please tell me

Asked by HareKrishna on 2009-02-01

I installed Ubuntu on my laptop. when I played mp3 file, it told me to install some restricted formats. I am resident of India. By mistake, i installed them. Am I violating the patents or licenses. plz tell me . I am in fear.
thanks in advance,

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peter (peter-neuweiler) said : #1

Hi HareKrishna

From where did you install the restricted formats? From Synaptic, from the Terminal or downloaded by Internet?

Linux is Open Source - worldwide. If you downloaded the restricted formats by Internet, maybe you had to pay for it. But I think, there's no violation of patents and licenses.

Arnaudus (a-lerouzic) said : #2

@peter: I am afraid it does not work like that. Some audio/video codecs or algorithms are protected by patents. This means that anyone can develop "free software" able to handle these formats, but that a fee has to be payed to the patent owner for each version of the soft. Of course, this is irrelevant for free software, since you do not sell the soft, and the status of the software is very unclear --the soft is probably illegal and the end user infringes some patent rights.

The issue is that software patents are acknowledged in some countries (US, Japan), while these patents are not admitted in other countries (in Europe in particular). According to Wikipedia, software patents are forbidden in India. Good news for HareKrishna , it seems that it's probably safe to use patent-protected algorithms in India. There might be many other issues (whether reverse-ingeneering is allowed or not, etc), but I think it's safe to say that using the restricted codecs in India seems legal.

peter (peter-neuweiler) said : #3


Thanks Arnadus,
I am in fear. I found that i installed some audio and video plugins.Please tell me clearly that whether there is any problem or not. Please relieve from tension.

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #6

did you read what Arnaudus wrote?
According to Wikipedia, software patents are forbidden in India.

First line representing India:

Since Arnaudus isn't a legal advisor, he is just doing a research for you to help you, please take note from the link I've provided above.
Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

grhari (grhari) said : #7


I am a Technology lawyer from India, though this cannot be a considered as a legal opinion. Patenting is not the only kind of Intellectual Property Protection. Patenting in India, applies only for invention and not for Softwares. However, Softwares and and audio formats are protected by Copyright covered by the Copyright Act. With regard to the exact query, it could be regarded as a violation had you played a infringing work, for example, downloading from the internet sites which offers the songs in the MP3 format. If it is a open domain work, then there is no problem in using the MP3 format. I think I have answered your query.

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