As Christian pointed out, Real Networks is an odd pea in our pot. They do Free Software at some level, but at other levels they appear to truly dislike “us” – the Free Software community. A friend of mine runs a company shipping a media product based on FFmpeg. This media product includes decoding capabilities for Microsoft’s and Real’s proprietary audio formats. When trying to buy patent licenses for their free software-based product (which can be legal; Google does this also in Chrome), this company received the following responses:
- Microsoft: “Sure, no problem”
- Real: “FFmpeg developers are thieves so we don’t want your money if you’ll use their product”
It’s interesting to point out here that the once-so-hated Microsoft has – especially after the EU antitrust case – done everything that we once asked for. They have published many of their protocols on MSDN. They might be corporate to the bone, but they play relatively fair and there’s will & potential for co-existence on both ends. Real wants no co-existence. They do not subscribe to our “Free” ideals.