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Re: MP3 decoder packaged with XMMS

Hi Daniel,

On Mon, Jul 11, 2005 at 11:10:57AM +0100, Daniel James wrote:

> On mp3licensing.com I see no exception allowed for not-for-profit 
> organisations such as SPI, and companies redistributing Debian 
> packages, such as Canonical or my own, could certainly fall within 
> the scope of the patent licence. They may be unintentionally 
> violating the GPL too.

> As a short-term measure, I suggest that the xmms package in Debian is 
> split into xmms and xmms-mpg123 with the latter package moving to 
> non-free. I have cc'd the maintainers of the xmms package in Debian.

This is generally not regarded as an appropriate use of non-free;
patent-encumbered works cause problems whether they're shipped in non-free
or in main.

However, the reason Debian continues to include the mp3 decoder library is
that this patent, like so many other software patents, does not appear to be
actively enforced.  This is the standard Debian uses in deciding whether to
distribute the software; Red Hat evidently uses a different standard.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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