EU Parliament video stream is not open

I recently discovered the EU parliament life video stream. But I found that there is no open standard. They only provide WMV and MPEG4. This sounds weird, because the EU ist struggling for year against Microsofts monopoles in different sectors. But when it comes to the coverage of the heart of the EU they depend on Microsoft technology without alternative.

One technology that should be used ist OGG Theora. It would allow everybody, even with free software to watch the debates. It cant be that you are forced to use Windows, just to participate as a citizen of the european union!?

A quote from their website:

What formats are available and why?

Two video formats are available:

  • WMV (Windows Media Video)
  • MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)

These two formats both meet the following requirements:

  • Streaming: Each event is broadcast in real time, which requires the use of Streaming. Progressive downloading, often used for broadcasting videos on the web, is not sufficient.
  • Multilingualism: Each event is broadcast in all the official languages of the European Union (when interpretation is available).
  • Simultaneity: Parliament currently broadcasts up to 6 events simultaneously and will soon be able to broadcast up to 13.
  • Multi-bitrate: Each event is broadcast in three different qualities to allow access by the largest possible number of citizens, depending on their internet infrastructure.
But none of these two format meet the requirements that everybody can use them as they are patented. Anybody has an idea how to change policy, so that every Linux user can participate in european democracy. Some organisations already do that, thankfully. I like to point out german Deutschlandfunk radio who provide a OGG Vorbis Audio stream for some years now as an alternative to MP3. I dont quite know if it is possible with Theora to meet all the above requirements. But maybe we can find out or work on it and pressure the EU to add Theora as an alternative?


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5 responses to “EU Parliament video stream is not open

  1. This is a very bad news!
    I cant’t believe that a “parliament”, that has to improve citizens’ participation, puts an obstacle like this to freedom.

    I want to quote your post on my blog. Can I?

  2. Francesco Laruina I couldn’t agree with you more on this, it is totally wrong.

    I have just come across this blog, informative and interesting.

  3. Pingback: (English) EU Parliament video stream is not open | Francesco Laruna's blog

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