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Television Media

BBC Opens TV Archive to Remixers 231

megla writes "The BBC has opened its Creative Archive to the public, allowing users to be VJs and remix BBC content. The BBC's "current music" radio station, Radio 1, is running a competition in conjunction with the release. Unfortunately, the license the content is released under requires that you are a UK resident to use it." For British residents, however, this is well worth the television license.
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BBC Opens TV Archive to Remixers

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  • The Beeb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) * on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:17PM (#13514800) Homepage
    You know, I never used to be a big fan of the BBC and its licence for UK viewers. However, the great content it's made available via its website, complete lack of advertisements and new shows (recently) have really changed my view. The news service is largely unbiased, far less biased than any US channel/website I've visited. Also, since it's non-commercial it allows them to experiment more, and include news articles and pieces that aren't totally focussed on bringing in page hits.

    I did subscribe to Sky a while back, but dropped it after finding the 5 minute ad breaks every 15 minutes extremely annoying (the channels all seem to display adverts at the same time too, to stop channel hopping I guess), and constant repeats. Sky make a huge deal out of any show they're airing for the first time, instead of the 5001st - and pepper them with even more adverts.

    So basically, the short version of this comment is: "Fuck Sky, Go Beeb".
    • Re:The Beeb (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sparks ( 7204 ) <acrawford@laetabili s . com> on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:27PM (#13514853) Homepage
      Having moved from the UK to Canada a few years back, let me just say that I yearn with nostalgic longing for the time when I could watch TV with five-minute ad breaks only every fifteen minutes.
      • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Funny)

        by jo42 ( 227475 )
        Yeppers, having 2 minutes of commercials for every minute of content turns yer brain into ICBS mush. And do we really need to see the same ad for the same product 8-10 times during a one hour period?

        Now that I aquire my TV shows through other means, where all the brain sludge has been removed, advertisers can go fork themselves sideways with a stiff wire brush.

      • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Informative)

        by joebutton ( 788717 )
        > Having moved from the UK to Canada a few years
        > back, let me just say that I yearn with nostalgic
        > longing for the time when I could watch TV with
        > five-minute ad breaks only every fifteen minutes.

        The BBC doesn't have advert breaks (although other UK commercial stations do).
        • Re:The Beeb (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheoGB ( 786170 )
          Yes the post realises this: They lived in the UK. Their point was in reference to the ad breaks on UK commercial television (as raised by the parent poster's comments on Sky).

          Hope that made sense as I can't remember people's names!
      • Re:The Beeb (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dJCL ( 183345 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @11:03PM (#13515820) Homepage
        How much is this license?

        I'd be willing to pay money to the BBC for access to this and othe r content.

        Heck, I'd be willing to pay a TV tax of some reasonable pittance just to replace our CBC up here with a much expanded and comercial reduced BBC Canada.

        It's not like that's where CBC is getting it's news from anyway due to the strike...

        JC
        • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Informative)

          Here [tvlicensing.co.uk] you go... it's 126.50 GBP per year, or you can pay monthly by direct debit (which works out a little cheaper).
          • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Informative)

            by scabb ( 670114 )
            This is a little redundant, since obtaining a license is useless if you live in Canada. In fact, you're very much capable of watching BBC shows or TV in general without a license in the UK - although you face a lovely fine should you get caught.
        • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Interesting)

          by speculatrix ( 678524 )
          The TV tax (for that's what it is in the UK - you have to pay it whether you watch BBC or not) is UK£120, or US$200.

          Interestingly, the European Union have been looking into the way various countries grant special rights to the national broadcaster, and the way they are funded, as it looks as if most (incl. the BBC) break EU rules on gov't subsidy/support and taxation rules. There's also a "television without frontiers" project, but like most EU initiatives it dodges the issues of the commercial TV c

        • Re:The Beeb (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @09:23AM (#13518514) Homepage Journal
          Hey, I don't mind if they stay on strike at the moment since at least we are getting BBC news instead. Much more international content, and not just that which is rating oriented.

          We really need the CBC/Radio Canada to be sorted out - this needs to be a channel for the citizens, not for the advertisers.
    • Re:The Beeb (Score:2, Interesting)

      by stevey ( 64018 )

      I don't think many people could convincingly argue that the BBC doesn't produce an enormous range of programs, and services.

      But I do personally object to the license fee. As things stand I currently own a TV which I use for watching DVDs almost exclusively.

      Despite this I have to pay the mandatory BBC-tax every year, just because I own a television.

      I would love to see the TV license changed to a BBC license, and would happily have my set neutered if it meant that I didn't have to pay.

      At the moment I wat

      • Re:The Beeb (Score:5, Informative)

        by pdhenry ( 671887 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:49PM (#13514981)
        As I understand the UK licensing (licencing) law, you would not have to pay a licence fee if you do not have a device capable of receiving or recording TV programming. If you have a DVD player with no recording capability and a monitor without a tuner you may be exempt from licencing requirements.
        See http://www.kevinboone.com/tv_licence.html [kevinboone.com] for a but more information.
        Also see http://www.tvlicensing.biz/info_on_tvlicensing/ [tvlicensing.biz]
        IANAL.
        • You can even own a colour television without paying the licence fee, remember reading a little while ago about a squabble between a consumer and the BBC's licencing people. Consumer won.

          I intensely dislike the TV licencing people. They send me constant red letters (looking exactly like an unpaid bill), threating fines / imprisonment / dismemberment because I haven't got a TV license.

          Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact I haven't got a fucking TV? Wankers. Even more annoying are the claims
          • Err, yes they can. The detector vans work by picking up the signal generated by the local osciallator in your tv's tuning circuit (well, maybe not yours :). Doesn't matter if it's a crt, flat screen, whatever.

            They can even work out which channel you're watching, because the frequency output by the local oscillator is always 39.5MHz above the frequency of the broadcast channel.

            Of course it's a bit different now digital telly has arrived, but the principle remains the same, and if you've got satellite/cable e
            • Detector vans exist but aren't really used, they're just a boogie man to scare the punters. Most enforcement is done via databases. TV retailers have to pass on your address details for example.

              To go back to the great great [...] grandparent's comment about requiring a licencse when not viewing tv, that's incorrect.

              If you call the license people and tell them that you won't be using it to watch TV then they'll ask you to detune all the channels, and in theory shouldn't hassle you again (they left me alone a
              • We don't have a TV, and one day got a letter saying that they checked for a tv signal on 5 different occasions, and did not find a signal. The letter went on to say that they will not check again for another year (under harrassment laws, it said.)

                Also if you have a tv, but don't watch tv, the best option is to get it modded so that it can't recieve tv signals. It's easy and cheap to do.
                • You don't need to get it modded though, just detune the channels.. That way if you decide at some point you do want TV then you don't have to get the mod undone, or worse get a new TV.
          • Remove the part with your name, tear up the letter, and put it in the return envelope.

            I'm aware it's immature and costs other people (including me) in their licences, but damn it feels good.

      • If the license fee didn't exist in its current form you wouldn't have the chance to enjoy the shows the BBC release on DVD (arguably having had to pay for them twice, granted), or the countless pages on quite frankly one of the best websites on the internet, or the numerous radio stations, free of adverts and neither would millions of other people around the world.

        As a British expat living in the USA I would give my left nut to be able to pay the pittance that is the license fee if it meant I could get bac

      • Re:The Beeb (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) * on Thursday September 08, 2005 @09:11PM (#13515093) Homepage
        Sure I'm listening to their radio station, and watching their website - but so are thousands of other people in foreign countries (with things like the BBC World Service) who don't have to pay this tax.

        So you're doing your own small part to make something valuable available to people all over the Earth - including third World countries who couldn't hope to run a news service of that standard. What's wrong with that?
        • Re:The Beeb (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          including third World countries who couldn't hope to run a news service of that standard.

          Like the US, for example?
      • Despite this I have to pay the mandatory BBC-tax every year, just because I own a television.


        No, you don't. I've never had a TV licence, and I've pretty much always had a TV. I don't watch broadcast TV on it though, and I don't have an aerial, or cable TV. You will get lots of threatening letters from the TV Licensing department, but just phone them up and threaten legal action until they stop. Simple.

      • Re:The Beeb (Score:3, Informative)

        by Angostura ( 703910 )
        Apropos your final paragraph.

        1. The World Service isn't funded from the license fee, it is funded directly from the Foreign Office.

        2. Are you saying you would be happy to pay a radio tax? or are you saying that the BBC should cut off all its streaming services from overseas viewers?
      • No you don't actually. This is a common misconception. If you use your tv for watching DVDs *exclusively* then you don't need to pay a licence. There is somebody in our office in the same situation who made the TV Licencing people agree. However, if you do watch tv, even just occasionally - then you *should* have to pay a license fee.
      • Re:The Beeb (Score:4, Informative)

        by isorox ( 205688 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @06:14AM (#13517513) Homepage Journal
        Despite this I have to pay the mandatory BBC-tax every year, just because I own a television.

        No you dont. Detune your TV, unplug your aeriel, and you dont need to pay. You do need to pay if your watch Corronation Street.

        Sure I'm listening to their radio station, and watching their website

        You don't need a TV license for either of those things.

        with things like the BBC World Service) who don't have to pay this tax.

        The World Service (radio) is funded by the foreign office, not the TV license. World TV is funded by advertisers and is not available in the UK (theoretically).
      • You can have a normal TV detuned from the channels and not pay the fee if you inform the license authority. I've done it and they were fine about it

        More : http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=161643&cid=135 17554 [slashdot.org]
    • Well said that man !

      I simply cannot understand the mentality of people who pay Sky good money to be advertised at. If they're taking a fee they should show the program without adverts. If they're taking advertising revenue then I'm not coughing up a single penny to watch the content. The price of me putting up with all those retarded advertisments is that the surrounding content is free. People who pay to be advertised at are complete morons. Absolute brain dead morons.

      But the real shame about Sky is t
  • Unfortunately, the license the content is released under requires that you are a UK resident to use it.

    From the license agreement:

    Furthermore, and hence all licensees must have no greater than three complete teeth in the mouth of the primary licensor and shall use the term "get your knickers in a twist" no less than thrice a day. Finally, all licensees shall hereinforth have a full understanding of the term cockup.
    • by endy64 ( 891510 )
      Well for a start it's "Cock-up" [worldwidewords.org] and secondly being a UK resident I don't think it's Unfortunate (rather the opposite for me) but then as a T.V. license payer I wouldn't object to other countries using the content under the same terms either so lets hope it gets extended :)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 08, 2005 @09:15PM (#13515108)
      I was just looking at the photo on your web site. Is that your real forehead, or did you have some sort of extension fitted?

      I can tell that you're an American, because you've A) "found Jesus" and can't shut the fuck up about it, B) you're hideously foul, fat, stupid and ugly and yet can't stop drawing attention to yourself and C) you've only got one joke (British teeth) and you can't even make it sound funny.

      You're from the bible belt - statistically you're far more likely to have dental issues than any British citizen. Is there a reason why you don't open your mouth in that foul photograph of yourself you so foolishly make available to the general public?
  • by planetoid ( 719535 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:20PM (#13514814)
    Yeah, like they can stop me from remixing the Dr. Who theme song with dogs barking.
    • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:27PM (#13514856)
      Bark-bark bark, bark-bark bark, bark-bark bark, BARK BARK BARK
      Bark-bark bark, bark-bark bark, bark-bark bark, BARK BARK BARK

      Damn, boy. I think you got a winner here.
    • Silly Brits. Who do you think you are -- Americans?!

      You can't just go around telling citizens in other nations what licenses and laws they must obey!
    • I just want to know when they'll let me download the old Blake's 7 series.
    • Dr. Who theme song?

      Can you post the lyrics to that? ;-)

      (FWIW, as a kid of about 10, back in the 1960s, I had a 45 RPM vinyl record of the Dr. Who theme music, and I watched (the original, B&W) Dr. Who faithfully on CBC (Canada) after school.)
  • If its been broadcast, its in public domain as far as I'm concerned.

    I could care less about any 'restrictions', once I've seen/heard it i can/will do what i want.

    Dont like that? Then dont broadcast it.

  • irrelevant.
    And Sinclair would add as far as 0.009376 of every human being vill care.
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:43PM (#13514942) Homepage Journal
    Hmmph, I would love to download the ant video clip [bbc.co.uk] but I am not from U.K. I wonder if you can use an UK server as a proxy. Has anyone tried it? :)
  • by planetoid ( 719535 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @08:48PM (#13514973)
    4. No Endorsement and No derogatory use The Creative Archive content is provided to allow you to get creative with content, not for campaigning, soapboxing or to defame others! So don't use it to promote political, charitable, or other campaigning purposes and remember to treat others and their work in the way that you'd expect them to treat you and your work...with respect!
  • For British residents, however, this is well worth the television license.

    I thought that caper ended in the 70's, but a quick googling reveals that "Each household's colour TV licence cost £10.08 every month in 2004/2005".

    Do they still have black vans driving around with tv-detector dishes sticking out the roof?

    • Do they still have black vans driving around with tv-detector dishes sticking out the roof?

      Yes and no. There are still detector vans but the equipment has got a lot smaller, more sensitive and even portable. So the fact that a van is in the area is not as much of a giveaway as it once was. The vans are not run by the BBC, but a completely separate government agency.

      Personally while I think the license fee approach is a good one - it really does seem to raise quality well above what the "free market"
      • > So the fact that a van is in the area is not as
        > much of a giveaway as it once was

        Giveaway? Surely the primary point of the vans is to convey the impression that you're likely to get caught watching TV without a licence.

        > they assume that everyone has a TV set, so you
        > have to prove you DON'T have one in order for
        > them to leave you alone.

        They have to prove that you DO have one in order for them to prosecute you. They will tend to send intimidating letters though.

        > Also, they have automa
        • Surely the primary point of the vans is to convey the impression that you're likely to get caught watching TV without a licence.

          No, they put posters up saying "two households in this street don't have TV licenses". They also have a a picture printed in lemon juice depicting simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. One of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you
      • We found it varied quite a bit depending on where you lived. East London? quite hard to get rid of them. Richmond? No problem. In both cases we had a big-ass CRT, but no telly (if I may mix dialects).
      • Also, they have automatic right of entry to your home without a warrant, though only to search for a TV set.

        Quoting from the back of my TV license:

        Our officers may ask to inspect your license and television equipment at any time, but you do not have to let them into your home without a search warrant.
      • TV licensing people in the UK do not have a right of entry to your home without a search warrant.

        They are often accused of being overly aggressive in their approach, because they will make unannounced visits and then ask for entry anyway, which has been viewed as intimidatory by many residents. See here [the-statio...fice.co.uk] for an entertaining grilling by the House Select Committee on Public Accounts of some senior BBC staff about their approach to checking on people who don't pay the licence fee. (Note that these proceedings

      • A work colleague rented a flat in London, and he had no TV set. After a little while, he received a standard "you have not paid for your TV licence" notification, which had a number of tick-boxes on the reply slip to allow you to say why you felt you were exempt....

        And I do not have a TV set wasn't an option!

        So he wrote in huge letters, in a big black marker pen:

        HAVE NO TELLY!

        and sent it back. He didn't hear from them again.

  • Maybe Ford Prefect can fight off the Daleks and The Doctor can visit Milliways.
  • by viva_fourier ( 232973 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @09:05PM (#13515054) Journal
    Finally, now those British Beaniacs can release their 8-year-in-the-making Mr. Bean tributes remixed to include *words*.
  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Thursday September 08, 2005 @09:18PM (#13515131) Homepage
    As happy as I am with all of the interesting stuff the BBC is doing via the web, I really wish they hadn't had to kill their shortwave bradcasts to North America to do it. And though I can listen online when I'm around a computer and can even catch their broadcasts to other regions, I miss being able to hear them clearly almost any evening hour without shelling out for a satellite radio. I'd even trade all of the whizzy web crap for that.
    • I for one would not object if the BBC had a licensing scheme for users outside of the UK to take advantage of the content (although technically it is the UK government, not the BBC, that controls TV licensing). Clearly the BBC is a well respected media organasation and there's no reason I cannot see that opening up subscription based content to users across the world couldn't generate extra revenue and shutup some of the nay-sayers who have it in for the BBC and public broadcasting.
  • Shame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Namronorman ( 901664 )
    It's really a shame you have to be a UK resident, I know the BBC has a lot of good material. I'm especially a fan of BBC America, it's quite nice to watch some of the classics on TV sometimes and get news that is sourced outside of the US.

    It's kind of like getting a 2nd opinion when watching the World News on BBC
  • Realplayer? (Score:2, Informative)

    by PromANJ ( 852419 )
    It's a pity most of the video clips and audio clips on BBC (atleast the Doctor Who stuff) are in rm/ram format. Is there a VLC codec/plugin/gizmo for those formats yet? I installed realplayer a while ago (unfortunately), but now it 'expired' and I can't play/view anything with it.

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