For the benefit of people who weren't able to attend, I'll summarise
the result of the linuxaudio.org meeting at the International Linux
Audio Conference in Karlsruhe, Germany last week.
The two main issues that were discussed were the legal status of the
linuxaudio.org consortium, and website consolidation.
On the first point, several people thought that the organisation could
benefit by becoming a legal entity, such as a registered
not-for-profit organisation. This possibility raises several
questions. In which country would it be registered? How would the
inevitable overhead caused by bureauracy be handled so that it did
not disproportionately consume advocacy resources? Could official
status actually restrict consortium activities?
It was pointed out that linux audio information is distributed among
many different websites, some with ambiguous or misleading domain
names, such as eca.cx or linuxdj.com (which is not really about
DJ'ing). In addition, Dave Phillips is looking for help to automate
content management on linux-sound.org and its mirrors, and for new
The consortium could help here by co-ordinating a reorganisation of
sites around the most appropriate domain names, using sub-domains
where appropriate. Then content management systems could be used to
spread the work of maintaining sites among teams of editors.
Naturally there would have to be legacy links in place to make sure
that information was not lost.
I'd be very interested to hear list members' opinons on these two
issues, or any other matters that need to be raised.
> Monty, Ralph, and I all discussed this and decided we'd like to
> join the organization. :)
Great! I'll add Xiph to the members' page.
> Our only concern about linuxaudio.org is the wording of policy #5:
> The Linuxaudio.org consortium supports open standards and file
> formats. However, it recognises that reverse engineering of
> proprietary formats is sometimes required to enable
> I think it's important for the Free Software movement's future that
> we place strong emphasis on getting support for royalty-free open
> standards _by default_, and only then concern ourselves with the
I'd agree - I think the use of the word 'sometimes' here was intended
to indicate that. The only reason that proprietary formats were
mentioned at all was that some developers wanted protection for
reverse engineering, following cases like Sklyarov. In practice, this
protection has been hard to get a consensus for among commercial
> I suppose we should coordinate some kind of joint press
> release or announcement once the red tape is over.
Sounds good to me!
May 10, 2004 - The Xiph.org Foundation has joined the Linuxaudio.org
consortium, becoming the newest member and bringing the total number
of members to nineteen.
Linuxaudio.org is a not-for-profit consortium of companies and
software projects using Linux kernel based systems and other libre
software for audio work, with an emphasis on professional tools for
the music, recording and broadcast industries. The consortium aims to
co-ordinate joint projects between members, collaborate on the
promotion of Linux based systems for audio tasks, and provide a
single point of contact for prospective industry partners.
Daniel James, Linuxaudio.org director, commented: "With the welcome
addition of the Xiph.org Foundation, our consortium now has members
working on all aspects of Linux audio. The Xiph.org Foundation codec
projects and related software perfectly complement existing members'
work on hardware, drivers, applications, plugins and Linux
distributions. Together, we can now offer complete Linux-based
solutions to the audio industry and user communities all over the
The Xiph.org Foundation is a not-for-project multimedia research and
development company, focused on the creation of next generation
codecs and tools for audio and video that are both open and
royalty-free. Current projects include the Vorbis audio codec for
general purpose audio compression, the Speex codec for voice
compression, and the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC).
More information on the Linuxaudio.org consortium and the Xiph.org
Foundation can be obtained by visiting our respective websites:
Press contacts: Daniel James at (daniel at linuxaudio dot org) and
Jack Moffitt at (jack at xiph dot org)