I know you read this (part 2)

Especially since I know how to get your attention, but it isn’t something that my relations who work for Auntie haven’t heard until they are sick of it.

I know the BBC’s (and ITV’s) point of view about preserving digital rights and all that. It’s not just the BBC since other entities are involved (E.g., US Public Broadcasting and The Discovery Network). The problem is that there is still revenue haemorrhaging which can’t be blamed on the BBC iPlayer being pirated to the Internet.

Whilst the boffins are trying to keep people from downloading material which bypassed the iPlayer’s Adobe Air DRM, the material still makes it to the internet on Pirate Bay and Files Tube. It doesn’t take too long for something like a Being Human, the Tudors, or Even the Michael Portillo Great British Railway Journeys to show up as downloads in HD format. One site, filmous.com, sells the material.

The other gripe I have with the official iPlayer is how the catch up service tends to be erratic, with episodes being up for a week to much longer. Not to mention that there is a 7 day lifespan once an episode has begun to be watched, and 30 day lifespan without viewing. I reckon that Michael Portillo Great British Railway Journeys runs anywhere from 10-32 1/2 hours (10 for series one 22 1/2 for series two) which is far more of Michael than I want to sit through at once.

I realise that it is blasphemy to suggest that the iPlayer material should have an additional charge in addition to the licence fee, but there must be a way that this material can be delivered digitally in a reliable manner that earns money for the BBC. Why should something like filmous.com make money selling this material whilst the BBC loses out?

And the regional issue, couldn’t you also look the other way at that? After all, the official iPlayer material plays anywhere once it has been downloaded. Likewise, one can buy the Region 2 DVDs and watch them anywhere in the world with a region free player. I have to admit that the regional restriction isn’t that much of an issue, but any pay service should be a bit more liberal in who can access the material.

My preference is to acquire this material from legitimate means, usually iPlayer or purchase of the DVD. On the other hand, it is annoying to find that this material is freely available (in fact more freely available–e.g., the Goodies complete and Time Team) via download.

There is a market for this which can earn money for the BBC. It is a shame that the BBC is not working to exploit it: both in terms of revenue and increased audience for its products


Posted 16/02/2011 by lacithedog in BBC, BBC iplayer, DRM, get_iplayer, iplayer, ITN, ITV, Piracy

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