Subject: Re: CD to mpeg3
To: Olaf Seibert <>
From: Paul Wain <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/22/1999 16:40:25
Olaf Seibert wrote:

> On Sat, 15 May 1999, dustin sallings wrote:
> >       There are legal problems with distributing mp3 encoders, at least
> > in source.
> Do you mean other than that mp3 is patented to hell and back?
> AFAIK, laws of nature and mathematical formulas can't be patented,
> and software shouldn't, and mp3 is IMHO no more than that.

There's a difference between shouldn't and can't sadly in the good ol' US of A.
Remember all the GIF compression kerfuffle a few years back? Basically you can
patent an algorithm. Should you be able to? Well of course us developers would say
no, but (most of [1]) the lawyers and the judges [2] seem to think so.

Of course if you use the above argument, crypto also shouldn't be a munition but it
is... grrrrr.

Sorry, just had to rant on that one. It bugs me :)


[1] I can't lump NCIs lawyers in, they're great, honest. They wouldnt make me say
that, no sir. (Actually they are great, they even understand how cryptographic law
works :)

[2] Okay so not all judges, but sadly the ones that matter :(
| Paul Wain                         || Tel: +1 650 631 GOAT (4628)     |
| Network Computer Inc.             || Web:         |
| Redwood Shores, CA 94040          ||                                 |