BBC slaps cease and desist order on developers of unauthorized iPlayer app for Apple iPhone

The new MacBook - Starting at only $954.59!“Two iPhone developers have been slapped with a 10-page cease and desist order from the BBC for trying to create an app that would cache iPlayer content,” Bill Ray reports for the Register.

“The app [] allows users to select programmes from the iPlayer’s RSS service, then downloads the content for watching later,” Ray reports.

Ray reports, “The BBC is adamant that the iPhone service is streaming only, and is probably bound by agreements with the companies creating the content, but what’s harder to forgive is that the corporation didn’t make that clear to [the developers] earlier.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]


  1. Isn’t the BBC the UK free public TV? Free is free? What is the problem with when you use a free item?

    The BBC needs to focus on the making and distribution of the media not when it is watched. If it is on my DVR at home, I would watch it later when it is a convenient for me not the BBC.

  2. No it isn’t free, you have to pay a mandatory annual license.

    The BBC is a broadcaster and they license programming from 3rd parties for ‘broadcast’, they don’t want their content to be free to the world.

    If they allowed you do download and keep programmes a fraction of the programmes would be on iPlayer. Many BBC programmes are also available for series catchup anyway.

  3. Are you unable to use your DVR to record it at home and watch it later? What is the difference if I watch later at home or on a bus while going to work?

    Times are a changing.

  4. What if I recorded the broadcast to VCR and later played it in another location or in my mini vans VCP? You all need to stop see the Apple logo and blocking it’s use. If we put tape over the logo will that be Ok?

  5. @ Jersy_Trader
    we don’t like it but us Brits are charged £142 per year for a tv licence which allows the BBC to produce several tv channels plus broadcast radio around the world.
    But you are correct that you can record tv programmes on your hard-drive set top box or vcr and watch them later at your convenience, plus there nowt to stop you taking the tape round to a pals house and watching it on his vcr. He’ll you can even copy it to a DVD if you wish and play it in your vehicles DVD player to keep the family entertained on a trip. Hope this helps

  6. @ Macduff

    Thanks for the explanation. It is all to easy to be centered on one’s own country/region and the local conventions, forgetting they may be alien to other MDN readers.

  7. So, we are back to the same problem that the BBC had when it to months of protests to get them to supply the iPlayer for the Mac. The logo. There problem with their top management is that they have a problem with Apple. They used the Mac market is small argument in the past. But, the iPhone, iPod touch and now the iPad are not the little fish in the market. If I were an advertiser on the BBC media, I would be demanding either a price cut or full access to the high paying cash flush customers.

  8. Every time I see one of these posts saying “Should be Free”, I want to ask that person if they work for free.

    Do you really think all the content produced on TV, Radio, in Print, etc… happens through volunteer labor? If you want it without adds, you should expect to pay for it. If someone has a contract regarding how their product is to be provided, you should be willing to honor that contract, not expect that you should be able to just download an add free copy.

  9. @ Jersey_Trader

    ” If I were an advertiser on the BBC media, I would be demanding either a price cut or full access to the high paying cash flush customers.”

    Ah – another small thing – there are no advertisements on the BBC – it is funded entirely from the Licence fee.

    Incidentally, the iplayer (for mac/pc) does allow you to download and watch iplayer content when you like, up to a point. Programmes do expire about 1 month after they are removed from the iPlayer online service.

    I think the Beeb’s action here is about controlling who gets to access iplayer content – if only way to access is via their app, then they have the control.

    Incidentally, you don’t need to pay the licence if you just use iplayer as it’s not ‘live TV’ ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> you do however need to be in the UK.

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