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Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.

On Fri, Apr 08, 2005 at 07:34:00PM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> If Debian was at least consistent.
> Why has Debian a much more liberal interpretation of MP3 patent issues 
> than RedHat?

It's impossible to treat patents consistently.

The U.S. patent office, at least, has granted patents on natural laws,
on stuff that's already patented, on stuff with clear prior art, on
trivial math operations and so on.  Patents are being granted so quickly
there's no way of even knowing what's patented.

Or were you hoping that Debian would follow Red Hat's lead?

As for this particular patent, I'm not really sure what's being patented.
Trial and error?  Spectral quantization?  The specific data format?
Addition, multiplication, and exponentiation?  In many respects, mp3 is
similar to jpeg.  Does that mean that any use of the techniques used
by jpeg in the domain of audio is covered by this patent?  Does that
mean that jpeg is in violation of this patent?  If I use the same kind
of math with a time dimension, am I violating some other mpeg patents?
What about the other hundreds of thousands of patents?  How many of
them am I violating when I use lossy compression based on spectral


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