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Re: Why not to create Fedora-us and Fedora-non-us branches?



On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 3:17 PM, Frank Murphy <frankly3d gmail com> wrote:
> Bill Nottingham wrote:
>>
>> Peter Lemenkov (lemenkov gmail com) said:  ... what exactly are you trying
>> to accomplish?
>>
>> Make it legal to ship MP3 code? Sorry, those are patented in Europe as
>> well.
>>
>>
>
> Patents are *currently* illegal in Europe, (though they may be granted).
> The patents offices being self-funding and all that.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patents_under_the_European_Patent_Convention
> "Article 52"

Codec patents are generally not 'software patents' in the common
patent-speak meaning of the words.

A typical (well written) codec patent will make little or no mention
of computer software. Instead they speak of specific useful
transformations of information in mechanical terms as well as machine
embodiments. This puts them largely outside of the domain of what is
normally discussed in the content of "software patents" (which, have
recently been written abstractly without any real reference to any
machine or mechanical process).

The bulk of codec patent holders are European companies (I.e.
Fraunhofer, Nokia, etc).  The collection of royalties for codecs is a
multi-billion dollar a year industry.  There are many well funded
companies spending considerable amounts of money licensing codecs,
even on products which they only intend to market in Europe.  On that
basis, I think it's safe to conclude that there is more to the
situation than you are suggesting.


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