"Last year, I tested a number of MPEG-2 encoders, and found that
Tsunami MPEG, written by Hiroyuki Hori, was almost as good as the
best of the commercial encoders and offered better
"But recently, Hori-san has had to curtail his MPEG-2
development after receiving a threatening letter from an attorney
for the industry group called "MPEG LA," which administers patents
related to MPEG-2 compression technology. The MPEG-2 functionality
has been disabled in recent distributions of Hori-san's software.
Even though copies of the earlier software are, of course,
scattered all over the Web, it is a tragedy that one of the world's
most brilliant minds has been side-tracked by fear of legal
"Clearly, there is a disconnect between the interests of the
video industry and the interests of the open software
"It is critical for us all that a compromise be found that will
not curtail the enthusiasm of the open source community. It is in
the industry's best interest to learn how to work alongside the
open source developers, and it is in the best interests of the
developers to get the lawyers off their backs."
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