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libdts patent issue?

This came up in the course of a curiosity-driven review of the patent
status of various audio codecs, and also in a recent MPlayer thread. 
It would probably be wise not to wait for a cease-and-desist letter
before quietly discontinuing the distribution of libdts.  See
http://developers.videolan.org/libdca.html and
http://www.via.ecp.fr/via/ml/vlc-devel/2005-04/msg00230.html .  Might
want to give derivatives a heads-up too.

I don't say I like it, but it's probably the wrong battlefield on
which to fight the "software patent" wars.  The patent (US #5,956,674,
EP 864 146) is "presumptively valid" to within the relevant legal
standard, we already collectively have knowledge of it and can't
really pretend otherwise given things that are already in the mailing
list archives, and AFAICT (IANAL, TINLA) it can't possibly describe
anything other than the tweak of a hack on a kludge that is the DTS
format.  Contrariwise, given the thicket of claims (49 in the US
version, which is a monstrous 261K in HTML), it strikes me as quite
impossible to determine whether it is 100% unoriginal without

If it is important to enough DD's to do something other than drop it
and give its derivatives and CD/DVD distributors a heads-up (IANADD
and it's not actually my problem), then SPI and/or one of its EU
sister organizations had better obtain opinion of competent counsel. 

FWIW it appears that Philips has also stopped supporting DTS in its
DVD-R/RW drives:

- Michael

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