We need a countdown
Posted Sep 7, 2006 2:08 UTC (Thu) by jmorris42
In reply to: A lesson to learn
Parent article: SanDisk faces MP3 licence dispute (BBC)
Yes, avoiding mp3 support is essential for any US based distro... now. But we also need to be keeping an eye out for when these patents go away and be ready to drop packages the same day.
Take the Unisys patent and the whole libgif => libungif problem. The patent expired in the US, but it was still thought to be in effect in a couple of countries.... But that was several years ago now and I know I still have libungif on my machine and I'll bet everyone reading this does also. rpmfind no longer even goes back far enough to find a copy of libgif.
We need a project to locate the patents blocking important features and show when they expire in each of the major countries where legal problems would be likely. We have to do it because none of the holders want to even admit they have an expiration date, heck it is hard enough to get them to specify exactly which patents they claim over a topic.
We need this database because over the next five to ten years some really important patents are going to be expiring. MPEG1 Video and MPEG1 layer 1 audio patents should already be starting to expire and MPEG1 layer 3 audio should be clear around the end of the decade. Anyone know when the last MPEG 2 video patent was granted?
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