[Vorbis] patent issues with Vorbis

Monty xiphmont at xiph.org
Wed Mar 30 22:47:16 PST 2005

On Wed, Mar 30, 2005 at 12:04:07PM -0800, Dan Hollis wrote:
> On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Ralph Giles wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 30, 2005 at 03:31:32PM +0530, KumarBraj Bhushan wrote:
> > > I have started with patents listed on the website of "www.mp3licensing.com". Some of them are very generic and it appears as if Vorbis code might be infringing upon few of them. They are (with their patent numbers and titles) :
> > In general, Vorbis uses alternate methods to the ones described in these 
> > patents.
> Someone from fraunhofer publically stated many (many) years ago they 
> believed vorbis infringed on mp3 patents. However they have not to date 
> filed any infringement suits.

It was Henri Linde of Thomson (not fraunhofer) and he later retracted
the statement.  It was clear the original statement was the result of
him being led to believe that Vorbis was essentially a re-packaged mp3.

He was also careful in his original statement to say it was his
personal opinion; he's very good at making seemingly strong
off-the-cuff remarks to reporters that include the magic language
necessary to avoid libel claims ;-)

> The law takes a _very_, _VERY_ dim view of companies who are aware of 
> infringement but _deliberately_ choose to do nothing until many years 
> later. As is the current situation with fraunhofer/mp3licensing. (except 
> that in this case, they _still_ have not filed any claims).
> The very first question out of a judge's mouth will be to ask them why 
> they did not file an infrigement suit as soon as they were aware of 
> it (and as they publically claimed). And they had better damn well have 
> the best answer in the universe.
> For those of us watching, this indicates to us mp3licensing doesn't have 
> diddly shit, and is a better indicator and stronger statement of the 
> patent situation with vorbis than any statement xiph could ever make.
> fraunhofer's / mp3licensing's silence on the matter speaks volumes.

I'm not actually worried about Fraunhofer/Thomson in fact. They have a
loud bark, but as far as actions go, they've never engaged in any
barratry I know of.  We know we're clean, they know we're clean.


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