MP3 Issue

Martyn Ranyard ranyardm at
Wed Aug 28 09:43:29 UTC 2002

As reported in slashdot recently ( ) and being 
discussed all over the place, I am writing to all three kind-of-appropriate 
lists hoping to get an educated guess on the following points :

Thompson and Fraunhoffer have a patent (at least in the US) that covers the 
MP3 algorithm.  Is it enforcable outside the US?
Fraunhoffer are a German company - does Germany allow Software and 
Algorithm patents?
Is anyone talking to them about Free Software and how it is unreasonable to 
expect Free Software creators to pay the royalty-free cost and an admin 
nightmare to pay the per-unit cost?  Are they getting anywhere?

PS, fsfe-law and discussion at - I am not subscribed to these 
lists, so please cc me in, or the FSFE-UK list.

Martyn Ranyard
Free Software Advocate

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