The BBC's digital rights plans will wreak havoc on open source software
Dec 24, 2009, 18:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cory Doctorow)
"Last summer, the BBC tried to sneak "digital rights management"
into its high-def digital broadcasts.
"Now, generally speaking, the BBC isn't allowed to encrypt or
restrict its broadcasts: the licence fee payer pays for these
broadcasts, and no licence fee payer woke up today wishing that the
BBC had added restrictions to its programming.
"But the BBC tried to get around this, asking Ofcom for
permission to encrypt the "metadata" on its broadcasts –
including the assistive information used by deaf and blind people
and the "tables" used by receivers to play back the video. The BBC
couched this as a minor technical change, and Ofcom held a very
short, very quiet consultation, but was overwhelmed by a flood of
negative submissions from the public and from technologists who
understood the implications of this move."