I visit LXer, linux.com, and linux.org on a regular basis as well as the blog of helios. I get some the best insight into news and updates pertaining to FOSS. Today, I want to address the concerns of this blog post here. They are legitimate. After all, why should people be punished for trying to promote their product as an alternative to their competitor, especially since said competitor has been accused of using extortionist tactics?
The Boycott Novell’s own Roy Schestowitz has asked why Red Hat needs to be buying codec licenses from Microsoft. Good question. However, this is not a real delima, because there are already existing codecs that can be used: Vorbis and Theora. The main issue right now is to getting these codecs and others more widely adopted. Having Matroska as a container format wouldn’t be a bad idea either. There are plenty of users of operating systems that utilize the Linux kernel or a BSD-based kernel. How many of them are using iPods due to popularity? How many would purchase a device to play OGG files or Matroska files if the device had more capacity, better connectivity options, and was cheaper? That’s what needs to happen: Use of said codecs and multimedia containers in addition to devices that support the aforementioned.
So what if the devices in question don’t exist? Make them of course, and no, there is nothing wrong with marketing and selling said devices, especially since said technology is available on multiple platforms anyway. The issue isn’t the codecs: it’s how to use the ones that are already available in an effective manner.