Does the BBC think we are (electric) sheep?

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Does the BBC think we are (electric) sheep?

Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:45 am

The BBC have killed the 2nd iPlayer application for Android (myPlayer) after previously sending the attack lawyers against the developer of beebPlayer and forcing that very popular application off the Android market.

They persist with the bulls**t line that iPlayer is available on Android devices via Flash 10.0, despite the fact that this is only available for devices that run Android 2.2 (Froyo), have an Arm v7 processor, and is supported by the manufacturer. In other words a very limited number of "high end" devices.

This leaves me exceedingly p*ssed off. They pay lawyers with the money I pay for my licence to kill an application that allows me to view content I have also paid for via my licence fee.

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Postby heiowge » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:51 am

Yet another reason to remove the forced TV Tax! :roll:
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Postby ollie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:00 am

I have never understood a tax on receiving radio waves :?
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Postby heiowge » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:22 am

We should get a partial refund every time they show a repeat! :lol:
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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:25 am

heiowge wrote:Yet another reason to remove the forced TV Tax! :roll:


Beginning to think the same. The benefit to the "TV Tax" is that the BBC has a responsibility to the licence payers.

If they think they can ignore the fact that we pay their f**king wages and ride roughshod all over us then, perhaps, it is time to get rid of the licence fee and make the bastards pay their own way.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 am

ollie wrote:I have never understood a tax on receiving radio waves :?


I do, kind of, "get" the idea behind the licence. It should mean that the BBC can provide quality programming and services without having to compete for ratings.

Yet they still do just that (compete for ratings).

Their arrogance is astounding. Their recent updates to iPlayer and the News website have met with almost universal derision, yet they refuse to listen to any complaints, justify the cockups by trying to convince users that the changes are good for them and refuse to listen to reason when people explain why whatever they have done is incorrect / bad.

The Android / iPlayer fiasco is a prime example. When questioned about iPlayer for Android they stick to the mantra that iPlayer is available for all Android 2.2 devices, completely ignoring (and often censoring) those that point out that it is actually a small subset of 2.2 devices (and an even smaller subset of all Android devices) that have Flash 10.1 and hence can run the BBC's 'official' iPlayer.
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Postby towy71 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:55 pm

I agree that the beeb is being particularly shitty about the crap drm stuff that they have been hoodwinked into paying for then we have to "pay" again having originally stumped the money in the first place.
I blame the lack off accountability of the "trust"* and most iterations of governors and director-generals down the years. There have been some great partnerships but the John Birt style bean counters have had a deleterious effect.
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Postby leke » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:59 pm

What was their reason for killing these apps and were the apps closed source?
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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:36 pm

leke wrote:What was their reason for killing these apps and were the apps closed source?


The apps were closed source, but free on the Android Market.

The reason given by the BBC for them requesting the removal of these apps was that they broke the BBC Syndication Policy. In particular the clause about "Redistribution".

Of course, this is complete bullshit, neither app "redistributed" anything, they merely allowed users to view iPlayer content on their phones.

The problem is, the developers, one and individual (BeebPlayer, Dave Johnston) and the other a small company (My Player, SkyNet), didn't have the resources to defend themselves against a corporate bullyboy, and had no choice but to comply with their demands, however ridiculous the charges.

What is needed is a FOSS iPlayer client. Then the developer can call on the assistance of the EFF and FSF to help fight off BBC and its attack-dog lawyers.
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Postby leke » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:50 pm

What is needed is a FOSS iPlayer client. Then the developer can call on the assistance of the EFF and FSF to help fight off BBC and its attack-dog lawyers.

Hopefully the BBC might be a little more accommodating if the iPlayer app was open source? Maybe I'm wrong on this, but it could be that there was no way to verify the integrity of an app if it's closed source, and users could more likely be duped into trusting something if it's for watching BBC programs.

The apps in question are probably fine though, and it's unfortunate the BBC reacted in the way they did, especially since their product is lacking more universal application.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:16 pm

leke wrote:Hopefully the BBC might be a little more accommodating if the iPlayer app was open source?


I doubt it. I get the distinct impression that it is the Open Source nature of Android that is the root of the issue.

The root of the problem is DRM. DRM and FOSS are not good bed partners as most DRM and content protection relies on "Security by Obscurity".
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Postby guy » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:01 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:The reason given by the BBC for them requesting the removal of these apps was that they broke the BBC Syndication Policy.

Where we read:
"3. Subject to value for money and as technology allows, BBC content shall be supplied on a platform neutral basis;"
- so that explains the iPlayer compatibility then.

and:
"4. BBC content may only be distributed for consumption within the UK;"
- Fancy that. I never realised 'til now that .co.uk electrons fall into the sea at Dover. You learn something new every day.
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Postby nelz » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:58 am

guy wrote:"4. BBC content may only be distributed for consumption within the UK;"
- Fancy that. I never realised 'til now that .co.uk electrons fall into the sea at Dover. You learn something new every day.


To be fair, this isn't specifically the BBC's fault. They licence content for the UK market so would be in reach of the terms if they allowed that contents to be broadcast elsewhere. It's particularly annoying when the main time you want to use iPlayer is because you're abroad and can't get BBC any other way... but that's why we have VPNs.
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Postby ollie » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:43 am

AndyBaxman wrote:
ollie wrote:I have never understood a tax on receiving radio waves :?


I do, kind of, "get" the idea behind the licence. It should mean that the BBC can provide quality programming and services without having to compete for ratings.


Why not tax the actual products capable of receiving the signals - you already have VAT, why not TVDT (Television Device Tax) when the TVs are purchased? Or just fund the BBC as the Australian government does with the ABC?

The BBC seems to be very restrictive with all video content - often even news videos are blocked from Australian viewers :?
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Postby nelz » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:56 am

ollie wrote:Why not tax the actual products capable of receiving the signals - you already have VAT, why not TVDT (Television Device Tax) when the TVs are purchased?


Because you can still only watch one programme at a time, no matter how many TVs you own.

ollie wrote:Or just fund the BBC as the Australian government does with the ABC?


That's essentially what happens, the licence fee is just another tax that goes into the pot to pay for everything, like road tax.
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