Overview of Xiph.Org

Xiph.Org Foundation creates open source solutions for multimedia formats that have otherwise only been the arena of for-profit corporations. The problem of formats being proprietary is that the company that holds the patent of the format has total control of what is done with the format. Basically, this means that they can demand royalties from anyone that uses their file format (sometimes even including end-users).

The two most popular instances of this happening are the .gif format and the .mp3 format. A company named Fraunhofer IIS created mp3 technology and they currently charge royalty fees for commercial use of the format (but not to end users). In depth information on mp3 technology licensing can be found here. Unisys/Compuserve initiated a royalty system somewhat like this years back on the .gif format. This outraged quite a few in the internet community - http://burnallgifs.org. The .gif format has since been replaced by another open standard which is superior to the .gif, it is called .png. This is exactly what does Xiph.Org does, but instead of developing open image format they make new audio/video standards.

If you aren't familiar with open source and open standards, here is a quick description. Basically, "open" means it will always be free with no fear of future royalties. You might wonder how something could be promised to always remain free. This is possible because the source code is released along with the end product.

If you are interested in Xiph.Org or want to learn more about open standard philosophy, their site has information on both in very much detail.

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another xiph fish logo Ogg Vorbis Project | Icecast Project another xiph fish logo
all images were created by me with Adobe Photoshop.
these fish logos are also based off of Xiph.org's own fish logo. these look even worse! :)