Almost all the biggest tech companies are joining together to create a new royalty free video format. Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix plan on making this new format to revolutionize the internet.
The new company formed is called Alliance for Open Media. The new video format will probably mean the final end to Adobe Flash. Flash video has been around forever and has only caused trouble in recent years. Apple was the first company to stop using Flash altogether when it’s iPhone came out, interestingly enough, Apple is not a part of the alliance. However, Apple, Facebook, Sony, Twitter and other major tech companies, which are not a part of it, are welcome to join according to Mozilla CTO David Bryant.
“The initial members are just a start. We invite anyone with an interest in video, online or off, to join us.”
The new video format does not have a name currently, but will be specifically designed for streaming video. It will also need to able to work well with low powered mobile devices. A notable feature is the video format will support copyright protection.
The new group will operate under W3C patent rules and release code under an Apache 2.0 license. This means the new video format will be royalty free, any company can build software to support it.
A Mozilla blog post by Mozilla CTO David Bryant details the participants’ reasoning and concerns.
“One of the biggest challenges in developing open standards in a field like video codecs is figuring out how to review the patents. The Alliance provides a venue for us to share the legal legwork without having to worry about it being used against us down the road.
That distributes the load, allows us to innovate faster and cheaper, and gives everyone more confidence that we are really producing a royalty-free codec.”
Personally, I think there are already many other excellent video codecs out there to use and this seems to be more about creating a copyright protected one. However, share with us your thoughts in the comments.