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NewsForge: How and Why RealNetworks is Moving Toward Open Source

Aug 09, 2002, 19:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

"'The idea [of Open Source within RealNetworks] had been kicking around for a very long time,' says Rob Lanphier, RealNetworks' program manager for interoperability. Now, finally, the company is licensing some of its code under a GPL-like license. This may help bring more current versions of the RealPlayer client to Linux, but it may also help RealNetworks make big sales to companies like Nokia, and if you're a RealNetworks shareholder, that's more important than making a few Linux geeks happy.

"Lanphier wouldn't mind seeing new, feature-rich versions of RealPlayer for Linux. Even though he's a former Microsoft employee, he now uses Linux as his primary desktop operating system. He says he is but one of many Linux and Open Source advocates who work at RealNetworks. Now he's the self-described 'mascot' for the Helix Community RealNetworks has set up to spearhead its Open Source efforts. In this job, though, he's not only working with developers who want to produce cool, free software that will help improve the world (presumably by filling it with streaming media) but also with hard-headed commercial people at companies that make products like cellular phones and PDAs..."

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