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Re: MP3 decoder packaged with XMMS

On Sat, Jul 16, 2005 at 11:43:27AM +0200, Diego Biurrun wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 15, 2005 at 09:47:22PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:

> > AFAIK there is no public evidence that Red Hat's (which is who I assume
> > you're principally referring to) decision not to ship mp3-playing software
> > is grounded in concerns about actively enforced patents.

> FWIW, I've discussed this with a Red Hat employee at last year's
> LinuxTag.  The reason they stay away from multimedia stuff is that they
> are afraid of being sued over patent infringement.  They currently have
> a lot of money in the bank, which makes them an interesting target.

Yes, the more assets a company has, the more paranoid they become about
protecting them.  "Fear of being sued over patent infringement" doesn't
imply a belief that any particular patent is valid, or that any particular
piece of software is infringing -- it merely implies a belief that a certain
class of software is, as a whole, more likely to lead to pesky, expensive
lawsuits.  And lawsuits are almost always pesky and expensive, regardless of
their validity.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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