RealNetworks is making good on a promise it made in July with Tuesday\u2019s release of the Helix DNA source code for its RealOne player client to the Helix Community. The Community is the company\u2019s open source initiative to spur development of multimedia applications on multiple platforms and devices.RealNetworks is making good on a promise it made in July with Tuesday\u2019s release of the Helix DNA source code for its RealOne player client to the Helix Community. The Helix Community is the company\u2019s open source initiative to spur the development of multimedia applications on multiple platforms and devices.Members of the community can now download the code and begin research and development projects for no charge. With the source code, developers get access to the RealOne players core engine, including local and streaming playback management using the Realtime Streaming Protocol (RTSP), as well as the source for the H.263, MPEG-4, MP3 and 2GPP format codecs. Developers get the RealAudio and RealVideo codecs in object code format for legal reasons.\u201cThey can get it in source code format, but that requires an additional agreement,\u201d says Dan Sheeran, vice president of media systems at RealNetworks. \u201cOur codecs include a lot of third-party technology that we cannot just open source, so we need to get additional agreements on usage terms.\u201d\u00a0Currently source code is available for the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X versions of the client. Sheeran says there are 12 projects underway to port the code to such platforms as PocketPC, Symbian and Palm. Player plug-ins are being developed for the Mozilla and Opera browsers as well.When the Helix Community was launched in July, much was made of the fact the new version of the RealOne player based on the Helix DNA was capable of playing back the rival Windows Media format. This release of source code does not include the Windows Media codecs, since they are Microsoft\u2019s property. \u201cThe engine could be used by someone to add in the Windows Media codecs if they chose,\u201d Sheeran says. \u201cThey would have to get a license from Microsoft for get the decoder from another source.\u201dThere are two versions of the source code license available: the RealNetworks Public Source License and RealNetworks Community Source License. Under the public source license, which has been submitted to the Open Source Initiative (OSI), users can build products around the player code without paying royalties as long as the resulting product is also open source.Under the community license, developers can use the code and sell the resulting product commercially but must pay royalty fees for every unit sold. Under the license, companies using the Helix DNA client code with RealNetworks\u2019 proprietary codecs get to sell the first one million units free, then have to pay 10 cents per unit sold beyond that. If the RealNetworks codecs are used, the 10-cent fee jumps to 25 cents per unit sold after the first million, with a $1 million maximum payment for non Wintel-based platforms.\n\n\u201cWe\u2019re trying to spur development and by not having any fees up to million units on the PC,\u201d Sheeran says. \u201cLonger term for broader distribution, we\u2019re trying to have a license scheme that doesn\u2019t have any hidden costs or uncertainties or other sorts of use taxes.\u201d To download the source code, users must first join the Helix Community\u00a0here.