advancing open video

Video is a big part of the modern internet, whether it’s used to communicate, educate, or entertain my daughter. We’re building robust support for video (and audio) into Firefox 3.1, making it straightforward for authors to incorporate audio and video media into their pages and applications. We believe that it’s vital to the health of the web for people to approach video on the web the same way they do images: without needing proprietary plugins or paying license fees for restricted codecs, and with the ability to fully integrate into the rest of the page.

Our commitment to the success of open video on the web requires that we select codecs for Firefox that are usable by everyone, without restriction or licensing fee. To that end, we’ve chosen Theora as the format for Firefox 3.1.

We believe that Theora is the best path available today for truly open, truly free video on the internet. We also believe that it can be improved in video quality, in performance, and in quality of implementation, and Mozilla is proud to be supporting the development of Theora software with a $100,000 (USD) grant. Administered by the Wikimedia Foundation, this grant will be used to support development of improved Theora encoders and more powerful playback libraries. These improvements will benefit future versions of Firefox, and anyone else who supports open video on the web.

[Update: Chris Blizzard, being the awesome evangelist I always hoped I'd be, has a great post with a much deeper discussion of why this all matters.]

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