FSFE and FFII to Radio Station Winners: "rOGG on"

Apr 05, 2010

Radio Free Deutschland: For Document Freedom Day, March 31 2010, a couple of European radio stations were granted awards for using open standards.

The radio stations Deutschlandradio and Radio Orange received the awards from the Free Software Foundation Europe and Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure because they transmitted over the Internet in the Ogg Vorbis media container format. The free Radio Orange 94.0 in Vienna and dradio.de (Deutschlandfunk in Cologne and Deutschlandradio Kultur in Berlin) were honored with the awards (and a cake) the afternoon of March 31 under the slogan "rOGG on!" (see Gallery).

"We feel more honored by this award than by a Grimme Award," said the online editor of Deutschlandradio, Egbert Meyer, at the cake cutting in Berlin. Matthias Kirschner of the FSFE congratulated the radio station for its pioneering role: "Since 2006 anyone with free software can receive the Ogg Vorbis live-streams from Deutschlandradio without a problem." Stephan Uhlmann of the FFII board of directors added, "Document Freedom Day Prize 2010 honors [the radio stations] for doing it right. With nonpatented audio formats they assure their listeners a freer selection of playback devices and software."

The FFII's commitment to open standards is based on their assertion that patented formats often request licensing fees once there is a dependency on them. "When MP3 first became popular, in 1998 Fraunhofer Institute and Thomson began requesting license fees for the audio format with over a dozen patents," the FFII claims. On their website, dradio.de provides its Ogg streams not only in multiple quality levels for the various bandwidths, but also recommends a variety of playback software, including Linux platforms.

Gallery (7 images)

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