[linux-elitists] MP3 patents

M. Drew Streib dtype@dtype.org
Sun Sep 2 13:12:31 PDT 2001

On Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 01:25:32PM -0600, Jack Moffitt wrote:
> Yes, I'm aware of this.  I never said that 'this pattern of not charging
> is why you should feel free to ignore it'.  I said that the site used to
> grant a non-commercial decoder license for $0.00 USD with no yearly
> minimum. The site no longer says this.

I'd check with a lawyer about this, but it seems that this type of
license does not carry with it any 'consideration' for Thompson, which
potentially makes the contract null and void. 

It is possible to say "i am giving you X" then to say "no I'm not" and
have legal enforcement of the latter.

There are other reasons why such a contract _is_ enforceable, meaning
that the free grant is good, but would have to be argued.

Regardless, simply showing up in court and making a sane statement
will likely run you US$250,000 anyway, regardless of whether or not
you're right or wrong. :/

Thanks for all the Xiph work, though. I think that in the end, writing
something new is the only way to solve this problem.


M. Drew Streib <dtype@dtype.org> | http://dtype.org/
FSG <dtype@freestandards.org>    | Linux International <dtype@li.org>
freedb <dtype@freedb.org>        | SourceForge <dtype@sourceforge.net>
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