Considering a life of crime

I have been a very good boy. Apart from one or two very isolated and early downloads using bit torrent I have steered away from downloading copyrighted content. This is probably down to a combination of my Presbyterian upbringing and having worked for the BBC for 21 years. But I'm beginning to crack. Ironically this has partly been brought about by the advent of iPlayer for the Mac.

Being able to download programs with iPlayer but then having them time-limited makes it all the more apparent what you're not being allowed to do. Given that I have paid my licence fee why on earth shouldn't I be allowed, and trusted, to keep a copy for my own purposes for as long as I want?

Another situation made the absurdity of the current DRM rules apparent recently. A friend of mine who is a UK citizen and licence fee payer was in America and wanted to watch the last episode of the last series of Doctor Who. Despite the fact that he had effectively paid for it and is a big Dr. Who fan with no intention to do any harm to the programme - because his IP address was outside the UK he was not allowed to use iPlayer. I, also a licence fee payer and with no intent to do the programme any harm, then effectively broke the law by recording the programme, compressing it, and sending it to him. Both of us had paid for the content, neither of us were making a commercial use of it, effectively all we were doing was timeshifting -- but this is considered illegal.

Another example. I am a big fan of Audible. I have used it for many years since meeting its founder at MIT in Boston. It is a great system and allows me to listen to many books that I wouldn't find time to read. I spend a fortune with Audible but like the BBC its content is also subject to DRM. Each time I want to listen to a book in iTunes or on my iPhone my account has to be authenticated by Audible. This would be fine apart from the fact that because I choose to run my Mac without administrative rights on my account, good safety practice, Audible loses my authentication every time I quit iTunes. As a result I have to remember to re-authenticate with Audible otherwise I walk off with my phone thinking I have my books with me only to find they have been removed.

Like I said, I really want to be honest and do the right thing. I have no intention of "stealing" content and want to pay for stuff. Please, please just make it easy for me to pay and use your content or I might find myself weakening.