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<nettime> a musical tribute digest [cramer vs recktenwald x2]
nettime's_encoder_ring on Mon, 27 Aug 2001 23:31:42 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> a musical tribute digest [cramer vs recktenwald x2]


Re: <nettime> Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis (instead of mp3)
     Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
     Florian Cramer <paragram {AT} gmx.net>
     Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
     Florian Cramer <paragram {AT} gmx.net>

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Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 19:09:37 +0200 (CEST)
From: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis (instead of mp3)

Hi,

On Fri, 24 Aug 2001, Florian Cramer forwarded:

> As an artist, the royalties on MP3 mean that you'll have to pay a
> flat fee on every single track of your own music that's downloaded.

I would doubt that very much. They dont "own" every mp3 sofar.

Wishfull thinking..

H.

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Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 13:58:31 +0200
From: Florian Cramer <paragram {AT} gmx.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis (instead of mp3)

Am Sat, 25.Aug.2001 um 19:09:37 +0200 schrieb Heiko Recktenwald:
 
> On Fri, 24 Aug 2001, Florian Cramer forwarded:
> 
> > As an artist, the royalties on MP3 mean that you'll have to pay a
> > flat fee on every single track of your own music that's downloaded.
> 
> I would doubt that very much. They dont "own" every mp3 sofar.
> 
> Wishfull thinking..

...partly: yes. In 1998, Fraunhofer Institute - the owner of the mp3
patents - sent out a letter I attach below. While this letter mainly
speaks about encoders, please note the sentence "Pay-audio licenses
against a royalty of $ 0,01 per song or 1 % of the selling price".

Fraunhofer/Thomson operate a web site on mp3 licensing under the URL
http://www.mp3licensing.com. In the FAQ, it lists the following license
fees for distributing and streaming mp3 files:

Electronic Music Distribution / Broadcasting / Streaming
mp3  2.0 % of related revenue
mp3PRO  3.0 % of related revenue

On another page (http://mp3licensing.com/royalty/emd.html), it is
clarified that "No license is needed for private, non-commercial
activities (e.g., home-entertainment, receiving broadcasts and creating
a personal music library), not generating revenue or other consideration
of any kind or for entities with an annual gross revenue less than US$
100 000.00." 

While this seems to put independent artists and entities who distribute
mp3 files on the safe side, the whole construction could become
questionable as soon as, say, a work becomes part of a commercially
distributed CD-ROM by a museum or media institution or a CD-ROM-add-on
to book like the Nettime reader or if an independent net radio is hosted
within a larger art institution or sponsoring company whose "revenue" is
above $100 000. 

It is precisely because of such cases that Free Software/Open Source
does not even restrict commercial distribution of code licensed under
its terms. Neither mp3 encoders, nor mp3 files proper therefore is - or
could be - a part of a Free Software operating system (such as Debian
GNU/Linux or RedHat Linux GPL edition). 

Florian


Quoted from http://www.mp3.com/news/095.html :

>   Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
>
>   As you may know, both the Fraunhofer Institute and THOMSON have done
>   important work to develop MPEG Layer-3 audio compression (before and
>   after it became part of the MPEG standards). This work has resulted
>   in many inventions and several patents, covering the MPEG Layer-3
>   standard.
>
>   From your publications and your web-site we learn that you
>   distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders that use the MPEG
>   Layer-3 standard.
>
>   Our files do not show that you have a valid license agreement with
>   us. This means that the products infringe the patent rights of
>   Fraunhofer and THOMSON.
>
>   To make, sell and/or distribute products using the standard and thus
>   our patents, you need to obtain a license under these patents from
>   us.
>
>   In the past, we have licensed several companies under different
>   models for different products, e.g.: - Software encoder licenses
>   against a per unit royalty starting at $ 25,00 and decreasing for
>   high volumes; and - Pay-audio licenses against a royalty of $ 0,01
>   per song or 1 % of the selling price.
>
>   At least the Software encoder license seems to apply to your
>   products and we would appreciate if you could send us some more
>   details about your activities, in order to discuss what would be the
>   right royalty structure for your company.
>
>   In view of the above, we urge you to contact Henri
>   Linde (mailto:lindeh {AT} thmulti.com) and Martin Sieler
>   (mailto:sir {AT} iis.fhg.de) in order to start the discussion of the
>   license or licenses needed.
>
>   We look forward to hearing from you soon.
>
>   Best regards,
>   - Martin
>   
>   ---
>   Martin Sieler
>   Fraunhofer IIS-A, Audio & Multimedia
>   email: sir {AT} iis.fhg.de
>   phone: +49 9131 776-610
>   fax: +49 9131 776-699
>   www: http://www.iis.fhg.de/amm/
>-- 
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/homepage/
http://www.complit.fu-berlin.de/institut/lehrpersonal/cramer.html
GnuPG/PGP public key ID 3200C7BA 
"c u in he][l][avan" (mez, _Viro.Logic Condition][ing][ 1.1_)

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Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 14:19:44 +0200 (CEST)
From: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} ibm.rhrz.uni-bonn.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis (instead of mp3)

Thanks for the reply.

On Mon, 27 Aug 2001, Florian Cramer wrote:

> speaks about encoders, please note the sentence "Pay-audio licenses
> against a royalty of $ 0,01 per song or 1 % of the selling price".

Hmm, they are free to sell their encoder for whatever price they want.
They "own" the encoder.

But once you own an encoder, you can do whatever you want.

So the scenario, best case scenario from the side of Fraunhofers,
would affect only transfers of encoders in the future. Maybe this is a
valid limitation, isnt "shrinc-wrap-bla", but you must have got this
encoder with this limitation. I dont think I got mine with such a limit
and there are freeware encoders. Illegal ??? They cant change things for
the past.

Anyway, they "own" the encoder but not the music. 


Maybe Fraunhofers try to be in legal matters as innovativ as they once
were in mp3. Napoli..

I think I still have some l3enc 0.99 beta. Who wants it ?

H.

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Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 15:43:44 +0200
From: Florian Cramer <paragram {AT} gmx.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Why artists should be using Ogg Vorbis (instead of mp3)

Am Mon, 27.Aug.2001 um 14:19:44 +0200 schrieb Heiko Recktenwald:
 
> Hmm, they are free to sell their encoder for whatever price they want.
> They "own" the encoder.

No, they don't charge for the encoder (i.e. their own software product)
here, but also for encoders which contain zero lines of Fraunhofer code.
Their patents cover the mp3 technology as such, not the reference
encoder in particular. 

According to Richard Stallman, the Ogg Vorbis developers, who designed
their file format from scratch, had a hard time not to interfere with
Fraunhofer's patents and were threatened with a lawsuit nevertheless. 

> But once you own an encoder, you can do whatever you want.

Imagine, E-Mail wouldn't be an open standard, but a patented technology
for which the rights owner charges everyone who programs or distributes
an E-Mail server program (like sendmail) and everyone who uses E-Mail
for commercial/professional purposes (like journalists sending their
manuscripts to newspapers). 

The above is the factual status quo of mp3, and explains why truly
free/open alternatives like Ogg Vorbis are necessary and should be
put into wide use. 

> encoder with this limitation. I dont think I got mine with such a limit
> and there are freeware encoders. Illegal ??? 

Yes. From the release notes of bladeenc, a free mp3 encoder:

> Just a quick note to tell you guys that BladeEnc 0.92.0-stable is online
> (but only as source).
[...]
> I also have some bad news:
>
> I'm still having trouble with Fraunhofer/Thomson and will now have to
> remove the binaries from my homepage in order to avoid being sued.
> However, this is NOT the end of the project. I'll put all the details
> about this on my homepage in a few days...
>
> /Tord

Florian

-- 
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/homepage/
http://www.complit.fu-berlin.de/institut/lehrpersonal/cramer.html
GnuPG/PGP public key ID 3200C7BA 
"c u in he][l][avan" (mez, _Viro.Logic Condition][ing][ 1.1_)

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