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Re: MP3 decoder packaged with XMMS

Daniel James <daniel@64studio.com> wrote:
> GPL section 7 refers to "any other pertinent obligations", and I'd say 
> that for a business operating in the USA or Europe, the patent system 
> does create very pertinent obligations. [...]

Please can you explain why you believe any European patents
cover this software as such? MP3 decoding is basically reversing
the time/frequency transform and reassembling the frames, while
mathematical algorithms are specifically unpatentable in England.

Maybe the European Patent Office have granted a patent on a
machine that does this, but debian does not make such a machine,
as far as I know. Unfortunately, if debian can be used to create
such a machine and pro-patenters win out, that patent may cause
problems for everyone in Europe.

Ultimately, if this is troublesome for you, it's not too hard
to rebuild this package. Debian probably contains other things
to worry you, because there isn't a near-infinite legal staff
working the near-infinite number of hours to check every line
of code for possibly-applicable patents and negotiate them away.
Worrying about all of these could paralyse Debian because it's
horribly uncertain. If you obtain independent legal opinion
that you can share with us, it would probably help.

MP3 decoding is necessary to support conversion to better formats
like Ogg Vorbis. XMMS can help convert with its diskwriter plugin.

I'm not a lawyer and I'm not sure of the US situation.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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