[linux-elitists] MP3 patents

Jack Moffitt jack@xiph.org
Sun Sep 2 11:59:12 PDT 2001

> I'd appreciate a link to this license grant. One does not need to show
> a pattern of enforcement in patents, unlike copyright or trademark
> infringements, so an implied license or lack of enforcement up to this
> point probably doesn't do us much good.

All the license information is at the link provided.

"Do I need a license to use mp3/mp3PRO in games?

Yes. Games using mp3/mp3PRO encoded content are licensed on a per-title

However, No license fees are due if less than 5 000 copies of a
particular game title are distributed.

For my game example.


They removed the non-commercial decoder stuff it looks like.  (The site
has been updated since I last looked).

It looks like distributing an mp3 decoder is a $15k minimum yearly
royalty with with $.50 a unit cost.  Ouch.

That has to be wrong though, or else the patent is unenforceable,
because there are many people distributing mp3 players that aren't
paying, and I havne't heard of anyone getting a letter.

> > > Most people don't seem to bother, and it's generally thought that their
> > > decoding patents are much less enforceable than their encoding ones.
> My understanding is quite different. This is particularly relevant if
> you would be the named defendant in such a case.

No one (at least not that I've heard of, and I know most of the
developers) has ever gotten a letter for decoding royalties in a
non-commercial application.


More information about the linux-elitists mailing list