The BBC will shut the “minority of consumers who either do not use Microsoft or do not have an up-to-date Microsoft operating system” out of its new on-line, on-demand services, according to proposals put up for public comment by the British broadcaster.
The restriction is driven by DRM concerns as the BBC outlines in a weighty (652KB) PDF of its new plans. It intends to place all content on the net for seven days after the initial broadcast, so that users can “catch-up” on shows they have missed.
But it won’t be a free-for-all:
In respect of the seven-day catch-up over the internet service, the files would require DRM to ensure that they were appropriately restricted in terms of time and geographic consumption. The only system that currently provides this security is Windows Media 10 and above. Further, the only comprehensively deployed operating system that currently supports Windows Media Player 10 and above is the Windows XP operating system. As a result of these DRM requirements the proposed BBC iPlayer download manager element therefore requires Windows Media Player 10 and Windows XP. This means the service would be unavailable to a minority of consumers who either do not use Microsoft or do not have an up-to-date Microsoft operating system.
Mac users (and others) will take some comfort from hopes of a less proprietary future:
However, over time, technology improvements are likely to enable even more efficient methods of delivery. Further, it is our understanding the BBC Executive are working towards the iPlayer download manager being able to function on other operating systems.
If you have strong views about these things or simply like your media free of proprietary constrictions, the BBC welcomes comments .
[Via Boing-Boing -- Thanks, Conrad]
UPDATE: According to fifthdecade, who posts in the comments below,
Microsoft are getting a 2 year exclusivity deal which they haven’t paid for. It’s a scandal! That alone must be worth millions to Microsoft if next year’s Premier League football TV coverage is worth Â£600 million!
Read more on his blog.
Tags: Apple, BBC, cross-platform, data security, DRM, Linux, media player, microsoft