ABC sends lawyers after iView freeware
Client for Australia's iPlayer equivalent under threat on Linux and Android
Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, has unleashed its legal team on the creator of an alternative frontend app for ABC’s iView, issuing a stern take down notice.
The offending free software, Python-iView, allows users to watch content from the ABC's iView media player, which is functionally similar to the BBC's iPlayer, hosted content on non-Adobe Flash centric environments including Linux based and Android devices. The software also enabled access of iView hosted shows where internet access is slow or patchy.
In a letter (PDF) from the ABC’s legal department the ABC suggests that Visser “may be in breach of section 116AP of the Copyright Act 1968 by offering to the public a circumvention service for technological protection measures implemented in respect of ABC iview content“.
It also states that the software use violates the ABCs terms and conditions and claims “you are authorizing the infringement of ABC copyright in the ABC iView content in breach of act 101 of the Copyright Act 1968 by providing the means to supply such users to permanently download and store ABC iView content without permission.”
The ABC requested a cease and desist order on the availability of the software by August 17.
Visser posted the letter on his blog and advised users: "I have temporarily ceased distribution of Python-iView until I get this sorted out with the ABC. I’ve offered to put all sorts of legal disclaimer nags into the software in exchange for continuing to allow users to play videos on their favourite media players. My primary concern is that the ABC believe I am facilitating copyright infringement by distributing this software. Which is of course complete bollocks, but I need to convince them of that."
The ABC’s legal team was not available for comment.
Disgruntled users have pointed out that such a stance from the ABC would not be taken against commercial IPTV and PVR providers such as Tivo or FetchTV recording the FTA DVB-T broadcasts.
Visser also states in his blog that after seeking advice from the EFA and the Linux Australia council, the consensus was to “let the ABC have their way” as they could not offer any legal support. ®
Please rush me your free i-view player hardware so I can utilise your publicly-funded services without paying through the nose for a commercial OS I don't have any use for.
A Tax Payer.
ABC are Apple Fanbois
<Rant accent="aussie" >
They have point blankly refused to support anything other than IDevices with IView. The Android app only shows ABC24 news and not any of the other content, and that is pretty recent. The original Android app looked like it had been developed by high school intern as a joke.
Come on ABC start providing services for the majority of Australia, not just your Apple loving hipster friends.
I tried the Dr Who stream from the ABC. It worked really well (it was very quick) with flash on Linux.
Unfortunately the content quality due to compression was utterly awful. I had to resort to a torrent for the sake of my eyes.
I'm not sure how this works - for the poor-quality legal stream I paid nothing. For the torrent, I paid nothing. If someone can explain the harm in this please be enlighten me.
I'd far rather just register that I've viewed it with the ABC (if accountability is required) and use someone-else's bandwidth to get the content.