BBC Attacks the Open Web, GNU/Linux in Danger

Over and over again, the rightsholders in the room during the Broadcast Flag negotiations attempted to create a sense of urgency by threatening to boycott American high-def telly if they didn’t get DRM. They repeated these threats in their submissions to the Federal Communications Commission (Ofcom’s US counterpart) and in their meetings with American lawmakers.

And here’s how it turned out:

So what happened? Did they make good on their threats? Did they go to their shareholders and explain that the reason they weren’t broadcasting anything this year is because the government wouldn’t let them control TVs?

No. They broadcast. They continue to broadcast today, with no DRM.

Bluff, how often does it succeed?

A Whip to Beat Us With

The millions of dollars that Amazon customers spend on Macmillan???s DRM-locked e-books represent millions of dollars of e-books Macmillan customers lose if they wanted to follow Macmillan away from Amazon. Publishers believe DRM protects their books. But DRM has created a world where publishers who walk away from negotiations with a DRM vendor like Amazon leave their customers behind.

DRM, live by it. Die by it.

How the BBC’s HD DRM plot was kept secret ??? and why

The BBC is a public broadcaster, and its charter sets out the requirement for everything it does to meet a “public value test.” Ofcom, the independent regulator that oversees the BBC, is charged with “[making] sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive”.

So what did Ofcom do? Naturally, it listened to the public, ignored the uncompetitive rent-seeking proposals from the commercial sector, adhered to EU law, and rejected the proposal.

Well, that’s what they did in a parallel universe. In this universe, Ofcom accepted the self-serving arguments of the companies they’re meant to be regulating, ignored the public whose interests they were meant to be safeguarding, and gave the BBC what it asked for.

Why did it do this? It’s a secret.

But not any more.