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Richy2k

MP3 Playback in games - Legal issues?

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I'm just starting on a tech demo for a game idea I've had for a while, and rather than actually put music in the game, I was considering letting the player point the game at a music directory on their machine, and let them play music from there directly. Problem - I currently use Ogg Vorbis for music in my engine, and not too many people store their music as Oggs! Most of my own collection is as MP3 on my iPod. I know there are plenty of legal issues surrounding the use of MP3s, which is why I've decided to just come here and see if someone knows the answer to this simple question: Is it actually legal for me to include MP3 playing support in my game? No MP3s would actually be distributed. If its not its not a show stopper, just a nice little extra lost.

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I just have a similar problem this week, which led me to choose Ogg over MP3

I think this site answers your question:

Quote:
PC Software applications which incorporate mp3 / mp3PRO decoding (player, decoder) and software applications incorporating mp3 / mp3PRO encoding capabilities (encoder,ripper,recorder,jukebox)


Also look here
Quote:

I want to support mp3, mp3PRO or mp3surround in my products. Do I need a license?

Yes. As for practically any important technology (and particularly for publicly established standards), you should know that patent rights for mp3 exist. Both Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson have done important work to develop mp3 audio compression (before and after it became part of the ISO/IEC MPEG standards). This work has resulted in many inventions and several patents, covering the mp3 standard. Although others may also hold patents, Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson have an important portfolio of patents related to mp3.

Patent licenses under the combined patent portfolio of Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson are granted by Thomson exclusively.

In case your business does not involve the manufacture of relevant products, but importation or purchase of such products from a third party manufacturer, you are advised to check whether the manufacturer is duly licensed by us, as the trade in unlicensed products may expose your company to liability for patent infringement. Accordingly, you are advised to obtain licensed products only.


So, in short, you want to support MP3 playback? you need a license on most cases. Read the FAQ

Cheers, I hope this helps
Dark Sylinc

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