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Mozilla Foundation donates $100,000 for open source video

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 28 Jan 2009 10:39 User comments (4)

Mozilla Foundation donates $100,000 for open source video In recent months the open source Theora video format has seen something of a renaissance with the long awaited transition from beta to release status. Much of the interest in Theora can be traced directly to Firefox developers.
Now the organization behind Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation is making yet another contribution to Theora. This time it's monetary. They've announced a grant of $100,000 for the development of Theora encoding and playback software. The grant will be administered by the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization which has operated Wikipedia since 2003.

Mike Shaver, Vice President of Engineering for the Mozilla Corporation, wrote on his blog, "Our commitment to the success of open video on the web requires that we select codecs for Firefox that are usable by everyone, without restriction or licensing fee. To that end, we’ve chosen Theora as the format for Firefox 3.1."

Wikimedia Foundation Deputy Director Eric Möller made the announcement on that organization's blog, writing "Wikimedia and Mozilla want to help to build a web where video and audio are first class citizens: easy to use and manipulate by anyone, without compulsory royalty schemes or other barriers to participation."

The Theora video codec has been developed since 2001 by the Foundation as part of the OGG project. It's designed to offer quality and bitrates comparable to proprietary web-oriented formats like MPEG-4 ASP (DivX, XviD, Nero Digital, etc,...) without the need to pay any licensing fees. It's based on the VP3 codec from On2 Technologies, who donated it, along with their related patents, to the public domain.

Learn more about Theora video and OGG files in our OGG playback guide.

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4 user comments

128.1.2009 12:23

Finally. I am so tired of FLV video sites (yes this includes Youtube). Flash will never be open source based upon the attitude of Adobe. I hate having to have this 1 proprietary software package out there for a minority of sites and then now for the majority of video streaming sites.

I do not necessarily support Cortado (which is a Java applet to play sound and video), but I do support the idea, because Cortado is after all, open source.

I am glad Mozilla has chosen Theora. It is a good codec and is open source. Would not have minded XviD or x264 (maybe these can be added later). The fact of the matter is every browser should have built-in support for some kind of video format. The plug-ins idea works to an extent until DivX random version is embedded on some site, or WMV. It never works 100% which is why FLV has taken over.

I hope Mozilla's move can have Theora take over so much even Microsoft has to add support to IE.

228.1.2009 12:49

That would be sweet to see this take mainstream. I would make the switch if I can see it look as good Nero MP4.

328.1.2009 19:13

Whats wrong with Xvid?
Well anyway i would be glad if we could get rid of flash. Just hate their attitude to not make 64bit plugins just because there isn´t that many 64bit browsers. At the same companies like opera dont want to make 64bit browser because there is no 64b plugins. Then you are at the situation that you have to use 32 bit browser in 64 bit system. In linux this is NOT something you would like to do. Guys at adobe are just bunch of a-holes. Imho most web pages that use flash would be lot better with out it.

428.1.2009 23:52

I really do hope this takes off and shuttles past flash.

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