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Lies about MP3?

  1. May 16, 2017 #1

    All these news articles are saying that MP3 support in various devices is going to disappear because the maker isn't licencing MP3 any more. But then in the comments people are saying the opposite is true. Licensing programs are being terminated because the patents have expired and everyone can now use it for free. Certainly this is no reason for anyone to remove MP3 support from anything.

    What is going on here?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2017 #2
  4. May 16, 2017 #3
    What @SlowThinker said; although many of the news stories as well as the Fraunhofer announcement itself don't actually speak of patent expiration, but only of the company having terminated its licensing program for "certain mp3 related patents"; which is a somewhat different thing, since you can claim a patent and attempt to require licensing, only to have others dispute your claim and disregard your licensing.

    This seems a case of "catchy headline virus," where news outlets spread essentially the same misleading headline because it grabs the eye, even if it's inaccurate. Repeated casts of a fishing hook into the Google sea pull up additional stories that make it clear that despite the development of newer audio standards, developers may well keep the MP3 standard alive in future audio software & gear just as the GIF standard for images has been kept alive; see this from CNET: MP3 isn't dead, it's just sleeping

    If you look at the Wikipedia article on MP3, the subtopic on licensing asserts that there were many patent disputes throughout the history of developing the standard, but that by 2012, most of the critical European patents for the MP3 standard had already expired; and that even in the U.S. the last remaining patent expired in late April of this year; that one seems likely to be the Technicolor patent mentioned in the Fraunhofer announcement:
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  5. May 16, 2017 #4
    This one is even worse:

    What "experts" said this. The format is set free, not being killed, and "The company that invented it" did nothing, they have no say in the matter.
  6. May 17, 2017 #5
    I record music and upload it to Soundcloud and both upload and playback are all MP3, 320Kb/sec, the highest MP3 but MP3 nonetheless.
  7. Jun 4, 2017 #6
    One of two things is going to happen: Open-Source MP3 will champion on or Ogg Vorbis will replace it. Either way, I find it to be a win.
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