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Television Your Rights Online

UK's Freeview HD To Go DRM 169

gbjbaanb writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan. Quoting from Ofcom's statement: 'In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex license amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers.' However, it's not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV. I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV, etc., if this is not implemented. They'll still take our license fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/Blu-ray as well."
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UK's Freeview HD To Go DRM

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  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:02AM (#30877238)

    I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV, etc.

    The BBC has co-production and distribution agreements with private and public corporate partners all over the world.

    The BBC's resources are not unlimited. It has only so much money to buy product, only so much money to produce product.

    The BBC brand name is worth only so much. The BBC has to offer its partners protection in the UK market.

  • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:02AM (#30877240) Homepage

    Yes, because the quality of television (And radio, and internet services) provided by ITV is soooooo much better than the BBC.

    I can't wait until The Natural World becomes The Real Natural World, in which a series of barely cognizant social rejects are dumped into the middle of the African plains to see how they cope with being hunted by an incredible array of nature's creations. Actually, that would probably be quite entertaining for a while, but not as a *replacement* for decent, intelligent, educational television.

  • by grimJester ( 890090 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:35AM (#30877348)
    And such a wonderful world we live in. A device that provides the same functionality as an old VHS recorder is illegal because it needs to bypass DRM to work. Never mind that we've had VHS for 30+ years and TV shows have been broadcast unencrypted for half a century.

    Obviously anyone who wants to release a torrent can easily bypass the DRM and anyone who wants the non-DRM version can download it for free. The only ones who suffer are the ones who pay for their content and won't buy illegal hardware.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:00AM (#30877444)

    Obviously anyone who wants to release a torrent can easily bypass the DRM and anyone who wants the non-DRM version can download it for free. The only ones who suffer are the ones who pay for their content and won't buy illegal hardware.

    THIS, BBC!
    Why the fuck are they so stupid?
    This won't stop ANYONE who is determined enough.
    Nor did it make things worse off years ago.

    Fact is, anything that is encrypted can be decrypted. If you have the hardware decrypters, it is only a matter of time before someone gets in to it.
    And that doesn't even matter either since a LOT of people have cameras, TVs and miniature sound recording studio built specifically for ripping copies off of everything.
    This is helped even further by things like "Sky Multiroom" and such systems.

    The ONLY way they* (the companies in general) can improve anything is by making shows easily accessible for rental / purchase through the Internet.
    Lower prices will lower the barriers most people have. (certainly worked on iTunes, PSN and XBLA, and so on)
    But they never learn, do they? The distribution companies rape most profit that any company gets from media and leave them with pennies. (somewhat literally in some cases)
    Until we get rid of most of those, things are going to be a mess for a while.
    And since the backbone in the UK is awful at best, probably not happening for at least a decade or 2.
    Wouldn't be surprised if BT are being paid off to limit progression.

    * In BBCs case, they can't due to the licence fee.

  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:08AM (#30877462) Homepage

    It will be intrusive if you can't record it to watch it later.

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:19AM (#30877498) Journal

    How often do 99% of consumers realise they're watching encrypted DVD? Consumers won't care if it's not intrusive. ....

    Yeah, they didn't care when the only devices they had which played video were televisions which were connected with DVD players. Nowadays, every other cell phone/music player can play video. You can safely bet that the unstoppable progression of technology will soon make it quite obvious to the consumer that they are being asked to pay over and over again for playing the same content on ever increasing numbers of portable devices. And they won't like it.

    That is what lead us to non-DRM music; it will also eventually happen to video.

  • Re:No free TV (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:20AM (#30877502) Homepage

    Stop reading the right wing press and think for yourself. Stalinist my arse.

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @08:54AM (#30877626) Homepage

    But this is tele over the internet, right? If all you have is a computer and high speed internet, but no tele, do you, or do you not, have to pay a license fee? And what if (you Brits) are overseas and want to see the tele shows from back home?

  • by thetartanavenger ( 1052920 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:34AM (#30877780)

    Consumers won't care if it's not intrusive.

    Suddenly not being able to use your DVR to keep a copy of a show to watch later I consider to be fairly intrusive

    Meanwhile encyrpted channels can licence shows and movies quicker and cheaper, making better use of the licence fee.

    Whilst at the same time taking away our rights as a consumer. In the UK it is perfectly legal to record anything broadcast so long as you have a TV license, and to keep it for up to a year. This will not be used to license shows quicker and cheaper, it will just be used to take away a right, and then next year they'll try to take away another.

    Note: this is record and watch, not distribute. Taking a lending a video to a friend does not constitute distribution.

  • by simondm ( 901892 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:54AM (#30877870)
    So true, try complaining and you will see what he means. I'd like to say that the documentaries the BBC produces, especially the new wildlife ones, are groundbreaking worldwide and worth the funding alone in my opinion. Then you have hours of original and period drama, the 24hr news service online and on the television, some sports coverage, lots of comedy, CBBC, Radio 1(current),2(old),3(classical),4(current issues),5 (sport) and local, all WITHOUT ADVERTS. Add to this that BBC pretty much kick started the whole internet TV thing, at least in this country - without adverts.

    The BBC is about the only example of a 'compulsory tax' (it isn't compulsory) which has worked and continues to work in the public good to the satisfaction of pretty much everyone. The recent disputes about funding cause me to worry: it is money well spent.

    If we complain to the BBC, they will listen: it is precisely because of this 'compulsory tax' that they may listen to us over the huge pockets and interests of the comercial fat cats

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @12:19PM (#30878948) Journal

    The BBC can in fact deliver the broadest range of HD content this way.

    Nonsense. Any player that can play DRMd content can play unDRMd content. Adding DRM to their video streams does not increase their audience one bit. Not by one single person, anywhere on Earth.

  • Re:RTFATWL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RDW ( 41497 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @02:53PM (#30880684)

    'Later in the spec, they say there are 3 modes of protection allowed: unrestricted (fair enough, I imagine a lot of general TV would fall into this category, stuff like all those cookery or property shows).'

    It's a bit worse than that - the BBC says 'it intends to apply the multiple copy state to the majority of its HD content' ('multiple copy state' is the less restrictive level of DRM, but still DRM).

    'I think the implementation is designed to DRM the listings data (as the programmes themselves cannot be encrypted), but still put the DRM onto the receiver'

    Yes, if you're a HD box manufacturer, the deal is you only get access to the decoded listings data if you agree to implement DRM that respects their copy flags in the receiver.

    'How many receivers will be produced that do not have a listing guide? Probably none - they wouldn't sell in large enough quantities to be worth even a Chinese manufacturer making them.'

    I agree about the consumer receivers (set-top HD boxes, TVs with integrated tuners, etc.), but guess that when DVB-T2 PC cards become available, someone will reverse-engineer the EPG decoding tables or provide an independent online EPG. This is the only way we can have a fully FOSS Freeview HD application (leaving aside the issue of whether such reverse-engineering to circumvent DRM is legal under UK/EU law), since the EPG licence won't be compatible with FOSS licences. This will also mean that anything worth pirating will be widely available from all the usual online sources, making the whole scheme completely ineffective for its intended purpose. As usual, the people hurt by the DRM will be all the (millions of?) legitimate users who buy a locked-down HD box and (e.g.) find that they can't space-shift the programme to a more convenient device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 25, 2010 @12:34PM (#30891740)

    Sky+ has no issue with recording encrypted content (except for one off pay per view purchases). It simply records the encyrpted stream straight to the HDD and you can watch it whenever you want.

    No, you can watch recording only if Murdoch says so.

    Buy a sky+ box, fill it up with recordings, then cancel your sky subscription, and see what happens.

    If you don't know, those records become unavailable. They are still on the HDD (that you own), but the box will not play them. The same happens if your viewing card expires and you haven't replaced it.

    Your rights in the UK are to record something, watch it once, then delete/destroy it. This has been established since the VHS days. Services like Sky+ actually give you more rights than you legally have.

    They don't give you any more rights at all, they just allow you to go past what has been decided is your rights (assuming you are correct about what you are calling "rights"). They have probably decided to do this because it is good PR, and makes up for the fact that Sky+ doesn't allow you to move recording between machines like a DVD or VHS recorder allows you to.

    Even my parents spotted that shortcoming with sky plus nearly immediately, but soon were distracted by the ability to move backwards and forwards through the video stream.

    DRM is not what the customer will want, ever. So stop defending it. If we want to buy a new TV these days, non-insignificant portions of the cost go on licensing for DRM systems that we wouldn't want, and on the cost of components to implement the DRM. And all the DRM does is stop the TV working when it isn't 100% happy. That's not technological progress, and for you to support shit like that makes you look either a copyright industry shill, or just a brainless twat who is unable to comprehend the bigger picture.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson