Hollywood formalizes support for open source in filmmaking

Hollywood formalizes support for open source in filmmaking

It's an interesting world that we live in. On August 10, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences — the same organization responsible for the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars), not exactly an industry that's renowned for its openness — teamed up with the Linux Foundation to form the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). The purpose of this organization is "to increase the quality and quantity of contributions to the content creation industry's open source software base." That's right; the film industry has put together an organization in support of open source software.

According to the ASWF, over 80% of the film production industry uses and even produces open source software, especially for visual effects and animation. Some very critical libraries and interchange formats like OpenEXR, OpenColorIO, and Alembic have been born directly from companies like Industrial Light and Magic and Sony ImageWorks.

The difficulty, however, is that these companies are focused on content creation, not software development. Sure, they write a lot of in-house code, but they don't really have the experience or facilities for managing an open source project that gets used by lots of folks outside their organization. Historically, if someone wants to contribute code to one of these projects, it's often a matter of knowing exactly which people to go through to contact a core (in some cases, the only) developer and get that code reviewed. And there's not any kind of uniformity in how the code is stored and versioned. Of course, there are also the intellectual property concerns of each of these companies and the legal overhead of reviewing open source licenses and determining whether they're "safe" for use by the company.

And no, we're not going to see open sourced movies themselves ;-)

See https://opensource.com/article/18/9/academy-software-foundation

Hollywood formalizes support for open source in filmmaking
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences teams with the Linux Foundation to launch the Academy Software Foundation.

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