tim at tetro.net
Mon Dec 5 16:15:53 PST 2005
On Mon, Dec 05, 2005 at 03:31:36PM -0800, Ian Kluft wrote:
> It's available on DVD, now that we won the war to play DVD's on
When did we win?
Sure we can play DVDs when we download libdvdcss (or a program like
MPlayer, which includes it) from a server located in a foreign country,
but we're still outlaws for doing so aren't we? At least the MPAA
Doesn't the DMCA allow reverse engineering for compatibility, for
example to allow playing of a DVD on a Linux operating system-driven
The DMCA does allow reverse engineering. However, the reverse
engineering provisions in the DMCA were never intended to enable
anyone to circumvent technical protection measures (TPMs) for the
purpose of gaining unauthorized access to or making unauthorized
copies of copyrighted works.
The DMCA does allow a lawful user of a computer program to
circumvent TPMs to ensure that the program can work with other
programs (interoperability); and, with strict limitations, the
research may be shared with others, as long as it does not infringe
the copyright in the original or a related work. However, reverse
engineering is not permissible if there is a readily available
commercial alternative for that purpose. In this case, there exist
MANY commercially available DVD players.
Some computer users say they only want to use DeCSS to view their
DVDs on computers that use the Linux operating system. Windows- and
Macintosh-based computers can play DVDs, so is it fair to deprive
the Linux community?
The Linux argument is a false issue. It has always been in the
interest of the Motion Picture industry that there be as many
legitimately licensed DVD players as possible, including those using
non-Windows operating systems. However the argument that DeCSS was
written for Linux players is simply false. The De-CSS utility was
written for Windows-based software, not Linux.
Also, the development of two, separate, licensed DVD players for
Linux systems - which use the CSS system - were recently announced.
Sigma Designs (www.sigmadesigns.com) and InterVideo Inc.
(www.intervideo.com) both announced the roll-out of LICENSED, LEGAL
Linux-based DVD players.
Maybe it's not against the law to use libdvdcss, but they sure make me
feel like a criminal for doing so.
- Tim Utschig <tim at tetro.net>
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