Project Barcelona To Open Up BBC Archive For Download

The BBC has finally unveiled plans to give the UK what it has always wanted; access to the beeb’s full back catalogue of programmes.

Codenamed Project Barcelona, BBC director general Mark Thompson outlined the service yesterday, confirming that the company wants to make programmes available for permanent download for a “relatively modest” fee – a “digital equivalent” of a DVD store.

Not only will the new service provide access to existing content that has either been available on iPlayer or DVD and video but also content that has never before been accessible.

Project Barcelona - YouView

While the scheme sounds all rosy, concerns have been raised about the UK public paying again for content they consider paid for with the license fee. It could also come up against stiff opposition from independent media companies who see it as an unfair advantage – just as there was resistance to the iPlayer when it first arrived and YouView when it was first proposed.

We have few such concerns, though, as the BBC has such a wealth of great content it would be criminal not to provide access in this digital age. If that means paying a nominal fee to fund the project, and further support the BBC, then so be it.

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