Following the BBC Trust's recent move to canvas public opinion on whether the UK public broadcaster should provide its online shows in multiple formats, not just Windows Media, a collection of licence payers have launched a petition demanding the same on the Prime Minister's website.
"'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the BBC from making its iPlayer on-demand television service available to Windows users only, and instruct the corporation to provide its service for other operating systems also," the petition explains.
That petition has attracted 1,748 signatures so far.
At present the BBC plans to launch its new online broadcasting service, iPlayer, in Windows Media format. This is because the BBC is able to licence digital rights management technologies from Microsoft to satisfy its content providers.
iPlayer will let users watch shows online or download them to a computer for later viewing.
The BBC Trust also asserts the BBC must follow a 'platform-agnostic' approach to providing its content online: "As proposed, the TV catch-up service on the internet relies on Microsoft technology for the digital rights management (DRM) framework. The Trust will require the BBC Executive to adopt a platform-agnostic approach within a reasonable timeframe. This requires the BBC to develop an alternative DRM framework to enable users of other technology, for example, Apple and Linux, to access the on-demand services."
The BBC’s on-demand proposals include four services:
- Seven-day TV catch-up over the internet
- Seven-day TV catch-up over cable
- Simulcast TV over the internet (streaming of live television networks)
- Non-digital rights management audio downloads over the internet (podcasting)