I’m glad to see that the BBC’s “on-demand” service has been approved by the BBC Trust. However, I’m not so happy that they’ve decided to DRM it. On the other hand, quoting from the “BBC on-demand proposals: Public Value Test final conclusions” published by the BBC Trust:
In response to a submission from the BBC Executive, we are dropping our two-year deadline for achieving platform neutrality on seven-day catch-up TV and will instead audit the Executive’s progress every six months.
Hopefully this means that we won’t have to wait very long until they release the DRM shackles.
A good part to read is page 9. This describes why they chose a DRM system. I think their argument’s a bit pants really. It mainly boils down to agreements with the rights holders of the stuff the BBC broadcasts, and how their content must only be available for download for a limited period after broadcast. The Trust seems to have immediately jumped to the conclusion that this means that they must use DRM. This is absolutely absurd! Currently, I can go and record digital TV broadcasts (note: with no loss in quality between transmitter & receiver) and they’re not DRMed. They’re in a file too, so one could go and pirate those in exactly the same way as a downloaded non-DRMed file. Why has the Trust decided that downloading from the internet any different? The methods of piracy prevention that are currently in place (i.e. the Police) for digital broadcasts seem to be working alright don’t they?
It seems to me that the BBC Trust is like a massive sheep. In its report, it states that it’s not sure about the business models for open content. Firstly, this is a load of diabolical rubbish (CDs!). It’s just following the flock of other content vendors.
What is it with internet vendors and not understanding how to sell things through websites? Farnell’s website went through an “upgrade” a couple of weeks ago. I’ve just attempted to use it. They seem to have removed the ability for one to remove the individual search criteria that one has applied. They don’t even let you see them!
The Farnell website must be continuously trawled by electronic engineers looking for things. It’s as if they’ve never ever talked to any of them nor read the torrent of annoyed feedback that must pump into their website all day long!
So, a plan. I fair to believe that there aren’t thousands of people who are irritated by Farnell’s website. So I’ve started a petition. Sign it!
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