A r t i c l e s
MP3 Format is Not Free Patent Royalty
MP3 Patent Royalty
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you may know, both the Fraunhofer Institute and THOMSON have done important work
to develop MPEG Layer-3 audio compression (before and after it became part of the
MPEG standards). This work has resulted in many inventions and several patents,
covering the MPEG Layer-3 standard.
From your publications and your web-site we learn that you distribute and/or sell
decoders and/or encoders that use the MPEG Layer-3 standard.
Our files do not show that you have a valid license agreement with us. This means
that the products infringe the patent rights of Fraunhofer and THOMSON.
To make, sell and/or distribute products using the standard and thus our patents, you
need to obtain a license under these patents from us.
In the past, we have licensed several companies under different models for different
- Software encoder licenses against a per unit royalty starting at $ 25,00 and
decreasing for high volumes; and
- Pay-audio licenses against a royalty of $ 0,01 per song or 1 % of the selling
At least the Software encoder license seems to apply to your products and we would
appreciate if you could send us some more details about your activities, in order to
discuss what would be the right royalty structure for your company.
In view of the above, we urge you to contact *Private* (mailto:******@thmulti.com)
and *Private*(mailto:******@iis.fhg.de) in order to start the discussion of the
license or licenses needed.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
The developers of the MP3 standard have encouraged many MP3 players to be free (i.e. winamp) only to increase the popularity of MP3. This in turn increases their patent royalty profit in the long run.
Many people are unaware of the MP3 patent, since MP3 has been quoted as "free" or combined with other free tools.
Alternatives to MP3:
Open Source Format: Ogg Vorbis Compression
Why is Ogg Vorbis better than the other "New MP3" codecs that are available?
Vorbis sounds better. Vorbis is open, so you're free to use it on your favorite
platform. Vorbis doesn't have intellectual property restrictions to get in the way.
And Vorbis doesn't just try to sound better, it tries to do things fundamentally
better in all the ways that it can.
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