Télévision de Radio-Canada is a Canadian French language television network. It is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, known in French as Société Radio-Canada, or just « Radio-Canada », for the rest of us. – from Wikipedia
A couple of weeks ago they launched a new web site, tou.tv, making « available » all their TV shows (or most of them)… in Flash 🙁
Never mind it’s 2010 and HTML5, Ogg Theora and in general open standards and formats are the talk of the day on most web development sites… Flash 10 is a bad enough choice as it is, but apparently tou.tv’s team just forgot that Linux existed.
Within hours of the launch Ubuntu Québec team members started complaining on the mailing list and on tou.tv’s Facebook group. We wrote to their admins, provided details, wrote to the ombudsman, got canned replies for all communications. We then put together a Facebook group, and started inviting people to join and we shared our findings (now all on a public wiki). 451 people joined the group which is an amazing number for Quebec province, given the context. I never ever thought I’d use Facebook for open formats and Linux support advocacy in such a way!
Only one programmer from the tou.tv’s team first acknowledged the problem, then asked for testers. That’s it, total silence from the tax-payers-funded TV network and website.
The site is not perfect and now other minor issues subsist, and yes, I wish open formats were an option. For now I just wanted to thank Ubuntu for providing not only an incredible operating system but also an amazing community that made all this possible 🙂 I also wanted to thank the Free Software Foundation as we used several resources from them such as the Defective by Design web site to explain the problems associated to using DRM-like implementations of web TV sites, and the problems of not using open formats, such as Flash.
I also wanted to send a big FAIL to Radio-Canada and tou.tv’s team. To this day they don’t even mention Linux on their FAQ.
You can also find more details about this little victory of ours in my original blog post in French.
Your taxes at work!