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Re: MP3 decoders' non-freeness

At 05:09 PM 8/6/02 +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
You mightn't have noticed but Debian is distributed by mirror sites
hosted by a bunch of universities, ISPs, companies, and others all around
the world. There's plenty of blood to be gotten from those turnips, and,

Many of whom also distribute Red Hat or other mp3-decoder carrying
distributions. The amount of money to be got from a unknowing non-commercial
infringer is also pretty limited.

In any event,
opening our sponsors to lawsuits isn't the way we do things.

Distributing large amounts of software that we didn't write, and that
we don't have a large body of software patents to trade on, inherently
opens us up to lawsuits. We could be more careful than we are; notice
which would have been discovered if we did a file by file scan of every

Is MP3 decoding worth the risk? According to PopCon data, a third of us
have xmms (the highest ranking MP3 player) installed. The owners of the
patent have gone after free MP3 encoders, but I've never heard of them
going after free MP3 decoders. And most independent analyses I've have
said that the claim that the patents cover decoding is at best shakey.
We also don't have any patent-free place to put the mp3 players.

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