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Re: XMMS and the new MP3 patent terms

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On Thursday 29 Aug 2002 11:08 am, David Wright wrote:
> > America = Sick joke of a patent system
> While I agree with this sentiment, I think you (and many others on this
> thread) are applying it to the wrong issue.
> First, the MP3 patent is not a US patent, it is an EU patent.
> Second, it is not technically even a software patent, but a patent on an
> audio compression mechanism. Even if you write your own code to
> implement this mecahnism, you are violating the patent. In the US, the
> EU, or anywhere else in the devloped world.
> Notice that these first two points mean that the MP3 patent bears no
> relation to the "US allows software patents = evil, rest of world does
> not = good" issue.
> Finally, third, if ever there was a non-trivial idea that deserves
> patenting, the MP3 compression mechanism is it. It's not just math, it's
> psyco-acoustics. Said differently, MP3 is not a compression mechanism
> for arbitrary data, it works only for audio data. It is based on
> measuring which specific artifacts are not audible to the human
> ear/brain. Making it work took many years of resarch, measurements on
> many different subjects, and a great deal of money. Frauenhofer did not
> discover it by accident, but by directly these resouces specifically at
> this problem.
> The above paragraph does not mean that I don't believe that there are
> many trivial and bogus patents. There are, and the patent system in the
> US needs reforming. But the MP3 patent is not a good example for use in
> that debate.

I agree with all this, i think i didnt come across as i meant, i was merely 
commenting on software patents as they currently stand in response to another 
post, it was not supposed to be directly about the mp3 patent which i agree 
is valid, for the same reasons as yourself. My point was supposed to be about 
the many (and there are very many) bogus patents in the US, and how bad that 
is for the little guy who gets threatened with massive legal bills just to 
defend his rights.

The biggest problem i have with the US patent system is the way it is funded - 
grant more patents and you get more money. 


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