[linux-elitists] MP3 patents

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sun Sep 2 14:08:43 PDT 2001

on Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 11:25:50AM -0700, Seth David Schoen (schoen@loyalty.org) wrote:
> Jack Moffitt writes:
> > > What's the deal with patents on MP3 players?
> > > 
> > > http://www.mp3licensing.com/ says they need a license!  Other people
> > > seem to disagree.
> > 
> > Free player don't need a license, to my knowledge, or rather, they are
> > granted a free license.

I see no evidence of this at the site referenced above.

> > Most people don't seem to bother, and it's generally thought that their
> > decoding patents are much less enforceable than their encoding ones.
> > 
> > That being said, this is helping Ogg out a great deal, and is the reason
> > we've shipped in two commercial games already.
> OK, I'm going to include an MP3 player in the LNX-BBC downloadable
> packages, then, but I'm going to have a README which flames software
> patents and promotes Ogg.
> Speak now or forever hold your peace!


I'm with comments posted here by Drew and others.

There is not clear license granted on MP3 for use in free players that I
can see.

LNX-BBC is intended as an admin disk.  There are enough battles to be
fought on the fronts of providing encryption, network scanning tools,
and the like.  Pick your fights.

Weasling around the issue by providing means to access or download an
MP3 decoder might be fun -- apt-get functionality has been used in the

I don't see the LNX-BBC as being either sufficiently popular that its
having or lacking MP3 is going to be a make-or-break issue, or that
using it to push Ogg Vorbis is going to significantly alter *that*
debate.  But I'd prefer seeing it used for the latter rather than the
former if we need to go here at all.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>          http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/               http://www.kuro5hin.org
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!    http://www.freesklyarov.org
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