Relicensing the AMR codec for inclusion in Ubuntu

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Fri Nov 21 14:09:14 UTC 2008

2008/11/20 Robbie Williamson <robbie at>:
>> I have requested from th 3GPP organization to relicense the AMR codec
>> so that it can be included in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.
>> They seem very interested and have requested that I fill out a
>> copyright questionnaire to make a formal request. I am not a lawyer
>> nor a software engineer, so I would appreciate it if people more
>> qualified than I would review the document and email me the results.
>> It is attached to the bug which catalyzed the idea:
>> (comment #14)
>> Thanks. If you know of other software projects that could benefit from
>> a relicensing of the AMR codec (pretty much every FOSS Linux
>> distribution and media player) then please forward to them this
>> message.
> Hi Dotan,
> Thanks for the interest in improving the codec support for Totem.
> Unfortunately, from looking at the 3GPP questionnaire and their website,
> 3GPP does not have the rights to licensing the code itself, simply the
> rights to providing access and redistribution right for the specs:
>  "According to the Article 3.2.2 of the Third Generation Partnership
>   Project Agreement, the 3GPP Organizational Partners jointly own
>   copyright on the Technical Specifications and the Technical Reports
>   approved by 3GPP."
> Voiceage apparently has the IP rights to the AMR codec
> ( and requires payment on a per
> use basis, which is obviously not possible for us. As stated in the bug,
> our current best hope is to wait until support in ffmpeg is complete.
> Thanks,
> Robbie

Thanks for that info, Robbie. I have come to a dead-end requesting a
dual-license for the codec, but I will contact Voiceage now to get
going again. Maybe we will see two competing codecs one day.

Dotan Cohen


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