It seems bizarre to me that a publically funded organisation would stop an application from becoming available that actually delivers very very good functionality and offers the same level of service to an iphone as you would get from there website.
I must question the motives of the BBC here.
“We were given a cease and desist order by the BBC legal department despite our best efforts to try and meet the BBC’s requirements in any way possible,” Newby said.
“We were willing to make the app available for free and consume the development costs ourselves but this was also quashed.”
Rewat.ch would also have enabled users to download episodes from the BBC iPlayer service for the length of time set by the corporation. For the first time it would have been possible to watch BBC shows on the way to work, for example, on a tube or train.
I am a regulary user of the BBC iPlayer and often catch up with shows using a wifi connection – but this app would have solved the portability of the service to wifi black spots.
It would have also provided notification of when my favourite shows were available.
The reasons behind this decision don’t make sense and the BBC’s own plans to develop iPhone apps do not indicate this level of functionality for the end user.
There is a great lesson here for the public sector as a whole. If someone wants to design a service based on your offering and makes it better and more accessible my recommendation is to allow them to do it but work with them to make sure it offers value to all involved.