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Paul820
July 13th, 2007, 02:07 PM
Looks like the BBC is listening, whether they still go ahead with the DRM i don't know but it's a start. Linky: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6897050.stm

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 02:14 PM
Hopefully they'll actually take heed and live up to their commitment to "complete platform neutrality". It sure would be nice to get their iPlayer working natively, and hopefully the DRM won't be too intrusive!

mrgnash
July 13th, 2007, 02:15 PM
Sytem Requirements:

'Operating system: Windows XP SP2
Browser: Internet explorer 6.0 or above
Media Player: Windows Media Player 10 or above
Net connection: Broadband'

I don't think this will go anywhere; they obviously couldn't be more enamoured of MS.

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 02:19 PM
I don't think this will go anywhere; they obviously couldn't be more enamoured of MS.

I think the point is, whilst it's released solely on Windows at the moment, the Corporation has undertaken for it to be platform-neutral, so will have to release at least a Mac version, and, logically, also a Linux version. Unless they go back on their word that is...!

smoker
July 13th, 2007, 02:26 PM
i think the BBC will have to 'wise up', they've had a load of bad publicity lately:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6896892.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6284014.stm

mrgnash
July 13th, 2007, 02:33 PM
I think the point is, whilst it's released solely on Windows at the moment, the Corporation has undertaken for it to be platform-neutral, so will have to release at least a Mac version, and, logically, also a Linux version. Unless they go back on their word that is...!

But the fact that it only supports Internet Explorer, and not even Firefox, is not a good indication.

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 02:41 PM
But the fact that it only supports Internet Explorer, and not even Firefox, is not a good indication.

I quite agree! It certainly is worrying, but at least they're not completely slamming the door in the face of open source - at least there has been a public commitment to platform neutrality. As I said before, we will just have to wait and see whether they stick to that commitment. I'm not hedging any bets, but it'd be good to see. And in any case, surely open to a fairly robust legal challenge - given the fact that it's not just MS users who pay license fees, why should the rest of us be excluded from using the iPlayer service, etc etc.

I guess it'll be a long wait before anything happens, I'm not optimistic but I do have hope!

starcraft.man
July 13th, 2007, 02:46 PM
But the fact that it only supports Internet Explorer, and not even Firefox, is not a good indication.

LOL! They don't even care about 25% of the Firefox users on Windows... so much for their platform neutrality. I think the BBC needs to wake up and realize any of their programming people want is on the p2p networks, ergo their attempts at DRM are worthless.

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 02:59 PM
I think the BBC needs to wake up and realize any of their programming people want is on the p2p networks, ergo their attempts at DRM are worthless.

A lot of their programmes are indeed on the p2p networks, but not everyone in their target demographic uses these. Think of all those non technologically minded people who just want to be able to watch what they want, when they want. At least the Beeb's attempting to move with technology, rather than sticking with their traditional broadcasting model. It's just disgraceful that they're shutting the door on so many people by the way they're going about it.

How narrow minded have I become - completely forgot all those people that use Firefox on other platforms...oops!

starcraft.man
July 13th, 2007, 03:11 PM
A lot of their programmes are indeed on the p2p networks, but not everyone in their target demographic uses these. Think of all those non technologically minded people who just want to be able to watch what they want, when they want.

I don't think you get my point. What I was meaning to get at is any of the BBCs programing that is worth stealing/pirating and distributing over p2p networks has already been done. The people who want to pirate (and there are dedicated pirates out there that will stop at nothing) will always get their programming via piracy or be the vectors for distribution. Therefore the only people this DRM can restrict is the average lay user who is already paying... (it's the same with Windows WGA, and every other DRM). The simple truth is no DRM technology has ever stopped piracy from occurring. Therefore, the BBC should just abandon attempts to secure the channel and make some sort of simple registration based player requiring a simple universal log in and a universal stream, all this time trying to protect the channel is really wasted. Pirates will always get their media.


At least the Beeb's attempting to move with technology, rather than sticking with their traditional broadcasting model. It's just disgraceful that they're shutting the door on so many people by the way they're going about it.
Bleh, seems business as usual, BBC I guess is really no different from the rest in the end >.>. And ya, it is disgraceful that you could be a life long BBC license payer and then get a slap in the face cuz BBC won't let you watch on your non-Windows machine.

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 03:23 PM
I don't think you get my point. What I was meaning to get at is any of the BBCs programing that is worth stealing/pirating and distributing over p2p networks has already been done. The people who want to pirate (and there are dedicated pirates out there that will stop at nothing) will always get their programming via piracy or be the vectors for distribution. Therefore the only people this DRM can restrict is the average lay user who is already paying... (it's the same with Windows WGA, and every other DRM). The simple truth is no DRM technology has ever stopped piracy from occurring. Therefore, the BBC should just abandon attempts to secure the channel and make some sort of simple registration based player requiring a simple universal log in and a universal stream, all this time trying to protect the channel is really wasted. Pirates will always get their media.


Bleh, seems business as usual, BBC I guess is really no different from the rest in the end >.>. And ya, it is disgraceful that you could be a life long BBC license payer and then get a slap in the face cuz BBC won't let you watch on your non-Windows machine.

I completely do get your point about any worthwhile programming already being on the networks - but that's not the case for future programming. But that's anything I'd deem worthwhile - I've not gone looking for other stuff, admittedly!

I know what you're saying about DRM only hitting average lay users, and totally agree with it - the only way round it is a shift in business model to adapt, as hackers/pirates will always find ways round whatever "clever" system any industry comes up with again. I thought it was a bit silly that they were making iPlayer so complicated originally...but then, streaming can't be the answer, as believe it or not, broadband isn't universal, even within the UK - can you imagine the hassle of having to set your computer downloading a few hours before you wanted to watch the programme, on a 56k modem?! At least with iPlayer you ought to be able to queue things up and leave it running. Not really explaining myself very well, but I hope you get my drift.

Meh, we'll just have to make do as best we can! Back to the original topic - it's still good that the BBC's listening to open source concerns - that's more that I can remember for any other large corporation with a technology roll-out.

ukripper
July 13th, 2007, 03:30 PM
Looks like the BBC is listening, whether they still go ahead with the DRM i don't know but it's a start. Linky: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6897050.stm

I was looking at this news this morning, looks like even BBC need plan it before they make decisions.

ukripper
July 13th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Sytem Requirements:

'Operating system: Windows XP SP2
Browser: Internet explorer 6.0 or above
Media Player: Windows Media Player 10 or above
Net connection: Broadband'

I don't think this will go anywhere; they obviously couldn't be more enamoured of MS.

I would like to see it as below:

iplayer v2.0

OS : Linux (all Distros) but not Windows/Mac
Browser: Firefox,Opera or any other supported by linux
Media Player: VLC, Mplayer or any other supported by linux
Net Connection: Broadband

Then perhaps BBC would win over DRM fever

thebucksstop
July 13th, 2007, 03:50 PM
I thought it was a bit silly that they were making iPlayer so complicated originally...but then, streaming can't be the answer, as believe it or not, broadband isn't universal, even within the UK - can you imagine the hassle of having to set your computer downloading a few hours before you wanted to watch the programme, on a 56k modem?!

I'm just going to correct myself here, before anyone pulls me up on the 56k bit....didn't notice the minimum requirements included broadband. I will now go and hang my head in shame.

Extreme Coder
July 13th, 2007, 04:02 PM
I would like to see it as below:

iplayer v2.0

OS : Linux (all Distros) but not Windows/Mac
Browser: Firefox,Opera or any other supported by linux
Media Player: VLC, Mplayer or any other supported by linux
Net Connection: Broadband

Then perhaps BBC would win over DRM fever
Maybe you're suggesting to the BBC to cut their throat? ;)

DoctorMO
July 13th, 2007, 04:33 PM
I can hope but the BBC is a big conflict machine (something Microsoft should have thought about before their mis-information campaign) of all the techy people in the BBC I know, almost all of them are Linux users and supporters; so obviously there will be an internal outcry within the BBC and the more noise outside that we make, the more reason these internal guys have to make comments to their bosses.

On the other side about DRM, DRM is the enforcement of a copyright contract which most of the time goes beyond what the law allows you to control in copyright. thus I don't even think it's legal (yet)

MonkeyBoy
July 13th, 2007, 05:22 PM
A couple of weeks ago I sent a complaint to the Beeb on this subject and also pointed out that almost all of their articles on the subject mention a Mac version to be released but that there seems to be no mention of Linux. Today they replied:


I understand you are annoyed by the possibility that the new on-demand services will be limited to Microsoft Windows users.

We work hard to provide internet services on a platform agnostic basis and we're committed to using open standards where possible.

We have always planned to evolve the technical systems continuously from launch and aim to broaden the availability of the service as quickly as is reasonably possible.

However, we also have to balance objectives against:

(i) Demands of our rights holders

(ii) Viability of alternative technical solutions

(iii) Value for money to the licence fee payer


The proposed technical approach (described in the application) represents the initial solution for delivering the proposals as widely as possible.

At launch we expect to deliver the seven day catch-up over the internet proposal using a combination of streaming and Microsoft DRM protected download. Where programming is streamed it will be available to users of Apple and Linux systems, though the amount of programming delivered via streaming will be limited.

I hope this goes some way to explain our position on the matter. Your comments have been fully registered and added to our daily audience log. This is an internal document that is made available to the web production teams and senior BBC management.



Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.



Regards


BBC Information

I get the feeling that DoctorMO is correct about the conflict. There is a lot of technical expertise in the BBC but not much of it is at the top so we get these badly thought out schemes which are green lighted by people who don't understand the issues. We need to make as much fuss as possible just to ensure that there is continuing pressure from all sides to remedy this problem.

On the BBC home page there is a complaints link at the bottom of the page. I think this is probably as good a method as any to continue stating our case.

stmiller
July 13th, 2007, 06:28 PM
http://www.nbc.com/Video/

NBC content is flash video and works with any OS with Adobe Flash. Cannot download videos directly like the BBC player aims to do, but works in Mac/Win/Linux right in your browser. So something like this should be possible. (No love for the Gnash PowerPC folks, though.)

DoctorMO
July 13th, 2007, 08:56 PM
NBC content is flash video and works with any OS with Adobe Flash. Cannot download videos directly like the BBC player aims to do, but works in Mac/Win/Linux right in your browser. So something like this should be possible. (No love for the Gnash PowerPC folks, though.)

A torrent based DRM scheme that's open source isn't too hard to come up with, it could be done with existing tools and formats; a bit of programming and plug it into mplayer or vlc; full access to all platforms there you go. but it would need a small dev team to work on the problem for about 2 years and we don't have 2 years because by then Microsoft will have harmed yet another area in the computer industry.

ukripper
July 13th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Maybe you're suggesting to the BBC to cut their throat? ;)

Atleast they get away from long term suffering ahead when open source becomes mainstream

easyease
July 14th, 2007, 01:04 PM
One good place to let the beeb know what we think of this situation would be the bbc news channels "click" program which concerns computing and the internet. in fact click is the only British program i have ever seen mention ubuntu, Mark shuttleworth has been mentioned a fair few times.
Follow this link to let click know how we feel......
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/inbox/default.stm

funkyade
July 16th, 2007, 12:25 PM
First post on here for a while as I moved to Gentoo, however, I cannot help comment as I have actually been involved i some of the consultation process to the BBC choosing what (if any rights managemnent they use)...

- a major concern for the BBC initially was to make their 'free' programming available to as many people as possible, including Linux users. Bear in mind the BBC is one of the few media organisations to actually recognise that Linux actually exists and people use it, they have Linux specific help pages for instance.

- another issue in terms of technology was that at the point the consultation process started Vista had not yet been released. Management decided on a wait-and-see policy to see how vista's built-in DRM worked (if at all), how the market/users perceived and/or switched to vista from eithe XP, OSX or Linux, and how quickly M$ resolved compatibility issues with vista and media player.

- in terms of figures, not accurate as I don't have the data at the moment, takeup of vista has been underwhelming to say the least, the vast majority of new or upgrade vista users have actually bought a new PC with it preinstalled. Also, reliability is appalling (some personal experience as have laptop with non-functioning DVDR drive due to vista bug - works in Gentoo etc...), and the constant updates for vista are actually making keeping track of compatibility issues difficult.

- I cannot confirm this, but the BBC as the UKs most recognised and reverred media provider, was under extreme pressure to restrict access to their content by rights holders; essentially, the programmes the BBC buys in rather than makes themselves. You can get access to tons of BBC content via on-demand services through a set top box (use Virgin myself) but very little duplication of that online except Radio, this is mostly free. Unfortunately, bought-in programs are severely restricted. I believe this is because the BBC has in essence been told they will lose the rights to broadcast this stuff unless they do what they are told by the creators - they want serious DRM in place, like what vista is suppose to provide - hence, initial windows only restrictions. Apple, to their credit, are not keen to play ball, even though they can already provide what M$ can't via iTunes to OSX users (and possibly windows users, although iTunes and vista do not get on at them moment!), Linux users with no central mouthpiece or bank balance to argue their case are left in the cold as usual as they have no DRM, and do things like share files with their friends in ways that rights holders can't control (obviously, windows and mac users do this as well but they can be 'policed' in ways that Linux users cannot).

- I am not saying that Linux users are being victimised here, just that because of the very nature of Linux and Open-source, the big boys can't police us in the same way apart from restricting access to content.

- for my own part in this, I no longer am part of the consultation process, and my little voice saying please make this universally accessible to ALL went unheard whilst I was, seemingly.

There is nothing to stop the open-source community snubbing the providers and not buying their products as that is what hurts them the most if that is what it must come down to...

----

Apologies for a tired unfocused rant (need coffee urgently, 45 mins sleep etc...), but this is an interesting issue and I feel is not as debated as much as I thought it would be...

funkyade
July 16th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Also, nothing to stop you using WINE to run the absolutely bug-free and wonderful IE7... ;-)

smoker
July 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM
There is nothing to stop the open-source community snubbing the providers and not buying their products as that is what hurts them the most if that is what it must come down to...


the thing is, you can't snub the bbc. if you don't buy a licence you are breaking the law, unfortunately. if i had the choice, i would tell the bbc to 'shove it!'

Nezing
July 16th, 2007, 01:21 PM
Firstly.Vista.Piece of junk.I know,I have to use it at work every day.XP.Life support being pulled January 2008.As a BBC licence payer,I know that the standard of most of their programs,such as documentaries,plays,etc,are top notch.Forget the news,as that is about as reliable as a birthday card in a Soviet gulag. :)
But to exclude UK based linux users,to please the "top guns",of MS,and Apple is a disgrace.This is what it appears to be.It is no use saying that linux is limited,in consumer choice,and too technical to implement.I watch on-line programs such as "Click",via Real Player.I have a good broadband connection,and the program streams very easy.No buffering,judders,or freezing,what so ever.Yes,all viewed in Ubuntu.So for the beeb to say,technical,drm issues,copywrite,etc,will not wash.
How on earth they can say that it could (might),be late next year,before linux "gets a look in",is a joke.Sure,I can watch the BBC everyday,via my cable box,and I could watch their streaming content from Vista at work (dont tell the boss),but that is not the point.
It is yet another kick in the teeth,for the Open Source Community,which has some of the best coders,and forward looking designers out there.Please BBC,get your act together,and remember that the future is bright.The future is linux.

Elderlygent
July 18th, 2007, 07:01 AM
In fact it's perfectly possible to hear the Beeb via ubuntu. You just get RealPlayer 10 and there you go. The problem is (I suspect) the way some of their sites display in Firefox, too narrowly and with type overlaid. I haven't discovered yet whether this is a problem of Firefox or the BBC's page designers. The Times Online site has similar disfigurements. In either event it's a real drag for those with less than 20-20 vision.

DoctorMO
July 18th, 2007, 09:43 AM
In fact it's perfectly possible to hear the Beeb via ubuntu. You just get RealPlayer 10 and there you go. The problem is (I suspect) the way some of their sites display in Firefox, too narrowly and with type overlaid. I haven't discovered yet whether this is a problem of Firefox or the BBC's page designers. The Times Online site has similar disfigurements. In either event it's a real drag for those with less than 20-20 vision.

No this is a new system based on Microsoft DRM enabled Windows Media Video format. If I was king of the world I'd make proprietory formats illegal since it's effectively locking away a users data away from them.

AndyCooll
July 18th, 2007, 01:14 PM
In fact it's perfectly possible to hear the Beeb via ubuntu. You just get RealPlayer 10 and there you go. The problem is (I suspect) the way some of their sites display in Firefox, too narrowly and with type overlaid. I haven't discovered yet whether this is a problem of Firefox or the BBC's page designers. The Times Online site has similar disfigurements. In either event it's a real drag for those with less than 20-20 vision.

Don't even need Realplayer for that. One of the mplayer, totem, vlc (etc) Firefox plugins sort that out.

No, we're talking of something else. This is the BBC's new official 30-day catchup download service of TV programmes. And for that you will need their iPlayer ...which won't work on Linux.

:cool: