Groklaw interview's BBC about DRM'd iPlayer

Ben Finney ben at
Mon Nov 19 12:42:24 UTC 2007

On 19-Nov-2007, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> Sean Daly's interviewed the director of the BBC's division 
> responsible for their DRM'd iPlayer software:

Thanks for drawing my attention to this, it's highly relevant and a 
good interview by Sean asking the key questinos in a way designed to 
get information.

Among that information was:

    [...] all the broadcasters, public-service broadcasters in the UK, 
    are able to offer their television programs for a period of time 
    free over the Internet.

    And the way we've done that is by managing to assure the rights 
    holders that their content will not easily be distributed beyond 
    the UK where they have very important and for them, lucrative 
    secondary rights windows. Now, that has required us to demonstrate 
    a robust use of digital rights management. That's where we are.

This is good to see come out, because it highlights exactly why DRM is 
hostile to the users. Assurance "that their content will not easily be 
distributed beyond the UK"?

To the extent that assurance is true, it's exactly the kind of 
user-hostile restriction that encourages users to seek more 
user-friendly distribution systems — even ones that violate copyright, 
because clearly current copyright restrictions are not serving them.

> I think this is interesting at the European level because the issues 
> faced by the UK's BBC will surely be faced by other countries in the 
> next few years.

Yes. Will every country in the EU have assurances to media hoarders 
"that their content will not easily be distributed beyond" that 

Or will they acknowledge that their users actually *do* move 
internationally, especially in Europe, and that users expect the 
internet to do what it does best and move those bits around with them 

 \        "I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance |
  `\                                       any day."  -- Douglas Adams |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben at>
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