Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BBC Last Chance To See site - Audio and Video now blocked to non-UK

I'm very disappointed to report that the BBC's Last Chance To See website is now blocking all audio and video content to users outside of the UK. I can't tell you how sad I am about this development. I was really enjoying following along with the development of this series, something that's been close to my heart for nearly 5 years now. The Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine video blogs were always entertaining, and I'd been enjoying the original radio episodes too. All are now unavailable to me. I'm sure there are greater powers at work than the Last Chance To See production team here, but I am DEEPLY saddened by this. If there was a way I could PAY for access, I would. What a shame - it just doesn't make any sense to me.

11 comments:

jonathan said...

If their was a some one who lived in the uk we could at least get the radio show.

D.B. Echo said...

Why on Earth would they do this?

Mosher said...

How do you think I feel? I'm English, but I'm working in France. I pay a TV license back home, but I can't look at the stuff I'm paying for.

The US do the same thing. Try and view the Star Trek episodes that CBS have put on YouTube recently and you get knocked back outside of the States. Thing is, it's no challenge to get a proxy server in the US to plough through and pick it all up. *You* try and find a reliable UK one :(

kakapo said...

Can't we contact the BBC and ask them to change it again? There can't be a huge copyright issue, can there be?

Gareth said...

There used to be a "send a question to the team" link on the BBC site, but I'm struggling to find it now.

A Google site search revealed it should be on page http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/sites/about/questions_answers.shtml but its now been taken down since it was asking for questions by November 9th. Google Cache at http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:9U1UmmcpHhsJ:www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/sites/about/questions_answers.shtml+site:www.bbc.co.uk+last+chance+to+see+question&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us

As much as it being a copyright issue, it could just as much be a bandwidth issue I think. It could be they are trying to save their bandwidth for UK users only.

Gareth said...

So the email address of the team is lastchancetosee@bbc.co.uk

Mosher said...

Bandwidth could actually be one of their reasons. Whatever server their sports coverage is held on collapses every weekend when the Premiership games are being played - and that's only serving plain text.

kakapo said...

I found on their FAQ that the reason they took it down is they can't afford it. They don't have the license outside of the UK. So it's only available to UK residents.

Why they put it up in the first place, I don't know. You would think that if they can leave it on the web for the first three months, they could do it for the next three, too.

Bud Fern said...

Well, by using the Firefox browser and some free UK proxies (Google that if needed) I was able to listen to the three episodes that are available. One could also use a recording program to capture the audio. :)

Enno said...

I remember a time when the internet had almost no borders. Now everyone is trying to build fences, nay walls, around their content as if the goal of the internet was to make sure as few people as possible can see your stuff.

Mosher said...

"So it's only available to UK residents."

I've seen that wording all over their website (Radio5 when broadcasting live football, for instance) and it's simply not true. *I* am a UK resident. I have a UK passport and a permanent address in the UK. However, for large portions of the year I work/travel elsewhere in the world (France, currently) and cannot access the content that the Beeb actually state I have access to.

There have been quite a few people pushing them to set up a passworded means of allowing access to UK residents abroad, but in fairness I don't know how they'd operate it without the passwords leaking all the time.