You may have heard about the BBC’s plans to release iPlayer which will allow license fee payers to watch BBC programs on their computers. Unfortunately, the system is targeted at Windows and uses Microsoft Media Player and Digital Rights Management (DRM) to protect the content. While the use of some form of DRM to protect the content seems to me eminently sensible (I don’t see how the BBC, which outsources most of its production, could offer any form of Video on Demand (VOD) without protecting the Artistic Property of itself and its partners), the choice of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Media Player and Microsoft DRM does potentially disenfranchise a small but significant minority of computer users. If you are running any version of Linux, Macintosh or even Windows Vista, iPlayer will not work for you. The community of the disenfranchised have created a petition on the Prime Minister’s e-petition site
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the BBC from making its iPlayer on-demand television service available to Windows users only, and instruct the corporation to provide its service for other operating systems also.
If you care, go to the petition page and sign it yourself! The deadline is 20 August 2007 and at the time of blogging, there were 9,635 signatories.