[icecast] Re: mp3pro and the mp3 streaming license]

Asymmetric asym at rfnj.org
Sat Jun 9 13:23:28 PDT 2001



At 13:52 6/9/2001 -0600, you wrote:

>So uh, you think it's worth more for mp3, than the actual music
>involved?
>
>Come on.

Hmm.. so what you're saying is that for under $2K I can get an unlimited 
distribution license from the recording industry?  To burn, distribute, 
sell and market as much of their material as I like?  Wow.  Sign me up.

>You think it would be nice if Netscape charged 2% of all website
>royalties for HTML, etc?

Netscape didn't invent HTML.

>I think it's fine that fraunhofer charges money for their code, but this
>is different.
>
>They charge you for the tools they provide.

It's called "selling software."  MS (yeah I know everyone hates them too) 
charges for licenses based on "client connections." which is very 
similar.  If you want a website, fine.. if you want it to handle X users 
simultaneously though, well then you'd better pay up for an X user license.

>You have to pay for tool makers to pay royalties for tools Fraunhofer
>DOESN'T make.

I think a lot of -commercial- products do use the frauhofer codec.. so do a 
lot of hardware manufacturers.. but that isn't the point, the payment isn't 
for tools, the payment is for a technology license.. it works the same for 
every other patent.  Rambus works in exactly the same way, although they're 
losing big time; They don't make memory, they don't make chips, they don't 
fab anything.. they are paid for a license to use a technology/patent.  If 
you think Rambus or Frauhnhofer are bad, take a look at the genetics 
companies.. patenting genes they find in people that may prove useful for 
gene therapy, so anyone else who wants to use it to say fight cancer or 
aids, has to pay them.  It's an ugly business to be sure, but there are 
some actual criminals against humanity out there.

If you don't like that, that's your choice.. but it isn't like Fraunhofer 
is doing anything new here.. everyone in the patent market does exactly the 
same thing.

>You ahve to pay to stream the content you already created with a tool
>you already paid for.
>
>How many times do you think they should get paid?  it's not like they
>wrote any of the streaming media servers.  It's not like any of the
>content that's encoded is theirs.  And hell, they didn't even write most

I don't know.  How many times should I have to pay $6 to go across a bridge 
along with the millions of other people that go over that same bridge every 
day?  That particular rate just went up from $3.50.  I guess $40 million 
(being very conservative) a day just wasn't enough to keep that bridge running!

You may pick up on a common point.  Fraunhofer isn't the first or worst at 
this game, from any angle.  If you use products free of revenue generation, 
in an application that itself is free of revenue, then you don't have to 
pay.  If some part along the flow wants to generate revenue with their 
product, then they have to pay.

Take winamp for example.  Winamp has a non-free version.  To sell that 
version, I'm sure they have to pay this new fee.  However, if you buy it 
and use it in a free environment, then you yourself don't have to 
pay.  They want to get paid each time their technology is used to generate 
income, and while that may be greedy, unless you're a subscriber to some of 
the religious doctrines out there, it is not evil.

It would be a "wonderful" world if everyone that came up with some sort of 
new technology or idea always gave it away for free, but that isn't the 
world we're in.

Pardon me for playing devils advocate, but IMHO there are a lot of better 
things to get bent about, if you want to get bent over something.

As for joint stereo patent, I agree, there are tons of stupid patents 
awarded every year.  Many of them far stupider than this one, with charges 
for usage a lot higher.

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