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Re: MPlayer DFSG compatibility status

On Tue, Oct 07, 2003 at 06:15:20PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Tue, 07 Oct 2003, Joe Drew wrote:
> > So far as I know, it is not illegal to infringe on somebody else's
> > patents. AIUI patent holders can enforce (or not) their patents at
> > will by suing, but doing so is their perogative and no law makes it
> > wrong for someone to infringe on a patent which isn't being enforced.

> Well, it is actually illegal, but if someone isn't enforcing it, you
> won't ever be sued for it.[1] The real issue here has to do with
> trebble damages and the knowing infringement of someone else's patent,
> which is (to put it bluntly) not good.

Last I'd heard, "knowing infringement" in the US required the complicity
of a patent lawyer, since mere mortals are no longer deemed qualified to
judge for themselves whether a given usage is infringing. :P

In which case, we know only that someone has *claimed* (out of court)
that ASF is covered by Microsoft patents.  I haven't seen any of the
patents (and I'm not looking).  You?

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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