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Every silver lining has a cloud

From miss_s_b, a very worthwhile petition on the government site to try and stop the BBC making their on-demand service available only on Windows machines. Grrr. (I did know they'd signed a deal with Microsoft - I think we got an email a while ago - but didn't think through the ramifications, which makes me feel dim...)

I'm unsure how much notice the government take of these petitions - I'm currently very cynical about "consultations" and "finding out what you think", thanks mainly to my work, who "consult us" to make us feel included, but have no intention of listening to anything we say. So I'd also suggest phoning or emailing the BBC directly - call 08700 100222, or email from the website. The BBC doesn't generally get as many complaints as you'd think, so if a lot of people get in touch with them, they *might* change their minds. Though I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft have locked them into the contract now and they won't legally be able to offer non-iPlayer content. In that case they'd have to challenge the contract, which would probably be a political/ legal thing.

Edit: this article explains why the BBC went with Microsoft, the problems they've had, and says the BBC Trust "will require the BBC Executive to adopt a platform-agnostic approach within a reasonable timeframe. This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services." Good. But I'm still cynical about some of the other things they say in the article, like this: "Although the Corporation wanted to use open standards, it could find nothing that was truly open that also met its needs" - I automatically translate that as "was cheap enough and willing to do exactly what we said".

Huh. Today I am cynical and pessimistic, it would seem. I wasn't aware of this - I've been out to the supermarket and bought lots of nice food, and I have two Veronica Marses and a Heroes to watch tonight, as well as four (four!) new Chalet School books that came in the post today. I should be in a better mood. Hmm. Here, I'll link to a cute baby lemur! Well, either cute or...kind of disturbing. The third picture scares me a bit.

I think I want to go to the Ballads of the Book thingy at Triptych. I like the idea of the CD - Scottish writers do the lyrics, Scottish bands do the music - and they're having "all-day shenanigans" with "band performances, solo recitals, book readings, one-off collaborations, multi-media extravaganzas, DJ sets and more." And Hal Duncan (notesgeekshow) will be there, as well as the Trashcan Sinatras and Norman Blake and various other stalwarts of the Glasgow indie scene.


( 8 comments — Comment )
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
To be fair to the BBC, they are developing a platform to enable their video content to be viewed on other operating systems. They didn't really have much choice when deciding to go with Microsoft's DRM in their iplayer. It was either that or nothing. They initially wanted to release content with no DRM, but legally they cannot do that. And for technical reasons, Microsoft's is the only DRM option available at present, so it's either windows only or nothing for the moment.

This article and the linked podcast explain all.

Mar. 1st, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you. So we should be petitioning the government for a change in the DRM laws, or trying to get people to develop compatible non-Windows thingies.
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
And now I've read the article, the BBC are going to have to develop non-Windows thingies. So that's good.
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
I was just looking at the baby lemur, and I saw a link to a news story about Church being pregnant, and I thought, "How on earth can a church be pregnant?" and then realised it was Charlotte Church. Oh.
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that made me double take too! Though a church being pregnant would at least be actual news...
Mar. 1st, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Me too!
Mar. 1st, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
That petition assumes that anyone in the PM's office knows what an operating system is...
Mar. 2nd, 2007 10:23 am (UTC)
Awwww, baby lemur! :-D
( 8 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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