The FLUTE/ALC file transfer application is a standard (RFC 3926) that provides a massively scalable reliable delivery of objects (files, directories, clips, ESG, etc.) over unidirectional transport. It is the basis of the 3GPP MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service) and DVB-H IP Datacasting services.
The FCAST/ALC file transfer application is a non-standardized, IPR free (described in March 2000, see the documents page, below), solution that provides the same massively scalable reliable delivery of objects service. Yet the clients cannot filter the objects based on the associated meta-data before actually receiving and decoding them since meta-data are appended to the object.
Note that we are currently working on standardizing an improved version of FCAST (see documents below). The goal is to provide an alternative to FLUTE/ALC that does not infringe Nokia’s patent, while providing similar features.
WARNING: Nokia has posted an IPR disclosure related to FLUTE (FCAST/ALC is not concerned and remains IPR-free), in June 2006:
"This is to advise the IETF that Nokia believes the Nokia patent applications EP1588292, US20040153468, and corresponding patents, may relate to Internet-draft on FLUTE - File Delivery over Unidirectional Transport (draft-ietf-rmt-flute-revised-01.txt). Please refer to http://www.ietf.org/ietf/IPR/NOKIA for more details."
After asking for clarifications, Nokia’s IPR department answered on November 2nd, 2006:
"INRIA is free to do what they want for their software, but if Nokia patent is used for commercial purpose, then a proper license is required. Nokia is committed to provide the license on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) principles."