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Linux Journal: Focus: Multimedia

Dec 24, 2000, 13:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Don Marti)

"Today, according to Raging Search (see http://ragingsearch.altavista.com/), there are only 50,665 web pages containing the words ``my cat'', but 57,615 instances of ``streaming media''. This is not the Web we thought we knew. As people put bigger, fancier media on the Net instead of just pictures of Mittens, you might think that we would have learned the lesson of the humble GIF file: don't make human communication depend on a patent license."

"But people didn't learn it, and we're in for another patent mess with the patented MP3 format and several others. As I write this, I'm checking out the mp3licensing.com page about Broadcasting/Streaming (see http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/broadcast.html). Want to run an Internet radio station with MP3 compression? On January 1, 2001, you'd better get out your checkbook. And ``Bob'' help you if you want to say something their lawyers don't like."

"So what happens now? Do we make some huge corporation in Europe the new Ministry of Information of Internet radio? Hell no. This is Linux Journal, and we love freedom. In this issue, we're going to give you a crash course in free, open-source multimedia tools. Remember, when speech depends on software, free speech depends on free software."

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