The BBC Ashley Highfield podcast

Well I got around to listening to the Ashley Highfield podcast and I felt it answered some questions, but still left me feeling the BBC could do so much more.

Firstly standards. The BBC has always (until now) supported open standards. Radio transmission, Analogue TV (PAL) digital TV (DVB-T) digital radio (DAB) etc. Why is the internet different? Why do you have to use proprietary standards for Listen again (real player) when plenty of perfectly good open standards exist.

Is it because it is meant to be a streaming service that you cant record? Well I am sorry then it is just a fig leaf because it can be recorded.

The exact same argument will happen with the video streaming service. You will placate your rights holders by saying that the streaming service cant be recorded but I suspect that this will be easily fixed when we see the details. So this is just another fig leaf.

The rights holders should be told that all their content is out there for free anyway. It just that those using it are not making too many waves. I do understand that we need to bring these slow and clunking companies and people along the journey and I commend the BBC for pushing on this.

The solution for iPlayer and the horrible DRM is to do what the Open Rights group advocated and launch a streaming service. Register your computer with your TV licence number and use a streaming video format. Yes it will be easy to record, but that is what happens now with broadcast TV.

Cory Doctorow also commented on the podcast.

There is also the Open Rights Group That produced a Compelling argument (pdf) for the BBC to drop the iPlayer and concentrate on a streaming service.

Well I would say the answer is Miro brought to you by the Participatory Culture Foundation.

What really needs to happen is for the BBC to release the back catalogue as Greg Dyke said they would at the start of all of this.

I guess what we need to do is keep plugging away at the people involved in this. Eventually they will see the light.


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