An Anonymous Coward writes:
MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: "On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated." The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.
So, do you still use an MP3 library or have you switched to another format or means of listening to music such as (spying built-in) streaming services?
I spent a long time pirating a lot of music, but sometime around college I realized it was becoming easier to buy the stuff legally than to pirate it,
I wish it was that easy with ebooks... I have an ebook-reder which displays e-pub format. It's a book to me, so I won't connect it to WLan, I won't let it submit any statistic about my reading-habits, list of books stored on my reader or spy on me in any other way.
Now I wanted to buy an ebook (the InterWorld novels from Neil Gaiman). It was available as e-pub in several book-stores, after registration, but always DRM-crippled, and therefore required Adobe reader (not available for Linux) or a smartphone reader app or a registered e-book, usually with wifi access. The app doesn't help me, since I don't want to read a whole book on anything but e-paper.I do have a Windows VM for some work-related occasions, and I know that there is some way to use Acrobat reader there, afterwards open the book in Calibre, export it, convert it to epub, and finally put it on the reader. But that is out of question, because once I bought the book there is no guarantee that this process will still work with latest Adobe reader and latest encrypted ebook, and I assume not way to return the book if the process doesn't work.
Seriously: Searching for a downloadable, unencrypted version [that is, pirated] usually takes about half an hour, sometimes longer, of suffering terribly bad ads, attack attempts from rouge websites and such. I can't do that at work in my lunch break due to the enourmeous legal risk, I wouldn't do this on my phone since I consider phones inherently person-bound (as in, at least Google knows exactly who did what). Therefore I'd have to start my laptop at home and waste my precous leasure-time. I'd equal that effort to $15, absolute minimum, probably doubling or trippling this would be fair. So, even without any moral consideration it would be an obvious choice to buy it for $7,99 instead within 5 minutes, especially since buying it in a well-sorted online catalogue would be a pleasure, probably enticing me to buy a couple of more books.
From a moral point of view I'd also be very willing to pay for the book. I know that some authors earn really big, knowledge should be free and all that, but entertainment is not knowledge, and while I support demands for drastically shortened copyright periods, I don't see a problem in entertainment costing money, and I'm pretty sure I'd still buy the newest sequel of a good book instead of waiting even 5 years for the copyright to expire.
I really wonder if the book-industry will ever catch up with the music industry, and understand that they will sell much more if they skip this DRM bullshit and just sell their books.
On topic: Yes, I also buy mp3. Usually at Amazon, occasionally elsewhere.
The music industry is run by some of the sharpest businessmen around, and yet even they got played for fools by Steve Jobs when he negotiated rights for the iTunes Music Store. He was an awful human being, but he is also the sole reason why music and (only music! no other media) was available DRM-free for a while.
You can be damn sure that the other media industries took note, and are never going to allow un-DRMed distribution channels to gain a foothold ever again.