As part of Adobe’s OpenScreen project to get Flash onto more devices they have just openly published the Flash 9 specification, with what appear to be no restrictions on their part (that I can see). The OpenScreen site seems to confirm it, listing their moves as:
- Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
- Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
- Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
- Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free
This is great news, suddenly Flash becomes an open standard and the projects to create open source viewers for it suddenly should have a lot of the information that they need. It doesn’t remove all the issues though, some of the codecs that can be employed are patented and can themselves attract licensing fees, but it does appear that they are not required (unlike OOXML, which requires MP3 for audio content for example). It also means that people wanting to implement open tools to create Flash content, or export to Flash, will have their job made a lot easier too.
Hats off to Adobe – better late than never!
Update: This also includes the FLV/F4V specification too!
Found via the ever excellent LWN..