BBC's outrageous plan to put DRM on TV broadcasts shot down in flames -- thanks to you!

Remember the BBC's daft plan to put DRM on high-definition broadcasts even though it's illegal for the BBC to put DRM on its broadcasts? Remember when people rose up and sent angry letters to Ofcom, the UK regulator that oversees the BBC's broadcasting activity?

It worked. Ofcom told the BBC to forget about it. Score one for the good guys. Give yourselves several pats on the back.

Meanwhile: the Beeb should be ashamed of itself. Especially for this disingenuous smear-job they published after I wrote about this ridiculous plan in the Guardian.

Ofcom received a large number of responses to this consultation, in particular from consumers and consumer groups, who raised a number of potentially significant consumer 'fair use' and competition issues that were not addressed in our original consultation. In view of these responses we have decided not to approve a multiplex licence change without giving these issues further consideration. We remain keen to support the successful introduction of HD services on the DTT platform and are willing to consider a further round of consultation on the licence amendment if you could provide more information and evidence in the following three areas:

1. The anticipated benefits to citizens and consumers, and to the DTT platform, of the proposed approach;

2. How you propose to address the potential disadvantages to citizens and consumers associated with the impact on the receiver market under the proposed approach;

3. An explanation of potential alternative approaches that would impact less on the receiver market, and the extent to which those alternatives would be able to deliver similar outcomes and benefits for citizens and consumers.

We are keen to provide early clarity on the licence amendment to all stakeholders affected by the DVB-T2, MPEG 4, HDTV upgrade on the DTT platform and would welcome your early response on these three issues. Until we reach a final decision on the licence amendment the HD service information broadcast on Multiplex B should be provided in a free to air format. If Huffman compression is used then the related tables should be made available to receiver manufacturers without the need for a licence for Huffman look-up tables from the BBC.

HD on DTT content management proposals (PDF) (Thanks, Glyn!)

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  1. “Smear-Job?” Really? Sorry, Cory, but as much as I support your stance on DRM and IP; I can’t detect a bit of smear in that article. Plumb simply responded to your article. And where I can agree that he’s been disingenuous; I simply don’t see how he’s smearing you or BB.

  2. “BBC’s outrageous plan to put DRM on TV broadcasts shot down in flames — thanks to you!”

    You’re welcome.

    — MrJM

  3. Plumb intimates that Cory was intentionally lying about the BBC because the BBC won’t “fight for his cause.” It’s just one line, but it’s a nasty one.

  4. Smear or not, I think “However our focus is not to champion causes – it’s meeting our public service remit which means serving our many audiences as best, as fairly, and as openly as we can.” is pretty much the most nonsensical thing I’ve read all day. I don’t think “best”, “fairly” or “openly” are appropriate words to use to describe DRM. Unless, of course, it’s opposite day and nobody has told me. Then again I suppose it would be hard to tell someone that. “Is it opposite day?” isn’t really a question with a good answer on a day where no means yes and yes means no. I’m drifting…

  5. My favorite portion was this… “If Huffman compression is used then the related tables should be made available to receiver manufacturers without the need for a licence for Huffman look-up tables from the BBC”. No external fees for their “encryption” (haha).

  6. Please do not create confusion by referring to acronyms,
    DRM can mean two things:
    DRM, Digital Radio Mondiale, (the best encoding for radio transmission) Good!
    DRM Digital rights management, copy protection) Bad!

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