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Re: Flash Problem



> I believe you live in England. Does the BBC, who mainly developed

No - next door in Wales

> Dirac, use Dirac for webcasting? Who are the associates who
> participated in development. AI couldn't find any after a quick at
> Google's.

The BBC uses flash primarily, and has previously used realplayer. The BBC
isn't just a state TV business - it does real R&D and Dirac was part of
that work. Some time after the Dirac work the BBC went with a windows
only based iplayer project, got beaten up by the BBC trust (which is
responsible for keeping the BBC in order - a full time job because the
BBC at times has problems remembering its public service duties or even
following its own charter) and introduced the flash player as well. As I
understand it the flash player is basically all their traffic now.

Unlike youtube the BBC flash doesn't yet work with gnash unfortunately.

> Because of DRM, it even seems unsure the BBC itself will use it:
> 
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/dec/22/bbc-drm-cory-doctorow>

This doesn't affect webcasting. OFCOM regulates the free to air service
which the BBC are busy trying to corrupt (in almost certain violation of
their charter). As the agreements for the free to air service stand they
require the specifications used are "open" (for some version of open).
The BBC is thus obliged to ask for permission to sneakily screw it all
up, and fortunately got caught with its pants down.

I imagine that will end up in court with the BBC having to make an
embarrasing climbdown as they did with their internet tv platform, their
educational internet project, and a list of other fiascos where they
wasted tons of public money on by not following the rules that forbid the
BBC from distorting markets with public money unless they can show clear
public interest.

As I understand it the BBC is perfectly at liberty to encrypt and DRM its
web streaming services to death without the permission of OFCOM. It might
have trouble showing public interest in the proposal however, unless it
was truely cross platform and didn't distort markets.

That said there are certainly content providers with concerns about the
ease with which people record the flash streams for long term watching as
it eats into follow on DVD sales. Of course DRM won't fix that problem
anyway but their are people in the BBC food chain dumb enough not to get
it, or short enough of backbone to explain this to the content creators.

Alan


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