You remember when the BBC proposed their Windows-only media player? Now they’re doing it. On Friday, 27 July 2007 Defective By Design reported:
Today the BBC made it official — they have been corrupted by Microsoft. With today’s launch of the iPlayer, the BBC Trust has failed in its most basic of duties and handed over to Microsoft sole control of the on-line distribution of BBC programming. From today, you will need to own a Microsoft operating system to view BBC programming on the web. This is akin to saying you must own a Sony TV set to watch BBC TV. And you must accept the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that the iPlayer imposes. You simply cannot be allowed to be in control of your computer according to the BBC.
Defective By Design follows this up with analysis of how this decision violates the BBC charter.
So Britons pay for the BBC’s works and are saddled with digital restrictions management that officially only plays in one proprietary player on a proprietary operating system. Since the iPlayer is proprietary software it can dictate when you can play BBC media and if you tell it (even indirectly) where you are, the iPlayer could be programmed to use that information to restrict where you can play media. You wouldn’t tolerate these restrictions for DVDs, audio CDs, audio cassettes, LPs, or books. Why tolerate it for the BBC?
For now, FairUse4WM will effectively strip the DRM and leave you with a copy you can play in free software players or transcode into some other format. But FairUse4WM doesn’t address the the underlying issue here.