The BBC Backstage is an initiative created to encourage “open innovation” with BBC materials. Their site suggests that even though innovation like this was frowned upon in the past, it will now be fomented there. From the site:
The BBC will support social innovation by encouraging users’ efforts to build sites and projects that meet their needs and those of their communities … The BBC will also be committed to using open standards that will enable users to find and repurpose BBC content in more flexible ways…
Author and popular blog boingboing.net contributor Cory Doctorow wrote an article in reaction to this debate. He calls for an even more open environment and rights system, and points out some of the contradictions in the BBC’s logic.
Ofcom has criticized the BBC’s plans for offering content in different ways to people, with their own set of contradictions. They want the content to be limited [akin to having the things that you TiVo expiring after a period of time]. But, the also speak of the current system being beholden to commercial entities like Microsoft, the company providing the format and required players for the content.
The BBC is offering the public a chance to chime in on this subject at the BBC Trust.
This is a fine example of how complicated rights matters are in the new media world. It will be some time before put to bed the old notions of rights and true consumption habits of users and embrace what is ahead.