In A Flash, The Chains Are Off

In a somewhat surprising move, Adobe has decided to remove restrictions from its market-dominating Flash format, making development and closer integration of Flash applications possible for the first time.

Previously, Adobe's licensing terms for Flash prevented developers from creating competing Flash players — they could use the Flash specification to integrate flash with their applications, but couldn't provide non-Adobe playback. That's changed, as Adobe is now publishing it's specifications without restriction, including the Flash Cast and AMP protocols, the API for Flash Player, and will not require licensing fees when the next version of Flash Player and Adobe AIR is released towards the end of 2008.

Adobe is quick to point out that they are only removing licensing restrictions, not Open Sourcing their code — developers will be free to incorporate, but not change, Adobe's code. Still, the move is groundbreaking, as it will allow projects like Gnash to access and build off of the official specifications, bolstering the viability of Open Source implementations for Flash.
Justin Ryan is News Editor for
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