MP3 Playback

J.B. Nicholson-Owens jbn at
Tue Sep 28 02:08:23 UTC 2004

I realized that my response on this topic to Julien Olivier did not get copied 
to the list.  Would it be a good idea to change the mailing list settings so 
replies go to the list by default?

Julien Olivier wrote:
> Rhythmbox comes by default with Ubuntu and it can play MP3 among other
> formats.

If Ubuntu distributes an MP3 player, does Ubuntu pay the patent licensing fee? 
  There is a fee schedule and details on who pays what on

The incompatibility between the fee schedule and the licensing of software one 
can share and modify drove Red Hat to not distribute MP3 software with their 
GNU/Linux distributions.

This is of real concern to those of us in software patent observing countries 
who don't want to push our friends into violating patent law.  If they're 
willing to infringe patents by installing MP3 encoders and decoders (for 
instance) without paying the license fee, I have no objection to that.  But I 
don't want to put them in a position where helping their friends get Ubuntu 
means violating the law.


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