[mythtv-users] How the BBC's HD DRM plot was kept secret .. and why

Tim Draper veehexx at gmail.com
Wed Nov 16 06:56:26 UTC 2011

On 15 November 2011 19:39, R. G. Newbury <newbury at mandamus.org> wrote:
> This should be quite worrisome for an mythtv users in England.
> The BBC wants to DRM lock its broadcasts.
> From:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/nov/14/bbc-hd-drm
> An excerpt:
> ******************************
> "Back in 2009, the BBC approached Ofcom for permission to add "digital
> rights management" locks to its high-definition broadcasts. The locks
> would work by scrambling some of the information used to decode video,
> and in order to get the descrambling key, manufacturers would have to
> submit to the rules of the DTLA, an offshore consortium led by Intel.
> This was a strange request for the BBC to make. There aren't any licence
> fee payers who put a cheque in the post this year and thought, "Gosh, I
> wish there was a way I could do less than the law allows with the video
> my licence fee pays for." The BBC has always eschewed DRM in its
> Freeview offerings, and other public broadcasters in Europe, the US and
> Canada eschew DRM. German law prohibits DRM on its public broadcasts,
> and American law prohibits DRM on all broadcasts, both commercial and
> non-commercial.
> What's more, the DRM scheme proposed by the BBC had three major flaws:
> first, technical experts believed it would be trivial to defeat; second,
> the part of the broadcast that the BBC wanted to scramble was shared by
> closed captions and assistive audio tracks used by disabled people; and
> finally, the full rules set out by DTLA for its DRM were governed by
> confidentiality agreements, which meant that UK manufacturers would be
> ordered to comply with a set of secret rules that the public wasn't
> allowed to know.
> There were other important problems, of course: the proposal violated
> the EU common market by breaking foreign TV receivers and it meant that
> popular free/open source receivers and recorders would be frozen out of
> the UK device market.
> The consultation received 459 responses. Of these, 432 of those came
> from individual licence payers, and 426 opposed the BBC's proposal....."
> *******************************
> Surely there are SOME MP's in England have an inkling of a clue?
> Or can be taught?
> OK. That WAS funny..
> H/T  groklaw.net  news tips November 14th
> Geoff
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> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users

would this not be similar to how sky/satellite FTA works with their
subscription cards; scrambled data and the hardware to decrypt it is
kept a trade secret?
You can buy hardware for satellite transmissions (seems a grey area
here, due to possible illegal usage) and it works on mythtv though.
i'm not sure if DRM is used on sky - i know encryption is though.

also, how would the majority of existing customers receive the content
- would they need to upgrade their 1 year old freeview-HD TV as it
will unlikely handle the DRM instructions (i presume hardware decoded
DRM), or would a CI-type device be used? if so, surely it wouldnt be
long before there are drivers available for linux...

asmuch as i dont like DRM, and will actively seek none DRM material
(legally!), i think it's going to end up being implemented by more
companies over the next number of years.

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