling out for all the chaff (IMO) like Attack of the Cybermen and The Two Doctors. Most series of Dr Who had a couple of really good stories, and a number of low-budget fillers.

this is a non-starter (1, Insightful)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315410)

From TFA: "The titles will be protected by digital rights management software to prevent the programmes being traded illegally on the internet."

Overlooking the fact that they spelled "programs" incorrectly (this is, after all, for the US market), media outlets still don't "get it" that DRM is a non-starter with many consumers.

Re:this is a non-starter (4, Funny)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315992)

its the bbc website. i'm glad they use british english. Can you please correct all your american websites that can't spell colour.

Re:this is a non-starter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316186)

Spelt. And programmes is perfectly fine.

Re:this is a non-starter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316278)

>Overlooking the fact that they spelled "programs" incorrectly (this is, after all, for the US market)

you're an idiot.

It looks like Azureus has gone commercial (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17315998)

I went to the Azureus networks download site: http://www.zudeo.com/ [zudeo.com]

The banner says Code name: ZUDEO powered by Azureus 3.0

Copyright 2006 Azureus Inc

I don't know if this is from the same people that brought us the open source Azureus Client, but it looks like it may be.

First utorrent, now Azureus, What next.

great news for some, not so great for others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17316502)

as for me, my isp blocks http access to .torrent files through a transparent proxy server, so unless i tunnel through their proxy server, i won't be getting it.

Oh (1)

wonea (597234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17316624)

I read it, and thought wow! Then noticed the DRM bit, got a bit disappointed. Why can't we have a emusic for movies ?
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