BT, Set My Music Free!

Today saw the first public shout from a new voice on the UK software scene. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has recently formed a new campaigning group in the UK, and their first target is BT's upcoming music streaming service.In an...

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Today saw the first public shout from a new voice on the UK software scene. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has recently formed a new campaigning group in the UK, and their first target is BT's upcoming music streaming service.

In an open letter published today, FSFE UK suggests to BT that they can distinguish themselves from existing music streaming services on the market by respecting the digital rights of their customers, especially the right to choose to use open source software. They say:
Currently these and other Free Software users are unable to enjoy many popular content delivery systems such as Spotify, Steam, and iTunes, because they are not compatible with Free Software, or require the waiving of users' rights and freedoms in order to use them. The nature of BT's new service, and the extent to which it respects the freedom of it's users, are therefore of particular concern.
As the market has developed, with the appearance of popular platforms like Android and Ubuntu, a gap has opened in the market for a freedom-respecting service. BT has the unique opportunity to corner that market, and FSFE is offering to help:
BT already makes wide use of Free Software, and "recognises, and welcomes the use of open source software". Therefore we ask that you recognise the value of your customer's freedom as you design and deploy your new subscription service, and take the opportunity to benefit from one of the many Free Software technologies which will allow you to achieve this. The Free Software Foundation Europe is happy to assist you...
I'm delighted to see new activism in the UK working on protecting our software freedoms, especially speaking with good sense and helpful pragmatism. Welcome to FSFE UK, and BT - sit up and listen, this is the future calling!



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