Patent licenses for ubuntu

Reinhard Tartler siretart at
Wed Apr 21 11:51:19 BST 2010

Dear technical board,

I have been asked by fellow ffmpeg developers that Canonical Ltd. has
been listed as lincensee of the MpegLA for various patent pools:

I also noticed that canonical is *not* listed at, which
is the repective licensing company for AAC technologies.

My question here is: What effects does canonical's patent licenses have
on the redistribution terms of the packages 'ffmpeg', 'mplayer', 'lame',
'faad' and 'faac'?

In case that canonical has indeed purchased patent licenses for MPEG2,
VC1, MPEG4 visual and AVC, and this is the reason why ubuntu is able to
redistribute the packages mentioned above, what effects does this have
on ubuntu's downstreams? Are they required to obtain a patent license
themselves? How expensive would such licenses be for them?

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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