It seems Apple is not the entity fighting for a DRM-less world we thought they were and Nokia isn’t such a great patron for open source software either. For those who haven’t heard the news, lobbying by both companies have caused the W3C to strike a provision in a HTML5 draft which would make OGG Vorbis and Theora a standard media format on the web. What baffles me about this is having Vorbis and Theora media formats does not stop Apple or Nokia from distributing content using whatever proprietary format they wish. This just hobbles the web which had exploded thanks to open standards, open formats and open source. In recent years though the web has become more and more proprietary. Allowing companies to remove open formats from an open standard without nominating another equally open format to take its place allows special interests to control the development of the web. This effectively locks out a large portion of the small independent content providers from distributing next generation content such as video while moving us toward a world where a few entities control the distribution of all content.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. It is time for us to make the OGG family of codecs ubiquitous with or without the mandate of a standard. A large step in that direction is Firefox developing native OGG support. Easily installed IE plugins would go a long way also. It is also up to the community to post their content in an open format. The next time linux.com post a link to mp3 content that they produced and not have a Vorbis link associated with it I hope people take them to task. The same goes for people posting content on the various planets. Open formats are essential to a free and open web.[read this post in: ar de es fr it ja ko pt ru zh-CN ]