License-Free Spec

Adobe is announcing the Open Screen Project today. The press release mentions that it deals with “driving rich Internet experiences across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics.” However, I can guarantee that the part of this announcement that will be of most interest to Linux/open source fans is likely to be these items:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash® Castâ„¢ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services

Note that this is not about open sourcing the Flash Player (although a non-negligible portion of the Flash Player code is already open source). However, the previous restriction that anyone who looks at the spec technically isn’t allowed to create an independent SWF decoder (if documentation EULAs are to be believed) was a point of contention among many open source types. No more click-through EULA embedded in the actual PDF, or so I’ve been reliably informed.

And if I can find the new documents (there’s the traditional SWF spec, while the FLV and new F4V formats have been split out into a new document) on the vast corporate website, I will be sure to link to them. I’m not even sure if they’re posted yet. But I’m sure my loyal readers will post links in the comments if they can locate them first.