Mozilla and Wikimedia Foundation throw their weight behind open source web video

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theora-logo.pngPay attention, because this one’s important. Web video has issues. It has issues because it’s closed, and proprietary. The vast majority of web video is delivered in the Flash format, which is owned by Adobe. This means that video sites have to suffer restrictions and pay license fees. Wouldn’t it be better if there was an open source version?

Enter Theora. It’s an open-source video codec which, when combined with the Vorbis audio codec and the .OGG file format, could replace Flash as the dominant form for web video.

But it needs funding and software support. That’s where Mozilla comes in. Firefox 3.1 includes support for the OGG container format with Theora and Vorbis codecs, and the foundation is donating $100,000 to the Wikimedia foundation, who’ll use the cash to develop and support Theora.

Let’s hope that other browsers follow suit – I suspect that the video sites would jump at the chance to switch away from proprietary formats, as long as they’re stable and users can still view the content as effectively as before.

Theora, Mozilla and Wikimedia (via Christopher Blizzard)

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Duncan Geere