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The Free Software Foundation is launching a new campaign to promote the OGG free media format (especially for Mac and Windows users).

The FSF suggests using VLC for Mac and Windows users to playback OGG on their machines. I would actually suggest Democracy Player, which incorporates VLC code, so it can play back all the same files, but adds some great additional features on top of it. (These include tools for subscribing to and managing video podcasts, managing your local library of video files, and both finding and sharing media content across the net. It’s also a BitTorrent client, and a YouTube browsing and downloading tool.)

OGG’s importance lies in its freedom from patent and license fee encumbrances. FSF explains:

“The use of MP3 is restricted by patents, while OGG is not. Unlike MP3, there are never any licensing costs for using OGG, and you do not have to worry about anyone suing you for using it without a license. You might have heard about Microsoft’s recent loss in a $1.5 billion suit over their use of MP3.

“These patent lawsuits might never affect you directly, but they create a culture where creative and skilled individuals cannot develop multimedia software without fear of being legally attacked. Using OGG is one way to support them in their efforts and to encourage a better culture.”

To help spread the message, you can download or link to campaign buttons, which look like this:


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