Is MP3 really free?

On some blogs and posts, I read that the MP3 format now is patent-free (for example, I went to the official website ( and read that the Fraunhofer and Technicolor licensing patents expired after 23 april 2017. However, the site says that it affects only the core patents, but no implementation-specific patents.

So, I have a questions.

  1. Can 3rd-party developers implement own encoders/decoders in his products?
  2. Will the MP3 file encoder (MP3AudioFormat::createWriterFor) be implemented in JUCE in the future (without using LAME or others tools)?



Bootnotes MP3 ‘died’ and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Maybe get a suit to confirm, but it looks like it

If this is the case, would be very handy to have mp3 encoding as part of JUCE.