12 July 2007

BBC Listens - or Pretends To...

Good to hear:

The BBC Trust has asked to meet open source advocates to discuss their complaints over the corporation's Windows-only on demand broadband TV service, iPlayer.

The development came less than 48 hours after a meeting between the Open Source Consortium (OSC) and regulators at Ofcom on Tuesday. Officials agreed to press the trust, the BBC's governing body, to meet the OSC. The consortium received an invitation on Wednesday afternoon.

Since they had to be shoved into doing this by Ofcom, I somehow can't see the BBC actually doing anything as a result. But I'm willing to be proved wrong.


Nicolas Redfern said...

I thought it was OFCOM that forced them to use time locked DRM in the first place, to make it "fair" for other broadcasters.

Glyn Moody said...

I don't think it's Ofcom that's the problem, but the new BBC Trust, which oversees the BBC these days. They are extremely cautious, and seem to have bought the story from the music industry that iPlayer needs to be seriously nobbled - which is why there are no classical music downloads, or spoken words.

But the business of Windows only seems to be different. As far as I can tell, it's partly a matter of laziness - the BBC just opted for the default Microsoft solution rather than create its own DRM.

But more than that it's pusillanimity: the BBC could easily write into its contracts with producers that it has the right to distribute episodes over the Net without DRM. It's simply shirked its duty as a public broadcaster in this. It should be fighting for us, the licence-payers, not for the lazy media world that refuses to come to terms with online distribution.