March 30, 2011

Tagesschau.de awarded for the use of Open Standards

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Berlin, 30. March 2011 – Today the ARD internet platform Tagesschau.de will receive an award for the use of Open Standards at the “Document Freedom Day”. The prize is awarded by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. (FFII) for offering the broadcasted shows also in the free video format “Ogg Theora”.

In Berlin FSFE and FFII will hand over a certificate and a cake with the “rOgg On!” label on to Sven Bruns, technical manager at tagesschau.de. In Hamburg, Sabine Klein, vice editorial director of tagesschau.de will accept a DFD cake on behalf of the editorial team.

“In times of non-free video formats still dominating the internet, tagesschau.de is an example for other broadcasting corporations how to provide unrestricted access to their media.”, says Matthias Kirschner, Germany-Coordinator of FSFE.

In contrast to proprietary video formats Ogg Theora is a free video format that every software producer is allowed to support without licensing requirements. Therefore software users are not dependent on a single software vender but can apply Ogg Theora on various devices.

Stephan Uhlmann, member of the FFII board: “It’s convenient to support the currently dominating format instead of using Open Standards. But this domination brings along patents whose exclusive control disables alternative software solutions and later innovations. In contrast to this users of Open Standards have free choice of their software. But no matter whether Apple, Microsoft or GNU/Linux: the videos of tagesschau.de will always be playable.”

Ogg Theora is supported by all media players in common GNU/Linux distributions. One can also play Ogg-files on Microsoft Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X by using the VLC player. Furthermore, many modern webbrowsers directly support the format.

On tagesschau.de, all regular videos are available as Ogg Theora. At tagesschau24, videos are directly embedded via the new webstandard HTML5. In other parts of the website, it still needs to be manually set to “download the file” and then the format “Medium (Ogg)” has to be clicked.

“We hope that all other multimedia contents – especially the media library and live streams – will soon be available in a free format. Moreover we would be glad about Ogg Theora or WebM videos in higher quality levels”, indicates Matthias Kirschner.

Press pictures of the award ceremony will be available March 30. at 2pm. on http://wiki.fsfe.org/DFD-2011-Berlin-Hamburg-Bilder.

Press contacts

Stephan Uhlmann <uhlmann@ffii.org>, FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6, 10439 Berlin
Phone: +49-170-4225008

About Document Freedom Day

The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global action day for free document formats and Open Standards. It takes place every year on last Wednesday in March since 2008. In recent years over 200 teams of volunteers in over 60 countries have shared the benefits of Open document formats and Open Standards.

http://www.documentfreedom.org/

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and involved in many global activities. Access to software determines participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE.

http://fsfe.org/

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

http://www.ffii.org/