Re: libaudiofile and mpeg audio

On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, Dietmar Maurer wrote:
> wrote:
> > On 12 Jan, Dietmar Maurer scribbled:
> > ->  Hello,
> > ->
> > ->  I've just written some code to include MPEG-audio support into
> > ->  libaudiofile.
> > ->  It uses the MPEG-audio decoder from XingTech, which is under the GPL and
> > 
> > GPL or LGPL?
> The Xing decoder is GPLed!
> > this IS important
> > 
> > audiofile is currently GPL - needs to change to LGPL (i just noticed).
> Why? Please give me a hint.

Because GNOME wants to be friendly to more than just GPL developers.  If
all the important libraries are LGPLed, than you can dynamically link to
them no matter what license you use.  If audiofile is under the GPL, than
only GPLed software can use the audiofile library.

> > NB - do you have encoder source too? THAT woudl be VERY useful then
> > since audiofile can the be used to generate and decode the mpeg audio -
> > I for one will in a heartbeat covert all audio to MPEG - it' sbetter
> > than 11Khz 8bit mono... :)
> As far as I know there are two free Encoders available - bladeenc and
> 8Hz, but I'm not sure - must take a closer look on them first.

For encoders especially, but decoders as well, we should make sure that we
wrap any code that might possibly be under a patent in #ifdef's.  This 
goes in particular for the MPEG Audio Layer 3 stuff.  This will allow
someone to make a guaranteed patent-free distribution if they like, and
would make it easier to strip out code in a worst-case scenario (i.e.

Remember GPL section 7:

  7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
  infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
  conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
  otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
  excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
  distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
  License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
  may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
  license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
  all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
  the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
  refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

While it is not clear that Fraunhofer's MP3 patents would apply, they
are not above making life difficult for Free Software, and we want to
be able to protect ourselves.  Check out 
for more information, including patent links.


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