UK users of OpenSource software could be restricted from watching and accessing free-to-air television signals if the BBC are granted permission to introduce DRM into their broadcasts.


The result will make the use of non-sanctioned devices to decode transmissions all but illegal, with permitted receivers having to comply with an offshore consortium called the Digital Transmission Licensing Agreement (DTLA) requirements on how devices are built and how they are used

Errrm, Why?

Bizarrely the the move isn’t designed with the potential of piracy but rather, according to the BBC, a reaction to copyright holders threatening to withhold rights to show certain programmes unless they are able to set the conditions of all the “…televisions, recorders, editing software, burners, etc,” that can receive and store their programming.

The resulting impact on OpenSource software in this field would be merciless.

In fact the OpenRightsGoup point out that: –

“DTLA rules prohibit the creation of TV receivers (and recorders and so forth) that can be modified by their users. This means that popular free/open source DTV devices, such as those built on the powerful MythTV program, will never be certified for use with the BBC’s DTLA-restricted broadcasts.”

What now?

The BBC’s plans to introduce DRM are currently being looked at by UK communications regulator Ofcom.

In the mean time you can register your disapproval with the proposal by contacting Ofcom using their “online consultation” form @