Thomson and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, owners of the MP3 patents, have changed the licensing scheme as outlined on [url=http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/software.html:uwz90dnx]this page[/url:uwz90dnx]. The licensing fees now include not only MP3 encoders, but MP3 decoders as well. How will this affect FMOD, in particular the free-for-freeware option? In FMOD’s case, this would amount to US$0.75 per unit or a $50,000 one-time fee.
Sure we can use Ogg, but there is still an MP3 decoder in FMOD which will require the licensing fee to be paid even if I do not use the MP3 functionality. But if, in the worst case scenario, Brett decides to remove MP3 functionality from the freeware version due to the licensing changes, then that will alienate many users who have huge libraries of MP3 files that will become useless.
I have some questions about the mp3 licences :
1)Does the lame encoder fall under the licence conditions of mp3? They produce mp3’s, but they do not use any patented code to do so.
If this is the case, couldn’t someone create a free decoder as well?
2)What about these minimal royalties? Is this the minimum amount that you have to pay when you are using mp3? Because in that case small shareware projects wouldn’t be able to use mp3 either.
3)What does a unit mean in this case? Would all of us have to pay 0.75$ to use fmod mp3 capabilities, and everyone who downloads the software we write with it also pay 0.75$?
Ogg is a very good alternative, but unfortunately there aren’t any/many ogg hardware players that I know of and there are still a lot of programs that don’t support ogg.
- Adion answered 14 years ago
Free mp3 decoders do not have to pay the fees, [url=http://www.ct.heise.de/newsticker/data/vza-29.08.02-000/:8ale9sgn]statement from Thomson[/url:8ale9sgn] – even thought it’s a german site, the actual statement is in english 😀
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