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Originally posted June 26 2007 at 12:06 under Computing and General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled. Last modified: 14 July 2007 at 19:09

Will The BBC Acknowledge Linux?

Annoyed and concerned with the BBC

The BBC report on BBC policies being attacked, specifically a letter sent by the Open Source Consortium to various regulatory bodies pointed out the problems with the BBC’s closed platform, DRM laden approach to their new iPlayer technology. [I’d swear I blogged about this at the time of the BBC Trusts consultation period, to which I responded making many of the points the OSC make—including the analogy to restricting content to certain brands of TV—but I can’t find any post). The problem is that the BBC, for all their “it’s just a start, we’ll get there” response, seem to simply not “get it”. Read carefully that BBC story (or other BBC stories and statements on the same subject) and see what sort of mentality to “make it work for everyone” they are taking. Specifically note statements like:

The BBC aims to make its content as widely available as possible and has always taken a platform agnostic approach to its internet services.

“It is not possible to put an exact timeframe on when BBC iPlayer will be available for Mac users. However, we are working to ensure this happens as soon as possible and the BBC Trust will be monitoring progress on a six monthly basis.”

The news article

They talk about as widely available as possible but very, very specifically only ever seem to mention Macs (maybe just to stop Apple suing over that iPlayer name!). I have a simple question for the BBC: What is your proposed solution for Linux (and other *nix based) platforms? Surely the BBC has a public duty to support such platforms as much as the big two commercial competitors (after all, there is an argument that Linux offers an effective tool in helping to bridge the digital divide to those technologically disadvantaged for financial reasons). Until they can give some sort of direct answer to that question they are no making things widely available as possible in a platform agnostic way at all.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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