101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow

I was watching BBC1’s 101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow on the iPlayer earlier today. One of the answers for question 2 was “Pirate Party UK“; the question was “Which of these is a UK political party?”

If I had been on the show I would have got at least that question right! Incidentally, for those of you who haven’t heard of us before, we’re a serious party that campaigns on digital rights issues such as privacy, freedom of speech, ensuring everyone can benefit from the internet, and reforming copyright and patent law.

If you haven’t heard of us yet, it’s probably because we’ve been in existence for less than a year. We’re part of a worldwide movement (in 40 countries) that already has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament!

I’m standing for the Pirate Party for election to Edinburgh Council; there’s a by-election in the Liberton/Gilmerton ward. As it happens, I’m the first candidate that Pirate Party UK has put up for a local government election (we fought 9 seats at the general election earlier this year).

To give an example of what we care about, consider the BBC iPlayer. if you live in the UK you can use it to view BBC TV and radio programmes on in your computer. But why do the programmes only stay up fro 1 week, and why are they crippled with DRM? If you’re a license payer, you’ve already paid for the programmes — you paid to make them, so you should have full access to them. So the BBC should put its entire back catalog on the internet, for anyone to watch, without any DRM.

The DRM on the iPlayer system means that if you want to download a program to watch (as opposed to streaming it), you have to watch it on the BBC’s media player instead of your own preferred media player. Since I’d rather use my preferred media player (I use Totem Movie Player), I don’t use the BBC iPlayer application to download iPlayer programmes. Instead I use the get_iplayer application which strips out the DRM and allows me to play the files on any media player I like. It’s a shame the BBC doesn’t support open source applications such as get-iplayer but instead discriminates against them. So if you’tre using iPlayer under Linux, I suggest you download get_iplayer.

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