bbc iplayer hack




Feb 23, 2002
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Here's the answer right from the horses mouth ;)

Why can I only watch programmes for the past seven days and store for up to 30?

The rights agreement that the BBC reached with copyright holders so that the BBC could offer programmes through BBC iPlayer required the BBC to use digital rights management (DRM). Without DRM it would not be possible to offer BBC iPlayer. The BBC is not alone in this requirement - other broadcasters offering similar services, such as Channel 4 and Sky, have come to comparable agreements.

Circumvention of DRM is illegal, as is the distribution of programmes by users on illegal sharing sites. DRM helps offer programme makers and other rights holders protection for their work to ensure they can benefit from the full value of their efforts.

Why am I restricted to a limited period on BBC iPlayer, when I can record broadcasts on Sky+ or PVR and not be restricted at all?

BBC iPlayer gives you the chance to catch up on TV programmes for up to seven days after they have been broadcast, using the internet to legally watch programmes on your computer.

You can watch programmes from the BBC iPlayer website for up to seven days after broadcast, or download and store them unplayed on your computer for up to 30 days. When you first play the programme you have a further seven days to watch the programme as many times as you wish.

Some users have asked why the BBC has limited the period of time you have to playback a programme when there are no such restrictions if you use other services/methods such as Sky+, a Freeview PVR, or personal recording on a DVD recorder or VHS.

These other services or methods rely on a 'time shift' exemption that permits you to record broadcasts without infringing the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended by the Copyright & Related Rights Regulations 2003. This exemption permits personal copies to be recorded “in domestic premises” and solely for the purpose of enabling the recording to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time.

The difference with BBC iPlayer is that the BBC makes available its programmes to users as an on-demand facility, that can be accessed from anywhere within the UK (domestic or otherwise) and so in other words, you cannot rely on the time shift exemption when you use BBC iPlayer.

This means that to offer BBC programmes through BBC iPlayer, the BBC has to acquire the relevant rights from the people who make and appear in them. Like other broadcasters, the BBC does not always own all the rights to the programmes it broadcasts and must use technology to prevent programmes being copied and distributed illegally.

In the vast majority of cases, the BBC and rights holders have agreed a limited period where UK users can watch programmes either as an on-demand stream, or temporary download using DRM. It’s rather like borrowing books or DVDs from your local library for a set period of time.
Not ideal, but I don't see how the BBC could have got round this any other way. No doubt things will slowly change and eventually we'll have on-demand everything. But for now, this is better than nothing :)



Aug 25, 2005
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To be honest if someone really wantedto keep the show for more than 30 days they would have looked for a way around it, because there is a way around the licenses ;)

but I dont think im alloawed to post any links on this site to any such piece of software but there is one out which got Microsoft upset as it could remove their drm from services such as napster and yahoo but it also works on protected videos from the iPlayer.


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