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Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
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-REC Real Will Include Ogg Vorbis Support
[2 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 0.00] [Added: 25th Jul 2002]

Slashdot.org; July 24, 2002. Good background on the Helix initiative, with a press release from Real about their plans in re Ogg Vorbis. With links and commentary
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-Bruce Perens on Real's Open Source gambit
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 23rd Jul 2002]

The Register; Andrew Orlowski; July 22, 2002.

Real Networks is announcing plans to release some, but not all of its technology under an Open Source-friendly license within 90 days. Under pressure from Microsoft, and completely open formats, it's decided to meet the open source community halfway.

The first batch of technology to be released under a new "community license" is expected to include RTSP/RTP/RTCP/SDP network playback, UDP support, local file playback, data type interfaces, file format interfaces and some AV code support.

"We're getting some network protocols that go on top of IP and UDP, and do their best to provide continuous playback despite the fact that the Internet doesn't guarantee throughput or latency," OSI founder and former Debian project lead Bruce Perens told us.

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-MP3 rival Ogg Vorbis gets Real
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jul 2002]

CNet News; Paul Festa; July 25, 2002.

RealNetworks said Wednesday that it would support the Xiph.org Foundation 's Ogg Vorbis format and audio codec, or compression formula, in its own open-source offering, the Helix DNA client, and that the RealOne Player and the Helix Universal Server would play and serve Ogg Vorbis.

That means that people could play Ogg Vorbis content through the widely distributed RealPlayer without having to download special Ogg Vorbis software, a potentially big win for the now-obscure technology.

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-Real to steal Microsoft's media thunder?
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 23rd Jul 2002]

ZDNet News; Jim Hu; July 23, 2002.

RealNetworks on Monday unveiled a new open-source version of its streaming media technology that supports multiple file formats for audio and video, including those that use Microsoft's Windows Media technology.

The new campaign, dubbed " Helix," and first reported by The New York Times , marks one of the most ambitious moves in the company's history. RealNetworks is simultaneously releasing technology without permission that plugs in to Microsoft's competing software and is raising the hood on much of its own software technology to "open source" developers or anyone else who wants to look.

The twin moves raise the risk of lawsuits and renewed competition--potentially even from Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft itself, once it gets a look under the hood at RealNetworks' technology. But it marks a dramatic, potential way for a company watching its market share diminish to regain momentum and support across an industry where many other players remain skeptical of Microsoft's power.

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-Real's WMP, Open Source moves risk Redmond ire
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 23rd Jul 2002]

The Register; ComputerWire; July 23, 2002.

At a press conference in San Francisco yesterday, RealNetworks unveiled "Helix", an umbrella brand for its latest generation of software and an industry initiative that borrows its form heavily from the open source process and the Java Community Process.

RealNetworks hopes to blow the streaming industry wide open, allowing commercial and open source developers to build their own streaming media systems. RealNetworks' own implementation will allow over fifty data types to be streamed, including the major formats: RealVideo, Apple QuickTime, Windows Media, and MPEG.

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-Real: Baby steps toward freedom
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Jul 2002]

CNet News; Perspectives; Bruce Perens; July 23, 2002.

The news that RealNetworks plans to release some of its software as open-source, or free, software caught a lot of people off guard.

... That community has little to gain by replacing Microsoft's proprietary audio format with RealNetworks' still-proprietary audio format. The free software folks will continue to develop Ogg Vorbis and other solutions, although perhaps in a way that is more compatible with RealNetworks' proprietary software.

That's why I consider the announcement to be only a first step for RealNetworks. Additional steps will be necessary if RealNetworks' Chief Executive Rob Glaser is to succeed. I hope he does, but my role in this is not to endorse; it's to explain what's going on from an open-source perspective.

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-Will Real feast where Apple failed?
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Jul 2002]

ZDNet News; Paul Festa; July 30, 2002. Not a terribly well balanced article, but an interesting insight into the nay-sayers of open source in commercial environments.

Many have compared RealNetworks and its establishment last week of the Helix open-source initiative to Netscape Communications, which in 1998 was the first significant software company to put its proprietary product into open-source development, only to languish.

But among the three major streaming media competitors, Apple Computer was the first to make the leap to open source--a move that also offers something of a cautionary tale for the curative powers of such efforts

... The track record of open source in reviving flagging corporate software products is not encouraging. Mozilla in four years has failed to stem the tide away from Netscape, and Sun Microsystems hasn't dented Microsoft's dominance with its open-source version of StarOffice.

But Apple's experience in open-sourcing streaming media provides an even more dismal example. Even critics who concede that Darwin was successful in shaping a well-received operating system contend that the QuickTime open-source streaming effort has been a disappointment.

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