About MP3 license fees...

Designing hardware that uses VLSI Solution's devices as slave codecs such as an external MP3 decoder chip for a host microcontroller.
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VLSI Support Team
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About MP3 license fees...

Post by VLSI Support Team » Thu 2010-11-25 11:30

The text below is not a legal advice.

Some products require decoder licenses. The required licenses are shown under "Additional Product Information" when "Display Product" is selected at the VLSI Web Shop. When mp3 license of Thomson is needed, the device price includes the license. For other formats, such as WMA and AAC, customer needs to contact Microsoft or Via Licensing. Note that VLSI can provide software plugin (contact mp3@vlsi.fi) to disable WMA or AAC feature in the final product to avoid license payment when WMA or AAC decoding feature is not needed.

Below is some information about different licenses that we know about. There's also some info in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Licens ... ent_issues

MP3:
We pay the MP3 license fee automatically to THOMSON http://mp3licensing.com for each VLSI IC that has MP3. You can find VLSI Solution as a licensed company at: http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/ic_dsp.asp

MP2:
Sisvel also has some patents for MPEG audio. The Sisvel patents seem to regard MP2 and by default this feature is disabled in VLSI chips. See http://www.sisvel.com/.

WMA:
Our decoders have been certified by Microsoft. For end products using WMA, Customers need to request "Windows Media Components Final Product Agreement" of Windows Media Components, see http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... nsing.aspx. We are a Microsoft Porting Partner. You can find VLSI Solution as a licensee at: http://www.microsoft.com/PlayReady/Lice ... nsees.mspx

AAC:
For end products, which use AAC, customers need to request "MPEG-4 Audio Patent License Agreement" for two channels of audio decoder circuit, see http://www.vialicensing.com/Licensing/AAC_index.cfm. Note that the license is needed by manufacturers or developers of end user encoder and/or decoder products.

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Panu
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by Panu » Thu 2010-12-16 18:48

It would be great to hear about your experiences with audio format licensing. Since most of the licenses involve end products (and not the IC's used in them) we don't hear about them very often.

-Panu
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pszturmaj
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by pszturmaj » Thu 2013-12-12 16:08

Does FAT16/32 support require a separate license from Microsoft or is it bundled in like the MP3 license? Also, do you plan to support exFAT?

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Panu
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by Panu » Thu 2013-12-12 19:00

To my knowledge, Microsoft licenses cannot be bundled in ICs, but as far as I know, FAT16/32 does not require a license. I remember some discussion in the internet a long time ago that creating files with long file names (vfat) might require a license. That patent might be expired but I am not sure about that.

We will not support exFAT exactly because of licensing issues. From our point of view, SDXC cards must be reformatted to FAT32, which is not a technical problem as SDXC cards ans SDHC cards have no hardware difference. The maximum disk size of FAT32 is 127.53 gigabytes, so using FAT32 is not an immediate problem.

Please note that nothing that I write is a legal advice. I only advice about technical aspects. I welcome everyone to share their views.

Please note that VS1011, VS1002, VS1003, VS1033, VS1053 and VS1063 do not contain any FAT functionality, so this question does not apply to those ICs.

-Panu
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pszturmaj
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by pszturmaj » Thu 2013-12-12 19:10

Thank you. According to this: http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... nt-claims/ it is enough to write either long or short file name but not both. Linux does that.
The claims of both of the VFAT patents involve the creation (or storing) of both a long filename and a short filename for a file. [The] patch only creates/stores either a short filename or a long filename for a file, but never both

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Panu
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by Panu » Thu 2013-12-12 19:42

The maximum disk size of FAT32 is 127.53 gigabytes
Actually it seems the the maximum size of FAT32 volume is just a bit less than 8 terabytes. 127 gigabytes is just the maximum size that Windows 98 will format. Later Microsoft kernels will always format to NTFS above something like 32G. But with third party tools it's possible to format up to about 8TB.

http://techcosupport.com/press/maximum- ... partition/

-Panu
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euanb
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Re: About MP3 license fees...

Post by euanb » Wed 2016-07-06 3:01

Old thread but I wanted to clear up the side thread of FAT file system licensing to hopefully help others.
Some older information on the web states that long file name support still required a license.
I contacted Microsoft to double check and no licensing is required for FAT. It has all expired.
Below is an email response from Microsoft licensing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Again Euan,

There is no patent licensing required for any aspect of FAT32. I’d recommend that you consider exFAT to future-proof your product. Let me know if you want to look at exFAT.

Best Regards,

Rob


Sent: Friday, April 8, 2016 8:57 PM
To: LCA - IPLicensing - Prod <xxxxxxx@microsoft.com>
Cc: Rob Kowal (CELA) <xxxxxx@microsoft.com>
Subject: Re: CRM:0342017

Thankyou for your prompt reply.

I was aware that the FAT32 file system patent expired but my understanding from reading information online is that the long file name support is still under patent.

You can run FAT32 with filenames limited to 8.3 characters(ABCDEF~1.doc) but the remaining characters are truncated.

However, in order to use a full filename in excess of 8.3 their is still a license required.Long filename support.

I think LFN supports falls under VFAT but I am not entirely clear on that.



Can you please confirm if the long file name support requires a license.

Euan

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