Microsoft/Novell Collaboration on Silverlight – proprietary codecs

Microsoft/Novell Collaboration on Silverlight.

Microsoft will make the codecs for video and audio available to users of Moonlight from their web site. The codecs will be binary codecs, and they will only be licensed for use with Moonlight on a web browser (sorry, those are the rules for the Media codecs[1]).

My questions…

  1. How is this a good thing? Introducing proprietary software into the free software desktop…
  2. What license will this be released under?

And yet, I bet dozens of people who claim to care about free software will install this, praise Novell and Microsoft for it, and advocate its usage. The same people who run Flash, Skype and Win32Codecs.
Of course, they don’t care about free software, but it’s trendy to pretend that you do. That’s why they occasionally refer to it as ‘open source’ and why they still refuse to accept the fact that Linux is but a kernel.
Anyway, moving on…
Also, esr writes ‘My resolve to treat Microsoft like any another license submitter is being sorely tested‘  on the OSI blog.

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2 comments

  1. andylockran · September 5, 2007

    It’s becoming more and more of a problem, I agree. I just hope that some big sites with any open source nous will decide this is not a good thing, and use the open stuff. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. Noah Slater · September 5, 2007

    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Sep-05.html
    “Currently Moonlight video support has been prototyped using the fabulous and LGPLed ffmpeg engine for video and audio. We are unable to redistribute this code commercially due to licensing conflicts.”
    I would love to know what kind of conflicts Miguel is talking about.
    In any case, even if the entire application was free software it’s still being used to spread non-standard track technology – which is a Bad Thing.
    If they really want to get people excited (proper web geeks included) they could have developed an EMCA Script + SVG framework that was just as slick and used actual standards (you know, with specifications and open development and working groups).
    P.S. Matt, make this damn text box larger – I feel like I’m texting someone from a mobile phone!

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