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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 10:49:24PM +0200, J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 13:34:38 -0700, brian moore wrote:
> > I would be saddened to see things like mpg123 (which would be probably be
> > Free if the patent issues were not there)
> Erm, there is a free (but limited, at least command line argument wise)
> version of mpg123 included in the freeamp package. And there's alsaplayer
> and probably other free MP3 players around.
> The patent issues surrounding MP3 have been about en- not de-coding so far.

No, the royalty payment is demanded for encoders (even free ones, and
at prices ranging from $2.50 each for 100k copies to as much as $25 each
for less than a thousand copies).  At the moment, Thomson is not
charging for free-of-cost decoders.  But for those you pay for?  They need a
fee paid.

See http://www.mpeg.org/MPEG/mp3-licensing-faq.pdf for Thomson's rules,
which include:

    "More in general, no license fee is expected for desktop software
     decoders/players that are distributed free-of charge for personal


    "If MPEG Layer-3 software decoders/players are sold (shareware or
    commercial software), the royalty per decoder is US$1.00.  We just
    remark that we have not asserted our patents against decoders of
    which less than 10,000 units have been sold."

Sorry, but the above makes mp3 players as free as IDEA (which is
non-free).  If Debian includes any mp3 players in 'main' or 'contrib'
then please see that gpg-idea is reclassified as well.

According to the DFSG, the 'for personal use only' is discriminatory (and
is the reason for many things such as snes9x and xmame being in
non-free), so to be consistent, mp3 players (ALL of them) should be in

Brian Moore                       | Of course vi is God's editor.
      Sysadmin, C/Perl Hacker     | If He used Emacs, He'd still be waiting
      Usenet Vandal               |  for it to load on the seventh day.
      Netscum, Bane of Elves.

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