Linux Journal: Focus: Multimedia

“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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