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March 2, 2010

No open source for the iPlayer

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by David Allen

Despite there being many moans from UK viewers about the BBC’s plans to block open source plugins for the iPlayer, the BBC Trust will not be investigating the decision, as it states that it has not received any formal complaints on the issue.

Following an update by the BBC, the catch-up service could not be accessed by some viewers.

This was because the update blocked the real time messaging protocol (RTMP) plugins, which are based on the GNU General Public Licence V2.

What the BBC has done here is to simply stop unauthorised video player apps using the Adobe SWF verification.

Effectively the BBC has locked out those users of open source software.

The reason behind this is to stop any third party software from downloading the video or content.

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1 Comment »
  1. Mark Thomson says:

    “The BBC should also help guarantee access. While technology and distribution must always be means and not ends for the BBC, it has a special role to develop and back open platforms and standards. It should defend the public’s right to choose rather than to have choices made for them, and we should therefore continue to invest in open broadcast platforms.”

    So the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

    I quote again, “…develop and back open platforms and standards…”.

    So why are they

    1 Seeking Ofcom to approve the use of proprietary DRM on HD TV (EPG) programming?

    2 Using Adobe’s proprietary Flash technology to stream to the iPlayer, and now introducing without any approval “SWF Verification”, effectively DRM, onto iPlayer content.

    There is a lot of backhand stuff going down at the BBC as they struggle in the fight with misguided rights owners (i.e. big Hollywood studios) who are demanding protection for their media, media which the BBC cannot do without as it doesn’t produce enough of its own to fill its HD TV or plain TV air time.

    And yet we hear nothing about the BBC’s stand on rights, they just buckle under rather than standing up as a “Public Broadcaster” against restrictive and useless DRM.

    Comment by Antony watts — March 3, 2010 @ 5:59 am

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