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New MP3 License Terms Demand $0.75 Per Decoder 1249

Posted by chrisd
from the good-thing-ogg-is-up-to-speed dept.
Götz writes "The licensing terms of Thomson and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, who are the owners of the mp3 patents, have changed. Now not only mp3 encoders but also mp3 decoders require a license. This page lists the fees -- it's $0.75 per decoder. As a consequence, Red Hat has already removed all mp3 players from the Rawhide development version."
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New MP3 License Terms Demand $0.75 Per Decoder

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  • Thank god for ogg! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jon787 (512497) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:28PM (#4150984) Homepage Journal
    http://www.vorbis.com/
    • This is a good oportunity to donate [paypal.com] some money and help fund the development of free, open multimedia fomats and tools.
  • by Lordfly (590616) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:30PM (#4151003) Homepage Journal
    i wonder how much money they're pulling in from mp3-related things? Anyone got a rough estimate?

    And wouldn't this hurt the proliferation of mp3 encoders running around, thereby possibly limiting the amount of mp3s that are available to the general public? Maybe we just need to use .ogg? :)

    Lordfly
    • by MisterBlister (539957) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:54PM (#4151325) Homepage
      Racket? If you ask me, the mp3 patents are some of the few decent patents we regularly hear about.

      People take mp3s for granted now, but the patents involved cover real innovation, not bullshit like the one-click Amazon patents, or such.

      • by iggly_iguana (36376) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:07PM (#4151466)
        The problem isn't the patents themselves. I have not heard anyone dispute any innovation that may have resulted in these patents.

        The problem is the way that these patents were handled. Patents that are not enforced immediately should be automatically revoked by law. Protect them immediately, or lose them.

        The use of MP3 wasn't low profile. People weren't using the patents without the patent holders knowlege.

        IMHO, this is WORSE than the Amazon patents.
        • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:33PM (#4151691) Homepage
          The use of MP3 wasn't low profile. People weren't using the patents without the patent holders knowlege.

          Actually the Fraunhofer institute did make it clear that their software was patented from the very start. The Mp3 phenomena started when someone took code that was clearly marked as proprietary, for non commercial use only and married it to a CD ripper.

          The basic problem we have here is that the whole MP3 world started with people who were pretty careless about intellectual property in general. They wanted free music and they just saw MP3 as a way to get it. Napster wanter to make billions by helping consumers rip off the record labels, their due dilligence and understanding of IP turned out to be as naive as their understanding of business models.

          Much as I would love to say this is a GIF type submarine patent issue, unfortunately it is not. MP3 is a part of the MPEG standard and the fact that a license was required was spelled out in advance. All you had to do was read the specification.

          As a general principle the GIF situation is indefensible. The designers of GIF should have had available to them the fact that a patent had been applied for. It is only the corrupt rules of the USPTO that allowed this information to be kept secret.

          Maybe if Napster and the rest of the MP3 scene had been a bit more concerned about IP issues in general then they would have realized that using a proprietary scheme would risk giving control over the technology to a private interest. In effect a non-essential patent was converted into an essential patent that every hardware vendor now has to license.

          I would prefer to use Ogg or WMA simply because they are better schemes, fewer bits for the same quality. But my Archos device only supports MP3 so that is what I rip to.

          • by Antity (214405) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:49PM (#4151862) Homepage

            Actually the Fraunhofer institute did make it clear that their software was patented from the very start.

            I think you're missing a very important fact here: Algorithms as employed in the MP3 format were NOT patentable in many countries when MP3 first showed up and Fraunhofer's reference implementation was published.

            I'm really glad that not that many countries have jumped that US "you can patent everything, including algorithms and IP" train even yet.

      • by Antity (214405) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:35PM (#4151714) Homepage

        MP3 only came up because it was available at low-to-no-cost. Regarding some of the patents, of course. Nobody would've had used it if they had charged this decoder fee from the very beginning, and they know!

        Do what I am going to do: Write a letter (paper!) to Fraunhofer and Thomson and explain your concerns.

        Yes, I know about Ogg Vorbis and stuff, but there's no reason not to protest against changed mp3 licenses.

        I don't want to re-compress all my mp3s to Ogg because this will reduce quality. So I will still have mp3s around in several years (don't mention all those CDs I burned). So this is an issue, since I will need a player/decoder to access them.

        Contact Fraunhofer:

        Fraunhofer Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen
        Am Wolfsmantel 33
        91058 Erlangen
        Germany
        Phone +49 (0) 91 31/7 76-0
        Fax +49 (0) 91 31/7 76-9 99
        Email: info@iis.fhg.de [mailto]

        (Interesting: On the English homepage, their postal address doesn't show up - only eMail addresses. On the German homepage, it does.)

        Contact Thomson:

        Thomson multimedia
        16935 W. Bernardo Drive # 103
        San Diego, CA 92127
        USA
        Fax: +1.858.451.6916
        Email: info@mp3licensing.com [mailto]
  • by puckhead (241973) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:32PM (#4151029) Homepage Journal
    I'm not trolling (this time). I really want to know.

  • by thesolo (131008) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:33PM (#4151037) Homepage
    I'm hoping that this decision will result in (more?) portable Ogg-based players hitting the market! I would have purchased an iPod immediately had it supported Ogg; however, it didn't, and I was not about to convert my music back to MP3 just for it.

    If anyone knows of any portable players that support Ogg Vorbis, please post below! Thank You!
  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda@e t o y o c .com> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:33PM (#4151042) Homepage Journal
    I thought the whole idea of patent law was to get new ideas to market by providing a temporary monopoly to the creator.

    It seems like we have the cart leading the horse. Inventors are now embedding their ideas into standards, waiting until adoption, and then enforcing their monopoly.

    This is dirty pool, and I hope it doesn't last.

    • This is what happens when they lay off their patent lawyer and replace him with a crack dealer in the name of cutting expenses.
    • by mshiltonj (220311) <mshiltonjNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:48PM (#4151856) Homepage Journal
      It seems like we have the cart leading the horse. Inventors are now embedding their ideas into standards, waiting until adoption, and then enforcing their monopoly.

      This is dirty pool, and I hope it doesn't last.


      I agree with you completely. Unfortunately, I think it will last. We, as techies and as citizens, will need to more vigilant determining what we will adopt as 'standard'.

      JPG, GIF, MP3, etc. We have to learn the lesson eventually.

      More evidence to oppose the W3C RAND lisencing proposal.
  • by Karpe (1147) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:33PM (#4151044) Homepage
    I wonder if distributions made on countries that do not accept software patents can still include MP3 decoders. That would, of course, mean the end of sales of this distributions on the US, or the development of US versions and "patent infringing" versions of the distributions, the same way there was a strong and weak crypto version of RH. I live in a country where (until the US forces us to change our laws) we do not believe that software or algorithmic ideas can be patented, and we have our own distros. I wouldnt like these distros to change just because of US laws and the US market.
  • by TibbonZero (571809) <Tibbon AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:34PM (#4151052) Homepage Journal
    Well, I guess NullSoft has decieded to pay the bill themselves. Because Winamp 3.0 [winamp.com] is still available as of now for free download [winamp.com].
  • by condour75 (452029) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:34PM (#4151066) Homepage

    here's where slashdot can really shine. I, like many of you out there, have scanned my album collection into mp3 format. Why? Because this was the most popular, ubiquitous format when I did it. I'd love to go to ogg. To do so, i need a simple way to recurse through about 36 gigs of mp3s and reencode them into ogg, and delete the originals. I know there's no reason why one shell command shouldn't suffice. I know if I were to do a decent search through freshmeat, i'd be able to find a command-line program to do it, and the proper args, etc. But i know someone here already knows it. ***PLEASE*** post instructions, and whatever software i need to get, and yours is the karma and everything in it.


  • Pass it on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Brento (26177) <brento @ b r e n t o z a r .com> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:36PM (#4151087) Homepage
    Absolutely brilliant. Wait until it gets mass market acceptance, then start charging fees. Now that I've got a portable MP3 player, an MP3-compatible DVD player, and all 300+ CD's in my collection digitized in MP3 format, now bring out the fees. You win, guys, here's my $3.00 for the car, the DVD deck, and WinAmp on my laptop and desktop. Sure beats re-recording everything in Ogg, which wasn't mainstream enough when I first started ripping my CD's a couple of years back.

    What? You don't agree? Well, my time's worth the $3. If they charged $10 per decoder, I'd still probably pay it - and in fact, that's the only mistake I think they're making, not charging enough. Because while I'd gladly pay $3 today, they should realize that going forward, I won't rip a single song in MP3 format. They'll make short-term revenues by screwing guys like me, but they're digging a hole in the long run.
  • Hmm. Not bad. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:37PM (#4151096) Homepage Journal
    You know, this is actually pretty cheap. I had no idea how inexpensive this was...I thought Fraunhaufer & Co were taking a percentage of your company's profits a la Unisys, or a per song cost. $.75 per player is nothing...I have a dozen players, hardware & software alike, and they all amount to under $10. Not bad, considering how great the technology behind MP3 is.

    Sure, they're profiteering, but they're profiteering off of a format they helped produce and thought to patent. MP3 encoding isn't exactly no duh stuff like hyperlinks or LZW compression (which is essentially a really fast look up table). And sure, there's Ogg, but I don't like the sound as much and my consumer devices don't support it.

    You can bitch and moan about how this will kill mp3, but I think it's obvious nothing will kill MP3 -- the technology is too widely supported. What it means, though, is that GPL'd and other free decoders are going to have to ammend the license to be sure Fraunhoffer gets its money. This is a perfect time to test whether or not the GPL can play nice in the IP pool.
  • Heh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superdan2k (135614) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:37PM (#4151098) Homepage Journal
    Of course, this is going to start the slew of "Ogg Vorbis is going to be the new standard" posts, to which I say: yeah, right.

    Personally, I'm wondering if the RIAA didn't pressure the owners of the patent into doing this, but that's beside the point. The point is, just because something that was free now costs money doesn't mean it's going to vanish overnight. Most people will download a single MP3 player and use that, and 75 cents is a negligible amount in the scheme of iPod pricing.

    The way around this, of course, is for a company to write the update to their software, and release it as a program that will patch the executable file, rather than release a whole new file. The fee applies to decoders, not software that modifies the decoders.

    Ogg Vorbis is great, it's free, and I hope they add support for it into the iPod and iTunes, but it's still going to be a long time before a format as deeply-entrenched as MP3 disappears.

    (Reversing your logic would mean that MS Windoze would cease to be the standard simply because Linux is free.)
    • Re:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glwtta (532858)
      (Reversing your logic would mean that MS Windoze would cease to be the standard simply because Linux is free.)

      it just might - no one said these things happen quickly. one way to find out though, someone write this down and email me in 10 years or so to remind me, we'll see where it goes. :)

  • by koreth (409849) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:42PM (#4151190)
    One thing everyone seems to forget in this kind of discussion: patents expire. I remember lots of hubbub about the RSA patents on public-key encryption. Well, they came, they went, and the world didn't end in the meantime. Now everyone is free to use those algorithms with no worries about patent infringement.

    Now, one could convincingly argue that software patents shouldn't be allowed in the first place, or that they should have shorter terms, or that the patent office doesn't do a competent job of checking for obviousness or prior art. I'd probably agree. But the fact remains that any damage done by patents is at worst a temporary setback to everyone else, not an irretrievable disaster.

    At some point, MP3s will no longer be encumbered by patents.

    • by Kindaian (577374) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:49PM (#4151281) Homepage
      The problem is that if a industrial patent has a expiration time of 25 years and that is reasonable, because it covers 1 or 2 generations of technology at the most, in the IT industry it isn't, because it covers something between 6 to 10 generations of software...

      And that is way to much time to wait for a patent to expire... [and effectivelly kills the usability of the technology or the patent system].

      Cheers...

      P.S.- I'm not against software patents (per si), just against stupid patents and the patent expiration time...
      • by coyote-san (38515) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:41PM (#4151774)
        There's two small problems with this idea.

        First, patents were orginally keyed to the length of your working life. You would spend decades becoming a master of your field, then a patent would protect you during the remainder of your working life. Meanwhile your apprentices would learn this new skill, then extend the art as they became masters.

        That worked fine until Britain changed the length of patents to 100 years, to protect some key industries. The net result was that the British industry stalled while Germany (a nation of scofflaws that ignored British IP rights) went from an agarian society to an industrial one.

        In this field, your working life is closer to 15 years, with maybe 5 years from your first paying job to when you're (usually) considered to be a fully competent journeyman capable of being "the master" at most reasonably complex shops. The high end is softer, but there's definitely a bias against older programmers. You start to notice it at 35, and it's a real problem at 40.

        By this measure, a patent should last maybe 7-10 years, max. Long enough to drive a generation or two of your product, but not so long that a person who just started out when you got your patent can't build on it during their working lifetime.

        But this brings up the second point - copyrights used to have a reasonable limit, but for all practical purposes they're now essentially eternal. Maybe the law won't extend the term of copyrights yet again, but I probably won't live long enough for anything written during my lifetime - or even substantially before it - to enter the public domain.

        If this stands, I expect to see patent law soon follow. This might be tolerable if patents covered legitimate innovations, but not with the current Patent Office of approving virtually every patent that crosses their desk and letting the courts decide which ones are valid.
    • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @11:13PM (#4153967)
      I remember lots of hubbub about the RSA patents on public-key encryption. Well, they came, they went, and the world didn't end in the meantime.

      The world didn't end; it was merely set back 20 years.
  • by gosand (234100) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:43PM (#4151201)
    I love the MP3 format, so my check is in the mail.

    Well, not exactly a check, more like 75 pennies.

    In an envelope

    Postage due

    (In college once I paid a $2 [total BS] parking ticket in change, in one of those "postage will be paid by addressee" envelopes.)

  • by saskboy (600063) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:47PM (#4151251) Homepage Journal
    There is some tax on "music" CD-Rs in Canada, but not on "data" CD-Rs. When I heard this I said, "What!?" So you have the option of paying more for CDs that you will burn your music backups to, and the same for CDs that contain just "ordinary" data.
    There has been a tax on recordable magnetic music media for more than a year now, with the proceeds supposedly going to battered musicians, or perhaps just to deter audio tape pirating, I'm not sure which...
    Last year there was brief fuss when a Liberal cabinet minister in charge of Canadian Heritage, Shiela Copps, thought that a $400 surcharge on MP3 players, would be a good way to curb music piracy. I don't think the details of how to destinguish an portable MP3 player, from just another computer were able to be worked out, so this was just one reason that ill formed idea died on the table.
    So much to tax, so little time. Isn't it bad enough that governments tax our purchases, now we are letting companies write taxes into their licences? Sheesh.
  • by A_Non_Moose (413034) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:48PM (#4151262) Homepage Journal
    Beware of greeks bearing .gifts.
  • Where's the facts? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lxy (80823) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:48PM (#4151269) Journal
    Ok. Most people have figured out by now that these prices have been up for a long time. Is there A) any evidence that open source decoders (like mpg123) are being bullied around, and B) any official statement from Redhat that they're intentionally pulling MP3 decoders from Rawhide?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:49PM (#4151274)
    ...scads of people who have no problem whatsoever pirating hundreds of gigabytes of $19 CD's throwing a tizzy fit over the notion that someone else might have to pay $0.75.
  • by mactari (220786) <rufworkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:49PM (#4151276) Homepage
    Annual minimum royalties are payable upon signature and each following year in January and are fully creditable against annual royalties.
    US$ 15 000.00 per calendar year.


    Now that's a pain. I emailed them to see if I could get a "hobbyist license" for more per app, but without the $15k minimum (wanted to make "iTunes 3 for Classic Mac OS"). They allow you to release up to 5000 units of a game that uses mp3s royalty free, so I was hopeful. The reply? No dice. (I was impressed they sent a reply!)

    Fwiw, here's a list of the licensees [mp3licensing.com].
  • by Critical_ (25211) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @03:50PM (#4151298) Homepage
    Is there a list somewhere of the packages that were removed from Rawhide? If so, I could compile new meta-rpm such that it would install the latest versions of each onto new RedHat installs.
  • Be Afraid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:03PM (#4151430) Journal
    I know a lot of people are hoping that .ogg will prevail as a result of this but unfortunately I fear something much worse.

    I'm already seeing a ton of songs in .wma format. On P2P systems and from friends. It brings back chilling memories of the not so long ago pre-decent-office-suite-4-linux days where I had to continually bitch and moan in vain that I'm not able to make use of a particular format.

    Mp3 is still the most dominant format but I honestly don't think .ogg will be there to save the day if it disappears. I have yet to see one single .ogg file EVER availble for download on a P2P system but I have seen the occasional .wma. So windows media is gradually gaining acceptance. If mp3s die out I highly doubt .ogg has a good chance to take it's place.

    --
    Garett
  • Could be worse. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mellon (7048) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:06PM (#4151456) Homepage
    A couple of points:

    1. This is an open standard. It's just patented. Patents expire. Nobody is trying to prevent you from writing decoders - they just want to get paid for (I hope) work that they did in developing the technology, which is pretty cool, and which I don't think I could have invented on my own. I am not fond of software patents, but a patent on MP3 is not the same as a patent on one-click or xor cursors.

    Compare this to, for example, Real Media player, where the file format isn't *patented* - it's a trade secret. So if Real doesn't support your platform, you can't play real media. This is really awful - much worse than the patent situation with mp3.

    2. The royalty is quite reasonable. If you had to pay $0.75 for your copy of WinAMP, would that really seem unfair to you? That's the price of a can of coke, for Pete's sake! It it really that unfair?

    3. Like it or not, this is not going to kill MP3, because most MP3 players are commercial, licensed products, and there are a ton of them out there, and they don't support Vorbis. So you don't have to do anything to keep using your MP3s, but if you want to use Vorbis in protest, it's going to be very difficult.

    4. I have a large library of audio files that need to get published on the net. They're free, noncommercial, non-revenue-generating. I'll publish them at least in MP3 format, and maybe Ogg if I can get a good encoder. I have a feeling that if I publish Ogg, it's not going to get downloaded very much, but it'll be interesting to see.
    • Re:Could be worse. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zurab (188064) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:58PM (#4151934)
      1. This is an open standard. It's just patented. Patents expire. Nobody is trying to prevent you from writing decoders - they just want to get paid for (I hope) work that they did in developing the technology, which is pretty cool, and which I don't think I could have invented on my own. I am not fond of software patents, but a patent on MP3 is not the same as a patent on one-click or xor cursors.

      Couple of points here: 1a. Patents expire in 20 years with an option to renew; in practical terms they don't expire especially when it comes to software. 1b. Patent on MP3 is the same as a patent on one-click in that they are both patents on software. They both claim patents on logic, algorithm, functions, whatever you want to call it.

      2. The royalty is quite reasonable. If you had to pay $0.75 for your copy of WinAMP, would that really seem unfair to you? That's the price of a can of coke, for Pete's sake! It it really that unfair?

      This is purely subjective. I'm sure if the patent license is enforced winamp will come up with a free version that's ad-bloated (plays an ad mp3 after each of your selected mp3s, popups, unders, etc), or paid subscription model like Real did awhile ago. Now, this may be completely reasonable to you, but others who have been playing their mp3s without having to pay for patent royalties or get annoyed by advertizers will not appreciate the change. So they will switch to Windows Media Player which will include the patent payment in the OS price (antitrust?), which will also force them to listen to and encode in WMA.

      3. Like it or not, this is not going to kill MP3, because most MP3 players are commercial, licensed products, and there are a ton of them out there, and they don't support Vorbis. So you don't have to do anything to keep using your MP3s, but if you want to use Vorbis in protest, it's going to be very difficult.

      I don't think it's going to be MP3 vs OGG, it's going to be MP3 vs WMA and good luck beating MS in this game. Just like I said above. Also, consider MS requiring you to use their DRM with WMAs when or as they get a hold of some market share. This will bring up so many issues it's a topic of several separate discussions.

      4. I have a large library of audio files that need to get published on the net. They're free, noncommercial, non-revenue-generating. I'll publish them at least in MP3 format, and maybe Ogg if I can get a good encoder. I have a feeling that if I publish Ogg, it's not going to get downloaded very much, but it'll be interesting to see.

      At least help advertize Ogg. Can't hurt. BTW what is wrong with the xiph.org's ogg encoder?
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:07PM (#4151467) Homepage
    Copyright is all about copying the work. Patents are about copying the idea.

    That's part of what's inherently wrong with patenting software. They should treat patents in the same way they treat trademarks -- if its use becomes diluted and unchecked, it belongs to the public.

    MP3, GIF and lots of other data formats are just out there everywhere and should belong to the public at large. It's not like the someone who invented LZ or MP3 formats woke up from a coma after 20 years of people using their work. The people have been using it for so long, it belongs to the people now.

    People should be protesting and presuring for the release of these patents. People should be protesting against software patents in general. When it comes to historical and archival data, it's all about the format.

    What would happen if MS patented EVERYTHING they did. Screw copyright -- just patented everything. We know their legal team would pose a deadly threat to everyone they came in contact with whether the claims had merit or not.

    Software patents have a chilling effect on industrial and recreational software development. (Open source is largly recreational... and we should all be screaming for our rights to free expression and recreation.) They need to be officially disposed of. What political force is already supporting this view? I don't know... someone tell me. Whoever and whatever it is, they need to be backed by our support to make some change happen. Things have been out of control for far too long.
  • Reencode to OGG. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:07PM (#4151474) Journal
    Or another lossless, free-as-in-speech format. When OGG 1.0 came out a couple months ago, I took the plunge and re-ripped all my CDs. (Lucky me, I only have about 80 CDs.)

    Even if such a change as this (removing the exemption for personal-use decoders) wouldn't really affect me, there's such a thing as taking a stand against those who would abuse the rights they are granted.

    If you can, switch to OGG. Rip all your new CDs in OGG. Encourage gaming companies to use the OGG format for the music in their games. And so on.
  • Hold the phone. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by johnlcallaway (165670) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:36PM (#4151720)
    From their own site [mp3licensing.com]:
    Q. Do I need a license to stream mp3/mp3PRO encoded content over the Internet?

    Yes. A license is needed for commercial (i.e., revenue-generating) use of mp3 / mp3PRO in real time broadcasting (terrestrial, satellite, cable and/or any other media), broadcasting / streaming via Internet, intranets and/or other networks or in other electronic content distribution systems, such as pay-audio or audio-on-demand applications.

    However, no license is needed for private, non-commercial activities (e.g., home-entertainment, receiving broadcasts and creating a personal music library), not generating revenue or other consideration of any kind or for entities with an annual gross revenue less than US$ 100 000.00.(emphasis mine)
    Does this mean that open source free ware is still...well...free??
  • by Darkforge (28199) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @04:40PM (#4151764) Homepage
    If I understand the terms, if we can gather together $50,000, we could buy a license for an LGPL MP3 library, to which our applications could link.

    I'd be willing to pay $100 towards the cause.

  • by benson hedges (595198) <reo&gmx,at> on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @05:26PM (#4152133) Homepage Journal
    Here's what Freshmeat has to offer in Mp3->Ogg converters :

    Oggasm [freshmeat.net]
    mp32ogg [freshmeat.net]
    Mp3 to Vorbis [freshmeat.net]

  • by Sc00ter (99550) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @06:11PM (#4152461) Homepage
    It's probably to late since there's so many and mine will get lost.. but here it goes..

    First off, like somebody said, this has always been the case, but there was no enforcement. So it's really not new.. As far as hardware players, a LOT of them use chips made by other companies (like TI or whatever). Now, I would think that TI would have to pay, not the company selling the MP3 players made with the device.. so then they charge the company making the player with their device an extra $0.75 and so on until you pay when you get the player. And being such a big company like TI or the others that make MP3 decoding chips, I would think they would have worked out patent stuff before, and since they were charging (just not enforcing) I bet that this is already happening.

    The real bind is when it comes to software, and they've been doing this with encoding, and stuff like BLADE and LAME are still around and kicking, so I don't see why things like XMMS and mpeg123 would be effected.. I think RedHat's move is silly, but that's just me.

  • by patrikr (1360) on Tuesday August 27, 2002 @06:51PM (#4152691) Homepage
    The guys over at Xiph.org have posted a reply, in the form of a highly sarcastic open letter [xiph.org] to Thompson. :)

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