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MP 3

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lord loh.

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I was just wondering if the free MP3s downloadable from the internet are legal or not.

I understand that the MP3 algorithm is a copyright(or proprietary ?) or the Fraunhofer Laboratory. So should one pay royalty for every MP3 song sold?

So do the free MP3 players become illegal too? Does this apply to only software or hardware as well? ie. the manufacturers of cheap MP3 player available in the market must pay royalty?

Thanks in advance.
 

Someone Electro

New Member
Any copyrighted MP3 that you download for free is ilegal.But i dont remember anyone being in truble becose of that.
 

zevon8

New Member
In Canada we are subjected to a tax applied to nearly all blank recording media. This money is supposed to go towards Canadian artists to help them recoup their supposed losses from people copying their material.

I fail to see how my purchase of a blank CDR for data backup should benefit someone like Celine Dion, who is hardly a charity case.

Anyways, do a search on google for RIAA lawsuits, and you will get a glimpse of the legal actions surrounding MP3 sharing.

MP3 players are legal of course, just as a photcopier is legal, it all depends on what you do with said tool that can get you into trouble.
 

Someone Electro

New Member
yea they are thinking of acepting this law too.You pay a tax on black CD and CD burners and stuff like that but you are alowed to make 2 copys of it (as long as you dont sell these copys)
 

Styx

Active Member
Sod MP3 it is a dated algorithm which sound crap, not to mention the royalty associated with it

Go for OGG, it is open-source, quality it miles better tehn MP3 and the file size is alot small - better quality and small size!!!


only downside is it take more CPU to decode. That is ok for desktop's but for portables it can rsult in a 5% drop in usablity time

Thats not bad at all!!! iRiver like OGG


as to freely d/l MP3 they exist. I goto a D&B forum and they post mix's and whitelable tracks
 

Pyroandrew

New Member
If a track is encoded to mp3 you do not pay royalty to the creator of the codec. The software used is paid for (usually!!! :lol: ) and that constitutes the royalty for the algorithm. In fact there are many open source mp3 encoder algorithms available, LAME being one of them.

On the point of quality, mp3 is not the best in the world no. In fact it is well over a decade and a half old now. mp3pro is very good, achieving good results at 32kbpspc as opposed to 64kbpspc for mp3, aac+ is the best codec at the moment, and it is very unlikely that it will get any better than this, it gets good results at just 20kbpspc.
 

Dr.EM

New Member
I have two encoders, one built into my wave editor and the LAME one as part of the dB music convertor. The dB is free, but actually sounds a whole lot better than the wave editors one (which came with my soundcard). An mp3 encoded with LAME at 160kbps is quite acceptable I find. Don't know much about OGG, but I know its much rarer, but the game Mafia uses it, and by what you said about it needing more CPU, it explains the lag caused when the music theme changes.
 

Styx

Active Member
OGG aint that rair. UT2k4 and a few other games use it.
As I stated iRiver (a rivel to Apple and their iPOD) use MP3 and OGG as their supported formats.

It is an extrealy good format MP3PRO tries to overcome all the limitations of the original MP3, but the filesize grows alot, and its quality only just reach's OGG.

The one advantage of MP3PRO was it had encoded 5.1 audio, but the next standard of OGG will have that as well, thus the advantage of shelling out alot of licence fees (from a hardware vender point of view) will be overcome.

oh and did I mention better space efficiency and sound quality ;)
 

Someone Electro

New Member
But a realy big most of audio on the net is mp3.OGG still needs some time to get popular.


I have an media player (caled BetaPlayer) on my phone that plays OGG too.But i have them in MP3 or i cant share tham all phones only support MP3.
The good thig is it can also play MPEG and has an DivX Codec. (Its not a problem since i can stick up to 1GB SD/MMC card in)
 

plot

New Member
The software that uses the codec would technically have to pay royalties. you wouldn't pay royalties on the .mp3 files.


mp3's compress the music by removing all the dynamics basically. the sound qaulity is crap compared to a CD... but unless you have an extremely good stereo system, you won't ever notice the difference. becuase they cut out parts of the wav to compress it, mp3 is known as a "lossy" compression. you won't get back what was originally there when you extract the mp3 back out to a .wav

ogg and flac are both gaining popular. flac is a lossless compression, but it only compresses a .wav file like 30% or something... so you a 4mb mp3 compared to a 35mb flac file. A flac is lossless though, so you can theoretically extract the original .wav file from it when burning CDs or what not. again, unless you have a really nice stereo system, i dont think you'll be able to tell the difference. at least, I can't.
 

lord loh.

Member
So one has to pay royalty only to use the codecs. And there are a few free codecs as well? So what goes to the Fraunhofer Labs?

And is the royalty on CODs or DECs? (;))

So this means that anyone can make MP3 hardware and sell it as long as they writes their own codecs.
 

plot

New Member
lord loh. said:
So one has to pay royalty only to use the codecs. And there are a few free codecs as well? So what goes to the Fraunhofer Labs?

And is the royalty on CODs or DECs? (;))

So this means that anyone can make MP3 hardware and sell it as long as they writes their own codecs.
Fraunhofer Labs hold the patent in the EU and the United States for the mp3 encoding/decoding algorithm... and they do attempt to enforce the patents and collect royalties.

So... all opensource/freeware players are actually illegal as they violate those patents, as well as any commercial product that doesn't liscense them. (However, they don't try to stop them becuase for one, they can't, and for another, it continues to make mp3's extremely popular so large commercial companies are willing to jump into the mp3 market and they will pay. So, it's a sound bussiness move to let the free "illegal" software continue to float around)

here's the pages for liscensing it:
http://www.mp3licensing.com/help/developer.html
http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/index.html <-- the prices, good stuff.

and here's a list of companies that currently hold liscenses:
http://www.mp3licensing.com/licensees/index.asp

They company attempts to enforce the patent on commercial products, not alot they can do about opensource/freeware for the most part though. It looks as they are making a killing of those main companies anyway. They started pushing the patent issues in the late 90's, and that's when alot of companies started developing there own compression methods (Microsoft has .wmv for example). OGG has been released under a GPL liscense, so it's free as long as you dont make a profit off of it. If you look at the pricing for using mp3s above, then it's easy to see why alot of games use OGG... or if they have the extra space on the CD/DVD, they just have pure .wav files.
 
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