Last week, I brought you the news that the BBC had inadvertently dropped the DRM from its controversial iPlayer service
, a video-on-demand system. The BBC's beta iPhone project made unencrypted streams of BBC programmes available to anyone whose browser identified itself as an iPhone.
Yesterday, the service stopped working, as the BBC took a countermeasure to stop non-iPhones from getting access to the unencumbered streams.
Today, it's back. It turns out that all it takes to get around the BBC's countermeasure is to structure the request header using the same quirks as an iPhone.
At this point, the BBC needs to confront the fact that by choosing DRM, it has set itself to war against the license paying public. After all, a British license-payer who records a digital video-stream from the Beeb's broadcast towers can store the recording forever, can watch it on any computer or TV, and can otherwise enjoy all the freedoms that we've had since the VCR was legalized.
But with the iPlayer, you can only watch shows on authorized devices (all these devices require a license from a non-British corporation to manufacture) and only according to a baroque set of rules that delete your recordings after a set period.
The law compels British TV owners to pay for the production of these programmes -- so it's natural that they'll want to go on enjoying the freedoms they've had in the pre-Internet era.
The BBC has declared war on the people who fund it. That's not a war it can win.
Redditor Vadermeer was in a local Goodwill Outlet and happened on a trove of files from Apple engineer Jack MacDonald from 1979-80, when he was manager of system software for the Apple II and ///.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
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Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]