Kazaa tech chief joins BBC future technology team
Heads up next generation iPlayer
The shakeup of the BBC's iPlayer team we revealed last week was officially announced yesterday with the appointment of Kazaa CTO Anthony Rose as head of digital media technology.
Rose will be in charge of the next generation iPlayer group, which will include ex-Microsoft man Jon Billings. Rose in turn will report to the Corporation's digital media controller Erik Huggers, who joined the Beeb from Microsoft in May.
Rose spent six years at Kazaa, which took the lead in file sharing after Napster's effective demise. Kazaa eventually reached a legal settlement with the record industry, but had already been superceded by BitTorrent.
The P2P distribution system used by iPlayer (as well as Sky Anytime and 4OD) is provided by Kontiki, a Verisign-owned company.
The BBC's reorganisation has created six new groups responsible for future technological developments across the organisation. One Reg source, who asked to remain anonymous, was brought in as a consultant on the troubled iPlayer project early this year, and described it as having been run "worse than boo.com", if you can believe it. ®
Lack of facts
Everytime I see iPlayer mentioned in El Reg, being pretty close to the project, I take a look at the comments posted, and in the past I have weighed in with the odd response myself.
Increasingly, though, it's becoming obvious that there is a common species of Reg poster who likes to write either sneering put-downs or ill-informed diatribes without so much as a shred of factual knowledge, or anything approaching sensible analysis with which to back up their rant.
Which makes continuing to weigh in with responses myself look like a waste of time.
This thread is a perfect example.
Where is the future technology?
Internet P2P video BBC. Did I miss something?
P2P Kontiki Hell
Perhaps the MS involvement isn't the worst bit?
Sky, BBC and others appear to be using a P2P app from a company called Kontiki. Not in itself bad but...
If you uninstall the player app then the P2P app and service keep running, chewing up bandwidth and resources.
No uninstaller options and lordy help ya if you just go and stop the services.
Now, you'd think mayhap an obvious link on the Channels websites to a cleanup tool? Nope, you'll need to strongarm them or just follow http://static.sky.com/kclean/KClean_51102.0.exe
BBC/Sky etc... if you're listening, take a long hard look at what you're doing. This is pretty damn close to malware
I am interested by your watermarking idea:
If someone gets a non-drmed, but watermarked copy of a BBC transmitted program, then allows it to be copied or has it stolen from them, what should the Beeb do?
As far as I can see they can:
1) Do nothing. This wouldn't be acceptable to the owners of the media.
2) Sue the person who allowed the copying of the media. This would cause an outcry in many places, the Reg and Slashdot would be right up there, I'd guess.
3) Cease the TV licence for the licence number that has been copied. The trouble here is that the licence covers a property, rather than a person, so you'd be punnishing people who are innocent of any wrongdoing. (I'd imagine there would also be hell to pay about this too!)
Or you could make an attempt to DRM the media that everyone is not as unhappy with as they would be with a watermarking solution or just allowing it to be given away totally unprotected in any way.
I don't think that there is any ideal solution here, I don't have any solution, but I have to say that I can see why DRM is the favoured solution withe the media companies - Most people won't be able to hack it, just us geeks. It's a bit like locking an OS or application from insatllation, the geeks will be able to crack it, but the vast majority of law abiding people won't bother. Probably.
Re: Just ship the media
“Why are they reinventing the wheel? They could ask their studio suppliers, and internal departments which of their tv products can be freely distributed, and put those on a server with a torrent tracker.”
They already have – it’s on the BBC Backstage podcast. The answer is none (for a start, how many programmes don’t feature any commercial music? That’s none to all intents and purpsoses)
“Their podcasts didn't have any DRM, and were released as H.264, and contained big chunks of recently-broadcasted programming.”
Specifically chunks. And programmes very specifically selected because they’re rights light. Pretty much everything the BBC could distribute this way is ALREADY podcasted.