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

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

It is stated on their website.  Read for the following information:

Do you license mp3/mp3PRO software to end users?

No. We license mp3/mp3PRO software and patents to developers and
manufacturers of software applications and hardware devices.

There is no license fee for iPod use or Winamp use, for example. But Apple (in the case of iPods) had to pay a hardware MP3 decoder fee. And AOL (or whomever distributes Winamp) had to pay a fee for that "PC Software Application" (to use the language Thomson/Fraunhofer uses).

If Ubuntu were to distribute an MP3 player program to an American,
Ubuntu would be distributing non-free software to that American.  That
American can run the program to play MP3s, but they cannot share that
program with their friends and neighbors without first paying a patent
fee (there are per-unit and one-time fees for "PC Software
Applications").  There continues to be a conflict between free software
and American patent law because in America (and some other countries)
software patents exist.

This is why one cannot focus on providing complete compatibility with
the outside world and simultaneously provide free software.

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