EditShare has unveiled plans to turn its newly acquired Lightworks non-linear editor into an open-source development initiative.

The Lightworks Open Source will enable developers to access the core of the editing systems engine and build on the technology to create their own innovative features and extensions.

The move, revealed at NAB 2010, is a departure from the standard route of allowing third-party developer programmes that can often limit access.

“EditShare has built a reputation for offering open solutions that enhance collaboration. In taking this uncharted path with Lightworks, we follow this same principle,” said James Richings, Co-Managing Director, EditShare EMEA. 

“Lightworks Open Source offers a highly collaborative development environment based on powerful and feature-rich underlying technology, which has come from over one million hours of software development. I expect that the Lightworks Open Source initiative will transform not only the technology, but also the opinions on what a professional editing tool can achieve. “

EditShare officially acquired Lightworks in August 2009.  The first step towards releasing Lightworks Open Source will happen in third quarter of 2010 with a free universal Lightworks download.

EditShare said it will offer developers and manufacturers an opportunity to sell their Lightworks plug-ins, options, or I/O devices through a centralized Lightworks online marketplace.