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The Fedora GNU/Linux operating system excludes mp3 due to patents, saying:
Fedora is unable to include encoding and decoding support for the MP3 format because it requires patented technologies and the patent holder has not provided licenses that are compatible with Fedora's requirements.
 Final expiration: 2017
From Wikipedia's article (including the references):
The various MP3-related patents expire on dates ranging from 2007 to 2017 in the U.S. The initial near-complete MPEG-1 standard (parts 1, 2 and 3) was publicly available on December 6, 1991 as ISO CD 11172. In the United States, patents cannot claim inventions that were already publicly disclosed more than a year prior to the filing date, but for patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, submarine patents made it possible to extend the effective lifetime of a patent through application extensions. Patents filed for anything disclosed in ISO CD 11172 a year or more after its publication are questionable; if only the known MP3 patents filed by December 1992 are considered, then MP3 decoding may be patent free in the US by September 2015 when US5,812,672 expires which had a PCT filing in Oct 1992.
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- FFII page on mpeg licences: MPEG-related patents on compression of acoustic data
- mpeg-patents-faq ("especially for audio compression")
- Lucent loses $1.5b award in Lucent v. Gateway, Dell, & Microsoft
- You thought paying Sisvel ended your license concerns?
- Alcatel won a US Federal Court Jury verdict for US$ 1.52 billion damage award for patent infringement by Microsoft
- Fedora GNU/Linux wiki page on mp3
- Wikipedia: MP3#Licensing_and_patent_issues
- A Big List of MP3 Patents (and supposed expiration dates), 26 Feb 2007, Tunequest
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