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BBC Trust won't probe iPlayer open source gripes

Tells users to 'Have Your Say' via online survey instead

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"This is about excluding some classes of device and some platforms, and locking users in to specific technology. The piracy argument is moot because the pirates will continue unhindered, and the only people being punished are the legitimate users," argued a commenter named Lens on the BBC's internet blog.

"I feel that this is about content providers stamping their feet because they didn't realise people could watch content through a TV, and the 'new delivery channel' dollar signs faded from their eyes. This is why I feel it is important to understand why the Wii is considered to be acceptable."

The BBC's Nick Reynolds responded to some of the gripes about the XBMC plugin last Friday afternoon in which he explained that it was the corporation's policy to check for "unauthorised third-party apps that may or may not respect BBC content rights."

The Beeb only allows a device access to its content after checking that such a plugin isn't taking a stealth download to either keep the data for more than seven days or allow for a download outside the UK. However, that system isn't altogether foolproof. After all, as many have noted, there is a work around for users who want to circumnavigate the SWF verification.

"Recently a number of applications were identified making unauthorised use of a number of our media types, and so we implemented enhanced security - importantly this was done for several of the formats and content delivery types, not just for Flash," said Reynolds. "The result was that a number of applications that ‘deep link’ to our content may no longer work.

"I'm told that most of iPlayer is built on open source products, so this isn't about the BBC being anti open source. However, BBC content needs to be protected from applications that make unauthorised calls to it, even if those applications are open source."

Needless to say, this is a debate that will run and run. But, as the BBC Trust told us in its statement on the matter, iPlayer users who complain about the open source plugin exclusion during the current consultation process shouldn't expect a response anytime soon. ®

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