[Rocky Caldwell thomson net: [David Neary]RE: MP3 licensing]

Hi all,

I mailed mp3licensing.com today to get an official position (and
to ask whether they'd grant a permanent, irrevocable licence for
GPL or LGPL implementations of the codecs. I got this answer.

So, officially, although this is not stated anywhere on their
site, they allow non-commercial use.


----- Forwarded message from Caldwell Rocky <Rocky Caldwell thomson net> -----

Subject: [David Neary]RE: MP3 licensing
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 09:07:16 -0800
From: Caldwell Rocky <Rocky Caldwell thomson net>
To: bolsh gimp org

 Dear David,

Thanks for contacting mp3 Licensing.

You are asking legal questions, and we do not provide legal advice.

However, obviously, mp3 implementations by GPL and LGPL software use the
patents developed by Frauhofer and Thomson. Without the patents, there
would be no GPL or LGPL mp3 software.

Usage of any patents is determined by the patent holders.

We are not prepared to issue and irrevocable, free patent license to GPL
and LGPL software using our patents. We do allow non-commerical use of
our patents.  However, the GPL and LGPL software allow onward
distribution that can easily be non-commercial. 

As the LAME software page states, "Using the LAME encoding engine (or
other mp3 encoding technology) in your software may require a patent
license in some countries."


Rocky Caldwell 

Director, mp3 Licensing 

Thomson Patents and LIcensing 

RB Courtyard, Suite 100 
16935 W. Bernardo Drive 
Rancho Bernardo, CA 92127 
rocky caldwell thomson net

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides end-to-end solutions
(technologies, equipment and services) to the entertainment industries.
To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson has four
principal divisions: Content and Networks, Consumer Products,
Components, and Licensing. The company distributes its products under
the Technicolor, Grass Valley, THOMSON and RCA brand names.
For more information: www.thomson.net

-----Original Message-----
From: David Neary [mailto:dneary free fr] On Behalf Of David Neary
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 1:58 AM
To: *SAND MP3 Info
Subject: MP3 licensing


Would you mind explaining to me the implications of your patent claims
on Free Software applications, please?

Do free software or open source applications which include an MP3
decoder or encoder require an MP3 license? In this situation, what
licensing fees are applicable? What jurisdictions are governed by these

Would you be prepared to issue an irrevocable, free patent license to
GPL and LGPL software implementing the MP3 codec?

I am unfamiliar with the legal issues involved, being European, but I
would like to know more about your patent claims, and how they impact
software I work on and with.

Dave Neary.

        David Neary,
        Lyon, France
   E-Mail: bolsh gimp org

----- End forwarded message -----

        David Neary,
        Lyon, France
   E-Mail: bolsh gimp org
CV: http://dneary.free.fr/CV/

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