Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC
Video, sound and fury over iPlayer
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is planning protests at key BBC sites because it believes the national broadcaster's management has been corrupted by Microsoft.
Protests will be mounted outside Television Centre in London and outside the corporation's Manchester offices on Tuesday, 14 August.
The activists' move has been sparked by increasing concern over the Windows-only, Internet Explorer-only beta release of iPlayer, the BBC's on-demand application.
A Downing Street website petition calling on Gordon Brown to raise the issue in Parliament has been signed by more than 13,000 people as of writing.
In particular, the FSF says the appointment of Erik Huggers, the former director of Microsoft's Windows digital media division, as the BBC's controller of the future media and technology group in May this year, is evidence of Redmond-driven corruption of the BBC's core values.
In a statement, the FSF said: "They have given Microsoft complete control. BBC programming is in the hands of a US based corporation, and the BBC has given up the fight for open access." The group calls on BBC director general Mark Thompson to "clean up the mess he has made" over the iPlayer.
The FSF has long pursued an agenda against Digital Rights Management (DRM), which the BBC says iPlayer must incorporate so it can legally distribute third party programming.
The BBC Trust, which is the corporation's independent governing body, met with representatives from the Open Source Consortium (OSC) to discuss their insistence that the iPlayer should be made available on all platforms as soon as possible, regardless of DRM. More than a week later, BBC management have yet to respond to the trust's call for them to liaise with the OSC, however.
The BBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the protests. The FSF's pages on its action are here. ®
Argh, can we stop comments on these stories?
First off, becuse I can't stop myself:
"Why cant the BBC take notice of what the public actually want, a reliable DRM free, not MS reliant player"
'The public' couldn't care less if the player is MS-reliant- that's why the vast majority run Windows. When you said "The public" you meant what you said at the end of the sentence- "us LUG (Linux User Group) shouters and the FSF". Don't make the mistake of thinking the public cares.
And, perhaps the best message so far:
"Great. If 9 million households in Britain are on broadband, and only 90% of PCs are FOB with windows, that's a million of us who can't access the stuff. Imagine that, a large number of people can't access TVOD because.... they're black? Stupid? Need a good arse kicking?"
Comparing people who CHOOSE to use Linux and can't use the iPlayer to the mass oppression of black people throughout the ages is quite mind-bogglingly insensitive and extremely thick.
Any, back to the title of my post... can we just stop comments on these stories? We get at least 20 posts saying "why are the BBC using DRM anyway?" when we know full well that the production companies insist on it, another 10 saying "The production companies don't get to choose" when in fact they do, and the rest of the posts are just full of stupid analogies that don't hold up to any examination ("What if the BBC said they'd only broadcast to Sony sets?!??!?!?"- what, are they turning off the existing signal? Oh, thought not).
Please, people. Shut the hell up.
Don't you miserable sods have anything better to do? Thousands of lines of pontificating, pompous crap from self important, smug twerps who need to GET A LIFE.
Go and recompile something FFS.
Anyone would think that watching telly actually MATTERED.
Linux & Windows
"When the iplayer is launched and if it is a success then by all means demand that it is put on other viable platforms (Vista, Firefox, etc.) but lets not hold up progress because some small percentage of geeky conspiracy theorists expect a team of programmers to know Linux."
I found out relativley recently that WINDOWS IS ACTUALLY BUILT ON A LINUX / BSD base. That was until the advent of Windows Vista.
Why cant the BBC take notice of what the public actually want, a reliable DRM free, not MS reliant player, that would actually shut up us LUG (Linux User Group) shouters and the FSF.
Its not the fact that there is DRM on the offerings that is annoying us most, it is the fact the so far the BBC / BBC Trust have refused to give any concrete details of which "other operating systems" that they will make a player available for, they have not (as far as i am aware) even confirmed that they are actively developing something.
The only pc I have access to that runs windows at home is the PC my son plays on, all the rest run a variety of flavours of linux.
I am not anti-microsoft, just anti-microsoft-monopoly and completely anti the extremely inflated prices they think they can charge for (as far as i can see - and i have seen) software that is at best buggy and at worst incomplete. after all, who in their right minds releases software that has to be patched on day of issue (ie VISTA, and there wasnt just one patch released on that day). Personally I think that OPEN OFFICE is just as good as office, and the cost .... FREE, available for windows, linux AND mac.