Open sores is a podcast put together by myself and Ben Werdmuller about what grinds our gears in technology.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Digital Economy Bill and government procedure
  • Apple iPad & locked down platforms
  • Where now for the bedroom hackers?

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(This is the pilot episode, and there may or may not be another one. It was recorded for our own amusement. Production values are low. Contains swearing and general nonsensical rambling.)

2 thoughts on “Open Sores pilot episode

  1. Thoroughly enjoying Open Sores. Thought I’d chip in with the central legislative position within the television Licence legislation; hinges on having the capacity to receive television signals via a tuneable receiver.

    It is often (erroneously) quoted that the law says that any household in possession of a device capable of receiving live television transmissions and which actually does watch live TV broadcasts from any source is legally due to the licence fee.

    The true legislative position is more uncompromising: that whether one receives television transmissions or not, it is the possession of a (tuneable) device capable of receiving live television transmissions that is the legal device by which the television licence fee is due.

    The BBC have stated that a licence is not needed simply because a television receiver is owned, yet, conversely, the television licensing authority have successfully prosecuted people merely for having a tuneable device capable of receiving television transmissions.

    The only way to sidestep the licence fee safely is to make your television receiver incapable of being tuned, or to live in an area which can never receive television transmissions. The switching-off of terrestrial television signals could, potentially, lead to some interesting legal arguments in a few years time.

    But your thoughts on BBC Copyright and Intellectual Property are very interesting. An employee who creates something in the course of his/her work normally loses the IP rights to his/her employer. In the case of BBC’s iPlayer and DRM, doesn’t the IP remain with the BBC (as the corporate employer) and not the public? To argue that the public retains IP – because the public funds the BBC – would also lead to an argument that the public owns IP for developments in local and central government.

    Or am I misunderstanding your position?

  2. I am really glad you enjoyed it, and thankyou very much for clarifying the position on the licence fee… most interesting.

    The question of who owns the IP in this case is a tricky one – indeed, the whole wider question of IP is exceedingly complex.

    I would argue that work commissioned by the BBC should have it’s ownership transferred in the same way as it would if any other company paid for services from a contractor.

    Additionally, as a public institution the BBC should be making its content available as public domain and I would certainly argue that this principle should be extended to all government agencies. I would push for an abolition of crown copyright as a part of any constitutional and IP law reform (all state produced material in the US is public domain by default for example, so this is not without precedent).

    Regardless, I think the current situation where private companies are able to build up their private assets with public money is wrong and goes against the spirit (if not the letter) of the charter.

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