Helix: RealNetworks shoots Open Source at Microsoft, kills DRM bystander?

by Gordon Mohr

Related link: http://www.helixcommunity.org/

RealNetworks has unveiled an initiative called "Helix," featuring media tools that understand Microsoft Windows Media formats via a clean-room reverse engineering implementation -- rather than licensing from Microsoft. Further, they've committed to releasing large portions of the system under an Open Source license through their HelixCommunity site.

More info is available in John Markoff's NYTimes story, "RealNetworks Poses Challenge to Microsoft."

Hmm, if there's open-source Windows Media creation and/or playback software out-and-about... it doesn't seem like artificial DRM locks on individual pieces of Windows Media content can survive for very long.

In the battle between Real and Microsoft, is open source a pawn or the Queen?