The BBC Trusts Me?

Screenshot, 12.45pm on 21.11.2008, www.bbc.co.uk/today/My post about the BBC Trust’s decision on local video has turned up on the homepage of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme (click the image which is a screenshot, here for posterity as I’m sure it’s just a fleeting mention). Given that I’m a fan, and the first thing I hear most mornings is Today, this does make me smile and blush in a slightly silly way.

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6 comments

  1. Ronan L says:

    Daithi,

    Interested to note that BBC iPlayer is not available to consumers outside the UK – blocked by IP address.

    Now, the question I have is whether this is in breach of the treaty. If say, a UK citizen was based in Ireland and tried to use iPlayer to access his/her programmes, but is just blocked! – Paying and all.

    Ronan

  2. Dan Sumption says:

    Just replying to Ronan – this isn’t a breach of “treaty”. BBC has a duty to UK license players, and providing content internationally would result in a huge cost with no benefit to license payers.

    Think of it in terms of TV: if you take your TV abroad, you won’t be able to watch UK BBC content on it, even if you are a license payer.

  3. Daithí says:

    I don’t think that there’s a legal issue relating to iPlayer blocking – though personally I do regret that as geo-limiting gets easier, unintentional spillover gets much, much harder. Maybe this comes from time spent listening to BBC Radio Five in Ireland on MW as a teenager! As I understand it most (but not all) of the BBC radio streams are OK for international access, as are the majority of the podcasts but little of the TV content. There’s an overlapping of pure IP issues (limited rights for programme or with collection societies etc) which affect all simulcasters/webVODers as well as spending ones specific to the BBC. Loads more I could say about that but I’ll hold back for now.

  4. Ronan L says:

    Yes, so lets forget free movement of goods, services and workers for a moment, which is enshrined in the EU treaties, lets also forget TvWF – Tv Without Frontiers! [It was a waste of space anyway]

    Can I not buy the content – it drives me close to insane that the is the stance of the BBC to content which has commercial value and indeed, content which people could have paid for via their licences in the UK.

    Net Neutrality – humm.

    Ronan

  5. Ronan L says:

    PS: Sorry for the typo! “insane that this is the” …

  6. Daithí says:

    I suspect TVWF/AVMS/E-Commerce Directive (choose your poison) only gets activated if some other EU member state tries to prevent access to a BBC service. If the BBC chooses for itself to serve UK citizens only for a particular service I suspect it would fall outside any of the Directives. It’s at least in part a reflection of how we have a ‘single market’ in some regards, but in others (program rights being the obvious example) a whole collection of very individual markets.

    Regarding monetisation of BBC content I think that all falls under BBC Worldwide now. As it happens the chair of the Trust has been talking about this of late – see for example the Telegraph report here. Maybe your prayers might be answered…

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