MP3 patent issues?

Michael Torrie torriem at
Wed Aug 3 12:28:43 MDT 2005

On Wed, 2005-08-03 at 11:21 -0600, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> Steve Dibb wrote:
> > Okay I found my old blog entry on this, and posted it back on my website 
> > if interested:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Steve
> Gee thanks, that article did not answer any question at all.  It only 
> set in stone the confusion that is MP3 licensing.  :-)

Which confusion, judging by the comments on the list so far, is
widespread.  The only way to avoid any problem is to negotiate a license
with the patent holder.  Anything else is not tenable.  Even if Thompson
(or whoever) chooses to not enforce their patent on a certain group,
unless they have made a written agreement with you, they can change
their mind at any time.  Thus RedHat is correct to avoid the whole thing
in its entirety.  It's not worth the risk for them.  If it is for you,
then by all means go ahead.  Most people take the point of view that
personal use (or even commercial use outside of the hardware player
market) is likely to be below radar.  I recommend being safe and just
using ogg vorbis.  Decoders are easily available on all platforms (just
plug it into winamp for example).

Bottom line, if your lawyer says it is okay to use mp3, then use it.

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Michael Torrie <torriem at>

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