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[News] MSBBC Under Fire for DRM Policy

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Official Statement Objecting BBC/OFCOM Proposal

,----[ Quote ]
| The Linux Foundation, on behalf of its 
| members, would like to register its 
| serious objections to the current 
| BBC/OFCOM proposal, which would impose 
| content management controls on new free-
| to-air high definition channels. The plan, 
| which involves restrictively licensing the 
| Huffman codes used in the electronic 
| programme guide, would have a negative 
| effect on open source applications and 
| would distort the markets which have built 
| up around those applications.
| The treatment of Open Source in the BBC 
| document is incorrect and ignores the 
| severe market distortions that this 
| content management scheme would produce in 
| open platforms. The use of Open Source 
| within the market segments that would be 
| affected by the BBC proposal can be 
| divided into two business models: 
| Proprietary but built on Open Source and 
| fully open platforms. The HD Freesat 
| system the BBC used to characterise Open 
| Source falls into the Proprietary but open 
| category; no analysis at all was attempted 
| of the fully open category. The failure to 
| look at fully open platforms leads to an 
| important segment of the market being 
| ignored.


An Open Letter to Ofcom on the BBC HD DRM Proposals 

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| ...teach and conduct research at the Open 
| University, which since its inception has 
| used broadcast and multimedia technologies  
| in education, we are writing to express 
| our objections to the proposal to allow 
| the BBC to add a Digital Rights Management 
| (DRM) flag to its high definition (HD) 
| output.


Last Chance to Save BBC from DRM

,----[ Quote ]
| This leading question (and they are all 
| phrased thus) pretty much indicates that 
| Ofcom has made up its mind about the 
| issue, and is simply going through the 
| motions of consultation. Note, too, the 
| euphemism âcopy managementâ, when what we 
| are talking about here is DRM, plain and 
| simple: even Ofcom is aware that trying to 
| espouse the benefits of DRM is a lost 
| cause.


How do you want to watch HD TV in the future? It's time to tell Ofcom

,----[ Quote ]
| If you run open source capture/viewing 
| software, such as MythTV, things get a 
| little trickier. The developers of MythTV 
| can't sign an agreement with the BBC in 
| order to obtain the decoding tables, 
| because part of the terms of the agreement 
| are that the decoding tables aren't given 
| out to anybody else. This is fundamentally 
| opposed to the open source nature of the 
| project, so simply won't happen.


DRMs in the draft Copyright Amendments

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| India has been under a lot of pressure 
| from the US, due to the Special 301 report 
| which US puts out annually, to amend and 
| enforce its copyright laws to a standard 
| closer to what the US would want; usually 
| standards which the US has succeeded in 
| pushing through in WIPO treaties. 
| Therefore, essentially, it is the same 
| lobby which pushes for stricter laws in US 
| as it is in India. (Incidentally, I 
| recently wrote a post on Hollywood tying 
| up with Bollywood to check piracy in 
| India). To further add to this, even as 
| their effect in US has come under severe 
| criticism; for them to be the lobbying 
| party in India without due regard for the 
| local context, economy and culture seems 
| absurd. For a developing country like 
| India, which even other developing 
| countries look up to, it is important to 
| get their copyright law correct, since the 
| alternative is that instead of 
| incentivizing and aiding creation and 
| creative works, it is creating unnecessary 
| barriers to access to creative works 
| (especially considering that there is a 
| big emphasis in Indian culture to adapt 
| and improvise on works already in the 
| public domain).



BBC Activates DRM For Its iPlayer Content

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| "The BBC has quietly added DRM to its
| iPlayer content. This breaks support for
| things like the XBMC plugin as well as
| other non-approved third-party players. The
| get-iplayer download page has a good
| summary of what happened, including links
| to The Reg articles and the BBC's response
| to users' complaints."


Stop BBC âDigital Rights Managementâ from disabling your HD TV

,----[ Quote ]
| The BBC want an offshore consortium of
| entertainment companies called the "Digital
| Transmission Licensing Administrator" to
| decide how your high definition TV and
| video can work.
| The American courts rejected these
| draconian restrictions, so the DTLA has
| chosen to pick on British TV viewers
| instead.


OSI Opposes Barriers To Open Source Software For Television

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| The Open Source Initiative Board has added
| OSI to the list of organizations asking
| that the BBC not be allowed to add digital
| restriction measures to digital broadcasts
| in the United Kingdom. The BBC's request to
| do so is being reviewed by the UK
| regulator, OfCOM, and OSI is supporting the
| position statement from the UK's Open
| Rights Group and encouraging others to do
| likewise.


EA's Own Employees Annoyed At Pointless DRM Solutions

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| However, now it appears that it's even
| pissing off EA employees. Slashdot points
| out that the editor of EA.com got really
| frustrated over the game kicking him out
| because his DSL was flakey:
|     "Booted twice -- and progress lost --
|     on my single-player C&C4 game because
|     my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We
|     need new solutions."


Valve dishes DRM dirt

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| We reported last week that Ubisoft's latest
| anti-piracy measures caused a barrage of
| complaints. It was revealed that the system
| forced gamers to login via the publisher's
| website in order to play and required users
| to have a constant Internet connection.
| On behalf of Valve and 99.9 per cent of the
| gaming industry, Newell said he thought
| that DRM, in its current form, is
| restrictive and a damaging customer
| experience.

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