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Topic: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired! (Read 7280 times) previous topic - next topic
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MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

At midnight on March 20, 2017, Dolby's  last relevant patent on Dolby Digital (AC-3) expired.

Last MP3 patent expires this Sunday/Monday, April 16-17, 2017 in all countries (except Japan where the patent will be valid one more week until April 23) http://www.mp3licensing.com/patents/index.html

There is some incorrect information that MP3 patents expire on December 30, 2017. That's not correct.

 :)

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #1
Great to hear that!
lame3995o -Q1.7
opus --bitrate 140

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #2
Awesome!  Perhaps now mp3 will gain some wide-spread traction in the consumer market!   :)

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #3
Good thing the codec patent trolls went over to the video side and even better that Google et al. are REALLY fed up with them hence AV1.

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #4
Great news. With less need for tight compression, these old and now free codecs will hopefully be with us for decades. Don't fix what isn't terribly broken. I wouldn't be surprised if mp3licensing kept charging anyway even without patents...

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #5
Woohoo!!!

I don't have anything against patents & intellectual property rights but it always annoyed me that I couldn't buy a licensed version of LAME, or just an overall personal-use MP3 license.  I wouldn't have minded paying $10 or $20, and that would allow a profit for whoever is paying the bulk licensing fees.     

You could only get a legal MP3 encoder with certain applications  such as dBpoweramp or WinAmp Pro (I paid for WinAmp Pro).    

Same thing with AC3...   I have a couple of commercial video applications with licensed AC3 encoders, but there are times when I use an "illegal" open source AC3 encoder.

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #6
Someone should compile a list of when xHE-AAC patents will expire. To my knowledge that's 2036, but since the whole Patent malarkey is so complicated, I can't even be sure of that.

Also, something made me check when MP3 patents will expire on Saturday. No idea why, but something in my head tried to remind me of that date, I guess... ┬ŽD

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #7
Anyone involved in LAME here?

I understand that they want to take a careful view on this and rather not write that MP3 is patent-free (who can check every jurisdiction in the world?), but the LAME webpage refers to two sources on the matter, one of which has not been updated since 2002 ( http://www.mp3-tech.org/ , the patents section).
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #8
Now it's official. MP3 is patent free.

http://www.mp3-tech.org/ -> http://www.mp3licensing.com/  . But now the last one redirect to Fraunhofer page saying that is over for good

https://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/en/ff/amm/prod/audiocodec/audiocodecs/mp3.html
Quote
On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #9
I wonder about AAC patents.
AAC has already 20 years ( standard since  April 1997) and patents expire in 20 years.

It means the most part of AAC patents should be expired already. Of coure there are some patents filled after 1997 but AFAIK  they considered as prior art at least in some countries.

I read that MPEG2 (AAC  time period) related patents will expire in 2018.


Oh, also G.729 patents have expired. G.729 is equivalent of MP3 for  basic telephony.  It means that all basic telephony formats  (G.711/G.729/G.723.1)are now  free to use. http://www.sipro.com/G729.html



Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #12
I do not see any statement where Fraunhofer announces "officially dead".
I see an idiot journalist doing so, though.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #13
I do not see any statement where Fraunhofer announces "officially dead".
I see an idiot journalist doing so, though.

Second that.  MP3 is far from being dead.


Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #15
I do not see any statement where Fraunhofer announces "officially dead".
I see an idiot journalist doing so, though.

Second that.  MP3 is far from being dead.

You could even say that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

There is an interesting discussion on Hacker News regarding this:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14347648

It seems that pretty much all of the media have universally gotten it wrong (Intentionally or otherwise), declaring that mp3 is now a dead format somehow, due to the patent expiry.

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #16
I have a patent => you cannot use it as long as you don't pay me.
I don't have a patent => you cannot use it because you don't pay me.

Can someone with access to these gullible writers please run a "We resurrected MP3 - now you can buy a license for our MP3 encoder!" press release?
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #17
I do not see any statement where Fraunhofer announces "officially dead".
I see an idiot journalist doing so, though.

Second that.  MP3 is far from being dead.

You could even say that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

Also, the people who are fooled by this have no idea about how much technology they use every day that is based on expired patents. 

For reference, more than 8 million US patents have been granted, and only about 2 million are still in force.  Admittedly a lot of those patents are for things whose time came and went, and others whose time never came, but that still leaves a few million left over, expired but relevant if not vital inventions.

For example: how-expiring-patents-are-ushering-in-the-next-generation-of-3d-printing



Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #19
mp3 is dead!, all now move onto mp3 pro

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #20
Just earlier today someone tried to convince me, that since MP3 is now "abandoned" it is impossible to legally keep using it...

I smiled awkwardly, drank my coffee down in one go, and didn't say anything.

A couple days ago, a very "noisy" person on IRC claimed, that the original proprietary FhG MP3 encoders are still "the best" and nothing else has ever come close. I asked "which one?" hinting at the fact that there have been several released by FhG over the years, but I was told there ever was one.

Audio technology like this is extremely prone to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Telling someone they're wrong in their thinking or in details of what they know, usually ends up in fighting. I usually simply shut-up and walk away from things like that. Constantly throwing sources around becomes pretty annoying pretty quick.

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #21
Oh, also G.729 patents have expired. G.729 is equivalent of MP3 for  basic telephony.  It means that all basic telephony formats  (G.711/G.729/G.723.1)are now  free to use. http://www.sipro.com/G729.html

Which is irrelevant anyway as long as Opus ist free to use...

Re: MP3 and Dolby AC-3 patents have expired!

Reply #22
Oh, also G.729 patents have expired. G.729 is equivalent of MP3 for  basic telephony.  It means that all basic telephony formats  (G.711/G.729/G.723.1)are now  free to use. http://www.sipro.com/G729.html

Which is irrelevant anyway as long as Opus ist free to use...

Erm, G.729 is still used on most GSM/LTE telephony mobile systems... The G.7xx codecs aren't exactly irrelevant, as long as mobile voice communication doesn't go fully VoIP.

 
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