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BBC Introducing DRM For Freeview HD Content

Gordon Kelly


BBC Introducing DRM For Freeview HD Content

I doubt you'll find many consumers who are fans of digital rights management (DRM), but its use in some instances is more understandable than others...

Industry watch dog Ofcom has confirmed that it is to allow the BBC "to restrict access to broadcast Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) data to only those High Definition (HD) Digital Terrestrial (DTT) receivers which include content management technology {read: DRM}".

Why? "Ofcom has concluded that the decision to accept the BBC's request will deliver net benefits to citizens and consumers by ensuring they have access to the widest possible range of HD television content on DTT."

The decision comes after an application by the BBC to Ofcom in January when it proposed "to licence the intellectual property required to gain access to the HD EPG data free of charge and major receiver and integrated digital TV manufacturers are including content management in their HD Freeview products."

For now the ruling only applies to Freeview, but whether it will expand to Freesat (an obvious target) or subscription based services like Virgin and Sky remain to be seen.

As I said in my intro, the move is understandable given the way the BBC is funded and the recent heavy cuts to those funds. With BBC content also having no ad breaks that makes its HD material highly attractive for pirating around the world and given iPlayer offers a free catch-up service across multiple platforms I, for one, do feel some sympathy for it here.

Link: Ofcom Statement

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