What's the current status of mp3-licensing issues?

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Thu Nov 1 08:09:01 UTC 2007

Peter Lemenkov wrote:

> that describe the encoding process (the tricky part) will not apply.
> Also, statements from the patent holders up to now always allowed the
> non-commercial distribution of mpeg audio decoders without any fee.

Such non-commercial use restrictions are not compatible with Free and 
open source software or the Fedora licensing guidelines. moreover GPL 
license also requires a written non-limiting patent grant or we can't 
include GPL software that infringes patents on regions that enforce 
patents on software.

> Bottom line is:
> While Fraunhofer/Thomson don't want to charge free software players -
> they said that a long time ago, the time for they being able to place
> such charges is expiring or has already expired. One should really think
> before adding mp3pro/surround support to mpg123, though, since there
> are for sure more recent patents for that.
> And don't forget: The progress bar is covered by a patent, too.
> =================================
> Briefly speaking from the above notes we may find the following:
> * Looks like Ogg "violates" patents as well as mp3.

"Looks" are not enough. The claim should be very specific.

> * Fraunhofer patents already expired in Europe.
> What about US?



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