GR: Open Source developers pr…

GR: Open Source developers protest access restrictions public broadcast

Published on: 20/03/2008

Greek Open Source developers are protesting that ERT, Greece's national broadcaster, will make its online archive available only for users of Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OSX.

The Hellenic Linux User Group six months ago approached ERT, after finding out the public broadcaster was restricting their access to a new archive. ERT is a public organisation, the developers argue, and should not discriminate against users of Open Source.

ERT is developing an archive of its broadcast material, digitising film, video, pictures and hosting them online. The archive is going to be developed in a 1.95 million euro project, the major part of which is funded by the European Union, the Open Source developers say.

On its archive site, ERT outlines: "The web site is designed to work with operating systems Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OSX. It does not support operating systems Linux/Unix." The page also lists all Microsoft plug-ins needed for viewing content.

Following the complaints by the Open Source developers, ERT updated the web page in November, saying: "More information to Linux users will be available in the future."

Several months later, the Open Source developers are still left out. Browsing the audiovisual archive is limited to users that have
Microsoft Windows Media Player and Microsoft Windows Media Video
9 codec installed. The developers are disappointed that ERT is limiting access to its site to only those that can afford to use proprietary software.

The Greek Open Source concerns are similar to protests in the United Kingdom last year. Following protests over the British public broadcaster BBC making media available only to users of Microsoft Windows, the BBC in October announced it would also support Apple and Linux.

© European Communities 2008
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The views expressed are not an official position of the European Commission.

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