Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone Page: 81
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3.5. Open standards
Web servers (RFC 2616). HTML, the language of the Web, is a standard of
One important battle ground in open standards has been that of video
formats. The newest version of the HTML specification, HTML5, will re-
quire browsers to natively support Internet video. Because the W3C has
a strict policy that its specifications must be free of patent claims, an op-
portunity arose for the open and patent-free video format, Ogg/Theora,
to be incorporated into the HTML specification. However, this was
blocked by proprietary software vendors such as Apple and Nokia, who
instead have incorporated support for the patent-encumbered (but tech-
nically superior) standard H.264 in their browsers.58
In May 2010, a dramatic development in this impasse occurred when
Google acquired a high-quality proprietary video standard, VP8, and do-
nated its code and associated patents to the open source community, as
a project named WebM. This may lead the way for the adoption of WebM
as an open, freely-implementable standard for Internet video in HTML5.
3.5.1 Document freedom day
Document Freedom Day is an international day to raise awareness of
open standards and free document formats. It was organised on March
31, 2010 (for the third year); the previous focus on the OpenDocument
Format (ODF) is broadening to include other free formats such as Ogg
Vorbis, and open standards in general.
Document Freedom Day is inspiring lots of passion and creativity
around the world. Volunteer groups from the Free Software scene are us-
ing this international day to draw their communities' attention to a topic
that most people outside the technology world hardly ever think about,
according to Karsten Gerloff, writing at Opensource.Com.59
The campaign is coordinated by the Free Software Foundation Eu-
rope, but the passion and effort in cities around the world are local. In
Romania's capital, Bucharest, a group of activists visited a number of
government buildings, each time telling the authorities that "I can't read
your documents." In South Africa, the Department of Arts and Culture
is holding a celebratory hour. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, eight organ-
isations are organising an evening of information and discussion about
58 McLean, Prince, Ogg Theory, H.264 and the HTML 5 Browser Squabble. 2010 (URL:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/07/06/ogg_theora h 264_and_the_html
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Noronha, Frederick & Malcolm, Jeremy. Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone, text, 2010; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33297/m1/91/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .