[nSLUG] BBC iPlayer (UK only) blocking open source flash players

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 09:56:41 AST 2010

On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM, Adam Hartling
<adam.hartling.ns at gmail.com> wrote:
> CBC is alot like this too. Alot of their site media can't be viewed with
> Linux, such as DOC ZONE videos. They even say in the FAQ that Linux is not
> supported.

I'm not sure this is the same issue.   BBC did support linux
initially, so I think the
underlying problem is that they want to block non-paying users (e.g.,
outside the
UK).   Some of this may go back to content providers who sell a piece to BBC for
the UK market but also expect to sell it in other markets and are not
happy when
they find that BBC content is being viewed in Canada.

I suspect the CBC problem is more a question of resources -- it is easier to
"we don't support linux" than it is to handle the queries from people running
linux who have problems.   Supporting linux means hiring support staff and
providing them with a test system that runs several major distros so they
can do troubleshooting.

> George N. White III wrote:
>> BBC activates iPlayer Flash verification - Locking out open source -
>> Update --
>> <http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/BBC-activates-iPlayer-Flash-verification-Locking-out-open-source-Update-940515.html>
>> <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/24/iplayer_xbmc_adobe_swf_verification/>
>> BBC had developed totem plugins for their iPlayer content.
>> The content in question is restricted to UK IP's, and UK residents pay
>> a BBC License fee, so the content in question is not readily
>> accessible outside the UK.   The BBC didn't give a reason for enabling
>> verification.  One guess is that they are concerned about content
>> being copied and made available to non-UK users.  By forcing people to
>> use Flash, they are blocking apps that might capture the content for
>> redistribution. Perhaps they have plans to get payment for content
>> from users outside the UK.  I'm not sure if any of the material is
>> currently available (for a fee) to non UK broadcasters.
>> There are also the general concerns with the potential for bad guys to
>> redistribute hacked versions of content that includes malware
>> payloads.    The better the content malware distributers can
>> get the more suckers they will attract.
>> Adobe has used DMCA to prevent US sites from distributing tools to
>> bypass the Flash security.
>> --
>> George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
>> Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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>> nSLUG mailing list
>> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
>> http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug
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George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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