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You are here: Home Blogs Community Join the petition asking for This American Life in Ogg Vorbis and help us reach 1,000 signatures!

Join the petition asking for This American Life in Ogg Vorbis and help us reach 1,000 signatures!

by Brett Smith Contributions Published on Aug 23, 2011 03:56 PM
This American Life still hasn't responded to your many messages asking them to use Ogg Vorbis for their downloads and streams. Sign the petition and make your voice heard!

Ogg supporters sent great emails to This American Life thanking them for their show detailing the problems with software patents and asking them to be part of the solution by using Ogg Vorbis instead of patent-encumbered MP3. Here's one letter, from Matt Kraai:

Thank you for creating "When Patents Attack!" As one of the 80% of software developers who believe that software patents are harmful both to the software industry and to society as a whole, I was happy to see you bringing awareness of this issue to a larger audience.

As you're probably aware by now, the MP3 audio file format that you use to distribute your episodes online is also covered by some software patents. Would you please consider also distributing the episodes using the Ogg Vorbis format? It produces files of comparable size and quality and is not covered by any software patents.

Thanks again for such a great episode,

Matt Kraai

We'd like to thank those of you who have written in to the show so far; you all have made countless great points to help illustrate how the MP3 file format has suffered from the same kinds of problems they discussed in last month's episode.

Sadly, we haven't seen or heard about any response from This American Life, even after we made an Ogg version of the show ourselves and offered it to them. We've successfully convinced other public broadcasters like WBUR to use Ogg Vorbis after making that first contact, and we think we can repeat that success here if we can just get a real conversation started. To help with that, we've started a petition to show them just how many people would like to see This American Life available as Ogg Vorbis.

Make your voice heard by signing the petition today! We're working to get 1,000 signatures as quickly as possible, and deliver the first batch shortly after that, so sign now and make sure you're part of it. It's really easy—we're only asking your name, email address, and a couple of questions about how much you love This American Life and local public radio. After that, you'll get a verification email; click the link in it, and you're done!

Once you've signed, there are other ways you can help:

  • Spread the word about this petition by sharing it with your friends and colleagues—the more signatures we get, the better.

  • If you haven't already, you can still send a personal note to This American Life asking them to use Ogg Vorbis. You can write them email at (don't forget to send us a copy at, or send a message on Twitter to @ThisAmerLife. Remember that you don't need to use the Twitter website (with its proprietary JavaScript) directly when you do this; instead, you can connect your Twitter account to your account and send it that way, or use a local free software client like Gwibber or HeyBuddy.

[Note: We previously aimed to obtain 5,000 signatures for this petition by September 7. This blog post has been edited to describe our revised goal.]

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