Re: License grant for Open Source MP3 decoders?
"Michael Crawford" <email@example.com> writes:
> I have long been under the impression that there is a blanket
> license grant for Open Source MP3 decoders, mainly because there are
> so many of them.
You have my sincere sympathy for being a literal victim of the
wasteful extortion racket that is the US Patent system.
> Unless someone can point out an Open Source or Free Software
> zero-cost license grant, I'll have to remove MP3 playback from Ogg
> Frog. Will that be the case?
If you wish to avoid infringing the patent claims of those specific
Getting that specific license will not, of course, protect you from
some uncountable *other* patents that each also happen to claim some
part of your work.
> I know Fraunhofer has gone after lots of Open Source *encoder*
> publishers; have they yet threatened any Open Source *decoder*
Yes, at least as early as 1998:
Fraunhofer IIS-A, Audio & Multimedia
From your publications and your web-site we learn that you
distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders that use the MPEG
To make, sell and/or distribute products using the standard and
thus our patents, you need to obtain a license under these patents
> If they haven't, could the legal principle of estoppel - that is,
> failure to enforce their IP rights - be used to allow my use of
> their patents?
My understanding of case history (which is that of an outsider who
doesn't keep good records, so take this as anecdotal only) is that no,
omitting to enforce a patent for some period of time does not
materially diminish its force when wielded later.
> Thanks for any advice you can give me.
I hope that helps.
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