Home BBC To Kill Open Source TV?

BBC To Kill Open Source TV?

The BBC is looking to encode TV listing metadata and employ a compression algorithm to circumvent piracy, ad removal and illegal copying. According to a recent blog post by the EFF’s Danny O’Brien, the group wants to get mandatory DRM onto digital TV receivers via a broadcast flag. In other words, a “public service broadcaster” wants to lessen the way we consume media by forcing manufacturers to limit product playing abilities. While open source TV services like Boxee allow users to view programs over home networks regardless of the device, a broadcast flag would force all HDTV receivers to include content protection. For those of us who watch our programs online, this could pose a serious problem.

Says Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen, “Boxee believes there’s a way to deliver entertainment in a way that is consumer-focused, while respecting the rights of content owners. We’ve built our company around it. People are still buying content off iTunes, and labels / artists are still making money. The way for content owners to make money is to cater to their audience, not to stifle innovation by creating a DRM racket like what’s proposed here.”

In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission and the Motion Picture Association of America attempted a similar enforcement regarding the US transition from analog to digital television broadcasting. However, by 2005 the broadcast flag was thrown out and regulators argued that the FCC lacked the authority to ask for HD encryption.

Photo Credit: Josh Bonain of Grooveshark

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