Wednesday, March 28, 2007
The BBC is planning to launch new on-demand services which will allow us to download programmes via the Internet. I mentioned earlier that Ofcom wanted restrictions to make the services less useful, so that other companies can sell us the same sort of thing thing all over again.
The BBC Trust accepted many of these restrictions, but they are running a consultation to see if the public will buy this. We shouldn't! Click here to tell them what you think. You don't need to answer all of the questions.
Here is my 2p worth (sorry for the length)...
Do you agree with the BBC Trust's proposal to approve the new BBC on-demand services, subject to the modifications outlined in the Trust's report of its provisional conclusions?
In a market in which most broadcasters are expected to be offering on-demand services, would you agree that it is a priority for the BBC to be investing in this area?
The BBC Trust has proposed setting a limit of 30 days as the amount of time that programmes can be stored on a computer before being viewed. As this is an emerging market, there is currently no clear standard on the length of the storage window. On balance, the Trust thinks 30 days is the right length of time. How long do you think consumers should be able to store BBC programmes on their computers before viewing them?
The BBC Trust concluded that public value would be created by allowing series stacking. This would allow viewers to catch-up with all episodes of a series for the duration of its run. The Trust recognised that although it would provide increased opportunities to view BBC programmes, it could also deter people from buying DVDs or using commercial video-on-demand services. Do you consider series stacking to be a useful feature? What kind of series would you expect to be included? Should there be any limitation on the number of episodes of a series made available for catch-up or the length of time for which they can be viewed?
How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?
Should the BBC be allowed to offer book readings from its radio services as audio downloads over the internet?
The BBC Trust concluded there was fine balance between public value and market impact in deciding whether to allow the BBC to offer audio downloads of classical music. While such downloads could help introduce new listeners to classical music, they could also deter purchases of commercial recordings. What is your view on whether - and to what extent - the BBC should be allowed to offer radio broadcasts of classical music as audio downloads over the internet?
How important is it to you that the BBC provides some means for parents to control which of its programmes are accessible on-demand to children? Is such a facility necessary or is it more a matter for parents to exercise controls over how children use the internet?
What are your views on whether the BBC should offer content from non-BBC providers on the on-demand service on its website?
What are your views on whether and how the BBC should make available on-demand content on services run by other providers - such as multi-channel services or internet-based audio and video downloading services?
Do the revisions proposed to BBC Service Licences to allow the new services to go ahead seem appropriate?
Are there any other issues you would like the BBC Trust to consider in relation to the proposed services?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Just the other day, some celebrity was celebrating her marriage - it might have been that Hurley character. The BBC reported (for hours) that the festivities had been "marred by scuffles".
What actually happened was this: some of the paparazzi had tried to block the couple's car and then get in to the party, the security guards stopped them, and they started fighting. Slaps and shoving, it seems. The press were fighting with security guards outside the locked fortress. Inside, the wedding celebrations weren't actually marred at all.
Get over yourselves.
Now that I think about it, "loutish behaviour by press mars wedding" would have been slightly less misleading.
Perhaps the real story is how badly the press behave, and how much the paparazzi believe they are entitled to hound anyone they label as "in the public eye".
There is a difference between "the public interest", and "what tabloid readers want to know"! The function of a free press must surely be more than merely selling copies (or eyeballs to advertisers).