Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The problem with the iPlayer

So the BBC is going ahead with making much of their content available online - through a system crippled by Microsoft's DRM. The reason they give is that "the right's holders - the people that make the programmes, from Ricky Gervais to the independent producers that account for up to a third of our programming - simply wouldn't have given us the rights to their programmes unless we could demonstrate very robust digital rights management."

Alright. But what about the programs that the BBC produce themselves? Shouldn't they by default be exempt from DRM? As for the independent producers, the BBC by merit of its size should be in such a bargaining position that they could force them to accept DRM-free distribution. But apparently the corporation hasn't got enough spine for that. Sad.

DRM is fundamentally at odds with the spirit of public service. Who is going to stand up against DRM if not the public service media corporations? And what's the point in public service at all if it bows to commercial media's ideas about DRM?

No comments: