Please read this before downloading!
Two companies (Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson Consumer Electronics) have been granted patents on mp3 encoding in some
countries. They demand expensive royalties for every distributed mp3 encoder, no matter if it is distributed for
free or as a commercial package. Their claims are in many cases questionable since the legislation in
many countries (including the whole of Europe) clearly states that (1) patents only covers commercial use
of the patented technology and (2) software-only implementations are excempt from patents.
Therefore we have to warn you that if you live in one of the following countries it might be illegal for you
to download and/or use software available on this site:
Australia, Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, The Netherlands, USA
The following countries have granted patents for the use of mp3 technology in transmission of audio, still
making it legal to use software available on this site for personal uses, but probably illegal to use for
Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey
Please also note that this is the situation at the time of writing. Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson Consumer Electronics
have actively been trying to extend their patents to new territories and they have great help from the US Government
who is lobbying heavily to get all other countries to accept software patents as well (they call it "harmonizing" the patent
legislation between different countries, when it in fact is an attempt to force their own stupid ideas onto everyone else
since they figure it's good for their multinational companies. The rest of the world was allready in harmony in NOT
accepting software patents before they started their campaign, now Japan has followed suit and the European Union
is being heavily approached).
It's very likely that the situation will change to the worse in the future and we therefore
recommend everyone to fight against further adoption of software patents! Read
this article to get information on
why software patents is a bad idea and go to http://www.freepatents.org/ to help
fight against software patents.
If anybody feels that he/she should be named here, e-mail me.
Any comments send to firstname.lastname@example.org.