BBC Blocks Open Source Solutions From Using iPlayer

Technology website The Register has reported that the BBC Trust, the governing organisation behind the BBC Corporation, has refused to look into the company’s decision to block open-source plug-ins that allowed users to stream iPlayer content from the service without installing Adobe Integrated Runtime otherwise known as AIR.

According to the report on the Register, BBC had updated the online video streaming service on February 18th, effectively blocking the open-source plug-ins that support the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), that helps in streaming video and radio content.

When inquired about the issue by the Register, a BBC Trust spokeswoman said in a statement that “The decision to block open source plug-ins is a matter for BBC Management. The Trust has not received any complaints on this issue and has no plans to look into it further at present.”

Industry experts are of the opinion that the corporation is trying to keep the celebrated video streaming service away from the open-source community as it wants to protect is content from being downloaded by video ripping software.

The blocked plug-ins also include the RTMP plug-in developed by the XBMC community. iPlayer users across Britain have spoken out against the BBC’s decision to block open-source plug-ins in several user forums on the web including BBC iPlayer website.

Our Comments

Why would the Beeb do that? After all, once you have already paid your TV licence, you should normally be able to watch BBC footage wherever you want. It is likely however that the corporation has been pressurised by third parties uneasy at the fact that open source solutions could potentially bypass DRM.

Related Links

BBC's iPlayer verification blocks open source software

(Guardian)

BBC Trust won't probe iPlayer open source gripes

(The Register)

BBC shuts out open source software

(The Inquirer)

BBC Trust won't investigate iPlayer's open source blackout

(After Dawn)