Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft 'Pulled a BBC' in New Zealand, 'Stole' from Taxpayers

Same fiasco, different country

It is truly amazing to find the same story unfolding in the very same way in two separate countries, even independently. Under many people's radar, New Zealand's television turns out to have been abused -- and also actively abused -- in a BBC-like fashion. The Radar (O'Reilly) scoops up bits of this story.

The New Zealand Herald has an interesting article about state-owned broadcaster Television New Zealand's on-demand streaming of media moving away from DRM (TVNZ has the same scope of programming and dominant market position as the BBC in England, though alas not the commercial-free public good mandate). TVNZ's head of emerging business, Jason Paris (who was at the recently-ended Kiwi Foo Camp) said the ad-supported streams outnumbered paid-for downloads by "many thousands to one" and so they're dropping the DRMed downloads.

[...]

TVNZ has been using Microsoft's PlaysForSure digital rights management software to try to prevent downloaded TV shows from being copied. But just days after the launch of TVNZ OnDemand last March, the protection systems had been bypassed by viewers using software freely available on the internet.


“This ought to bring back to mind Novell's help to Microsoft's Silverlight, which is intended to create another type of lock-in with DRM included.”The story is almost a perfect copy of the Microsoft-BBC fiasco, which is far from over based on what we were recently told. There are far too many unanswered questions and there is colossal waste of taxpayers' money. This ought to bring back to mind Novell's help to Microsoft's Silverlight, which is intended to create another type of lock-in with DRM included.

While the BBC has already received an "F", it seems to aspire for a "D" at best. It fails to see that its problem is the proprietary software stack that was borrowed from Microsoft. Although the BBC intends to bring iPlayer to Macs, there is not a single word about GNU/Linux. The BBC announced that there would make available a Linux version in 2008, not just a Mac version as just reported by the BBC itself. And let's not forget the obvious spit in the face:

Highlighting the marginal Linux audience is a risky move for Thomson, after his director of future media and technology, Ashley Highfield, got himself into hot water with open-source advocates last year by declaring the BBC website had only 400-600 Linux users every week.


An iPlayer equivalent could be very inexpensive to develop. The BBC would have delivered the software to all platforms simultaneously had it not relied on Microsoft's stack and DRM-laden delivery of media (which it later gave up on anyway). Here is a new article from Wired where it is shrewdly implied that DRM 'security' is a matter of financial security for distributors and also an excuse for greater control.

With enough lock-in, a company can protect its market share even as it reduces customer service, raises prices, refuses to innovate and otherwise abuses its customer base. It should be no surprise that this sounds like pretty much every experience you've had with IT companies: Once the industry discovered lock-in, everyone started figuring out how to get as much of it as they can.


Mark Thompson already does some damage control. Sadly for him, it's a blog, so he receives harsh comments such as this one:




I continue to be very disappointed in the way the BBC has handled the whole iPlayer project.

Mark, you continue to speak of "Platform Neutrality" and then go on to say how you're looking into developing cross-platform DRM solutions. How is this neutral? This is you picking platforms to support, not being neutral at all.

Being neutral would mean publishing media using open standards so that anybody on any platform would be able to access your media.

The fact that you spout a term such as "market penetration" just further proves to me how far away you are from understanding this issue. Are you really saying you are prepared to completely shut out a minority group of viewers in such a discriminatory way?

As a licence payer I'm disgusted.




Stay tuned. The BBC makes baby steps, but too many people remain deeply disappointed.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
 
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 28/02/2024: Many War Updates and Censorship
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Social Control Media Notifications and Gemini Protocol Extended
Links for the day
Links 28/02/2024: Microsoft the Plagiarist is Projecting, Food Sector Adopts Surge Pricing
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Links 27/02/2024: PlayStation Layoffs and More Oppressive New Laws for Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/02/2024: Facebook as Containment Field and Depression Driven Development (DDD)
Links for the day
They're Adding Warnings Now: The Site "It's FOSS" is Not FOSS
It's better that they at least explicitly state this
Links 27/02/2024: Nevada Versus End-To-End Encryption, Birmingham Bankrupt
Links for the day
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock