MPEG pioneer prods media revolution

Stating that he’s disappointed that the “digital revolution” hasn’t materialized, MPEG pioneer Leonardo Chiariglione is launching a new initiative aimed at breaking the logjam.

Chiariglione, founder of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which pioneered digital compression technologies, blamed technical, political, legal and economic differences for the logjam in an article published in EETimes.

With a new, nonprofit organization, the Digital Media Project, Chiariglione said he wants to help jump-start applications using digital media. He said that while digital technologies may have launched huge and profitable industries such as information technology, ICs and digital communications, no one has so far found a way to profit from digital media itself.

“In 1988 when I launched MPEG, the digital media business was not possible because there was no technology,” he said. “Today, we have the technology, but we still have no [profitable] business.”

Chiariglione’s new group will begin by drafting a Digital Media Manifesto to establish a common framework for the project. Its goal is “to identify the issues and the work plan,” a task he expects to see finished in a few months.

Chiariglione didn’t provide any specifics about his group’s makeup or what it will produce, but suggested it will focus primarily on the integration of technologies makes it possible to move content across devices and environments beyond traditional industry borders, while respecting the terms of use.

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