Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mark Scott eats the fruit of the idiot tree

I can’t ignore the rank stupidity of the ABC trying to suppress iView downloaders.

Someone from the ABC is trying to put an end to an iView downloader called Python-iView – complete with take-down https://jeremy.visser.name/2009/08/python-iview/ notices.

That led me to look for the downloader I have used, iViewNapper – to find that the Whirlpool page describing it has also been removed. http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=ABC_iView_Downloader

This is dumb.

I understand that there are probably contractual obligations to consider – the ABC is probably forbidden from doing something that looks like “redistributing over the Internet”.

It’s still dumb.

I really can’t think that anything redistributed by the ABC hasn’t already been pirated first – unless the ABC gets a Dr Who deal that lets it iView the program in synch with the UK.

For local content, there’s no reason to treat downloaders as verboten: Australians already paid for the content.

On the other hand, I can think of good reasons for downloaders. My wife spends lots of time in hospital, and it’s not always possible to watch when you want, and not always feasible to get a decent connection.

So: I use iViewNapper to get programs she wants, so she can watch them from a hospital bed.

Yes, that violates terms of service – but not, I think, the spirit of the service.

The ABC isn’t a commercial broadcaster, and it needs to hit its lawyers with the four-by-clue until they understand this.

And yes: when my wife is next in hospital, I will work out how to download iView programs for her. And I’ll bet the ABC won’t be able to block me.

Update: Of course, there's any number of mirrors of the software on Github. Google will find it for you. The lawyer's letter is pretty futile, really.

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