iPlayer Petition Result

Apparently we can still make a difference.

Some of you may have heard of the recent iPlayer petition, either via me or other sources. To briefly explain, the iPlayer (which is not associated with Apple) is a new service soon to become available by the BBC. Unforutnately however the BBC had only intended to release the iPlayer in a Windows-only format. Not very fair for all us Mac and Linux TV license payers.

The iPlayer petition was simply in response to this intention, and arguing that the format should be made available on a greater number of operating systems than just Microsoft Windows. Here are the official details:

The BBC plans to launch an on-demand tv service which uses software that will only be available to Windows users. The BBC should not be allowed to show commercial bias in this way, or to exclude certain groups of the population from using its services. The BBC say that they provide 'services for everyone, free of commercial interests and political bias'. Locking the new service's users into Microsoft Windows whilst ignoring those members of society who use other operating systems should does not fit in with the BBC's ethos and should not be allowed.

Well, after several months of silence I (along with everyone else who signed the petition I assume) finally received this e-mail from the 10 Downing Street office:

The Government set up the BBC Trust to represent the interests of licence fee payers, and to ensure good governance of the BBC.

The BBC Trust has responsibility for ensuring that the correct degree of scrutiny is given to all proposals from the BBC Executive for new services (such as the iPlayer) and any significant changes to existing services. To fulfill this duty, the Trust conducted a Public Value Test on the BBC Executive's proposals to launch new on-demand services, including BBC iPlayer. This included a public consultation and a market impact assessment by Ofcom.

In the case of the iPlayer, following the consultation, the Trust noted the strong public demand for the service to be available on a variety of operating systems. The BBC Trust made it a condition of approval for the BBC's on-demand services that the iPlayer is available to users of a range of operating systems, and has given a commitment that it will ensure that the BBC meets this demand as soon as possible. They will measure the BBC's progress on this every six months and publish the findings. 10 Downing Street

And there you have it. Whether this post affects you directly or not, it's nice to know that we can still make a difference :)

Dated: 08/09/2007.

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