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BBC Download Plans Approved

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-takebacks dept.

Media 177

An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that following approval from the BBC Trust (an independent oversight body) they are now allowed to release their 'iPlayer', enabling the download and viewing of BBC owned content such as Doctor Who. Unfortunately the Trust also mandated the use of DRM to enforce a 30 day playable period, and exempted classical music performances from being made available. There will now be a 2 month consultation period. According to one of the trustees, the Trust 'could still change its mind if there was a public outcry and it was backed up by evidence.'"

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another option (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17832990)

According to one of the trustees, the Trust 'could still change its mind if there was a public outcry and it was backed up by evidence.'

What if there's a public outcry and it's backed up by drunken rioting?

Re:another option (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833132)

3 Minutes in the microwave for them?

Oh sorry, this is England not America ;)

Re:another option (4, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833216)

No, there's a public consultation [bbc.co.uk] , and a here's link direct to the press release [bbc.co.uk] here's the bit about DRM

This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services.
So not only are they keeping DRM, they are going to try and create a DRM for Linux

Re:another option (1)

Yottabyte84 (217942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833376)

I will enjoy seeing them try to protect content from users on an operating system where the administratitive users is truely all powerful. (FYI, Administrator is not the most privledged account on a Windows system)

Re:another option (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833898)

I remember when a friend of mine locked himself out of his own files on an NTFS partition by messing around with the permissions. I was quite confused, as I thought that Administrator was comparable to root, which it apparently is not.

Re:another option (2, Interesting)

blowdart (31458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834182)

Well remember we, as license payers, pay for the content to be made. Giving it away to the world for free would probably be in violation of their charter, and would certainly make me ask "Why am I paying this again"?

Re:another option (3, Interesting)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834968)

Well remember we, as license payers, pay for the content to be made. Giving it away to the world for free would probably be in violation of their charter, and would certainly make me ask "Why am I paying this again"?

Ah, if only the truth were so simplistic.

I've seen such arguments trotted out from time to time, and believe me -- I feel for my friends out in the UK who have to pay for a television license. Here in Canada we have no such fee, which is the way things should be.

HOWEVER, don't for a minute assume that your TV license fee dollars are the only funds that go into producing quality BBC programming, and thus that said programming should never escape across boarders through the Internet.

You see, where you pay a license fee to the BBC to own a television in your part of the world, here in my part of the world the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is funded (in part) through tax dollars -- including my tax dollars. And yet CBC Programming (especially documentaries) is shown all around the world, including portions of which are available online.

Aside from that, let's look at one of the shows the BBC is proposing to make available online: Doctor Who [imdb.com] . Click the link and scroll down to "Production Companies". Yes, that's right, the venerable BBC Sci-Fi series is produced in part by the CBC.

Thus, I at least have already paid for part of Doctor Who. How many other modern BBC shows are co-produced in conjunction with the national broadcasters in other (esp. Commonwealth) countries?

(Let's not also mention that the BBC already broadcasts world-wide via various cable outlets, like BBC Canada [bbccanada.com] and BBC America [bbcamerica.com] , amongst others).

I don't argue with the complaint that the UK's TV licensing fee seems like a cash-grab to my eyes, but that's up to you and your countrymen to fix, and not something I can affect change for. However, the view that your licensing fees are the sole source of funding for popular BBC shows doesn't exactly reflect modern reality, and the desire to prevent such shows from being made available to the world for free online isn't going to put the cat back into the bag: it escaped long, long ago, and probably never should have been in there in the first place.

Yaz.

Re:another option (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834200)

It's quite simple - if you are British and you pay a license fee then make your views known. The feedback survey is quite short, and each section is optional. If you feel that timelimited DRM files are bullshit, especially from a license-fee funded public organisation then make your views known now!

The British slashdot readership must be large enough to make a difference here.

Re:another option (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834342)

I've done that already, also, just before this story was posted, I submitted a story with the title: "BBC proposing DRM for Linux", and both the links from my post in it. There's not a huge amount more I can do, short of writing to my, electronically illiterate, elected representatives that is, and they have no power over the BBC anyway; they can only bring moral pressure to bear.

Re:another option (3, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834416)

If you want to make your views known, the BBC's online consultation form is here [bbc.co.uk]

Let's make our opinions known!

The classical music reasoning is worse (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834550)

The thing I found most unfortunate about the whole affair was that the reason given by the BBC Trust for not releasing the classical music: "There is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music that will serve as a close substitute for commercially available downloads or CDs." [Emphasis added]

There are a lot of misconceptions about the BBC (not least how much of its funding comes from licence fees rather than other sources), but I'm pretty sure it's still supposed to be run essentially in the public interest. I don't really understand how protecting the commercial interests of classical music distributors are the expense of the public is part of that remit.

If we're talking about music that's out of copyright itself (Beethoven was the example given), and the particular recording is already being made available for the BBC to broadcast, you'd think the Beeb could negotiate some fair additional compensation for the recording orchestras in exchange for the rights to make it downloadable as well. After all, we have the Proms every year and no doubt some people record and keep those (legally or otherwise), so it doesn't seem like orchestras mind the coverage. Why not legitimise keeping the material, throw in a bit of fair compensation for the recording artists to match, and make the world a little nicer for all concerned?

Re:another option (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834390)

Are we reading the same document?

I see:

The BBC Executive propose a strategy at launch to enforce compliance with rights which
requires users to have Windows XP (or later) as their operating system and Windows
Media Player 10 (or later) as their player. This puts a constraint on reach by excluding
Windows users with earlier operating systems as well as a minority of consumers who
choose Apple and Linux systems.
My take on that is "The Powers that Be propose Windows. We know this will lock others out." but it doesn't say anything about them taking steps to ensure that people using MacOS or Linux aren't locked out. Later on, it says something about "recommending" being more platform agnostic but nothing particularly solid.

Re:another option (2, Insightful)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834698)

Well, this is the bit I was going from:

This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux,
sounds specific, and quite self explanatory to me: the BBC is going to try and develop some form of cross platform DRM. Combined with Question 5 [bbc.co.uk]

How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?
It sounds ominous for Linux users; perhaps even "Linux DRM, or no product".

Re:another option (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833846)

What if there's a public outcry and it's backed up by drunken rioting?

I believe that they call that a "football match" in Britain.

Re:another option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834288)

It depends on if Ba'al is still in control of the Trust. I am sure his plans for world domination hinge on DRM

iPlayer (2, Insightful)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833054)

...they are now allowed to release their 'iPlayer'...

i love how it's 'cool' to name everything i* now. the bbc couldn't come up w/ a better name? at least something british sounding.

Re:iPlayer (4, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833140)

They do come by it honestly, though. It's a reference to "BBCi," [wikipedia.org] which stands for "BBC interactive" and has been the brand name of their digital and online services since 2001.

Re:iPlayer (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833158)

But... but... but what's wrong with Wensleydale?

Re:iPlayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833206)

... at least something british sounding.

Hmm. I don't see any spot in the word "player" to insert a random slient u however ... :)

Re:iPlayer (2, Funny)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833252)

iPlayre

Re:iPlayer (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833594)

No, no, no! iPlayour.

I think it's actually pronounced oi-payah (4, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833332)

I just hope that it has subtitling built in. They talk funny over there.

Re:iPlayer (2, Funny)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833388)

How about

iConform

Re:iPlayer (5, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833486)

Mr Cholmondley-Warner: what's this? I hear the BBC have come up with a newfangled light entertainment device.
Grayson: Yes, Mr Cholmondley-Warner, thay have. Its called the iPlayer.
CW: How remarkable, but I must admit that it sounds rather similar to something those colonial chappies might come up with.
G: Indeed so, one almost thinks that the name was specifically chosen to stop Mr Stephen Jobs from using it in one of his modern-day thingummybobs.
CW:Well, if we're beating the Yanks at their own game, I think we can live with it.
G: Indeed! Ho ho.
CW: Yes. Ho ho.

Re:iPlayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833502)

i love how it's 'cool' to name everything i* now. the bbc couldn't come up w/ a better name? at least something british sounding.
Perhaps, but it is no longer cool to start sentences with lower case letters. In fact, it's juvenile and quite annoying.

Sounds like the usual B.S. (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833060)

From TFA:

The BBC Trust, an independent body that replaced the corporation's governors at the beginning of 2007, said the on-demand plans - which also cover cable TV - were "likely to deliver significant public value".

But it agreed with broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, which said earlier this month that the iPlayer could have a "negative effect" on commercial rivals.

As a result, the trust has imposed several conditions on the BBC.

It wants the corporation to scale back plans to let downloaded "catch-up" episodes remain on users' hard drives for 13 weeks, suggesting that 30 days is enough.

Chris Woolard, head of finance, economics and strategy at the Trust, defended the decision to cut the storage time.

When people record a programme at home "if they don't look at it within 48 hours, they don't look at it at all", he said.
So basically, it's the usual -- a bunch of politicians trying hard not to piss off their corporate masters, while tossing a bone to the public here and there, just enough to keep people coming out to the next election and maintaining the facade.

Re:Sounds like the usual B.S. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833598)

Not quite - its all about competition. Imagine if Microsoft bought, say, the SciFi channel and then announced it would release all programmes after they'd been shown for unlimited download... on Windows Vista only. Quite a lot of people would be reasonably annoyed and there'd be a bit of a fuss. Questions would be raised in the House (but only after a lobbyist slipped a brown envelope to some MP first, of course)

Its the same with the BBC - as its a publicly-funded body, if they released programmes the commercial channels would similarly be a little peeved.

By the way, in the UK nowadays, nobody comes out to vote because our politicians are mostly self-serving, corrupt, lying, cheating, incompetant, lazy, useless c*nts.

Re:Sounds like the usual B.S. (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833760)

...and deeply ironic that the Trust's supposed role is to 'work on behalf of licence fee payers, ensuring the BBC provides high quality output and good value for all UK citizens'. In what way does tightening an already onerous DRM scheme provide 'good value'? Have they actually met a single 'license fee payer' who thinks this is a good idea?

Re:Sounds like the usual B.S. (2, Interesting)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833762)

When people record a programme at home "if they don't look at it within 48 hours, they don't look at it at all", he said.
Indeed! HE might not look at it, but I use my MythTV PVR for time shifting, and sometimes it's a long time shift. Episodes are recorded every week of the shows I DO watch (and some I might watch if they seem interesting like Modern Marvels episodes) and it's frequently more than a week before I get around to catching up on the missed episodes. But 48 hours? Where the hell did he get that number? Methinks it was produced rectally.

Re:Sounds like the usual B.S. (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834432)

"But it agreed with broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, which said earlier this month that the iPlayer could have a "negative effect" on commercial rivals."

So. What? Since when has competition 'having a negative effect' on the competititors been a problem in a free market?

Personally, I'd like to set up a very expensive monopoly selling bottled air, and I demand that the government deal with this everpresent free air! How am I supposed to charge for air when it's free to breathe all around? How many employment opportunities are lost because I cant charge as much for the air as I'd like to?

"Chris Woolard, head of finance, economics and strategy"

Perhaps Mr. Woolard should take some care to be more concerned with what is in the interest of the taxpayers and the wealth of the nation, rather than what is the interest of some commercial entities.

Re:Sounds like the usual B.S. (4, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834524)

This is something that's always irked me about objections to the BBC's funding scheme, emanating from the likes of ITV and Sky - the BBC was there first! These companies entered the market with the full knowledge that they were competing against a publicly funded body. It would be like me building a road somewhere, and then complaining that all the other roads in the country get public money.

Windows Only (3, Informative)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833072)

Despite their commitment to mac and linux compatibility on their audio streaming, the iPlayer only runs on windows, disappointing as I'm sure even us mac users pay our licence fees.

Time limited DRM? (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833242)

Despite their commitment to mac and linux compatibility on their audio streaming, the iPlayer only runs on windows, disappointing as I'm sure even us mac users pay our licence fees.
Does any mac video player even have time-limited DRM? iTunes vids only allow you so many "licences", but once you bought it, you get too "keep" it forever (as long as you remain 'authorized')

And Windows Media Player on the mac is horribly under-supported (that 3rd party company that MS paid to keep WMP up to date isn't doing a great job).

Unlike their audio streaming (which can use Real, WMP, or QT streaming), they'd have to create a new video format & player to handle time-limited DRM. They can't just buy it from Real/MS/Apple.

Re:Time limited DRM? (3, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833806)

Unlike their audio streaming (which can use Real, WMP, or QT streaming), they'd have to create a new video format & player to handle time-limited DRM. They can't just buy it from Real/MS/Apple.
That's what their Press release [bbc.co.uk] suggests:

The Trust will require the BBC Executive to adopt a platform-agnostic approach within a reasonable timeframe. This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services. (emphsis mine)
So, yes it seems they are going to create "BBC DRM", and not only that but "BBC DRM for Linux" as well.

Windows 2000? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833306)

What about windows 2000?

Re:Windows Only (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833366)

I heard that the DRM used is based on WMP 10 & 11, both of which are unsupported on the mac and linux, due to MS dropping all support for Mac WMP (except through that 3rd party).

Perhaps if FairPlay utilized a similar style of DRM, although I wouldn't really want them to develop time-expiry for iTunes media...

Re:Windows Only (5, Informative)

slebog (609847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833416)

The original plans for the iPlayer were based on Windows Media. But as part of the announcement today, the Trust has said the service will have to cater for all platforms. From the press release [bbctrust.co.uk] :

Platform-agnostic approach: As proposed, the TV catch-up service on the internet relies on Microsoft technology for the digital rights management (DRM) framework. The Trust will require the BBC Executive to adopt a platform-agnostic approach within a reasonable timeframe. This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services.

Re:Windows Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833652)

That's going to be a laugh..the project is ALREADY getting to be a bit of a mess and going to miss it's 1000 user trial in April by at least a month. Shame really, seemed such a nice project at the outset...

Re:Windows Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834262)

How do they propose to make any form of meaningful DRM available to linux users? Are they going to start requiring a TPM signed kernel or some other bogosity? If we were comfortable running black box binary software, we'd all be running Windows.

And what the hell is a realistic timeframe for doing the impossible?

Re:Windows Only (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834798)

Had you RTFA, you'd know that 2 years is "reasonable".

If we weren't comfortable running black box software, NVidia's Linux drivers would have zero downloads to date.

Re:Windows Only (3, Insightful)

bmsleight (710084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834386)

Thats why I love the BBC and I am happy pay my license fee. If the Beeb was a normal TV station, they would just take the lazy option of windows only. Name me another tv station who would do this ? Value for money.

Re:Windows Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834804)

The BBC *HAS* just taken the lazy Microsoft only approach. They've just done the "New Labour" thing and announced a public consultation about it to pretend like they are listening -- it will be ignored and/or fixed.

Re:Windows Only (2, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833972)

Despite their commitment to mac and linux compatibility on their audio streaming, the iPlayer only runs on windows, disappointing as I'm sure even us mac users pay our licence fees.

Maybe the agreement they signed with Microsoft [bbc.co.uk] back in September 2006 has something to do with this?

From the article, "The BBC has signed an agreement with Microsoft to explore ways of developing its digital services," ... and ... "To ensure that the BBC is able to embrace the creative challenges of the digital future, we need to forge strategic partnerships with technology companies and distributors for the benefit of licence payers."

I put it in my journal, but no one commented at the time...

Re:Windows Only (1)

blowdart (31458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834210)

That's probably more to do with MS's entry into IPTV with the BT Fusion project than anything else.

DRM vs. content distribution expansion (1)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833086)

In time, the fears of DRM will subside (hopefully!) and content owners will fully embrace this new distribution medium.

Of course, they still need to generate revenues to continue operations. Perhaps the whole idea of 'commercials' or even 'advertising' as a revenue source will evolve to include other yet-un-thought-of sources much like the distribution medium.

Re:DRM vs. content distribution expansion (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833162)

Of course, they still need to generate revenues to continue operations. Perhaps the whole idea of 'commercials' or even 'advertising' as a revenue source will evolve to include other yet-un-thought-of sources much like the distribution medium.

The British have already figured this one out. They generate revenues by billing everyone that owns a TV £135.50 per year.

Re:DRM vs. content distribution expansion (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833904)

If it ends commercials, it'd be cheap at twice the price. Can I buy into this model fromt he states?

Re:DRM vs. content distribution expansion (2, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834462)

You have no idea how many British people just don't get this concept. Every time there's a topic on the BBC's Have Your Say [bbc.co.uk] board that actually concerns the BBC, you get a slew of replies demanding the abolition of the licence fee and the introduction of adverts.

Okay, so the price can be hard to stomach considering you have to pay it even if you don't watch BBC programmes... but all things considered I think it's worth it, just for that precious advert-free zone.

Re:DRM vs. content distribution expansion (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834506)

it'd be cheap at twice the price.
Due to the current strength of the dollar, it *is* twice the price for you. Yes, I'm a smug Brit who has been buying cheap stuff from the states, hell it almost (but not quite) makes the PS3 affordable... But thank god for think geek; the UPS "brokerage" charges+import taxes are about the same price as the the stuff I'm buying.

Already available without DRM (3, Informative)

ThreeDayMonk (673466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834216)

I really don't understand why they are bothering to put DRM on it: the entire BBC output is already available over-the-air in unencrypted digital form via digital television (MPEG2/DVB-T). Never mind the analogue hole: there's a gaping digital hole out there!

What's wrong with the British... (0, Flamebait)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833100)

Why do they have to re-invent the iWheel all over again? Why not use iTunes like everyone else?

Re:What's wrong with the British... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833204)

Because we'll be getting to download all these programmes free of charge...

We pay our TV licences for a reason.

Re:What's wrong with the British... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833448)

And British TV doesn't want to give Steve Jobs a cut of the licenses fee? :)

Re:What's wrong with the British... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833658)

We probably will now - after he sues for trademark infringement.

Worse than the alternative (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833134)

Of course, you could just record the shows with your TV tuner, and play them on your Archos, and they wouldn't expire, but why would anyone want that?

Is this for money? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833186)

Maybe I'm missing something, but TFA doesn't make it at all clear whether they're planning on selling these downloads, or just giving them away. Any info?

Re:Is this for money? (3, Informative)

jackhererUK (992339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833312)

Very probably it will be free but only to UK residents. As mentioned in another comment in the UK we pay an annual license fee, which is enforced like a tax. Everyone that owns equipment capable of viewing TV has to pay it. This funds the BBC so they can't then charge for stuff and there are no adverts.

Re:Is this for money? (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834136)

So non-UK residents will have to get their Dr Who episodes off bittorrent, just like they do now.
Come to think of it, that will work for us in the UK too. So what's the point of the DRM?

iPlayer? (2, Funny)

faqmaster (172770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833212)

iPlayer? Sounds like it will be compatible with Apple's iSue.

Re:iPlayer? (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833302)

At which point the BBC will point to the fact that it's interactive (hence the i) and online services have been called BBCi since 2001.

apple to announce new iPlayer product (1)

duranaki (776224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833230)

BBC look out. You can't just use that 'i'. What were you thinking?! Don't you know that apple owns the letter 'i' now? There are 25 other perfectly good letters.

Re:apple to announce new iPlayer product (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833506)

There are 25 other perfectly good letters.

There are only 22. Spain has L, Portugal owns O and A. They license them (Spain to Mexico, Panama, Cuba, EL Salvador, etc.) but it is very rare to get a new license nowadays.

When the DRM is cracked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833246)

When the DRM is cracked and the programs remain for more than 30 days, I hope they will reconsider their decision and stop annoying the legitimate viewers.

Currently in the UK, if you tape a program and watch it later, you are supposed to erase the tape after a few days. Failure to do so makes the copy illegal and the act of copying a copyright offense. If that Dutch MEP nutter (Toine Manders) gets his way, and makes copyright infringement a criminal offense, then failure to erase the tape will make us all criminals.

Can I get my license fee back after 30 days?

30-day viewing period? (2, Interesting)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833270)

Something tells me the majority of non-British Dr. Who fans will continue to obtain the show by less...contstraining means.

Eventually they'll figure it out: until we can download it and watch it in the viewer of our choice as often as we want when we want, we will continue to obtain copies of such content by other means than theirs.

Re:30-day viewing period? (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833378)

I'm from the UK and I still torrent episodes after watching them on TV. Making avatars requires screencaps, which my TV doesn't do as well as VLC player.

Re:30-day viewing period? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833432)

I assume in the UK it's legal for you to capture the feed with your PC, so I fail to see a distinction between you recording it yourself and downloading it via torrent.

We Yanks, on the other hand, currently have no way to see the Doctor in a timely manner without the aid of torrents.

Re:30-day viewing period? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833518)

It's the same for all of us, if they don't release it here the same day as else where we torrent it.

It's the media age we're living in.

Re:30-day viewing period? (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833908)

what's the time delay between airings on the BBC and airings on Sci-Fi? I talked to somebody in London the other day and they said they are still waiting on the start of season 3 also (course, ours just ended 2 or 3 weeks ago on Sci-Fi), so I'd guess the lag isn't but a couple of months? That's a whole lot better than the lag of several years back in the Tom Baker days (yes, my "geek" card is certified and up to date).

Re:30-day viewing period? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833932)

I think the season ends there shortly before it starts here. I haven't been paying attention, I don't get SciFi (I refuse to pay $50 a month for 100 channels, five of which I will watch)

Re:30-day viewing period? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833980)

If you're far enough north you may be able to pick up the CBC from Canada. I'm not sure if the episodes play the same week as they do in the UK, but I think they are pretty current.

Re:30-day viewing period? (2, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833550)

Something tells me the majority of non-British Dr. Who fans will continue to obtain the show by less...contstraining means.

I prefer the term "alternative content distribution methods."

Eventually they'll figure it out: until we can download it and watch it in the viewer of our choice as often as we want when we want, we will continue to obtain copies of such content by other means than theirs.

Yeah, that seems to be the only way to make people happy. However, there's no way to make sure people are paying for it. Once you get a single copy out there without restrictions, it's easier for people to get it from their friends than to buy their own copy.

bittorent (2, Informative)

pbaer (833011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833284)

"The BBC reports that following approval from the BBC Trust (an independent oversight body) they are now allowed to release their 'iPlayer', enabling the download and viewing of BBC owned content such as Doctor Who. Unfortunately the Trust also mandated the use of DRM to enforce a 30 day playable period"

Or you could use bittorrent. I'm not entirely sure of the legality of downloading things that you already pay a license for such as TV shows, but that's never stopped anyone before.

Re:bittorent (3, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833516)

Since only people in Britain pay the BBC telly tax, what is the status of these downloads as far as the rest of the world is concerned? I can't see the BBC Trust subsidizing bandwidth of content paid for by Britons so that people in the US or Chile or Katmandu can watch Dr Who or whatever. Are they going to use IP blocking or something?

Re:bittorent (1)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833754)

Why can't they set up a proper clone of the iTunes store and simply allow folks who aren't already paying the franchise fee to buy shows -- like Top Gear, for example -- for a nominal fee?

Speaking of shows for a nominal fee, does anyone know of any legality or reason why Apple can't sell BBC shows on the US iTunes store, or is it just a matter of the BBC or Apple not wanting to sell shows?

Licensing issues across borders Re:bittorent (1)

rubies (962985) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834130)

Any digital shop front they set up would have to be restricted to the UK (I don't see any issues with this though), as some of the content is already licensed to other third parties (Top Gear, for example, turns up in strange places on cable in the US).

Re:bittorent (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833620)

Bear in mind that what "they" have been after for many years isn't even stronger copyright, but watchright. DRM is just a way of approximating that under current law, but once they get people used to the idea . . .

KFG

dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833430)

I cant believe that ANYONE thinks DRM will change a thing, It will be broken, it always is.

Re:dumb (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834178)

Since these programs are transmitted in the UK without any DRM, there's no point in bothering to try to break the DRM on these downloads. People will just record the transmissions instead.

Public Verus Private. (4, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833482)

NBC is entirely a private enterprise that (in theory) compensates the public for use of its airspace adequatly via the licences for it's broadcast spectrum (read the in theory before you flame me). As such they have something of a leg to stand on when they claim private ownership and the attractions of DRM for their crap... er ... shows.

Anyway, the BBC is (at least on paper) a public enterprise oned (in heory) by the British Public and paid for via the TV Tax. Much like the Voice of America is a service funded by the American Public. As such shouldn't the content produced by the Beeb be freely available (at least to the Brits, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish) for them to do with as they please? Didn't they pay to have it made and as such "own" it?

Or is this one of those cases where the drive to resell said content (say on BBC-America or via deals with other channels, or on DVD) that was supposed to "offset costs" now driving availability?

Re:Public Verus Private. (1)

Travelguy100 (832105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833688)

Early BBC content was clearly produced and owned by the BBC. I suspect that much of the newer material is licensed with ultimate ownership retained by the various production companies. They would be the ones imposing distribution restrictions to protect their worldwide licensing revenue.

OT:Public Verus Private. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834170)

(at least to the Brits, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish)
That should be "English, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish" as they're collectively all British, although many people prefer to identify primarily as one of the above. Think of the question "Are you Texan or American?"

Re:OT:Public Verus Private. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834768)

For the record, Great Britain (informally, Britain) is the largest of the British Isles, containing the political entities England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sovereign state. However, the term "British" has adopted the meaning of "of the United Kingdom". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_(termin ology) [wikipedia.org] for details of the many related terms.

Re:Public Verus Private. (3, Interesting)

nicklott (533496) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834670)

The UK govt doesn't work like that. What happens is they build something with tax payer's money, attach lots of legislative strings to its output/produce then sell it off because it's "not working". Normally a government minister will then become a director of said privatised company within a couple of years.

The BBC has lots of legislative strings and the reason they can't share the content is ostensibly because it would be competitively "unfair" on the independent TV stations who don't have access to taxpayers money. Of course in the real world ITV and C4 are doing it anyway, but that sort of minor detail doesn't matter in politics.

Re:Public Verus Private. (2, Informative)

pnattress (1002576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834980)

at least to the Brits, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish

Offtopic, but just so you know, "British" is a term encompassing those three latter nationalities you mentioned (although some Northern Irish may disagree that they are British at all). I assume you meant "English" rather than "British".

The iPlayer DRM is pointless.. (4, Insightful)

David McBride (183571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833612)

The imposition of DRM is pointless, at least if the goal is to limit redistribution of the content. The BBC are already digitally broadcasting all of their content, classical or otherwise, from all of their broadcasting stations in clear. (Crystal Palace is even broadcasting 20Mbit/sec H.264 streams as part of the current HD trials; indeed, my understanding is that the BBC will continue to broadcast in clear when the service goes into full production.)

Presumably OFCOM want to force the BBC to use DRM (they even specified that it should be Windows DRM) in order to buoy the position of Microsoft and/or commercial broadcasters?

In any case, I guess my MythTV server will continue to be useful for some time yet.

Re:The iPlayer DRM is pointless.. (1)

Travelguy100 (832105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833800)

Certainly for BBC Radio. Can you provide a link for BBC Television?

Re:The iPlayer DRM is pointless.. (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834512)

It's to make sure the downloads aren't watchable any further than their terrestrial broadcasts. They are required to do everything they can to protect their broadcasts, and at the same time to ensure access to them by the public. They have to use DRM, as it's there. Suggesting it's anything to do with Microsoft is ridiculous, as there is no evidence what-so-ever to support such a claim.

public outcry? (1)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833694)

There will be no public outcry. There will be no public users. Waste my DL limits for a 30 day playable period? How about wait for the 'fixed' version on bt instead?

BBC will get no complaints, and then wonder why DLs are so low.

plus 5, TRoll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833742)

NIGGER communnity

Feedback about DRM (4, Insightful)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17833826)

From the article:

"There is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music that will serve as a close substitute for commercially available downloads or CDs," it said.

The news will be a disappointment to the one million people who downloaded Beethoven's symphonies in a Radio 3 trial last year.
I downloaded those symphonies. I still listen to them. There's no DRM, my only complaint is that a higher bitrate could have been used (128k hardly does justice).

The BBC should be providing licence fee payers like myself with unrestricted digital content. If we end up building up massive libraries of free classical music, then so much the better! It is their job to educate, inform and entertain licence fee payers, not sell us CDs. They should not be concerned with "negative market impacts" - they should be providing the public service that we Brits are paying for.

Re:Feedback about DRM (2)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834888)

The BBC should be providing licence fee payers like myself with unrestricted digital content. If we end up building up massive libraries of free classical music, then so much the better! It is their job to educate, inform and entertain licence fee payers, not sell us CDs. They should not be concerned with "negative market impacts" - they should be providing the public service that we Brits are paying for.
You should make your voice heard [bbc.co.uk] ! I plan on submitting my opinion and I urge other U.K. residents to do the same.

Re:Feedback about DRM (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834964)

Thankyou for the link, I will certainly be doing that.

Re:Feedback about DRM (2, Insightful)

peepleperson (888013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834958)

Completely agree. Before I start, I'll just clarify - I'm talking about native BBC content, not programmes made by third-party producers.

I've never understood how BBC DVDs (and video cassettes before them) cost the same as, if not more than, Hollywood movies. As license-fee payers, we've already paid for production once, so should only be paying for materials and distribution to own a copy.

As the method of distribution is peer to peer [bbc.co.uk] they should be paying us (or at least those of us with fat pipes!) to distribute it. Plus, we should be able to keep it, as if we'd bought it on DVD. All that has changed is the distribution method. Why change what we can do with the content?

iFacism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17833914)

DRM courtesy of the BBC.

Can they please DRM-up Johnathan Ross, strictly come dancing, Terry Wogan, Chris Moyles and the rest of the crud they broadcast under the pretext of entertainment. Thatcher hated the BBC but apparently not as much as the last 20 years of BBC management. The best original drama is made by HBO in the states, the BBC's factual programs lack focus and bite and daytime radio is appalling. Successive governments have tolerated the wartime propaganda corporation known as the BBC despite the fact that there's no longer a requirement for a national broadcaster.

Do we really need or want the BBC? What compelling reason is there for it's continued existence?

Will anyone care enough? (1)

ronrib (1055404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834014)

The public outcry will sound much like people not purchasing their product.

Re:Will anyone care enough? (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834202)

How can we puechase something which will be free? I'm guessing this will be like channel 4's airing of IT. You'll watch the videos in a fixed web viewer assuming your IP is from the UK.

See the thing to do would be to download it lotsa times and cost BBC money and argue that the drm forces you to keep downloaded. But then again that supports DRM and may put the Beeb off doing it. Gah how will i get my free *legal* fix of red dwarf now! I can justify spending £25 for six episodes.

Re:Will anyone care enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17834458)

You can get the whole thing (all 8 series) on Amazon for just £57 [amazon.co.uk]

Unnecessarily complicated (1)

Faffe (915522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834082)

Why develop their own player? It's all content produced for tax money, just put it up on the net for free. Swedish state television streams a lot of programs, unfortunately only in WMV or quicktime, but at least I don't have to download a separate player.

Exempted? (2, Insightful)

RowanS (1049078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834626)

...exempted classical music performances from being made available...
Is that similar to the way that people in jail get exempted from leaving the jail?

Re:Exempted? (0, Redundant)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17834810)

I think it's more along the lines of how slashdotters are exempted from having sex...
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