Parliment House Webcasting - limited access through proprietary formats

Anthony David adavid at
Tue Feb 19 23:22:00 EST 2002

Mark Purcell <mark at> writes:

> Hash: SHA1
> Dear Parliament House Webcast manager,
> I am writing to express my concern in the limits to access you have placed on 
> the Parliament house web casts by choosing to only provide these broadcasts 
> in Microsoft Windows Media Player format. As detailed at 
> Microsoft Windows Media Player format is a proprietary media format which can 
> only be decoded by indivuals who have purchased and licensed the proprietary 
> Microsoft Windows operating system and then downloaded the 'free' media 
> player component of Microsoft Windows.
> I and many other have chosen open software and open standards for the 
> provision of a comprehensive computing operating system, without being tied 
> to proprietary standards and formats.  Indeed the governments of South 
> Africa, United Kingdom and Germany are also investigating the value of open 
> software and open standards in Government. 
> For the Parliament house webcasts in question, other webcasting services 
> choose to provide both Windows Media Player and RealPlayer format, for which 
> players are freely available for non-Microsoft platforms.
> I hope that you will receive these comments positively as an attempt to 
> further expand the availability of your information.

Good luck. I pointed nearly two years ago. All I got was a dismissive
remark and mumblings about it being easier and a "standard". Your
approach looks like a better one. I think it was the same person though...

BTW, neither RealPlayer nor QTime (only available on MacOS and Win)
qualify as Free Software.

Anthony David

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