Alliance for Open Media Likely to Shut the Door on Flash

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Klint Finley writes in Wired about the massive joining of tech industry forces to create the Alliance for Open Media, which in turn is dedicated to creating a new standard for distributing video over the internet. The companies include Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix. Apple and Facebook are notably absent from the list. The organization plans to create a royalty free, open source video format that can offer more flexibility than the often-complained-about Adobe Flash.

"It will be designed specifically for delivering streaming video over the web with the aim of making it suitable for low-powered devices. It will also support copy protection, a must for companies like Netflix," the piece explains. "The new format will be royalty free, meaning any company can build software for creating or converting video in the format without paying a fee.

"The new alliance is a great example of the way that open source organizations are taking on the role that standards bodies once did. As Jim Zemlin, the director of the Linux Foundation told [Wired] last year, 'Providing a huge standards document to a light bulb manufacturer won’t help it make better, cheaper bulbs. But if you hand them the open source code, then they can just start doing it.'”

Assuming the alliance does come together to create the desired standard, the question remains whether some outsiders, such as Apple, will want to hop on or whether this will still be one of a number of confounding, incompatible systems. 

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