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New complaint over Project Canvas launch

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Project Canvas company logos
The complaints are mounting up against IPTV joint venture Project Canvas after the Open Source Consortium (OSC) became the latest group to submit a formal objection.

The OSC, a trade body for companies working in open standards software, has joined United For Local Television , Six TV, IP Vision and Virgin Media in writing to Ofcom asking it to investigate the project.

The complainants are mostly concerned about the perceived lack of openness in the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva joint venture, which aims to upgrade the Freeview and Freesat platforms to support video on demand and internet services.

In its submission to the media regulator, the OSC said that Canvas will have "adverse consequences" for the device and software sector by "diminishing consumer choice and causing inevitable consumer harm".

The OSC chair Gerry Gavigan said that the whole Canvas initiative was "designed to promote the interests of large producers at the expense of the individual consumer".

He added: "[It's] the powerful dictating to the less powerful. And, of course, with no regard to the green agenda or, in the software industry at least, a strong, vibrant and localised economy.

"Welcome to the future, high-cost insecure computing funded by the many (whether directly or through redistribution) to support the few."

Ofcom is expected to announce its verdict on the Canvas investigation next month.

Last week, the Canvas partners defied their critics by claiming that the project has received "phenomenal" support from more than 40 organisations in the digital TV industry.

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