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06.30.08

iPlayer Meets Antitrust, Other Possible Scandals Unraveled

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shunning your partners’ number-one rival at taxpayers’ expense

I

n our last post about the BBC, some visitors argued that we had taken things out of proportion. Some were convinced and some were not. In any event, should one find legitimacy in the new antitrust barrier that has just met by iPlayer? Should it not be an indication that the problem is recognised at a high level? How about all those complaints that reached the European Commission, which in turn promised to handle this along with similar complaints around Europe (not only the UK is affected by such a scam).

Commercial iPlayer faces anti-trust shakedown

Project Kangaroo, the commercial on-demand web TV service being developed by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, will be investigated by the Competition Commission amid concern that it could stifle rival online efforts.

For those who are in a mood for exploration, Glyn Moody identified and shared another little nugget from the UK:

MPs are still not getting it. Instead of embracing the principal of open government and beginning the slow process of re-building their reputation with the public, they want to give themselves more money by stealth.

[...]

However, I should tell those who press and press such issues that, sooner or later, the allowances will be rolled into our salary, handed out without any claim mechanism or dealt with under some other device, because it is intolerable that this intrusion into Members’ private lives should have to be endured or should be permitted, and something will happen to prevent it from going too far. We can see what will happen: local news reporters and local political opponents will start trying to air these issues in public, which will be demeaning, as well as reducing the stature of Parliament and damaging our democracy. It cannot be right that things should reach such lengths.”

More possible new scandals include the following:

U.S. and Europe Near Agreement on Private Data

[...]

But the two sides are still at odds on several other matters, including whether European citizens should be able to sue the United States government over its handling of their personal data, the report said.

We recently wrote about the use of propaganda terms like “harmonisation” and “digital manners” to pass malicious laws. “The war on terror” is another such example and here are Moody’s comments on that latest developments (cited above).

Laws which are apparently being chucked away purely because America wants to disregard them. This is what happens when European government mouth fatuities about the so-called “war on terror”: they then get hoist by their own rhetorical petard.

What’s amazing is that probably 90% of Europeans would be against giving this kind of data to the US if they were ever given any way to choose. Which they won’t be, of course: that’s democracy?

One more issue that we regularly keep an eye on is the effect of lobbying on Free software. Microsoft is the #1 felon in its area and here comes another suspicion that may or may not affect the reception of Free software in healthcare.

Alberto Borges, MD writes in with news that a major Health IT bill is up for approval in Congress and that Cerner spent $180,000 in lobbying the government in the 1st quarter alone. Might the passage of this bill heavily favor the formation of a cartel of proprietary vendors?

“Lobbying” is another propaganda term that could equally well be labeled “legalised bribery”, “political intervention”, or “manufacturing of laws”. Knowing the world we live in is the first step to realisation of its ills. Then we can understand how to find solutions.

“I thanked [Compaq’s John] Rose for all of his trips to Seattle and his willingness to distract a lot of time for the lawsuit.”

Bill Gates

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6 Comments

  1. Ben said,

    July 1, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Gravatar

    Hey, I never said you “had taken things out of proportion” I said that by posting accusations without evidence you were spreading FUD, there’s a clear diffrence ;)

    P.S. that El Reg article isn’t about IPlayer at all. Its about Project Kangaroo.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 1, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, I know. It’s an umbrella project headed by Highfield. It’s very much related to the same allegations and includes the iPlayer.

  3. Ben said,

    July 1, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Gravatar

    It is? It looks like separate allegations to me:

    Your criticism of the Iplayer is mostly about a public organisation “behaving in the interests of Microsoft”, and DRM.

    That article is a criticism based on the allegation that an alliance between the BBC, ITV and Channel4 would have to much power.

  4. Victor Soliz said,

    July 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey, I never said you “had taken things out of proportion” I said that by posting accusations without evidence you were spreading FUD,

    No, it is defamation .

    Your criticism of the Iplayer is mostly about a public organisation “behaving in the interests of Microsoft”, and DRM.

    So, I got a problem, the impression I got from your “” was that you are attempting to trivialize the issue, why?

  5. Ben said,

    July 2, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Gravatar

    “No, it is defamation .”

    If you insist, defamation is arguably worse than FUD.

    “So, I got a problem, the impression I got from your “” was that you are attempting to trivialize the issue, why?”

    If your talking about the quote directly above I wasn’t trying to trivialize anything; Roy said the criticisms aboug Project Kangaroo in the el reg article were similar to the criticisms of IPlayer on this site, I was listing them to show that from over here, they look quite different.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 2, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Gravatar

    The point that iPlayer harms competition still stands. Under two hats, Ashley Highfield seems to isolate. In one case, it’s a case against GNU/Linux (and a waste of money) and the latter is another potentially anti-competitive arrangement.

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