Thursday, 19 August 2010

And thanks to Ajo - we have rights to record the BBC

"Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s70 (Recording for purposes of time-shifting): "The making for private and domestic use of a recording of a broadcast or cable programme solely for the purpose of enabling it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time does not infringe any copyright in the broadcast or cable programme or in any work included in it."

So yes, the BBC is going down a road which will remove from licence fee payers an existing right firmly established in law - that of recording their TV programmes to watch at any time of their choosing. People should be able to record any programme broadcast on iPlayer to watch when they want to. The fact that you are preventing them from legally doing this is pretty objectionable, given it is preventing them from exercising a legal right purely on a technicality of the method of transmission."

[BBC blog by Ajo]

Well now this is the real issue, someone out there - the media companies - is trying to take away my legal rights. And the BBC is not on my side, but supports them in this. Even though I pay for the BBC through my licence fee.

How come?

I am moved to agree with Micheal about the BBC

At 8:31pm on 17 Aug 2010, Michael wrote:

Let's face it, the BBC decision to rely on Flash is driven by DRM and licenced content. That is why the BBC is not using open source codecs and distribution mechanisms. That is why the BBC is locking out homebuilt video players like XMBC. And that is why the BBC is involved in the Project Canvas consortium to make it even harder for UK citizens to watch TV content without paying fees to somebody, whether Sky or BT or some other Project Canvas licensee.

This whole thing is not a technical issue, it is not an issue of providing a high quality experience to the largest possible audience. This is 100% a political issue in which the hidden media players behind the BBC, Sky and other TV companies, are trying to create a CLOSED ecosystem in the UK where revenue will flow from the viewer into the pockets of the hidden media companies.

There is only one way out of this and it is through political action to stop Project Canvas, and to stop the BBC from televising any DRM licenced content whatsoever. It means that the BBC will likely have to stop showing any American TV content because licencing it restricts it from iPlayer or requires DRM on iPlayer. But this is the route that we have to go down. The licence fee payers deserve to get an open television system in which content is freely available to view through whatever means they choose whether that is XMBC or MythTV or a box from Sky or BT.

Spend less time in the blogosphere and more time on educating MPs and OFCOM about this issue. When the lightbulb finally goes on, Project Canvas will be dead, and the BBC's license conditions will be changed. Right now, media interests have effectively taken over the BBC and OFCOM and are playing a game of brinksmanship in order to steer UK TV into a closed ecosystem.

Meanwhile in other countries, people are free to view their TV how they want. There aren't any quality problems and nobody suggests that it is hard to view Internet TV on a TV set.

[From the BBC Blog]

100% right. Canvas is designed to allow the media companies to control the distribution chain, like they already do for Sky and others. To do this the BBC has designed a closed, DRM system and will licence its production to approved hardware makers. The iPlayer we know to day will be dead and we will have to buy a box to view any IPTV...