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Re: MP3 + Patent issues in Debian

On Mon, Jul 16, 2007 at 01:31:25PM +0530, Kumar Appaiah wrote:

> While talking about Debian in a LUG meet, someone pointed out that
> Debian's distributions could play MP3s out-of-the-box (Etch
> included). This is unlike the Fedora/Ubuntu policy of not making
> available the (supposedly) patent encumbred codecs (decoders, at
> least) by default, on the install CD.

The patent situation is fairly complex.  (I'm not a lawyer, this is just
what I've read.)  At least one patent seems to expire this year.

Thomson is (at least according to themselves) the owner of the MP3 patents,
and they have stated a policy of not pursuing consumers for patent license


They also seem to say that no license is needed for "non-commercial"
activities, which might (again, I'm not a lawyer) cover Debian.
Carl Fink                                   nitpicking@nitpicking.com 

Read my blog at nitpickingblog.blogspot.com.  Reviews!  Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!

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