Streaming in Linux is illegal, says EU

Tietoja koneesta -blog linked to an article in Helsingin Sanomat, in which it was complained that the citizens of EU are not interested in viewing media streams from EU meetings. Of course, nobody knew of such a possibility, because EU PR department is not very good at their work. Therefore it's a bit of a stretch to say that people are not interested.

If you are interested, here's the link to the service.

Here's the fun bit. Look at the FAQ. They say (emphasis mine):

On which platforms can I view the live streaming media service of the Council of the European Union?

The live streaming media service of the Council of the European Union can be viewed on Microsoft Windows and Macintosh platforms. We cannot support Linux in a legal way. So the answer is: No support for Linux

WHAT?!? What do you mean "you can't support Linux in a legal way?" There are plenty of possibilities to do cross-platform streaming, starting with the Another Seattle Company called Real, who have been supporting Linux, Windows and Mac for ages. There are a gazillion different Flash players out there (which are really cool because they don't in general need any installation), and not to mention all sorts of open source options. Even using a standard such as MP4 or MPEG-2 would perfectly suffice for any and all Linux users, who have also legal ways to watch such streams.

Unfortunately, EU has chosen to use Windows Media, which is a proprietary standard, owned by the same company that EU is slapping a big fine on for being such a proprietary company. And yet, at the same time, they are supporting this proprietaryness by requiring everyone to use Windows Media, and giving the appearance that it is an only option, and it would be illegal for them to support Linux in any way.

Now, I know EU government is big and vast (and has its share of incompetent nincompoops), but this irony is still laughable.

(Besides, you can go and install Crossover, completely legally, and get the full Windows Media Player experience in Linux. So please.)


"for being such a proprietary company"

perhaps you were just speaking casually, but there's nothing wrong or illegal with being "proprietary"... the problem is when a company uses its market dominance to _harm_ consumers and prevent competition.

nobody fines the auto maker or computer hardware+software for being the only one to manufacture certain parts for its product; but when the company so dominates a market that a predatory behavior inhibits the ability of others to function, that's where in theory a legal correction is called for.

--AnonymousCoward, 13-Jul-2006

Yes, I was just speaking casually. The term "such a proprietary company" includes things you mention above. That's why the "such as".

Thanks for the clarification!

--JanneJalkanen, 13-Jul-2006

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"Main_blogentry_130706_1" last changed on 13-Jul-2006 14:26:49 EEST by JanneJalkanen.