The BBC erases entire back catalogue of TV shows and Radio. Nice one.

July 15, 2008

If all the BBC’s programming over the years could be stored on celluloid, like in the old movies, and put end to end, like they say, then you could tie a pretty bow around Jupiter and still have enough film to make a roller-coaster back to earth. If all their radio broadcasts could be sewn together into one big long bank holiday Monday ‘best of’ with Jamie Theakston drafted in to front the show whilst all the real dj’s went on holiday, then the broadcast would last longer than time itself. And you would get pretty bored long before that. In other-words it’s a treasure trove of material that documents the history of Great Britain and has material to teach generations. The cultural legacy of a nation, and its all under the watchful eye of the greatest broadcasting corporation the world has ever known and is ever likely to know. Which means that it will probably get lost, deleted, forgotten about or get accidentally left on a train.

Which is kind of what happened when the archives were opened up on the BBC iplayer, an Internet tool on the flagship website that allows viewers to watch programs online or download them onto a storage device and watch them at a later date. Obviously with such a vast array of material and parties involved in the making of said material, when the BBC devised the iplayer idea they had to adhere to and implement strict copyright procedures in order to protect the art. They did. And it can be breached in 12 minutes by any amateur computer hacker in the land.

Program after program is downloaded off the website and put onto peer to peer and torrent websites all around the world, minus the DRM (digital rights management) system that only allows playback for 30 days before the files self corrupt themselves. With no DRM there is no copyright protection and the programs watched on the iplayer can no longer be tracked by the BBC. Oops.

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