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Fri, 29 May 2009

Returning to Auntie Beeb

I no longer work for BUPA / Outcome Technologies, having been made redundant. But no commiserating please! It's great, it's the kick up the arse I needed to actually go and look for other work, because while the last year or so there had been rather boring with not much work to do, actually looking for work is Hard Work and involves talking to recruiters and other annoying flesh-things, and I put it off and put it off so often. Being told that my job was "at risk" of redundancy, and with plenty of notice that it would happen, prompted me to look around for something more interesting.

I got two offers, and accepted the one I got from the BBC, despite them offering less cash. I start there on the 24th of June, as a software geek working on iPlayer. This is my second stint with Auntie, my first being with Internet Services before they got into borged BBC Technology and then sold to Siemens.

And just like last time, the contract contained a "we own everything copyrightable that you produce, including letters to your granny" clause. And just like last time, I crossed it out before returning it to the HR department. I know that in practice they wouldn't be evil and claim to own my personal letters, or indeed to own any photographs I take or magazine articles I write in my own time while employed by them, but there's a principle at stake. If we're going to do business with a contract instead of a gentlemanly handshake, the contract should be made to reflect good practice and gentlemanly dealings.

Posted at 21:16 by David Cantrell
keywords: bbc | work
Permalink | 2 Comments

Glad to hear you've got another job in these testing times for the the IT industry - and working on an interesting project to boot.

Your first job on iPlayer is to make the RSS feed provide direct links to the WMV downloads so I can fudge MythTV to download them automatically. Second job is then to convince them to ditch the DRM file format and use an open source one instead. :)

Good work on deleting the copright-on-everything clause - a mate of mine got rogered by this whilst at Uni. He developed a rather wonderful proxy for mobile phones and the Uni liked it, claimed the IP and sold it to Nokia. Bastards. It's time we all took a stand!

Posted by Ben on Fri, 29 May 2009 at 22:41:38


You probably don't have much influence in all of it, or you may disagree with this, but why not try and convince them to stick with a P2P/Torrent protocol, which they say they've abandoned now for some weird reason... And why the hell are the BBC whinging about people downloading whatever they want "illegally" when a lot of the time it's stuff they've made themselves with money that the downloaders often have given them already in the form of the bloody licence fee! If it's freely available on the iPlayer in the first place, why should it matter where one gets the media from? I don't like them trying to convince people to pay again for stuff they've already funded, either in the form of DVDs or paid downloads, because of the stupid 7 day catchup limit -- that they could easily get around technically if they stuck with P2P distribution!

That's just my general disdain for the licence fee showing through. You seem like a decent chap, so I won't hold you in contempt for working there ;)

Posted by Marc K on Sun, 19 Jul 2009 at 23:44:05


Sorry, this post is too old for you to comment on it.

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