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

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 01 Mar 2010 9:53 User comments (2)

BBC Trust won't investigate iPlayer's open source blackout The BBC Trust has revealed to The Register that it will not investigate a move by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that resulted in open source software being unable to play content from the iPlayer service. The BBC blocked out open source implementations of the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) streaming content from the iPlayer service through the use of SWF Verification.
"The decision to block open source plugins 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," a BBC Trust spokeswoman told The Register.

Adobe has effectively made it impossible for develops to create a fully-compatible open source Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) client. RTMP is used by Flash for streaming video, and it is publicly documented, but Adobe has guarded the RTMP content protection measures. SWF Verification is a security measure that can lock out an unauthorized client from multimedia content.

Content becomes accessible only by specific SWF files, and is controlled by the use of an authorization key. Fail to provide the authorization key and the video won't be retrieved. The principal intention of SWF Verification to guard against piracy (ripping videos) but regular honest users are once again caught in the crossfire.

The BBC's move sparked some outrage on the Internet from users of software such as XBMC, who cannot not view the content within the UK.

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2 user comments

11.3.2010 11:43

this has nothing to do with piracy to me, its a clamp down on competition and another step in a streaming, codec, and format war.

after so long with things championing open source and other free reign movements on the net, ive started to see many stories like this going in a reverse direction.

22.3.2010 3:59

I agree. Adobe are very close to being pushed out of a lot of leading positions. Rather than adapt their tech. or compete, they just cheat.

BBC is payed for by the UK public (stealth tax) and so should be open to all of the public in an easy, accessable fashion. But, this is the BBC we're talking about.

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