35 Days Against DRM -- Day 4: BBC iPlayer

It has been a while since we touched on the BBC iPlayer, that DRM-encumbered behemoth, coveted by so many at the BBC as its answer to the internet age.

A quick recap of the facts:

  • The BBC is funded by every single household with a TV in the UK.
  • iPlayer is a platform for watching BBC shows you've missed.
  • Initially iPlayer was Windows XP only, with Vista support coming later.
  • Defective by Design had protests about it in London and in Manchester.
  • Then, the BBC released a Flash version, but as Flash isn't free software, users of free software operating systems were still left in the cold. Ashley Highfield laughably estimated there were 400 GNU/Linux users in the entire UK, and was proven badly wrong.
  • In March 2008, the BBC launched an iPhone version, despite the lack of a version for GNU/Linux anywhere to be seen.

The iPhone version of iPlayer didn't even use DRM. A little bit of digging and various members of the free software community discovered a way to play back the content using free software, something the BBC had failed to manage.

Take Action!

Download our anti-iPlayer flyer -- a handy resource for your friends and family. It's an attractive list of the reasons to boycott the iPlayer.

Complaints about the lack of a GNU/Linux version of iPlayer can be addressed to the BBC Trust at: Room 211, 35 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4AA.