The site mp3licensing.com now redirects to the Fraunhofer website. MP3 licensing is a thing of the past.
Tag Archives: law
Do I need a license to stream mp3 encoded content over the Internet? Yes.
Do I need a license to distribute mp3 encoded content? Yes.
I want to support mp3 in my products. Do I need a license? Yes.
I have my own/third party mp3 software. Do I need a license? Yes.
Yesterday I mentioned MP3 Freedom Day to a friend, and he asked why it mattered. That’s something I should have explained. The MP3 patent holders, principally Fraunhofer and Technicolor, demand payment for any use of MP3 technology.
Get ready to celebrate! The last MP3 patent is about to expire! I think.
The Wikipedia article on MP3, as I’m writing this, claims that “MP3 technology will be patent-free in the United States on 16 April 2017 when U.S. Patent 6,009,399, held by the Technicolor and administered by Technicolor, expires.” OSNews doesn’t list any patents beyond April 16. If they’re correct, then Easter will be MP3 Freedom Day!
Or maybe not. The “Big List of MP3 Patents (and Supposed Expiration Dates)” lists a patent which won’t expire until August 29. The Library of Congress cites this list in its discussion of the MP3 encoding format, though it doesn’t have any special authority. That patent looks dubious.
Why exactly is MP3 still popular? It’s not as efficient as more recent compression methods, and it’s encumbered by patents. People keep using what’s familiar. In a few years, it may become patent-free.