View Full Version : Using LAME and demanding registration fees?

06-24-2006, 08:56 PM
How do you get away for demanding a fee for an open source MP3 encoder?

06-24-2006, 11:32 PM
There are patents on the processes of encoding an mp3 file. LAME may not use the exact code that was originally used, but they still use the same processes to make the file.
Also, just because it is open source doesn't mean it has to be free. Linux distributions have free versions, yes, but they also have a pay version that gets you support. X-Chat, an IRC client, has a pay Windows version but is open source.

06-25-2006, 07:34 AM
To expand a little on what LtData has said, Spoon (the developer of dBPowerAMP Music Converter and the other products here, has been compelled to pay a royalty to Thomson for the use of mp3 technology (Fraunhoffer developed the underlying technology and sold the patent rights to Thomson). Thomson has pursued the same course against most, if not all, other programs using mp3 technology. So although LAME is open-source there are patents on the underlying mp3 technology that are not.

For a bit further discussion, you might want to look at this thread here:
or here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums...showtopic=24082

Best wishes,

06-25-2006, 08:32 AM
So there are underlying license fees that need to be paid.....to Thompson? LAME is still open source. If fees have been paid, it has been by the LAME team, not Illustrate. If Iam wrong, please tell me who Illustrate has paid besides Thompson and why did Thompson not require the LAME team to pay?

If you want to have me register the product, then tell me it is a product registration fee, not an MP3 encoder registartion fee when the encoder is freely available.

I hope that Illustrate is also donating profits to the LAME team or asking Thompson to provide the encoder. Bad arguments are still bad arguments.

06-25-2006, 09:07 AM
LAME itself isn't illegal, but using it without a license is. If you'll notice, on the LAME website they only have source availabe, they do not distributed the compiled versions.

Winamp is also required to pay this fee, hence why only WinampPRO can convert to mp3. The big companies that use MP3 (Apple, Real, Microsoft) are also required to pay this fee, but since they are so large, they pay the fee for their users.

No, fees are paid to the people with patents aka Thompson. Yes, the LAME team has made an excellent encoder but Thompson is the ones who hold the patents.

Let me put it this way: It was either don't provide an mp3 encoder in any way, shape, or form (BAD idea), get sued into oblivion by using one anyway, or pay a licensing fee to Thompson.

06-26-2006, 03:27 AM

Your post is common sense, however common sense does not apply to patents. Patents are: to use another companies patented idea you have to pay, the patent supplying company does not have to supply anything.

Those who were using the free version of dbpoweramp in the past, we had to pay a substantial sum (to thompson) to cover your 'free' mp3 encoder and by substantial I mean substantial.

>I hope that Illustrate is also donating profits to the LAME team or asking Thompson to provide the encoder

We ran a donation collection last year on HA and doubled the amount raised (about $6000), AFAIK Illustrate is the only company to give money to Lame (although there are others that use it), it is not a requirement of using lame that companies must pay.

07-01-2006, 09:17 AM
common sense does not apply to patents
Sums up patent law in 7 words.
..and yet another reason to use Ogg Vorbis :thumbup:

ps. winamp has been able to encode to mp3 since winamp2 via 3rd party plugins :D