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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paris, France (2006/04/01) - In an effort to help Apple with its Intel transition, the VideoLAN team, distributor of the industry leading cross-platform media player VLC, announced its intent to drop support for the now outdated G4 and G5 based series of Mac computers.
"We had to do something for Apple in return," former project leader Antoine Cellerier said in a public statement earlier today. Cellerier was referring to Apple's stance against the French DADVSI law. The controversed law, voted in March 2006 by French MPs, seriously jeopardizes VLC's development by forbidding French citizens to use software that bypasses Digital Right Management, such as DVD encryption or the protection scheme commonly found on music bought on the Internet.
But in late March 2006, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the DADVSI law would "result in state-sponsored piracy." Apple then threatened to take down its French iTunes Music Store.
Despite Apple's tendency to send cease and desist letters to every website on the Internet, the VideoLAN team immediately understood that they were in fact trying to help Free Software. "After all, they built OS X on top of FreeBSD's cremated remains, and used what could still be saved from KDE's bloated web browser to develop Safari, which can only mean they fully embrace Open Source," VideoLAN developer Sam Hocevar added.
The VideoLAN team hence announced that starting from the next release, VLC would only run on Mac Intel hardware. Apple is already ahead of schedule; the Mac Intels were originally announced for June of 2006, yet that mark was beaten by almost half a year. Apple is confident VideoLAN's move will help finish the transition. "VLC is the most downloaded OS X application. By making it Mac Intel only, we can probably make the transition even faster. Let's not repeat the PowerPC fiasco," an Apple spokesperson said. The M68K to PowerPC transition, initiated in the 90s, led to the so-called "fat binaries" and excruciatingly slow versions of the Mac OS.
When asked how long older versions of VLC for the G4 and G5 series of processors would remain available, a VideoLAN webmaster said, "You'd better hurry. Our software is free, but webspace and bandwidth aren't."
About VideoLAN: VideoLAN (http://www.videolan.org/) is a project to build open source, cross-platform multimedia tools. Their VLC media player is the most downloaded Mac OS X application according to versiontracker.com.
About Apple: Apple is the creator of the hyped and overpriced Macintosh computer. Until recently, Apple buyers could brag in front of PC users about how their PowerPC-based computer was twice as expensive, but also twice as powerful as the Intel-based counterpart. Now, thanks to the Intel transition, Apple computers are only twice as expensive.