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[GNU/FSF Press] Protesters call on the BBC to el iminate DRM from the “i

From: Peter Brown
Subject: [GNU/FSF Press] Protesters call on the BBC to el iminate DRM from the “iPlayer”
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 03:14:25 -0400

(To schedule an interview please contact FSF Executive Director Peter
Brown at 001-617-319-5832.)

London and Manchester, England — Tuesday, August 14, 2007 —
Anti-DRM Protesters call on the BBC to eliminate DRM from the iPlayer

£130 Million wasted because of Digital Restrictions Management.

Two weeks after the BBC officially launched the iPlayer, protesters
wearing bright yellow Hazmat suits gathered outside BBC Television
Center in London and BBC headquarters in Manchester to demand that
Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) be eliminated from the BBC.

The BBC have developed the "iPlayer" at a cost to the BBC license fee
payer of £130 Million and rising. The software tool was meant to be
developed to help viewers download TV shows to their computers. But in
the process the BBC Trust has unwittingly given up on important
principles it was chartered to protect – open access and independence
from corporate influence.

The BBC Trust choose to infect the iPlayer with Digital Restrictions
Management (DRM) technology. DRM restricts what you can do with your
computer and the digital files you possess, and monitors and spies on
your computing activities. The secretive nature of a DRM scheme hands a
monopoly to the DRM author. In the case of the iPlayer, the DRM author
is Microsoft. The iPlayer has been developed exclusively for Microsoft's
operating system, and hands an enormous windfall to the convicted

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr Derek Wall joined protesters in London
from and said, "For years, anyone with a TV and
video could record BBC programmes and keep them as long as they want.
Now, with this new service, you have to own a specific brand of computer
system - Microsoft. How does that help schools and home users to move
away from the Microsoft monopoly? It doesn't. It gives them another
reason to keep buying the over-priced and insecure Windows operating

FSF Executive Director attending the protest spoke about the corrupting
influence of Microsoft, "BBC values have been corrupted because BBC
Executives are too closely associated with Microsoft. BBC values have
been corrupted because the iPlayer uses proprietary software and
standards made under an exclusive deal with Microsoft. BBC values have
been corrupted because license fee payers must now own a Microsoft
operating system to download BBC programming. BBC values have been
corrupted because license fee payers must accept DRM technologies that
spy and monitor on the digital files held on their computers. We are
here today to help BBC Director General Mark Thompson, clean up this DRM
mess, and to encourage the BBC Trust to reverse course and eliminate DRM
from the BBC iPlayer"

About Defective By Design is a broad-based, anti-DRM campaign that is
targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. It
aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled
products to market. The campaign aims to identify "defective" products
for the consumer. Users are being asked to stand up in defense of their
existing freedoms and to take action by joining at

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as
in freedom) software - particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants - and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software. Their Web site, located at ,
is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to
support their work can be made at They are
headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.

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