[Linux-aus] Support for OpenMediaNow

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 11:37:22 EST 2009

At the recent LCA, Rob Savoye from OpenMediaNow gave a talk about how
patents around media codecs need a thorough analysis to clear free and
open source codecs from the threat of submarine patents and in order
for FOSS projects to work legally with proprietary codecs.

With the help of the $1K donation of FOMS as announced at LCA, Rob is
now setting up a new site where the patent work will happen and is
seeding it with copies of documents from S.F. or D.C., where the
patent repository is for all the documents that aren't online.

This is your chance to help out!

Rob is looking for a volunteer system administrator and a volunteer
drupal administrator that can donate some of their spare time to help
set up and prepare the site, such that lawyers and other experts can
contribute patent analysis and prior art easily.

If you are interested and qualified, please email me and I will put
you through to Rob.

It's a really worthwhile cause and Rob is the right person to attack
and resolve these issues.

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Some background information:
Rob is well connected in the FOSS community and also with lawyers. For
example, he knows PJ from groklaw, who has promised to help, and he is
connected with the EFF.

His aims are:
* Build a freely accessible database of prior art involving multimedia patents.
* Research prior-art for Ogg and Theora to ensure that these codecs remain free.
* Build an international community of legal volunteers who can
contribute research on international patents.
* Work on negotiating royalty-free redistribution terms for FOSS projects.
* Work on finding the legal ways FOSS can deal with codec patents.
* If need be, craft legal workarounds for the codec patents to allow
them to be freely redistributable.

Once the new site is in pretty good shape, Rob expects further funding
to come in from other interested parties such as Google and Mozilla.
He then plans to hire a para-legal or two to work on the actual
research. Then, he'd also like to add an engineer experienced in
codecs to work with the legal folks to define ways FOSS can legally
support proprietary codecs.

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