Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Open Source Linux

Netflix Touts Open Source, Ignores Linux 481

Julie188 writes "If Netflix loves open source, where's the Linux client? Last week's post from Netflix on its use of open source has gotten a lot of coverage from the tech press. Too bad nobody's called the video giant out on its hypocrisy: They benefit greatly from open source, but really don't care to let their customers do the same."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Netflix Touts Open Source, Ignores Linux

Comments Filter:
  • Roku is linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Metrathon ( 311607 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @07:35PM (#34568132)

    My little Roku box that sits next to my TV and plays Netflix is built on Linux apparently. In a developer discussion about why there was no Linux desktop player I got the impression that the sticking point was the ease of siphoning off the video stream in a system where you can compile your own kernel was the real problem.

  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @07:36PM (#34568158) Homepage

    Since when is Linux a requirement for Open Source?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @08:35PM (#34568750)

    The only thing they are obligated to do is follow the license attached to the code they use. Not doing that is rude and illegal. If the community wanted something back they'd write it into their licenses, but then it wouldn't be free open source. To assume someone owes you because they use something that you were giving out like candy at a parade is rude and a slap to the face of the open source community.

  • Re:Terrible summary! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex&project-retrograde,com> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @09:46PM (#34569334)

    If [Netflix] made an open-source client, it would defeat the purpose of the DRM. (Yes, DRM doesn't work and blah blah blah, but this is a business requirement, not a technical requirement. If you want to get mad at them about it, get mad at Hollywood instead.)

    Well, shoot, that just sucks! I was really looking forward to cracking the DRM in a Netflix Linux client and trans-coding the crappy quality, limited selection, streaming video feed into Theora files...

    Oh well, guess I'll just have to keep getting the Netflix DVDs & Blu-ray Disks, breaking the DRM on those, ripping them to my digital library, and returning them before I've had a chance to watch them.

    DRM... Pffft, Doesn't Restrict Me!

  • by wampus ( 1932 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @10:16PM (#34569526)

    When Julie188 gets those specs, he/she/it will put up an awesome or Berlios or Google Code page with the specs and they'll shit out a 0.11a build that mostly compiles, then it will sit there until the specs rot out of relevance.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @12:42AM (#34570422)

    Netflix streaming works on PS3, Xbox, wii, mac, windows, iphone, ipad, a number of set-top TV boxes like the Roku and the WD ones, several TVs with integrated instant watch, and several Blu-Ray players. They're trying to get as many eyes in front of their product as they can.

    The real story here, I think, is the extinction of the traditional Linux distribution as a client OS for the home user. OSX and the iOS are successful. Windows 7 is successful. Android is successful - and there is probably room for Chrome.

    None of these operating systems have a problem with protected content - and none are suffering from lackluster OEM support.

    But Linux - as the geek understands it - is slipping below the radar even in countries even in places where the FOSS zealot can tout his biggest success stories. StatCounter [] offers a good -free- global view with full breakdown by counries and regions.


  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @01:36AM (#34570670) Homepage

    Open Source != Linux. This is the kind of associative crap that stops corporate adoption of genuinely usable and useful open source software. There is probably more FOSS on Windows than Linux these days.

    Also Netflix is tied into a Microsoft streaming media solution. I do not believe that Microsoft has a Linux solution for that. And the contractually-required layer of DRM is by definition impossible in open-source solutions. These are not the fault of Netflix.

    Just because they're not releasing a Linux client doesn't mean they're preventing their customers from using their service on Linux. Netflix will run fine under virtualized XP.

  • by coerciblegerm ( 1829798 ) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @03:01AM (#34571056)

    That's all well and good, but Moonlight doesn't support DRM-protected content.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @04:57AM (#34571474)

    Silverlight is not the main reason for a lack of Linux support on the desktop as netflix works perfectly fine in Linux. As proof look at the thousands of netflix capable players. Bluray players, set top players from western digital, netgear, and others have netflix support and they all run Linux of some form. I have been through the firmware on many of those devices and there isn't a single line of code for silverlight or even microsoft. Instead they rely on the boxes ability to generate a hardware key programmed into the boxes to generate the algorithms that decode content. The same thing could be done with the pc , trusted platform modules have existed for many many years but nobody uses it for fear of big brother tracking them . If you want netflix and probably other DRM content services on linux then you need to come up with a way to lock a specific hardware id to a specific pc that can protect the contents path all the way from the network to the video card that the public is willing to allow. This is not netflix doing. Blame the MPAA that sets a requirement that the content can only be streamed to devices that have a protected media path, currently linux doesn't have that in any form open or closed.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"