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Re: mp3 help...

On Fri, 24 Oct 2003, James Keasley wrote:

>> It isn't a copyright issue, it is a patent infringement issue, and
>> anyone that distributes infringing software can be sued.  This means Red
>> Hat (as the primary distributor) as well as all the Red Hat mirrors
>> could be sued for distributing unlicensed MP3 software if MP3 software
>> was included in the distribution.
>Aa I understand it, the only time when distributing MP3 codecs is an
>issue is if they are part of a product that is being sold, if, like XMMS
>and winamp the product is distributed for free then there is no problem
>with including MP3 functionality, so while there is some ambiguity
>whether Red Hat could include MP3 players Fedora shouldn't have a
>problem, I could be wrong though  

You are wrong.  Very wrong.  This particular issue has been 
discussed to death for 2 years now and every possible thing that 
could be said about it has been said about 10000 times.  Nobody 
has yet to introduce a new idea into the entire concept of the 
MP3 discussion for about 23 months.  All old news.

Aside from the patent issue, there is the fact that all MP3 
software currently in existance is licensed under the GPL 
license, which explicitly forbids usage of patents unless the 
patent owner has granted royalty free unlimited license to use 
the software in GPL code, and that hasn't happened.

Go search google and read any one of about 40 mailing lists 
archives for previous discussions on this topic.  If you collect 
every single discussion together and begin reading it, every 
single message of every single thread, you will probably take 
about 2 years to read it all more or less.

MP3 issue is not about to change until the patent expires, which 
if calculations are correct is 17 years after it was filed.

Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat

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