InfoQ Homepage News OpenMoko Faces MP3 Patent Dispute

OpenMoko Faces MP3 Patent Dispute


The Linux-based phone, OpenMoko is currently in a patent dispute with Sisvel, as known as Società Italiana per lo Sviluppo dell'Elettronica. Sisvel is Italian patent holding firm well known for its aggressive enforcement of MPEG patents. Sisvel is also currently in a dispute with SanDisk.

OpenMoko is a open-source development platform for cell phones. OpenMoko sells the hardware and offers a Linux-based operating system to run on top of it. OpenMoko is known amongst .NET developers as being the first phone to support the Mono runtime.

In response to the threats being made by Sisvel, Wolfgang Spraul has announced that OpenMoko will be pulling all MP2 and MP3 support from their website. OpenMoko phones did ship with MPEG decoders, though they didn't have end-user playback functionality.

In order to get ourselves in a stronger position, we want to make sure no copies/instances/whatever of patent-infested technologies like MP2 and MP3 exist on our servers. Our phones never shipped with end-user MP3 playback features, but we want to use this opportunity to make sure it's not even in some remote place somewhere.

This has in turn Ray Chao pulled all of the images pending while they rebuild and test the codebase.

We will make another stable release as soon as possible. At the mean time, we could rebuild those old releases without mp2/mp3. However, this might not stable due to the missing packages and we have no capability to test them all.

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