Microsoft and MP3 patents
February 24th 2007

I read in the Diario Vasco newspaper (online article[es]), that Microsoft has been recently sued by Alcatel-Lucent over some MP3 patent infringement, and found liable for a fine of around 1.100M euro. MS alleges that they did pay the Fraunhofer Society $16M for these very rights.

All this rubbish is typical of Microsoft and their obsolete proprietary model. They are the dinosaurs of the XXI century. MS could include Ogg Vorbis support in their music player(s), and forget about patent issues, since Ogg Vorbis is open and free. However, all the friends I have that use MS Windows complain if I share music in Vorbis format with them, and I am forced to convert it to MP3 (actually MP2 Layer 2, not Layer 3, which is the patented one) if I want them to listen to it.

The choice of MP3 is an unfortunate one, because it traps MS in a legal nightmare of patents and licenses, yet they'd rather face it than switch to something that "stinks" of freedom. One more example of the absurd ways of the Redmond smartasses.

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2 Responses to “Microsoft and MP3 patents”

  1. Txema on 14 Nov 2007 at 18:14 pm #

    IƱaki, windows media player has a plugging for ogg, so no more excuses for your friends!

  2. isilanes on 14 Nov 2007 at 18:21 pm #

    Thanks for the info, Txema. However, the problem is not only whether it is "possible", but rather whether they are willing to make the effort of installing it. It is not nice to tell people "you have to install X to read my files, because I don't want to do Y to convert them for you", even when you are right, and they are wrong.

    Anyway, from now on, I have a piece of information I can use in my favor (and theirs, actually).

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