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Re: mpeg encoder patents, Was: Bug#501190: ITP: moonlight

Reinhard Tartler <siretart@debian.org> writes:

> Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:
> > A more significant distinction is, as I've pointed out several
> > times already, that the Fraunhofer patents on MPEG audio
> > algorithms *are known to be actively enforced* by the holder
> > against parties who infringe those patents.
> Please back up that claim!

I expect you're already aware, but just for reference:

Fraunhofer IIS-A sent letters to software developers on and around
1998-09-01 that stated, in part:

    From your publications and your web-site we learn that you
    distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders that use the MPEG
    Layer-3 standard.

    Our files do not show that you have a valid license agreement with
    us. This means that the products infringe the patent rights of
    Fraunhofer and THOMSON.

    To make, sell and/or distribute products using the standard and
    thus our patents, you need to obtain a license under these patents
    from us.


> All cases I know of in which patents are being enforced are not
> really applicable to the debian case, because of reasons I've
> already written down in the beginning of this thread.

As I understand your reasons, you're saying that the recipients of
Debian who might want to “make, sell, and/or distribute” MPEG
Layer-3 encoders or decoders, using works from Debian, are in a
minority. Correct?

 \        “I fly Air Bizarre. You buy a combination one-way round-trip |
  `\    ticket. Leave any Monday, and they bring you back the previous |
_o__)     Friday. That way you still have the weekend.” —Steven Wright |
Ben Finney

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