10 December 2007

Nokia: Hollywood's Lapdog, and People's Enemy

Somewhat naively I thought that Nokia was a savvy company on the side of light - maybe because it's Finnish; but I was wrong, it seems:

Nokia has filed a submission with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) objecting to the use of Ogg Theora as the baseline video standard for the Web. Ogg is an open encoding scheme (On2, the company that developed it, gave it and a free, perpetual unlimited license to its patents to the nonprofit Xiph foundation), but Nokia called it "proprietary" and argued for the inclusion of standards that can be used in conjunction with DRM, because "from our viewpoint, any DRM-incompatible video related mechanism is a non-starter with the content industry (Hollywood). There is in our opinion no need to make DRM support mandatory, though."

...

Nokia intervention here is nothing short of bizarre. Ogg is not proprietary, DRM is, and DRM-free may be a "non-starter" for Hollywood today, but that was true of music two years ago and today, most of the labels are lining up to release their catalogs without DRM. The Web, and Web-based video, are bigger than Hollywood. The Web is not a place for proprietary technology or systems that take over your computer. For Nokia (and Apple, who also lobbied hard for DRM inclusion) to get the Web this badly wrong, this many years into the game, is really sad: if you haven't figured out that the Web is open by 2007, you just haven't been paying attention.

Time to cross Nokia off the Christmas card list, then.

2 comments:

rancor said...

This is truly sad. I just posted on boycottnovell.com the other day about how the FLOSS world needs to take the lead on this issue. We don't need a FLOSS flash clone (ok, we do, but...) we need to build an all FLOSS stack to do "rich content" a-la flash from the get-go. Nokia's position on this DRM issue is pitiful, but a result of the fact that we have failed to "lure" the world to rich content via a FLOSS stack. There are bits and pieces out there, but the FLOSS browser developer communities need to get together and build a rich-content system using all the known entities out there and a decent tool-chain to boot. This IS doable. It NEEDS to be done. When we have zillions of folks making rich content on the net via a FLOSS stack the DRM world will have to cave, then we don't get companies like Nokia willingly participating in providing a crutch to an industry that simply has to accept the new realities of the world. I can rant more, but I'll let others take it from here.

We don't need Flash or iPlayer, or Silver/Moon-light we need BETTER and better can be built on FLOSS and the world will come. It can be done, it should be done.

glyn moody said...

Indeed. But what's really sad is that Nokia seemed to have got all this....