Saying Netflix can't be associated with open source because they don't have a Linux client is very close-minded. Netflix sent an engineer to a recent BSD conference to talk about some of the custom caching servers they use in their CDN. He went into detail about how they designed the system and what they learnt. They've published a huge amount of information about how they've built on top of AWS. What about these actions indicates that they're not dedicated to open-source? Probably the only reason they haven't been quicker to develop for Linux is the same agreements that allow them to carry so much content - the developers have been quite clear that they would love to have a Linux client.
Not everyone who advocates opensource is a developer. I am an end user of Netflix. I would like to see Netflix run on my Linux laptop and I don't care if Netflix talks about the underlying architecture in open source conferences (M$ does that too) or how they use opensource for their infrastructure. The only reason they don't support Linux is because they know it's a small user base. If they really want they can come up with a solution just like they did for Android (and ChromeOS too I guess ?) Even if I do agree with your reasoning about the inverse relation between content and Linux, why haven't they yet come up with something that provides altleast limited access to their content for Linux users ?
Because it's still not worth it. I find it inconvenient too, so I'm not disagreeing with you that it would be great, but I disagree with the attitude I've seen in several comments that this Netflix isn't being open here. They've released everything they feasibly can. They're under no obligation to develop a client for the operating system you and I happen to use.
edit: I just noticed you did acknowledge the small user base. So, that being the case, are you actually arguing that some executive at Netlifx is like, "Nah - screw open source - we totally have the spare resources to develop a Linux client that will have a negligible return on investment, but they can suck it?" If it's not worth it, they won't do it. It's like accusing Linus Torvalds of not being open because he hasn't yet supported your feature-of-choice from some other OS.
The reason I won't accuse Linus of not being open even though he doesn't support my feature-of-choice is because while he ditches my idea saying it is crap, he still gives me the source to mess with. So, I or a friend can make the change for me and I can be happy and content.
Here's another analogy : It's like Microsoft Studios talking about how the development team used a Linux based compile farm and testbed for their new game but nevertheless, the game itself won't run on Linux.
If Microsoft Studios released the sourcecode to any modifications they used, or even just documented the setup they used for that compilefarm, I'd be grateful for the contribution. Yeah, it's not as good as opensourcing the game and porting it to linux, bsd, solaris et all.. but it's still a contribution to the community that they had no need to make.
For the record, I was a netflix subscriber and canceled a long time ago because of inaccessibility of their instant video service--If it won't run on xbmc, I'm better off getting it somewhere else like amazon Prime. I even told them as much. I still appreciate them releasing all of this stuff though.
Netflix has to make business decisions on what platforms to support via which DRM technologies work for them and their Hollywood suppliers. I'm just thankful they still exist at all and I don't have to rent DVDs anymore.
They don't "owe" anyone anything. It's a for-profit company, and they're being generous with their infrastructure source.
Delivering a software solution for linux does not make one a contributor to opensource. Open-sourcing technology does. One could make nothing but software for Windows, or OSX, or OS2 for chrissakes, and still be a contributor to open-source by contributing the source of their code. The point is in giving, not whether or not you care to receive.
Unfortunately their hands are tied on this one. The DRM is a part of their licensing agreement with their content providers. I'm sure if they could move off Silverlight for their desktop streaming platform, they would in a heartbeat.
Interestingly enough, they use FreeBSD for their servers.
Yes, Netflix has an obligation. An obligation to provide what they say they'll provide and nothing more.
Netflix has always said they have no plans to support Linux. It may suck for Linux users but they're being honest about it. I think it's a big stretch to imply that they have an obligation to support such users.
Netflix only functions on desktop operating systems with Silverlight, a Microsoft plugin for some browsers that only is supported on modern OS X versions and Windows. Additionally, there is a native Android and iOS version. People who want to watch it on Linux, are forced to something extremely impractical like emulate Android - it is a closed system.