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Recind the takedown orders against BeebPlayer and MyPlayer

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  • Message 1. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Thursday, 9th December 2010 permalink

    About a month ago, a member of BBC staff with the ID of "Ali" informed us that the BBC were developing an Android iPlayer application that would run on most Android handsets (and not the minority that the current Flash app is capable of running on).

    It turns out that Ali was mistaken. There is to be no official BBC iPlayer support for most Android handsets.

    Given this news, the BBC should rescind the takedown orders against BeebPlayer and MyPlayer and allow Android users to access the programmes they have paid for.

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  • Message 2. Posted by Philw (U14718705) on Friday, 10th December 2010 permalink

    I don't give a toss about who develops this app - I have 5 hours a week on a train and watch BBC shows like the Apprentice in this time.

    I've got no network connectivity so myPlayer allowed this.

    BBC have nobbled this so I can no longer do this - I pay my license fee so what is going on?

    Until BBC develop an Android player that works off-line, why can't myPlayer be allowed this functionality?

    Developer-sour grapes if you ask me.

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  • Message 3. Posted by alex (U14718807) on Friday, 10th December 2010 permalink

    I agree - looks like a real case of 'not developed here'.

    The myPlayer service was superb and something the BBC should have been offering already. It really does seem like a dog-in-the-manger approach to cut off service from someone who had done the Beeb's job for it, done it quickly, done it well, and done it for free. It worked well, did not compromise the BBC brand in any way at all, and provided a superbly functional option for downloading and off-line viewing.

    I am writing to the Culture Secretary and BBC Trust to express my feelings about the shameful way the BBC has handled this, and why it is restricting my legitimate access to its output in a way that was harming no-one's interests, and for which I have paid my licence fee.

    Maybe the BBC has concernes about the lack of restriction in terms of geography or time permitted by myPlayer, but if so it should find a way of dealing with the problem that allows it to continue to serve the legitimate majority, rather than penalizing them.

    In any event, anyone overseas intent on ripping off BBC content for gain will find other perfectly practical alternatives, while those of us wanting to watch programmes we are entitled to watch, but to do it in a convenient and timely fashion (eg on trains) are prevented from having legitimate access.

    Alex

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  • Message 4. Posted by gordon (U14719637) on Friday, 10th December 2010 permalink

    In the absence of an alternative from the BBC, these sites should be permitted.

    Clearly there is a viable android app, the BBC to date are simply refusing to create one or endorse another.

    Come on BBC, create an android app for all your not so rich Iphone users.

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  • Message 5. Posted by gordon (U14719637) on Friday, 10th December 2010 permalink

    Should read Non Iphone users!

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  • Message 6. Posted by markle (U13903210) on Tuesday, 14th December 2010 permalink

    +1

    Utterly ridiculous.

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  • Message 7. Posted by Jeff Green (U14605816) on Thursday, 16th December 2010 permalink

    What this foolish decision is driving people to do is obtain programmes illicitly on the various pirate sites, or to set up their own PVDs and make the material available to friends and colleagues so all channels can be covered. Then the programmes will have no expiry dates at all.
    BBC material is free to air!!!
    It is perfectly legal for anyone to record it and watch it as often as they like, why go to all this fuss to stop perfectly decent licence payers is a perfectly reasonable way, it makes no sense at all!

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  • Message 8. Posted by drhowells (U8852041) on Thursday, 16th December 2010 permalink

    Actually, it is not 'perfectly legal for anyone to record it and watch it as often as they like'. By law, you are allowed to record a program, watch it once (in a reasonable amount of time) and then you must delete the recording. This has been the case for decades and is obviously not something that is taken action over, but that doesn't mean that the Beeb can actively flaunt this law.... ( I believe the government are about to review the copyright laws for the digital age)

    I know the phrase "We pay our licence fee" is banded around here a lot because users want what they want, but the beeb also have to legally protect the rights of the licence holders of TV programs, not just cater for us licence payers.

    I am eagery awaiting an Android player as well, but I understand why the beeb forced Beebplayer and Myplayer from the market (even though I was not happy at MyPlayer going). The Beeb have to protect their identity and right holders as all other company's have to. If someone produced a cola flavoured drink called Koca Kola, don't you think a certain drink manuafacturer would be on their case ASAP.... It is similar in this case, BeebPlayer and MyPlayer (very similar names, offering BBC streams and downloads).

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  • Message 9. Posted by squelch41 (U13760678) on Friday, 17th December 2010 permalink

    Completely agree. Android is out-selling Apple OS phones so there is a public interest in supporting iPlayer. If the BBC are going to knobble a perfectly good client, then they need to replace it

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  • Message 10. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Friday, 17th December 2010 permalink

    @drhowells

    Two points, specifically regarding BeebPlayer.

    1. BeebPlayer was taken down for "redistributing" iPlayer content. This is patently absurd. It merely allowed users to view the 3gp "nokia" streams (not even save them). The only "redistributing" it did was between the screen and the user's eyballs. It had nothing to do with the BBC protecting their corporate image.

    2. The author of BeebPlayer specifically avoided BBC branding. I assume he would have been quite happy to conform to any BBC requests to change the look and feel as well (rather than getting his app killed off).

    As a side issue, my HTC Magic has just been updated to Android 2.2 (Froyo), which the BBC *claim* is all that is needed to run the "official" version of iPlayer. Indeed, they even seem to believe this themselves as the phone will now display the iPlayer site correctly (rather than the "go away" message I saw under 1.6). However, on selecting a programme for viewing I was directed to the Adobe site to download Flash Player From the market. This resulted in a message "The requested item could not be found".

    So, as suspected, my phone, because of its ARMv6 processor, cannot run Flash and, therefore, cannot run the "official" iPlayer app, even though it now meets the spec claimed as sufficient by the BBC.

    So, BBC, either recind the takedown against these useful apps that most Android users can use, or produce one of your own.

    At the very least update the iPlayer help page so that it does not mislead regarding the specification needed to run the "official" iPlayer on Android.

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  • Message 11. Posted by Graham (U14503204) on Monday, 20th December 2010 permalink

    I'd like to add my support to this suggestion. The reasons given by the BBC for ordering the removal or modification of these apps are spurious and non-sensical.

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  • Message 12. Posted by SivEd (U13794974) on Friday, 24th December 2010 permalink

    Just want to +1 on this. The Beeb have really shown themselves up on this one.

    Let these guys carry on providing their programs, honestly they did a brilliant job.

    If the BBC have specific problems with specific issues, talk to the guys making these programs, I am sure they will listen and address them. E.g. prevention of viewing while roaming to keep the content in the UK.

    I don't understand why the beeb did this, they are hurting the people who wanted to do things legally and without harm but aren't providing an alternative.

    > By law, you are allowed to record a program, watch it once (in a reasonable amount of time) and then you must delete the recording.
    That is all I want to do! Just on my phone... I could draw parallels between using a VCR (or PVR) and downloading shows to my mobile, actually using a VCR is "more illegal" as the show would stay on there until I erased the tape. I always deleted shows from my phone after I watched them to make room for the next one.

    I also want to watch News 24 in the morning while I wander about the house, and I used to be able to do this until this BBC action.

    Please beeb chill out a little, these guys meant you no harm and if anything did you some good with their superb products. If anything, you should have done a Microsoft and bought them out!

    Cheers,
    Pete

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  • Message 13. Posted by grayme (U14695236) on Sunday, 2nd January 2011 permalink

    It's not just Android that has lost out from the BBC's killing of myplayer; I also used it on Windows Mobile and that has gone too. Like Android, there is no alternative programme to download to watch on the train, etc.

    Thank goodness for programs that enable removal of DRM so I can do in a few more steps what I was able to do easily before; not ideal but enough for now.

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  • Message 14. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Thursday, 6th January 2011 permalink

    The problem is that the people in charge of the entertainment industries are obsessed with DRM. They see it as a panacea for all of their copyright theft woes. I'm fairly sure that the takedown of BeebPlayer and MyPlayer were prompted by pressure on the BBC from DRM obsessed rights-holders.

    The thing these people just don't "get", is that attempts to control access to content merely encourages people (as you amply demonstrate) to use more nefarious means to get the content they want.

    All DRM and access control does is frustrate legitimate users (TV Licence payers, in this case) and provide work and business for the real crooks (commercial "pirates" and prolific file-sharers) who do have the time, motivation and skill to rip and distribute the material.

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