Response on Project Canvas

BBC and IPTV: Project Canvas

The BBC Trust invited the Open Source Consortium to respond to their proposals on Project Canvas, a joint venture partnership to help enable the delivery of internet protocol television (IPTV).

Gerry Gavigan, the OSC’s chairman, has prepared and submitted that response. The BBC’s consultation paper does not address some of the most influential market-related and standards-related issues, which are specified and explained in the OSC’s response.

And the OSC recommends that Project Canvas’ specifications should be fully open, published and properly used by the project, so that anybody can provide solutions on any platform.

The OSC’s Project Canvas response in full [PDF]

Some specifics

Project Canvas will have a great effect on the computing and software sector and it does not seem correct that “digital convergence” can be discussed without consideration of the parallel markets issue. Yet the Trust explicitly restricts itself to issues concerning content.

Parallel markets issues have already strongly affected the consequences of the iPlayer decision. The OSC welcomes the Trust’s statement that it is ready to be informed about such issues and calls on the Trust to widen its remit to consider them in the absence of any common regulatory structure. The response provides detailed background to this call for change.

The OSC also made a specific recommendation that Project Canvas should open all application programme interfaces(“API”s) and use and publish unencumbered open standards so as to enable anyone to provide “Project Canvas ready” client solutions on any platform. The BBC has so far seemed unwilling to declare that its choice of standards and technology for Project Canvas will be unencumbered.

Earlier references about the OSC and Project Canvas are here.