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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Open letter to BT</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>British Telecom: please include freedom in your new music service</h1>
  8. <p>Dear BT,</p>
  9. <p>
  10. British Telecom is a leader of telecommunication and digital
  11. content markets, and has a reputation for product innovation.
  12. Plans recently reported for a new not-for-profit music download
  13. service<a class="fn" href="#fn-1">1</a> for BT's 5.5 million
  14. broadband customers have sparked much discussion, and once again
  15. placed BT at the fore of the future of digital content delivery in
  16. the UK.
  17. </p>
  18. <p>
  19. Amongst those speculating about the nature of the new service are
  20. the growing number of BT customers who use Free Software<a
  21. class="fn" href="#fn-2">2</a> web-browsers, operating systems, and
  22. multimedia players. Currently these and other Free Software users
  23. are unable to enjoy many popular content delivery systems such as
  24. Spotify, Steam, and iTunes, because they are not compatible with
  25. Free Software, or require the waiving of users' rights and freedoms
  26. in order to use them<a class="fn" href="#fn-3">3</a> <a class="fn"
  27. href="#fn-4">4</a> <a class="fn" href="#fn-5">5</a>. The nature of
  28. BT's new service, and the extent to which it respects the freedom of
  29. it's users, are therefore of particular concern.
  30. </p>
  31. <p>
  32. Powerful new Open Standards<a class="fn" hreF="#fn-6">6</a> like
  33. HTML5 and CSS3, combined with widely used Free Software codecs for
  34. rich multimedia like VP8 and Ogg Vorbis, make it easier than ever
  35. to build powerful cross-platform applications which respect user
  36. freedom whilst maintaining long term accessibility. Recent
  37. adoption of these technologies by established content providers
  38. such as YouTube, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation,
  39. Dailymotion, and Deutschlandradio, reflect a growing industry
  40. trend towards platform independence through use of Free Software
  41. and Open Standards<a class="fn" href="#fn-7">7</a> <a class="fn"
  42. href="#fn-8">8</a> <a class="fn" href="#fn-9">9</a> <a
  43. class="fn" href="#fn-10">10</a>.
  44. </p>
  45. <p>
  46. In addition to these web-based technologies exists Free Software
  47. tools like Qt and Gtk, which continue to be used by thousands of
  48. companies<a class="fn" href="#fn-11">11</a> to develop world-class
  49. desktop applications compatible with all major operating systems.
  50. </p>
  51. <p>
  52. BT already makes wide use of Free Software<a class="fn"
  53. href="#fn-12">12</a>, and “recognises,
  54. and welcomes the use of open source software”<a class="fn"
  55. href="#fn-13">13</a>. Therefore we
  56. ask that you recognise the value of your customer's freedom as you
  57. design and deploy your new subscription service, and take the
  58. opportunity to benefit from one of the many Free Software
  59. technologies which will allow you to achieve this.
  60. </p>
  61. <p>
  62. The Free Software Foundation Europe is happy to assist you with
  63. any questions regarding this issue or Free Software and Open
  64. Standards in general.
  65. </p>
  66. <p>
  67. Yours Sincerely,
  68. </p>
  69. <p>
  70. <strong><a href="/uk/">UK Team</a>, Free Software Foundation
  71. Europe</strong>
  72. </p>
  73. <h2 id="fn">Footnotes</h2>
  74. <ol>
  75. <li id="fn-1"><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2011/mar/28/bt-illegal-filesharing-music">http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2011/mar/28/bt-illegal-filesharing-music</a></li>
  76. <li id="fn-2"><a href="/about/basics/freesoftware.en.html">http://fsfe.org/about/basics/freesoftware.en.html</a></li>
  77. <li id="fn-3"><a href="http://www.spotify.com/int/legal/end-user-agreement/#section-12">http://www.spotify.com/int/legal/end-user-agreement/#section-12</a></li>
  78. <li id="fn-4"><a href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-12-valve-on-steam-part-two-interview">http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-12-valve-on-steam-part-two-interview</a></li>
  79. <li id="fn-5"><a href="http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/itunes.pdf">http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/itunes.pdf</a></li>
  80. <li id="fn-6"><a href="/projects/os/os.html">http://fsfe.org/projects/os/os.html</a></li>
  81. <li id="fn-7"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/html5">http://www.youtube.com/html5</a></li>
  82. <li id="fn-8"><a href="http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/playogg/sites/norway">http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/playogg/sites/norway</a></li>
  83. <li id="fn-9"><a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/html5">http://www.dailymotion.com/html5</a></li>
  84. <li id="fn-10"><a href="http://www.dradio.de/wir/ogg/">http://www.dradio.de/wir/ogg/</a></li>
  85. <li id="fn-11"><a href="http://www.digia.com/C2256FEF0043E9C1/0/405002251">http://www.digia.com/C2256FEF0043E9C1/0/405002251</a></li>
  86. <li id="fn-12"><a href="http://opensource.bt.com/ under 'products and projects'">http://opensource.bt.com/ under "products and projects"</a></li>
  87. <li id="fn-13"><a href="http://www.selling2bt.bt.com/Downloads/BTOpenSourcePolicyextractsforsuppliersIssue1.pdf">http://www.selling2bt.bt.com/Downloads/BTOpenSourcePolicyextractsforsuppliersIssue1.pdf</a> ("Open source software" and "Free Software" refer to the same thing <a href="/documents/whyfs.en.html">with different connotations</a>)</li>
  88. </ol>
  89. </body>
  90. <timestamp>$Date: 2010-10-05 16:30:51 +0200 (Tue, 05 Oct 2010) $ $Author: samtuke $</timestamp>
  91. <translator></translator>
  92. </html>