Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying association in which Microsoft is an active member, is replying via a letter to the Editor to the recent FFII open letter to MEPs, OpenParliament and Digistan initiatives which demand to have open standards for governmental websites, especially for the video streaming of the European Parliamentary sessions:
Letter To The Editor
We need to work together on live streaming challenge
Published: Friday 23 May 2008
Jonathan Zuck, President, Association for Competitive Technology
Regarding 'Parliament under pressure for shunning free software':
While we sympathise with the FFII petition to the European Parliament
on streaming plenary sessions, we are equally concerned about broad
categorical mandates with regard to software procurement. While the
notion of "non-discrimination" is worthy, the idea of mandates is a
slippery slope. If I only have a slow modem connection in my home,
should I circulate a petition to prevent the distribution of broadband
content by the Parliament because it is discriminatory? In truth,
there are free alternatives for viewing Widows Media including
TurboLinux, Xine, Real and InterVideo.
Obviously the agenda here is political and not the public clamouring
to watch more plenaries on their computers but contrary to the
rhetoric of a vocal minority, commercial software is not the
playground of big business, but primarily of inventive SMEs thriving
in niche markets. Only the protection of their intellectual property
permits those small business innovators to create growth and jobs.
Commercial software must therefore be allowed to compete on a
level-playing field with other software types. Public procurement
decisions should be based on technology neutrality, allowing
governments to buy software on its merit and not through categorical
preferences. To advise otherwise is to demand the imposition of one
business model over another.
As technologists, let's work together to devise a solution to the
streaming challenge presented to the Parliament that does not involve
overthrowing a solid technology but is creative in delivering that
technology to a broader audience.
Association for Competitive Technology ( ACT external )
Washington and Brussels
To correct the article of EurActiv, the 2 petitions are not about free software adoption, but well about free and open standards, which are not the same as free software. So the article of EurActiv misses the point and has a confusing title.
Mr Zuck is also mentioning the possibility to decode the WMV format with other applications then Microsoft Windows Media Player:
In truth, there are free alternatives for viewing Widows Media including TurboLinux, Xine, Real and InterVideo.