Rupert Murdoch, The Guardian Newspaper Group, magazine group IPC (and others) have formed an unlikely coalition, the British Internet Providers Association, in order to do one thing: decimate the BBC Online website, and protect their own online ventures. They demand that “BBC Online should be scaled back to being a ‘news portal’ and…should release its internet source code to commercial organisations.” Spin-off projects such as iCan, the grassroots political site which the BBC is set to launch in October, would be trashed, and the BBC’s use of its website to promote programmes, magazines and services would be restricted. In addition the BBC would face a cost ceiling on its online budget and be forced to “provide links to the news services of its competitors.”
There’s a good discussion over at MetaFilter.
Did I sleep through the winter and wake up on April 1st?