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Alliance for Open Media wants royalty-free video

Seven of the internet's big companies have joined forces to create a project whose purpose is to make a next-gen, open-source video format.

The project, called Alliance for Open Media, was founded by Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix. According to a press release, the new Alliance is committing its collective technology and expertise to meet growing Internet demand for top-quality video, audio, imagery and streaming across devices of all kinds and for users worldwide.

The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:

  • Interoperable and open;
  • Optimized for the web;
  • Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
  • Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
  • Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
  • Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

According to the Alliance's founders, the internet was built thanks to the lack of patents and licencing, and open-source is the best way to ensure technology keeps moving forward.

David Bryant, vice president of platform engineering and chief technology officer at Mozilla, wrote: “The Web was built on innovation without asking permission, and patent licensing regimes are incompatible with some of the Web’s most successful business models. The Alliance provides a venue for us to share the legal legwork without having to worry about it being used against us down the road.”

“Customer expectations for media delivery continue to grow, and fulfilling their expectations requires the concerted energy of the entire ecosystem,” said Gabe Frost, the Alliance for Open Media’s Executive Director. “The Alliance for Open Media brings together the leading experts in the entire video stack to work together in pursuit of open, royalty-free and interoperable solutions for the next generation of video delivery.”