H.264 Advocates Get Out Their Tinfoil Hats in Wake of Chrome Decision

I’ll open with what I just said to some (perfectly reasonable) questions raised by Øivind Idsø on Twitter: most users make video with proprietary software and watch it in Flash. The idea is to change that. It turns out to be hard. Open video advocates have now gotten some huge gifts from Google; I’m disinclined to look that gift horse in the mouth, as the saying goes. If you do, though, I don’t think you see anything too terribly unexpected. Meanwhile… ah, Web commentary is adorable, isn’t it? The latest conspiracy theory is that Google dropping H.264 support from its …

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Why iOS’ Problems with Free Video Won’t Spread to Android, Most Other Platforms

Free as in beer is a great concept, too. Photo (CC-BY-SA) The Art Gallery of Knoxville. While on the topic of the conflict between the GPL-licensed free VLC video tool (and GPL software in general) and Apple’s App Store, I can’t help but be slightly amused at the common reaction. It goes like this: “hey, isn’t this all in conflict with the spirit of open source?” Of course, that’s the point. The GPL protects certain rights a developer wants the user to have. Apple’s store imposes specific restrictions. Each party is entirely free to do so; they own the code …

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Why iOS' Problems with Free Video Won't Spread to Android, Most Other Platforms

Free as in beer is a great concept, too. Photo (CC-BY-SA) The Art Gallery of Knoxville. While on the topic of the conflict between the GPL-licensed free VLC video tool (and GPL software in general) and Apple’s App Store, I can’t help but be slightly amused at the common reaction. It goes like this: “hey, isn’t this all in conflict with the spirit of open source?” Of course, that’s the point. The GPL protects certain rights a developer wants the user to have. Apple’s store imposes specific restrictions. Each party is entirely free to do so; they own the code …

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As Apple Pulls GPL-Licensed VLC, The Developers’ Version of Events, What it Means for Free Video

Why did Apple remove the free VLC video player from its iOS store? One developer close to the story who asked not to be named answered that question, simply, “No f**king idea.” And that perhaps sums up the mess, misunderstandings, and resentment now surrounding a mobile port of the video app. The word “open” these days seems to mean whatever people want it to mean. But a dust-up over the distribution of free and open source video player VLC is far from abstract. By determining whether or not people are able to use a popular video tool on their iPads, …

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As Apple Pulls GPL-Licensed VLC, The Developers' Version of Events, What it Means for Free Video

Why did Apple remove the free VLC video player from its iOS store? One developer close to the story who asked not to be named answered that question, simply, “No f**king idea.” And that perhaps sums up the mess, misunderstandings, and resentment now surrounding a mobile port of the video app. The word “open” these days seems to mean whatever people want it to mean. But a dust-up over the distribution of free and open source video player VLC is far from abstract. By determining whether or not people are able to use a popular video tool on their iPads, …

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Creative Commons, CBC, and Music for Commercial Use: Addendum

The Canadian Broadcasting Centre, viewed from above. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Benson Kua. To me, a license is a tool: it’s a means to an end. But that means that the tool ought to be doing the job you chose for it. After news broke that the Canadian public broadcaster CBC was moving away from Creative Commons, we launched on CDM into a somewhat informal (and occasionally heated) discussion of CC licensing and specifically the non-commercial restriction most musicians attach to their music. Here’s a summary of what I can conclude from those conversations. Abuse of non-commercial CC material is rampant. Very …

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CBC Dumps Creative Commons; Non-Commercial Licensing to Blame?

I’m able to use this particular image as CDM is itself under a Share Alike license. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. I have no problem with copyrighting music. So I’ll be blunt: my ongoing impression of Creative Commons licensing is that you should either choose a license that allows for commercial use, or opt for traditional copyright and licensing. The popular “non-commercial” restriction is problematic. It does too little to prevent exploitation, and too much to prevent exactly the kind of use that’s the reason you’d choose CC in the first place. That’s not an effective compromise; it’s more like a …

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Summit Touts Open Source Hardware, Q+A with Co-Creators; Music Hardware?

Summit co-chairs Ayah Bdeir (left) and Alicia Gibb (right) are hoping to galvanize a community around open source hardware, from NASA to Arduino. And that could have an impact on music and audio – if creators of gear for musicians get onboard, that is. Open source software has proven itself in technological, economic, and cultural terms – it’s simply a matter of reality. This site runs atop free software nginx, WordPress, MySQL, and (Red Hat Enterprise) Linux; in music, we have Csound, SuperCollider, Pd, Ardour, JACK, Processing, and so on. Csound has even appeared on karaoke machines. These tools run …

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As Gaming Faces Supreme Court Case, Music Industry Defends Free Speech

Music or games – free speech is free speech, say legal, advocacy, and industry groups. Photo (CC-BY-SA) FHKE. A California ban of the sale of violent video games to minors may not seem relevant to the world of music on first blush. But the music industry, joining everyone from software makers to legal groups to state Attorneys General, feels otherwise. Overzealous restriction of the sale of games, these groups say, is tantamount to an attack on rights of free speech protected by the United States Constitution. And while the California law would make a separate set of rules for gaming, …

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Editorial: MPEG LA Extends Royalty-Free License for H.264, Sorta – But Not Much Changes

The good news: a lot of “broadcast” Internet video is free forever on AVC and H.264. The bad news: everything else still costs money, not much else changes, and you can expect the next battle will be a protracted patent debate. Whee! Photo (CC-BY) Bill Jacobus. MPEG LA, the group that holds the patent pool for AVC (best known for the H.264 codec) and licenses said pool to third parties, has extended its royalty-free license for free, end-user playback of its video. That extends a deadline from what had been December 15, 2015 to an indefinite date, and it removes …

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