"An interesting podcast with Ashley Highfield, Director Future Media & Technology.
We’re not doing enough [about open source] and it is something I want to turn up the heat on
Well, that’s a good start, but he then goes on to say
The problem at the moment, there is no open source DRM. It’s almost a contradiction in terms, if you have DRM how can you have it open source? Because open source people will be able to find out how it works and get round it.
Oh, dear. Because, of course, no-one will work out how the Microsoft DRM works, just like they haven’t worked out all the other DRMs out there. Not.
In any case, this entirely misses the point: there is no DRM on the broadcast signal, nor was there on old-fashioned video tapes. Why are downloads different? Why is it not sufficient to rely on the law, as has always happened in the past? Why not assume that your users are mostly honest rather than treat them like criminals?"Well said Ben.
Not surpisingly Cory has something to say about this as well.
"Ashley Highfield, the BBC's Director Future Media & Technology, has done an interview with the BBC Backstage podcast about the BBC's new DRM-based net-delivery system, iPlayer, which delivers a slim fraction of the functionality available to people who watch their TV over the air.
Highfield defends the company's DRM in an incoherent way, attacking straw-men ("The rightsholders need DRM to protect their rights" and "we need open source DRM, but that may be a contradiction in terms," "Rightsholders are scary," "We need a fictional technology that will let us insert ads but only when American eyeballs are present") but without addressing the really meaty questions.
The BBC broadcasts the entirety of its programming at the speed of light, in digital form, without DRM, to every corner of the UK. The net is flooded with every single show the BBC transmits. The BBC has previously stood up to rightsholders who insisted DRM (removing DRM from its satellite feeds, despite an entertainment industry boycott that lasted a year). Adding DRM to its downloads just makes the downloads suck, traps Britons into using Microsoft OSes, shuts out one in four license-paying households who don't have the right combination, bans open source -- but it has nothing to do with stopping infringing downloads...
I like Highfield -- I know him personally and think he's smarter than this. I'd love to see him interviewed by someone who actually walked him through the real implications of what he's proposing here."