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Recent advances in forward error correction and scalable video coding enable new approaches for robust, distributed streaming in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). This work presents an approach for distribution of real time video by different uncoordinated peer-to-peer relay or source nodes in an overlay network on top of a MANET. The approach proposed here allows for distributed, rate-distortion optimized transmission-rate allocation for competing scalable video streams at relay nodes in the overlay network. Furthermore the approach has the desirable feature of path/source diversity for enhancing reliability in connectivity to serving nodes. Signaling overhead within the overlay network is kept at a minimum, since optimizations are done at relay nodes and clients rather than at servers.