Feeds

MP3 royalty assurances are worthless – Vorbis author

Curate's Ogg

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Claim and counter-claim continue to muddy the waters around the issue of MP3 player royalties.

In an email, Ogg Vorbis author Christopher Montgomery angrily castigated The Register and NewsForge for taking Thomson's assurances at face value, and insisted the licensing terms posted a threat to developers. The removal of explicit exemptions put free software players at risk of decoder fees, he insisted:

"The published license does not match this claim," he writes. "When the legalese doesn't match the press releases, you have to believe the legalese. Honestly, I expect Thomson to rectify the inconsistency according to their claims. However, that inconsistency clearly exists today, and it *is* a big deal."

Montgomery, who works for the Xiph.org Foundation, which develops the royalty-free MP3 rival, denies raising the decoder royalties as a publicity stunt,

"We had nothing to do with the Slashdot brouhaha. I was in the middle of a vacation running sound in a Sondheim show when it broke. The letter Emmett [Plant - CEO of Xiph and former Slashdotter] Ogg Vorbis posted was a *response* to the scare," he told us.

Red Hat and Sun Microsystems dropped MP3 decoding from their offerings last week; with Sun removing MP3 encoding and decoding from
version 2.1.1b of the Java Media Framework, explaining "If and when licensing issues can be resolved, we plan to return MP3 functionality back to JMF."

While Thomson insists there's been no change in policy - and you have to ask "since when?" - developers will continue to be concerned unless the software exemption for ""freely distributed software decoders" is made explicit.

Thomson might not have changed its policy practice, but it's given itself the leverage to do so in the future. ®

Related Stories

MP3 royalty scare over - not many dead
MP3 codecs no longer free for GPL use

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.