K3b & MAD (MP3)
matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Jun 12 17:22:07 UTC 2007
Peter Lewis wrote:
> As I understand it, copyrighting is about asserting a moral right as the
> author of a work. A patent is a different beast entirely, originally devised
> for economic reasons rather than moral ones
At least in the USA, both were supposed to be economic incentives.
, and intended to give the
> developers of technology a headstart in the marketplace. Copyright lasts for
> over 70 years depending on the jurisdiction. Patents usually much less (i.e.
> once the headstart has had its effect).
> Some of the technology behind the MP3 codec is patented, not copyrighted
> (though to what extent those patents are valid in Europe is debatable, but
> potentially expensive).
Right. In theory, that's the reason Ubuntu still distributes it, albeit
not by default. They say you should be able to install it if you live
in a jurisdiction without software patents. And then everyone in the US
just installs that software anyway.
> In the MP3 example, for institutional use and distribution, you have
> them a licence fee. For personal use you don't.
I'm pretty sure you do, even though they would be unlikely to actually
sue. Why do you think there's an exception for this?
> Therefore, Ubuntu can't ship
> the codec (as they are an organisation, distributing it to whomever under the GPL), but can't guarantee
> that personal use is its only intent (indeed it's contrary to the spirit of
> the free software).
Right, but by offering it for download from their servers, they're still
distributing illegallly, just on a smaller, less traceable scale.
> YOU the user however, can download the MP3 codec for
> personal use, as that's one of the conditions under which the patent holder
> will let you use it.
I really don't think that's correct.
> In addition, I believe that the MP3 patent will be expiring in 2/3 years...
That's almost definitely wrong.
http://mp3licensing.com/patents/index.html lists at least one patent
expiring in 2013.
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