Blog Post

BBC's Download Plans Get Approval From Trust; Restrictions On What BBC Can Do

Not that this was going to be an issue after Ofcom set the path earlier this month, but BBC Trust gave initial approval to the BBC’s on-demand plans. Under the proposals, viewers will be able to watch popular programs online or download them to a PC up to a week after they are on TV.
But the trust also imposed tough conditions on putting up downloads of classical music, among other things. It agreed with Ofcom, which said earlier this month that the iPlayer could have a “negative effect” on commercial rivals. Full approval of the on-demand plans will follow a two month consultation.
Other restrictions and features:
— Trust wants the corporation to scale back plans to let downloaded “catch-up” episodes remain on users’ hard drives for 13 weeks, suggesting that 30 days is enough.
— Every episode of a “stacked” series would be made available until a week after transmission of the final installment.
— The trust also asked the BBC to explore ways of introducing parental controls to its on-demand services.
— Trust recommending that audio books and classical music be excluded from the BBC’s download services.
— Very interesting: The TV catch-up service relies on Microsoft DRM framework. The Trust asked BBC to have a platform-agnostic approach. This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services.
— The Trust agreed that BBC content should be available to all significant players on a non-discriminatory basis. It will develop and publish a syndication policy.
Tons more details here.