MP3 licensing officially ends April 23

Just got this the other day browsing through one of my indie game dev circle groups…

I would still prefer OGG, but still another nice option to have now with your soundfx/bg music…


Yay - It is about time. :slight_smile:

Good news. But this would still classify MP3 as proprietary, right? And hence keeping default support by Urho not an option?

If you can trust Wikipedia, it clearly says MP3 is under Open format/standards covered by patents

Open formats are also called free file formats if they are not encumbered by any copyrights, patents, trademarks or other restrictions (for example, if they are in the public domain) so that anyone may use them at no monetary cost for any desired purpose.

and since all mp3 patents are now expired, as the news claimed, I guess it’s now ok…

I’d be careful, as these media control groups often try to come back on free formats,
as they hold thousands of patents many of which are vague. They often try to threaten
where they see possible income source. It looks now that vorbis is relatively safe,
while there is enough FUD spread by various patent groups. I’d better observe the situation
with MP3 for at least several years and see if the field is healthy enough.

So yea, MP3 is open but not free.

Thanks for contacting mp3 Licensing.

The mp3 licensing program for the patents and software of Thomson/Technicolor and the Fraunhofer IIS Institute will officially end April 23, 2017. After that date our license for the usage of mp3 will no longer be required, and royalties will no longer be paid.


Rocky Caldwell
Vice President, mp3 Licensing

There’s a broad definition of free and your mileage may vary so better ask for concrete confirmation or specific usage, but I think that message from the VP to the blogger says it all.

What I think the point is… is that this change doesn’t concern the code license but usage licenses. It’s not as if MP3 is public domain from here on.

It looks like it is now…

Can a patent be renewed?

No, it cannot be renewed. Nor can one pick up the rights to an expired patent. Once a patent expires, the invention is in the public domain.

No. Patents are not renewable. Once their term expires, they enter the public domain.

so a better question to confirm with is about the mp3 public domain thing…

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Huh, ok… so it is…

Well, that doesn’t mean somebody else won’t pop up having some mp3 patents
which are still valid. The age of patent troll is not ending yet. I’d wait and see.