Florian Schneider on Sat, 2 Aug 2008 15:16:10 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> breakthrough for open video on the web

It was my last day  at ISEA 2008 in Singapore and we were supposed to
have a dinner with noborder/no one is illegal activists and the
panelists of the bordercrossing theme, when jaromil came down the street
smiling all over the face: "I have great news" he screamed. "Firefox 3.1
wil support OGG Theora!"

In other words: This is most likely the breakthrough for open video on
the web! OGG THEORA is the only open source video erncoding suite. It is
available for general use after the bitstream format for Theora was
frozen Thursday, 2004 July 1. <http://theora.org>

Native support in Firefox means that end-users on proprietary platforms
like windows or mac do no longer have to install additional software in
order to watch OGG encoded video. If you want to publish a video you
can  just use the <video> tag like for any image. There is no need for
additional  javascript or flash!

Slashdot writes:
"Ogg Theora support for the HTML5 <video> tag is in the Firefox 3.1
nightlies. Theora is the only video format allowed on Wikimedia Commons,
so Wikimedia people are pushing Wikipedia readers to download a nightly
and try it out. Break it, crash it, report bugs, get it into good shape
and nullify Apple and Nokia's FUD the best way possible. They may have
gotten the words 'Vorbis' and 'Theora' removed from the HTML5 spec, but
the market will tell them when their browsers are sucking."

Christopher Blizzard wrote in his blog
<http://www.0xdeadbeef.com/weblog/?p=492> "Mozilla is committing to
include native support for OGG video and audio in its next release that
includes support for the video element tag. (Very likely to be Firefox
3.1 if there no huge change in course.) The code landed for ogg support
last night. I suspect that the effects of this will take a long while to
be felt but it’s a great first step in bringing open video to the web by
delivering it to a couple hundred million people around the world."

At KEIN.ORG and in many related projects (like the "Dictionary of War")
we have been insisting on the use of an open video compression format
for many years now. Despite all the complaints about additional software
installations it seemed crucial to us to give proove of the  
possibility to
publish digital video without the licensing and royalty fees or vendor
lock-in associated with proprietary formats.

In summer 2003 we started the open source video platform V2V
<http://v2v.cc> which is entirely based on open source code. Ralph
Giles, the maintainer of the THEORA project, was one of the speakers at
"NEURO -- networking europe" <http://neuro.kein.org> in Munich in
February 2004. Some months later Jan Gerber has developed ffmpeg2theora
<http://v2v.cc/~j/ffmpeg2theora> a simple converter to create Ogg Theora

I am looking forward very much to a wide range of new projects and
initiatives which may come up now. For example jaromils video mixing
software FreeJ seems a great tool with huge potential: <http:// 

Let's build an open video alliance!

very best,

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