updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu March 13, 2008
BBC halts iPlayer 'hack'
The BBC has put an end to an exploit which allowed people to download its TV shows permanently, according to the network's news agency. By altering the user string of a URL on a desktop system, people were able to fool the BBC iPlayer into thinking it was operating on an iPhone or iPod touch. While the latter devices are only able to stream shows from iPlayer, the exploit enabled Mac or PC users to save clips, which could then be played any time after the seven-day window the BBC sets for iPlayer material.
PC users can legitimately save videos through a native iPlayer client, but DRM restrictions still cause the files to expire after seven days. A Mac client has been promised for 2008, and one may also be developed for the Apple TV. The service is provided only to residents of the UK, who must pay a license fee for TV access.