I have a lot of interest where I live for a specific Dolby decoder. Basically I'm looking at using an IC like this one:
CS495xx Family : Multi-Standard 32-Bit Audio Decoder and Programmable DSPs
Question is, what's the legality of making a circuit with this IC? Do I need to get rights from Dolby etc? I don't necessarily need to slap the Dolby logo all over it, I will just need to make it clear that it'll be a decoder of digital audio.
Basically I don't want to release something and have Dolby (or a similar company) come and jump on me and fine me $50k or whatever for it!!! :eek:
Noting that I am not a lawyer and probably have no clue about what I am talking about I'd assume that to purchase this part legally you need a license from Dolby to do so if it has hard coded Dolby functionality built in. If you can get the part and you intend to use it only for personal use I doubt it would be worth their trouble, however group buys or sales of devices using this chip probably require licensing beforehand. Dolby also has a reputation for fiercely protecting their IP, and this would include unauthorized use of their parts.
Why not contact directly Dolby and find out? Or ask the part vendor - in all likelihood legitimate vendors will require you to provide proof that you are licensed before you can purchase these parts.
Actually I just looked at the part, it is one of a family of parts made by Cirrus Logic (Crystal Semi) for audio processing. It comes sans code, and since you will not be able to license the required DSP code from Dolby unless you have deep pockets and can meet the requirements for their certifications you will have neither the Dolby algorithm nor the need to use their name on anything.
Using composer you can probably come up with a reasonable surround decoder to implement in the DSP.
Note that this device is not recommended for new designs and is on the road to being phased out - it would probably be a good idea to pick another device from the family, it may have a successor.
Thanks for your help! Yeah, I figure there might be some tricky stuff about using it. I'll do as you suggested and have a chat to the supplier and/or Dolby about it anyway. :) Great idea! Thanks.
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