21 November 2008

BBC: No Comment is Good Comment

Graham Steel has asked me what I think about this:

BBC shows including EastEnders, Heroes and Never Mind The Buzzcocks will be available to watch live online from next week, the BBC has announced.

BBC One and BBC Two will be streamed live - just as BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC News are already broadcast on their channel websites.

And the answer is: nothing. I have zero to say on the subject.

And that's good, because it means that despite my deep concerns about the BBC in general, there doesn't seem to be a problem with live streaming (assuming it works on GNU/Linux like the stuff currently available.) Since there are no DRM issues here, there aren't any issues about the BBC not fully supporting free software.

Of course, they are still one or two *other* problemettes with the scheme, but at least they are platform-agnostic problemettes....


Anonymous said...

Regarding your last paragraph and those problemettes, yes indeed, our national state sponsored religion, the avuncular "Auntie"!

Here's a screenshot of the BBC News website front page taken earlier this evening, in which the Beeb shows the other side of its character:


At the bottom of the right-hand column, buried among the friendly, inclusive, and easily accessibility content is the incongruous, Stasi-esque warning:

"Don't put it off. Pay online now. It's all in the database"!

We've seen this before. Here are a couple of charming pictures I took a couple of months back in south London (the week of the "Freedom not Fear" event, ironically):

It seems increasingly likely that the iPlayer will be used effectively as a Trojan Horse, intended to (sooner or later) render any device capable of running it as "Licence Fee liable".

If that's really the case it will be ironic for many of us. Having worked hard to shrug off the Microsoft tax, it's starting to seem likely that it will be replaced by a new state-imposed tax on computer ownership.

I have already paid for my computers. The money went to the companies that *deserved* it, namely, those which manufactured the components that I used to build the machines. I completely fail to see how the hell the Beeb is going to morally justify muscling in on the sticker price.

The BBC reminds me of my old university student union. Ever-expanding, continually increasing turnover, suffering from chronic feature creep and burgeoning out of control. By the time I left uni it resembled a politically correct shopping mall. When I look at the Beeb I just get deja vu.

Maybe I'm being unduly pessimistic. Perhaps the BBC will scale back its operations and dedicate itself to providing simple, high-quality public news and information services, and will lose its enormous entertainment budget. This will in turn reduce its thirst for money earned and generated by others, that morally belongs in their pockets and not those of the BBC.

No doubt Ms Blears regards comments such as this one as yet more "corrosive cynicism" posted on an "unregulated" website. Well, I look forward to her and her colleagues proving me utterly wrong on this matter.

Bob Hazard said...

I know you think that Auntie is in bed with Microsoft but they did mention us last Monday too:


Glyn Moody said...

Looking on the bright side - well, I have to try - it might be that this is simply a step too far: you can't end up trying to impose the licence fee on *every* PC in the UK. Perhaps we can go back to taxing just TVs.

As for Ms Blears, well, I think we're pretty aligned on this one....

Glyn Moody said...

@BobCFC: hey, even dictatorships make mistakes....

Dr. Roy Schestowitz said...

Can Auntie be saved? Or is it a lost cause like ISO?

Think before shooting an injured deer.