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Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, announced today that it has joined the UK's trade association for the Open Source industry, the Open Source Consortium (OSC). The OSC is currently calling for platform independence for the BBC's iPlayer.

Observers predict that if the BBC continues to ignore the overwhelming demand for a cross-platform player it risks entanglement in Microsoft's EU anti-trust woes which have already cost the company over ½ billion euros.

Open source software offers virus free, easy to use and free alternatives to Vista and Windows XP. Last month Dell announced that it would ship Ubuntu Linux pre-installed on laptops and desktop PCs.

Mark Taylor, President of the OSC said: “Canonical sponsor the world's favourite and most popular desktop Linux. We're absolutely delighted to welcome them to the OSC.”

Chris Kenyon, a Canonical spokesperson said "It is shocking that the BBC, which has for so long advocated open access to information, has abandoned the approach for iPlayer. To link the ability to download content from the BBC, a publicly funded body, to the use of one
operating system is anti-competitive and at odds with the BBC charter.

As the Internet becomes part of everyone's lives - we will all go online using more types of device. Locking access to BBC iPlayer content to phones and internet tablets running Windows(tm) is shortsighted and bad for fee-payers. Platform neutral means that we need
a solution that supports Linux and Apple's OSX."

We fully support the OSC's vital campaign that the iPlayer support Linux and trust that the BBC sees why this is in the interest of feepayers."

*Notes to the Editor*

*About Canonical*

Canonical Ltd. is a private company founded (and funded) by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth for the promotion of free software projects. Canonical is registered in the tax haven Isle of Man and employs staff around the world, along with their main offices in London and support office in Montreal.

*About OSC*

The Open Source Consortium (OSC) represents the Open Source business community in the UK. We currently have over 80 members - more than any other FOSS business consortium in Europe.

For more information contact Mark Taylor on +44 (0)87 0608 0063.

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