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Lib-Ray: Non-DRM Open-Standards HD Video Format

From:  Terry Hancock <>
Date:  Mon, 28 May 2012 21:31:50 -0500
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article


I'm Terry Hancock, a frequent columnist for Free Software Magazine (, and I've been working on a
"liberated" alternative to releasing on the closed/DRM Blu-Ray video
media. We're running a Kickstart which is on its last week now
(actually just 5 days), currently at about 74%. It's kind of dicey
whether we'll make it or not. PR below.

Terry Hancock


Lib-Ray Non-DRM HD VIdeo Standard Project Launched on Kickstarter

As part of a project to create a non-DRM fixed media standard for
high-definition video releases, Terry Hancock has launched a
Kickstarter campaign which will produce two Lib-Ray video titles and
player software to support them.

"Sita Sings the Blues" is the award-winning, feature-length animation
by Nina Paley, released under the Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike license. This will be a Creator Endorsed
release, with a portion of funds going to Nina Paley herself after the
minimum needed for the project is raised. This will be a beautiful
edition in 1920x1080 HD video with lossless stereo audio, and it will
be subtitled in over a dozen languages. This is the first time this
film has been available in high-definition, due to Paley's reluctance
to use Blu-Ray with its DRM issues.

The "Blender Foundation Open Movie Collection" will be a single
Lib-Ray release containing the three currently-complete Blender
Foundation Open Movies: "Elephants Dream", "Big Buck Bunny", and
"Sintel". These will be in 1920x1080 HD video with lossless stereo and
5.1 surround soundtracks. These will also have a number of subtitle
tracks and commentaries.

Unlike Blu-Ray, Lib-Ray releases do not support DRM, encryption, or
region-coding options, and are intended for worldwide release. Thus
the standard is designed with a highly-adaptable localization scheme,
providing many more subtitles than are typically available on Blu-Ray
or DVD regional releases.

The Lib-Ray standard will also incorporate metadata and cover art
options to make them easier to cache in retrieval systems -- an option
intentionally blocked by the design of proprietary standards.

It is hoped that Lib-Ray will become a viable niche standard for
free-culture and independent filmmakers to use for wider distribution
of their films in high-definition format without the hassle, cost, and
ethical issues surrounding proprietary DRM video standards.

Lib-Ray will be physically stored on high-capacity SD cards (SDHC
media) which are more expensive than optical disks, but rapidly
dropping in price. They are also a read-write medium, which allows for
some additional features for producers, including easier short-run
production and the possibility of publishing post-release patches
(such as for additional subtitle tracks as they become available).

The funds will support the creation of these releases as well as
player software to support Lib-Ray playback on computers, including
Home Theater PCs. A manual will also be available, containing the full
specification and tutorials on creating and using Lib-Ray releases.

Hancock says, "I recently realized that Lib-Ray will not get off the
ground without developing player software and that all the pieces
needed to create it were already available to me. I have the necessary
coding experience for this (it will be written in Python, using the
Gstreamer and Webkit library bindings), and so it's really just a
matter of time. It's too much for me to do in my spare time, but if I
can get the support to work on it full time for a short while, I
should be able to make it all work smoothly.

"I'm a regular contributor to Free Software Magazine, and I've been
documenting my progress on previous prototypes in my column there --
ever since I discovered the DRM quagmire that is Blu-Ray publishing!"


Free Software Magazine Column:

Website for Lib-Ray (Still in Progress):

More About Terry Hancock:

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Lib-Ray: Non-DRM Open-Standards HD Video Format

Posted Jun 1, 2012 9:40 UTC (Fri) by hadess (guest, #24252) [Link]

I think the whole project is badly specced, and the person likely badly informed about Blu-Ray. For example, region-coding is opt-in (you'd make an all region Blu-Ray), and there's metadata available for newer Blu-Rays (GNOME will use the thumbnails and translated disc name if available).

Lib-Ray: Non-DRM Open-Standards HD Video Format

Posted Jun 9, 2012 0:07 UTC (Sat) by csawtell (guest, #986) [Link]

Many visually superb films and videos are frequently ruined by:-
  • Meaningless, hideous, noises sometimes thought by some to be 'musical mood enhancements'.
  • Idiotic commentators burbling the absolutely obvious.
  • Horribly loud environmental sounds. Often dubbed by very amateur operators.
I hope you might be able to specify that the sound should be presented as several independent channels so that the viewer might be able to adjust the volume of, or at least mute, the objectionable sound component. For the amusic minority (~5%) of the population almost every documentary programme ever produced suffers from the first 'problem'.

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