Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doctor Who fans must wait or be forced into an "infringe or be infringed" decision by BBC

The following is a comment I added to a Kasterborous editorial: iTunes, BBC? Really?

This is not a question of money for me — I have spent $thousands$ in recent years on my love of Doctor Who, and I’m more than willing to pay extra to get early access to these episodes before the DVD’s come out. Unfortunately BBC didn’t give me that option, so I will need to either wait for the DVD’s or get the episodes from an “unauthorized” source.

I am not a customer of Apple, nor will I ever be. I’ve spent more than a decade of my life as a political activist in support of IT property rights. As I discussed in a recent submission to the Canadian government on this issue , Apple is one of the worst infringers of IT property rights. They also actively lobby for legalizing and legally protecting infringements of IT property rights.

While Apple is a direct infringer, inducing people into infringing situations puts the BBC in the same league for those of us trying to protect these property rights as ISOHunt and PirateBay does for copyright infringement.

I agree it is great news that these stories were found, and great news that the BBC decided to make individual episodes available before they have completed the DVD sets. It is clearly bad news that they decided to make an exclusive distribution deal with such a highly controversial company.

I can understand people who may opt out of allowing their own property rights to be infringed, and instead infringe the copyright of others — DRM has never reduced copyright infringement, and in nearly every anecdote I have heard of has encouraged people to infringe copyright.

BTW: The “International” iPlayer is a similar failure by the BBC. Having this be Apple infringing devices only excludes those of us who use computers that are owner-secured rather than controllable by third parties. I am more than willing to pay a subscription fee to access iPlayer in Canada, but BBC hasn’t yet offered that to me at any price.

We live in a time where the importance of cyber-security will be increasing, and yet all these direct (by apple) and contributory (by BBC) infringements of IT property rights only decreases security by creating back-doors where non-owners control computers.