The BBC have announced that a cross-platform streamed version of its on-demand service the iPlayer would be available by the end of the year.
Is this good news for licence fee payers who do not use Windows? Well, not really. Although they will now be given online access to content their licence fee has helped pay for, there are still fundamental inequities between users on different platforms, and this still leaves the BBC deforming the market in favour of Microsoft DRM and Windows. People on Macs, Linux, PDAs and other handheld devices are still losing out on all the features that make the downloadable iPlayer different from, say, the kind of streaming that the BBC has done for years with the RadioPlayer.
And that's not all. Ashley Highfield, director of Future Media and Technology at the BBC has now indicated that the full, downloadable iPlayer may never be made available to those who do not use the latest versions of Windows.
The BBC Trust have hit back at the Future Media and Technology team, reiterating their condition that the entire service must be platform neutral and adding "we would expect BBC management to come back to us if they are planning any changes to iPlayer."
The Open Rights Group has more details and commentary.
Cory's column on DRM's Potemkin Village for the Guardian
BBC Trustees agree to let BBC infect Britain with DRM
BBC's online media now requires MSFT player, DRM
BBC picketed over use of Microsoft DRM
BBC recruits Microsoft DRM exec
Regulators order BBC Trust to meet with open source consortium over DRM player
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