[Theora] Theora, great stuff!
t0 at nickhill.co.uk
Sun Aug 21 15:27:00 PDT 2005
I manage the audio-video section of the GNU web site
http://audio-video.gnu.org/. I have tried the Theora codec and am very
impressed by the level of integration with free desktops and the bit
I intend to move all video content to the Theora codec partly for
technical reasons but mainly to promote free and open formats.
I do have longer term worries, projecting forward when Theora becomes a
generally important codec standard competing against WMV, real and qt.
Several games are open season for the likes of MS, Real or Apple. For
1) Poisoning the standard: Releasing a player which plays Theora plus a
version with secret changes. A common non-free media editing suite
creates Theora with those secret changes whose code is based the theora
2) Hijacking the standard and code base. A player, either one of the big
3 or a start-up release a codec based almost entirely on the Theora code
base. Secret implementation changes make files created increasingly
incompatible with Theora players. Development forks at that point,
Theora development then has to compete with the forked codebase. The
forked codebase possibly an incompatible version of Theora with Digital
Restrictions management as a 'value added' feature.
A solution to pre-emptively defend the theora project from such games
would be for further changes to be placed under a license which requires
public disclosure of derivative source code. Given incompatible versions
based on the Theora code base would no longer be secret, business plans
based around releasing incompatible versions will be substantially less
attractive to those so inclined. The GNU GPL would provide protection.
More information about the Theora