The reaction to the first Backstage podcast

Podcast group

The first ever BBC Backstage podcast has caused a quite a stir. Some of it negative and some of it positive.

Generally the reaction to the podcast is positive but Ben did say he felt Backstage shouldn't be hosting such a debate. Its bigger that Backstage and should be taking place somewhere else. Fair enough, but till then backstage is where it will stay for now.

Before coming to Cory's thoughts on the BBC and DRM, I thought I'd better cover some of the other points from others first. Upyourego loves the podcast too and makes a good point about the lack of RSS like Tom Morris. Adam, Brian, Superfly
picked it up
and so does Euan Semple, who is surprisingly quiet about it. But some of the comments left are interesting, including one from Cory. Weird Cory didn't post any comments to mine or Ben's
blogs entries
.

Corys post to BoingBoing is over the top. I love Cory but he took a few points from the podcast and went to town on them. He threw out most of the other stuff which made it a much more balanced debate. For example,

You can hear the disappointment in the visionaries at the BBC, the betrayal at being sold out by management. The BBC is forcing Britons to buy an American operating system — Windows — in order to watch British programming, made in Britain. The free and open GNU/Linux — whose kernel is maintained in Britain — can't be used for British TV, because of DRM.

Well yes there was something in the air but we're positive about making things right and turning things around. Open DRM is one of many things discussed but Cory doesn't mention this. Tom has a comment which I don't quite get, but I'll ask him tomorrow.

Arstechnica does a much better job at reporting a more balanced view of the podcast. Although the title is misleading – BBC explains decision to go with Microsoft DRM.

The brouhaha surrounding iPlayer makes for some good reading, but more interesting is the podcast. The BBC engineers on the show come off as intelligent, affable folks who don't like content restrictions any more than consumers do. They're also fully aware of recent technologies like Ogg Vorbis, BitTorrent, and SlingBox. For those curious how DRM and rights decisions are made behind the scenes at a major public broadcaster, this is definitely worth a listen.

A couple of good comments follow too.

That's an amazingly insightful podcast! Thanks!

Which company has used DRM longer, the BBC or Apple? Just because Jobs uses DRM and then says “but we shouldn't” doesn't mean a thing. Well, depending on how gullible you are. It's about as meaningful as Google's “do no harm”. Actions speak louder than words.

Currently Digg and Slashdot have yet to pick up the podcast or its reactions. Oh it looks like we'll be uploading the video this week.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.