"'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..."