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Encryption Security Media Television

Legitimate uses for DeCSS 239

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-read dept.
Tabercil writes "Interesting article at the Washington Post, which among other things points out that DeCSS does have valid uses, and that the industry's paranoia over DeCSS is overblown." A reasonable mainstream summary of all the DVD related legal hype. Interesting that the libdvdcss folks have never had a bump with the law, but instead DeCSS takes all the brunt even tho nobody uses it.
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Legitimate uses for DeCSS

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  • now if only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adrodieu (538714) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:14AM (#6267458) Homepage
    they could convince the MPAA.
    • Legit Uses? (Score:2, Funny)

      by darkpixel2k (623900) *
      Legitimate uses?

      Thank God! I've been looking for a few good excuses^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hreasons to tell the MPAA when they come to my door.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:14AM (#6267467)
    the TRUTH is that there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place
    • General purpose CSS (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yerricde (125198)

      the TRUTH is that there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place

      What? You want to go back to table layout and <font>!?

      Somebody who went to school with me made a crypto module for the Mono platform based on the Skipjack cipher used in the Clipper chip. I wonder what it'd be like if DVD CCA's CSS were re-implemented as yet another general-purpose stream cipher for a popular platform's crypto interface. Interchangeable modules, each with a substantial non-infringing use, make it harder for

      • by ncc74656 (45571)

        I wonder what it'd be like if DVD CCA's CSS were re-implemented as yet another general-purpose stream cipher for a popular platform's crypto interface.

        It might be an interesting academic exercise, but the weak encryption provided by CSS would be useless from a standpoint of securing your data. The only practical use for CSS as a general-purpose encryption/decryption unit would be the decoding of DVDs...and that's where the Media Mafia gets the inclination to bust your kneecaps instead of leaving you al

    • Oh, please. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Selanit (192811) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @01:20PM (#6268035)
      "all 'copyright' = greed . . . the TRUTH is that there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place"
      Copyright is not greed. Copyright is a legal mechanism designed to encourage people to create new works of art and useful inventions. Its purpose is to get people to continue creating new works, by rewarding them for ones they've already made. This is supposed to better society.

      Copyright can be used in a greedy fashion. But kindly keep in mind that most open source and free software licenses, including the GPL, depend on copyright. Those works (the Linux kernel, GCC, Mozilla, libdvdcss, and thousands of others) have been given to the community by their authors without the expectation of monetary compensation. This is a non-greedy use of copyright.

      CSS (and Macrovision, and region coding) is used by the movie industry to attempt to control our movie-watching behavior by dictating where and when and how we can watch movies that we have paid for. That is a legitimate use in the eyes of the industry, though I'll agree that it has been misapplied.

      But those same techniques could be used in good ways; for example to protect your own privacy. Say you have a digital camera, and you make some risque films with your lover. You could then burn those to DVD and use CSS, Macrovision, and region coding to try and make sure that no-one but you and your lover are able to watch those videos. Mind, it probably wouldn't work very well -- the techniques are too well known and too easily broken. You'd be better off encoding it to DivX or Xvid and then encrypting the whole file with PGP.

      Anyway, my point is that copyright and DVD technologies are neutral: it's how they are used that makes them good or bad.
      • Re:Oh, please. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TrekkieGod (627867) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @01:35PM (#6268115) Homepage Journal
        kindly keep in mind that most open source and free software licenses, including the GPL, depend on copyright.

        Well, kindly keep in mind that the reason the GPL is often referred to as "copyleft" is because there's no reason it should exist if it were not possible to copyright software. It's a manner to fight copyright using its own laws.

        Basically, these "licenses" depend on copyright because it exists, but open source would do very well without them if no other software was copyrighted.

        • Re:Oh, please. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @03:12PM (#6268603) Homepage
          Well, kindly keep in mind that the reason the GPL is often referred to as "copyleft" is because there's no reason it should exist if it were not possible to copyright software. It's a manner to fight copyright using its own laws.

          I hear this all the time, and it's just not true. If copyright didn't exist, I could take someone else's source code, put it in my product, and then not release the source code to my program. BSD is much closer to "no copyright". The GPL is simply trying to force it's own alternative set of rules on everyone (different, and possibly better than "normal", but still a set of rules) MrJeff

          • You make an excellent point. Even if software were not copyrighted, individuals and companies could release binaries, and we would never see the code. Although the GPL more or less annuls copyrights, it is this idea of "hidden code" that is at the heart of the matter.
        • Re:Oh, please. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by GlassHeart (579618) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @04:02PM (#6268902) Journal
          the reason the GPL is often referred to as "copyleft" is because there's no reason it should exist if it were not possible to copyright software. It's a manner to fight copyright using its own laws.

          No, the GPL attempts to control what the recipient may or may not do with the source code. Specifically, it requires (not requests, requires) that you distribute modified source code if you distribute modified binaries. There is no legal basis (though there is of course an ethical one) for this requirement if not for copyright.

          Basically, these "licenses" depend on copyright because it exists, but open source would do very well without them if no other software was copyrighted.

          Without copyright, a company can take GPL code, modify it slightly, and actually sell your hard work simply because they can afford marketing. I'm not as sure as you are that the open source community would be just as vibrant.

    • the TRUTH is that there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place

      Without doubt. JavaScript/HTML tables rul3z! Oh wait...

    • "the TRUTH is that there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place"

      Hi. I have a few DVDs I'd like to watch while I go on my business trip next week. My laptop doesn't have a DVD driver. Are you telling me I don't have a legitimate reason to decrypt the discs so I can dump them to my laptop for private viewing?
    • " there is no LEGITIMATE use of CSS on the first place "

      Seeing as how you cannot prove that anything doesn't exist, I don't see what's so insightful about this comment.
  • Quiet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:15AM (#6267474)
    Interesting that the libdvdcss folks have never had a bump with the law...
    SHHHHHHH!

    Don't give them any ideas. ;-)
    • Re:Quiet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bsharitt (580506) <brandon@@@sharitt...com> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @12:15PM (#6267737) Homepage Journal
      The whole DeCSS thing was a big publcity stunt\scare tactic to try to frighten people into not developing thisngs like it. It just didn't work.

      • "The whole DeCSS thing was a big publcity stunt\scare tactic to try to frighten people into not developing thisngs like it. It just didn't work."

        Which is why DeCSS is now in use in a dozen Free Software video players, including the gnome-player, kmovie, apache-mod-dvd, and Emacs' own "M-x play-dvd"

        Or is it still being printed on T-shirts and traded underhand on freenet like some sort of illegal drug?

        If you want the censorship to have not worked, we need to get such a surplus of video-players on linux tha
        • ...Emacs' own "M-x play-dvd"

          I don't use emacs, was that a joke, or is it really turning into it's own OS? Hey, there we go. Let's scrap HURD and finish writing emacs.

          • Not OS. Desktop environment. (But they're not turning into one nearly fast enough.)
          • The whole thing was a joke. None of the listed players are real (or at least they don't really use DeCSS). Translating out the sarcasm, he was saying: "The DeCSS lawsuit was sucessful, because mainstream Linux distributions are too afraid of liability to include working DVD players"

            An example of this is the Debian package for playing DVDs [debian.org]. It needs DeCSS (or the equivalent libdvdcss) to work, except on rare unprotected discs. But it doesn't include DeCSS in the package- instead, it tells the user how t
    • CAUTION - EXTREME DREAMING - Consume with care, and a little flight of fantasy.

      If I had to use the analogy of a battle with RIAA and MPAA, I would say bring 'em on, and let them open another front in the legal battle. Sue another company or another individual. Stretch them thin by forcing them to go for many many small and diverse legal cases - but never letting them bunch the many cases into a single class-action lawsuit (or, should I say, reverse class-action?). Inflict pain on them at their thousand

      • Interesting idea. Know anyone who can orginize that kind of effort? I'd be willing to help, but my mad PR skillz are about on par with a rock.
        • Getting someone to organize it is the problem, as you rightly identified.

          We still haven't reached the point where we could even attract support from such a small percentage of the people, but I am sure it will happen soon. We just need a few cases where the RIAA/MPAA will bully some personality that will catch the attention of the media and raise the hackles of our types, and we will respond.

          But, it would be helpful if such calculations and scenarios could be evaluated - so that when the time come all w

  • Visability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:16AM (#6267480) Homepage
    This is all about visability more than anything else. If you ask your average lay man they might know about DeCSS and taking a stand against it gets a message across. Most lay men won't know anything about libcss. Its not a techincal issue rather more one of believed usage

    Rus
    • Re:Visability (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Saint Aardvark (159009) * on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:23AM (#6267527) Homepage Journal
      Agreed. I had a conversation with a friend last week, and he offered to loan me a DVD. I told him that I didn't have a player, and wasn't planning to for a while until I could cobble together one of my own that would let me get around the restrictions. He asked what I meant, and e was surprised to learn the sort of things you're not supposed to be able to do (get around region encoding, the unskippable bit, back up to HD, etc.).

      It's not that he's cluless or anything -- he's quite an intelligent guy. But this sort of thing never (well, rarely -- kudos to Mr. Pegoraro for his article) gets mentioned to people shopping at Walmart for their DVD player, or explained in terms that make sense to them. Information wants to be blah blah blah, and people's eyes will glaze over. But try telling them they're not allowed to skip the commercial/FBI warning -- Warner Bros. sez so -- and they'll get mad, all right.

      • Re:Visability (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No reason to make your own. Check out vcdhelp.com for information on what DVD players can be hacked. Some are more work than others. I never buy one without checking there first.
      • Re:Visability (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Uart (29577)
        Wait. You can't skip the commercial? I can understand the FBI warning, its not even that intrusive, but the freekin' commercial? There shouldn't even be a commercial on a DVD or VHS that you buy. You pay for a DVD so that you can watch it commercial free and on demand.... /grumble
        • Re:Visability (Score:5, Informative)

          by Saint Aardvark (159009) * on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:55AM (#6267655) Homepage Journal
          Found this bit from The EFF [eff.org]:

          Second, as to proof of current substantial adverse effect, the evidence on the record in this proceeding clearly establishes that it is not just a handful of titles that are affected. 66 individual consumers submitted comments to the Copyright Office in support of this exemption. These comments describe their first-hand experience of encountering non-fast-forwardable promotional material on over 40 different popular titles. These titles included Lilo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Toy Story I and II, Monsters, Inc., A Very Merry Pooh Year, Bob the Builder, About a Boy, Blue Crush, American Pie II, The Sixth Sense, Ice Age, the Red Violin, Shawshank Redemption, the Bourne Identity, Baby Mozart and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

          An assessment of the substantial adverse impact on consumers requires consideration of both the number of titles which may contain UOP blocking, and the number of units of each of those titles that have been sold to consumers. All of the titles I mentioned are extremely popular and were high volume sellers. According to the 2002 Year End sales report from Video Business, in 2002 Monsters, Inc sold 11.8 million units, Ice Age sold 7 million units, Lilo and Stitch sold 6.6 million units in the last three weeks of December 2002 alone, and Beauty and the Beast sold 4.3 million units. In total, there are - just for those 4 titles alone - 29.7 million units in consumer households that may have been affected by the inability to fast-forward through commercial advertising. This is hardly an insignificant impact.

          Third, in assessing the impact of these technological measures on noninfringing use, the nature of the harm to individual consumers must be taken into account. In the case of each of the 66 consumers who filed comments with the Copyright Office, the harm was significant, and rose beyond a mere inconvenience. They were not able to avoid the objectionable material. The harm was redoubled when they were not able to prevent their children from viewing the objectionable material on various Disney titles. A number of parents commented that they had specifically purchased DVDs as a means of controlling their children's exposure to commercial advertising, and were understandably upset when they could not fast-forward through that material. This is not a mere inconvenience.

          (Emphasis added by me.)

      • Re:Visability (Score:2, Interesting)

        by whereiswaldo (459052)
        But try telling them they're not allowed to skip the commercial/FBI warning...

        I get turned off every time I come to an unskippable part of a DVD. If DVD quality wasn't so much better than VHS, I wouldn't bother with it. The lack of control the customer has over their own purchase is ridiculous.
        • Re:Visability (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ncc74656 (45571)

          But try telling them they're not allowed to skip the commercial/FBI warning...

          I get turned off every time I come to an unskippable part of a DVD. If DVD quality wasn't so much better than VHS, I wouldn't bother with it. The lack of control the customer has over their own purchase is ridiculous.

          Track down an Apex AD600A...there's nothing that's unskippable on one of those. Most of the time, pressing PBC OFF twice and then pressing DVD DIGEST will take you straight to the root menu, past any ads/FBI

          • Re:Visability (Score:3, Informative)

            by badasscat (563442)
            Track down an Apex AD600A...there's nothing that's unskippable on one of those.

            Unfortunately, the picture quality on this model is awful. It was among the earliest models that used standard off-the-shelf PC DVD drives along with an on-board decoder (as opposed to a custom-made design in most big-name DVD players). There is a noticeable difference in picture quality when playing almost any DVD on this player vs. another player - this is the reason I sold mine.

            However, there are plenty of other hackab
            • Track down an Apex AD600A...there's nothing that's unskippable on one of those.

              Unfortunately, the picture quality on this model is awful. It was among the earliest models that used standard off-the-shelf PC DVD drives along with an on-board decoder (as opposed to a custom-made design in most big-name DVD players). There is a noticeable difference in picture quality when playing almost any DVD on this player vs. another player - this is the reason I sold mine.

              I've not had any complaints about the vid

  • At last. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sketerpot (454020) <sketerpot @ g m a il.com> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:16AM (#6267481)
    People have known that there are perfectly legitimate uses for DeCSS for how long now? I see this as a mixture of good news and bad news. Good news that the mainstream media are figuring this out, bad news that it took so long. And will it make any difference? The media as a whole seem to be eating out of the *AA's hands. Witness the article about music piracy in Time....
    • Did you read the February 2003 Wired?

      I don't think that this is true. Wired, while somewhat of a "niche" magazine, is also becoming more prevalent.
    • Re:At last. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Daytona955i (448665)
      Legitimate use for DeCSS? Like what? Not paying your fees and watching a DVD on Linux? Well that's illegal. Copying a DVD? Well that's illegal too. The only possible use I see would be to copy it to your hard drive *if you own the dvd* but it would be illegal to play it on an unlicensed dvd player so what's the point. Oh and just going around the copy protection is illegal too thanks to the DMCA.

      Is it right? Well I think once I buy a dvd I should be able to watch it on whatever I want, and this includes Li
      • Re:At last. (Score:2, Informative)

        by Catiline (186878)
        Not paying your fees and watching a DVD on Linux? Well that's illegal.

        Just curious here, but what viewing fees did you have in mind about watching DVDs? Do you mean the fees that are paid by the software authors, or some fee I have never heard of that is paid by the end user?

      • Re:At last. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Blkdeath (530393)

        Legitimate use for DeCSS? Like what? Not paying your fees and watching a DVD on Linux? Well that's illegal.

        So I meander to Walmart and pick up a $25CDN DVD disc, bring it home, and I'm now not allowed to watch same because I don't run Windows on my workstation or own a DVD player? Also, I fail to see the illegality of doing so. I did pay for the right to watch my purchase, did I not?

        Copying a DVD? Well that's illegal too.

        That's funny, I thought copyright laws dealt with the re-distribution of copy

      • That's the point here---even if you oppose copying/redistributing DVDs, there are plenty of good reasons to use DeCSS. So, even if you think software for copying/redistributing DVDs should be illegal, DeCSS shouldn't.
    • >> The media as a whole seem to be eating out of the *AA's hands

      To quote the Borg queen, you imply a disparity where none exists. The *AA (I prefer the term 'MAFIAA') is the media.
  • by maharito (626909) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:18AM (#6267495)
    I (and many other linux users) have known for a long time that DeCSS/libdvdcss is a necessity for those of us who like movies, but refuse to run windoze. I find it heartening that a media outlet such as the Washington post recognizes valid uses for the same. Maybe now the various distros out there won't make their users jump through hoops just to watch a dvd.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kien (571074) <kien@NOspaM.member.fsf.org> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:18AM (#6267498) Journal
    ..if the MPAA is going to sue the Washington Post for the same reason that they sued 2600. I doubt they've got the chutzpah for that legal fight, but it would be quite interesting if they did.

    --K.
  • by wfberg (24378) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:20AM (#6267506)
    I've had no problems playing DVDs using videolan on windows, but no luck whatsoever with a variety of closed source programs such as powerdvd and windows media player. Same DVD, same drive, same operating system. Fully licensed commercial crap = don't work, open source = works beautifully and will even rip it for me, add subtitles and make an SVCD out of it so I can watch a German language flick with my American friends.

    Glad to see the Post gets it.
    • I don't see how the parent of this post is "5, Interesting." PowerDVD works just fine on every system I have ever seen; I have never seen anyone complain about it. I would bet that this "videolan" program is actually more limited in terms of actually playing the movies.

      I don't see why you need to rip it, add subtitles, and make an SVCD. If the DVD has the English subtitles, why not put the DVD in the drive and turn on the subtitles?
      • I don't see how the parent of this post is "5, Interesting." PowerDVD works just fine on every system I have ever seen

        Which goes to prove you haven't seen my system.

        I would bet that this "videolan" program is actually more limited in terms of actually playing the movies.

        You could download it and give it a try. I did mention it's open source.

        I don't see why you need to rip it, add subtitles, and make an SVCD. If the DVD has the English subtitles, why not put the DVD in the drive and turn on the

    • Unfortunately, it doesn't always work anymore. I've an Apple 12" PBook with Matshita UJ-815 DVD-R drive, which refuses to read the VOBs on DVDs if the disc region differs from drive's one even with libdvdcss under Linux.
      Videolan mailing list has a post [via.ecp.fr] explaining this. Needless to say, I was really pissed off when I realized that I can no longer watch my R1 discs except with my region-cracked standalone player.
      And no, no firmware cracks out there either.
  • An alternate history (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lateralus (582425) <.yoni-r. .at. .actcom.com.> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:24AM (#6267534) Journal

    I think that we should allow what we of weak taste call "movies and music" studios to succeed. Allow them perfect control of everything. You will not be able to do anything without paying them but run a Commodore 64 that is disconnected from the Internet.

    The result?

    The complete, total and utter collapse of the above Industries. People will not be able or willing to afford even to buy a book online because of crippling proprietary formats and greedy prices. No one will be interested in anything digital anymore, disconnected we will peacefully slip back to telling stories by the fireplace (reading them off the C64's screen that is).

    Or maybe not.

    • . People will not be able or willing to afford even to buy a book online because of crippling proprietary formats and greedy prices

      The horror of reading letters printed in black ink on white(ish) paper! I want freedom of choice! Red hieroglyphs on black papyrus rolls! Oh well, at least I have Project Gutenberg and other such pages providing me with good reading in the non-proprietary pure text format for free - and I can read them on my laptop in any color I like ^_^

      You are partly right, though - most sc

  • Haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by DougMackensie (79440) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:30AM (#6267562)
    Oh sure. Whats next?
    Legitimate uses for Mp3s?
  • by Thinkit3 (671998) * on Sunday June 22, 2003 @11:36AM (#6267585)
    It is copyright law that is illigetimate.
    • by Gerad (86818) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @03:44PM (#6268789)
      This may have been moderated "Funny", but it has a point. The US Constitution gives Congress the power to "promote the progress of science and useful arts" by estabishing copyrights and similar intellectual property. Abuse of copyright for personal greed doesn't promote the arts, in some cases it retards the progress of the arts.
  • by Keebler71 (520908) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @12:01PM (#6267674) Journal
    To those who say that DVDs are indestructable, I suggest you let your 3 year old play with them a few times. Parenting techniques aside, I have found one good use for decrypting... we have purchased several children's educational DVDs but each only has about 30 minutes of material. Rather than continuously swapping them out, I decrypted them and copied a few of them onto one DVD so they play end-to-end. Can you think of a better "fair-use" example?
    • Another good use for parents can be the removal of Macrovision protection. It allows you to put the DVD on VHS so you can give the kids the movie in a format that's a little less likely to be destroyed in ten seconds.

      If you have a DVD burner, you could also give the kids the back-up version instead of the original to avoid the same problem(loss of the original).

      Solution one is probably beyond most parent's computer ability, and solution two is pricey(DVD burner ~=$300). However, in comparison to having th
    • Not to mention my Gladiator DVD is complete toast. There isn't a scratch on it. I doubt there are warranties on DVD discs, although if I'm paying for the content and not the medium why would it be a problem to pay something like a dollar to get a replacement disc? (not to mention the fact that DVDs cost more than VHS cassettes, although they are far cheaper to make, or for that matter, why are CDs generally sold for more than the tape if I'm paying for a license to listen to it?)
  • Well duh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Durandal64 (658649) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @12:30PM (#6267810)
    Of course there are legitimate uses for DeCSS. They're called set-top and Windows DVD players. Furthermore, what if I want to rip a DVD that has 40 seconds of non-fast-forwardable commercial trash a the beginning and burn just the movie's video track to a DVD-R?
  • by C3ntaur (642283) <centaur.netmagic@net> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @12:54PM (#6267927) Journal
    Back in the days before DVD, whenever I bought a new VHS video for my collection I'd do a few things during my first viewing of it. First, I fast-forwarded through all the commercials at the beginning of the tape. Sometimes this would come out to more than 15 minutes worth of crap. Next, I took the tape out of the player, cut the labels at the cartridge seam, removed the screws from the cartridge, and opened it up. Then, I carefully removed the take-up spool, and cut the tape. I unspooled all the crap from the take-up spool, pulled out the little retainer clip, and threw the crap in the trash. Finally, I reconnected the remaining tape to the take-up spool and put the retaining clip back in, and put everything back together. Voila! My tape was now configured the way it should have been from the getgo: no commercials.

    I'm pretty sure I was well within my legal rights to do this to tapes I had purchased legitimately, and that no *AA organization or anyone else would even think about going after me for it. All this has changed with the DMCA and digital formats. IANAL, but it seems pretty stupid to me that physically hacking a tape I bought is perfectly legal, while digitally doing the same thing in a much less invasive manner to a DVD is not.
    • None of the DVDs I own have unskippable commercials. But then, the DVDs I buy are almost entirely anime plus some SF stuff (Red Dwarf, Babylon 5, etc.) I don't think the Princess Bride or Army of Darkness had any, though.

      Many of them do have the stupid FBI warning as unskippable (Excel's version of it is priceless, though - "Ilpalazzo is watching you!"). Nearly all of them stick the previews in the extras section, which I much prefer. Also, I've watched far more trailers by clicking on them in the extr
    • You should have sent the offending material back to the studio and requested a refund for the part you didn't want. :-)
  • DeCSS Perl Code (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 22, 2003 @12:56PM (#6267934)
    #!/usr/bin/perl
    # 472-byte qrpff, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz <sipb-iap-dvd@mit.edu>
    # MPEG 2 PS VOB file -> descrambled output on stdout.
    # usage: perl -I <k1>:<k2>:<k3>:<k4>:<k5&gt ; qrpff
    # where k1..k5 are the title key bytes in least to most-significant order

    s''$/=\2048;while(<>){G=29;R=142;if((@a=u nqT="C*",_)[20]&48){D=89;_=unqb24,qT,@
    b=map{ ord qB8,unqb8,qT,_^$a[--D]}@INC;s/...$/1$&/;Q=unqV,qb2 5,_;H=73;O=$b[4]<<9
    |256|$b[3];Q=Q>>8^(P=(E=255)& (Q>>12^Q>>4^Q/8^Q))<<17,O=O>>8^(E&(F=(S=O>>14&7^O)
    ^S*8^S<<6))<<9,_=(map{U=_%16orE^=R^=110&(S=(unqT ,"\xb\ntd\xbz\x14d")[_/16%8]);E
    ^=(72,@z=(64,72,G ^=12*(U-2?0:S&17)),H^=_%64?12:0,@z)[_%8]}(16..271) )[_]^((D>>=8
    )+=P+(~F&E))for@a[128..$#a]}print+qT ,@a}';s/[D-HO-U_]/\$$&/g;s/q/pack+/g;eval
  • by Wolfbone (668810) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @01:09PM (#6267983)
    At least that's what the MPAA and CCA among others like to think and that's because people tend to imagine that others are minimally dissimilar to themselves.

    I use and only ever have used OSS because it has always been the only choice for software development, mathematical and scientific software that I can reasonably afford.

    I bought a DVD drive some years ago and have since spent a lot of money on DVD movies. I have no intention of turning my PC into an industrial scale pirating machine, I don't even copy DVDs to hard drive - why would I bother?

    None of my friends has ever asked me to copy a DVD for them and I don't expect they ever will since they know I'd just say "Buy your own you tight fisted git!"

    Do I sound like a normal consumer of entertainment media? Aren't almost all people who buy DVDs like me? I hope so because I might be afraid to go outside if the streets are full of the kind of people the MPAA/CCA thinks they are. If they want to catch pirates then they can use something like unique watermarking together with investigative, forensic and epidemiological methods and cease trying to gain absolute control over each and every individual consumer from within their steel and concrete fortresses.

    If the entertainment and publishing industries succeed in their Orwellian objectives and make it impossible for me to watch DVD movies on my GNU/Linux box I'll no longer be buying 3 or 4 movies a month, I might even be so angry I don't go to the cinema any more. But one thing I'll never do is castrate and lobotomize my PC by installing software on it that suits not my interests but the interests of the corporate megalomaniacs.
    • I think that you are giving humanity a little too much credit when it comes to the "anonymous" crimes. Especially when it is against some entity(sp) that well feel has evil profit motivations. You even weigthed you argument by using the projoritive "megolomainiac".

      To be completley honest I fear where this is all heading either way. If the companies have their way then we will all own lobotomized machines instead of the wonderful general purpose machines that we see in front of us today (honestly, people fr
      • Well it's very sad that you have such a jaded opinion of your fellow /.er ;) Sure there are unscrupulous people and more to the point, always have been, so why was the music recording industry not destroyed years ago when cassette tapes made it easy to pirate music from other tapes or from the radio? How much courage does a tape to tape copy take? It's just as anonymous too.

        What the large companies are worried about is not the level of piracy in the west where it has never been an uncontrollable threat but
  • I tried installing vlc and libdvdcsss on my laptop {Packard Bell 4450 == rebadged NEC Versa E400. Celeron 1500, 128MB RAM, Debian 3.0r0}. It worked once, with a Region 2 disc. I tried a region 1 disc, which crashed the machine thoroughly enough to need an emergency power off. Now I keep getting the same effect with every DVD I have tried.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Do I need a newer version? Is there something I need to compile into my kernel? Or is my laptop's DVD drive bust? I hope not ..
  • by Catiline (186878) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Sunday June 22, 2003 @02:29PM (#6268372) Homepage Journal
    I own a copy of Fritz Lang's Metropolis [imdb.com] on a DVD. The film footage of this movie is in the public domain (there was no original audio track). Because this film is CSS encoded, the DMCA makes it a crime for me to copy this film for others (doing so is an illegal violation of the copy protection).

    Could someone please explain to me what good I (as the end consumer) should see in this law? All I see right now is greedy media companies trying to loophole themselves eternal copyrights (or any effective analog) of a sort that independent creators are prevented from sharing that term of protection. They are using otherwise reasonable-sounding arguments -- such as "director's vision" in the case against CleanFlicks [sltrib.com] or the (now tired) complaint of piracy against Studio 321 [redlandsdailyfacts.com], and at one time I might have found myself agreeing with those complaints -- but when I realized that they are pushing a campaign for eternal control of media even to the destruction of fair use ("it's not a sale, it's a licensing -- laws reguarding sales do not apply" [colorado.edu][link goes to a .PDF]) and that they refuse any middle ground or quid pro quo, those arguments lost all meaning with me. I fear that the DMCA may create a modern, digital stationer's guild, and the thought that the *AA may have exactly that in mind frightens me.

    • They are using otherwise reasonable-sounding arguments -- such as "director's vision" in the case against CleanFlicks

      Slightly OT, but the case against CleanFlicks and the like is not even remotely reasonable sounding. Directors vision? Please. In the past parents have had children leave the room or cover their eyes for a single objectionable scene.

      • by greenrd (47933)
        Slightly OT, but the case against CleanFlicks and the like is not even remotely reasonable sounding. Directors vision? Please. In the past parents have had children leave the room or cover their eyes for a single objectionable scene.

        True, but I think it's about control - maybe bleeping out a few swear words is not very frightening in itself - after all, the networks do it all the time - but they don't want to see "original+patch" legally distinguished from "derivative work". That would have worrying impl

        • by Catiline (186878)

          I'd be interested to see how someone could argue that the GPL can extend to "binary patches", whereas the movie studios have no control over "DVD patches".

          How about this argument: a executable patch is a permanent -- often irreversbile -- change, whereas CleanFlick's alterations file allows an alteration to the program without permanent change ... more akin to using dynamic linked libraries than actually patching the program file. Since, in both cases, there is a 'core' file (such as the Linux kernel), wh

        • by miu (626917)
          And not just for the MPAA. Richard Stallman certainly doesn't want to see "original + binary patch" legally distinguished from "derivative work"! If CleanFlicks et. al. win this case, those who are presently seen as "GPL violators" could try to use the same technique and argument to get around the GPL.

          It's pretty clear that a dvd patch is a dependant work. It has no meaning aside from the dvd for which it was created, but does that make it a derivative work? You would need the copyright holder's permis

        • It doesn't matter whether or not it's a derivative work (it clearly is, by the way). IIRC, CleanFlicks was only selling modified copies of the original work that were purchased separately, not selling new copies they produced themselves. This is perfecly in the clear under the Doctrine of First Sale.
          (IANAL)
        • It's a matter of distribution. If you had someone come in and create a binary-only patch for a piece of GPL'd software for your use only, and never distributed it to anyone else, not even RMS would argue against it. He might not like it but he'd be the first to admit that the GPL doesn't restrict use, only distribution, and you aren't distributing anything. The same with the CleanFlicks patch: they do the patch only for those who have already purchased the original movie, and they don't sell the patched ver

    • I own a copy of Fritz Lang's Metropolis on a DVD. The film footage of this movie is in the public domain (there was no original audio track).

      Why would you think it's in the public domain? A movie made in 1927 in Germany is under copyright under American law (no renewal needed) and is also still under copyright in the EU and much of the rest of the world, if I'm not mistaken.
    • I own a copy of Fritz Lang's Metropolis on a DVD. The film footage of this movie is in the public domain

      The unfortunate legality is that what you have is copyrighted. It's not scheduled to expire until 2099.

      The material on the DVD [amazon.com] is not identical to what was seen in theaters back at the start of the 20th century. It has been modified, both intentionally (cleanup & restoration) and inadvertently (analog-digital conversion effects). Thus, what you have is a "derivative work".

      The only way you can
  • Using DeCSS is illegal simply because you are supposed to license the technology. Bypassing this licensing shows a blatant disregard for IP, and discourages innovation. It's amzing how people on slashdot ignore IP when convenient, but then are outraged when the GPL is violated. At least be consisent in your beliefs people.
    • We're outraged when the GPL is violated because a violation of the GPL constitutes an attempt to impose some of that IP we're so fond of violating. Duh.
    • It is consitant.

      Software patents are bad. See RTLinux for an example.

      Copyright is good. Note that we are dying to find out what code SCO claims was missaproriated, so that it can be removed, ending an unintentional copyright violation.

      IP is not a homogeneus entity. To consider it as such is to miss a very important point.

      Patents say that because I thought of it before you, you cannot use the idea without paying me.

      Copyright says that if you want to use this idea, either pay me for the right, or go a
  • I've used the encryption algorithm from CSS when I've needed a weak system that I'm sure won't get the export control people or the NSA pissed off at me. :-)
  • is a major impedment to OEM linux computers. DVD drives, while not really important to most consumers, are essential added value for an OEM. If the choice came down to a linux pc without dvd and a windows pc with, many consumers might be willing to shell out the extra cash (yes, even if they have a stand alone player).

    Linux's best edge in the OEM market is all that software that OEM's shell out money for (dvd players, office software, spam filters and pop up blockers, not to mention the OS) is free.
  • "The DVD CCA has never tried to reach the VideoLAN team about our development of the libdvdcss library," developer Sam Hocevar wrote in an e-mail. "

    Until now...

  • by crashnbur (127738) on Sunday June 22, 2003 @08:00PM (#6270228)
    Copyright law only applies to what goes public. Anything used for private (meaning you and only you ever see it) is not copyright violation. In other words, using (for instance) SmartRipper [webattack.com] to copy a DVD to your hard drive and, well, do whatever you want with it is perfectly legitimate as long as you do not try to sell, rent, lease, distribute, or otherwise try to display it to the public. This goes for all copyright material in the United States. See Lanham Act of 1976, aka the Copyright Act, aka Title 17 [bitlaw.com].

    This tells us two things: (1) attempts to restrict our fair use of [fill in the blank] is evidence that some very powerful people don't understand copyright law; (2) some very powerful people are willing to sacrifice the freedom of those who don't break the law (legitimate gun owners, legitimate users of CD/DVD-copying software, etc.) in order to dissuade criminals.

    That's called taking the easy way out. Com'on, guys, we elect you to cushy jobs where you get paid $130,000+ (tax-free) so you can be creative and actually get stuff done for us!

    • Showing copyright material to somewhat is perfectly legitimate. That is, for instance, showing or reading to someone a passage of an article or book, or inviting a couple of friends over to watch a movie. It's making a transmittable copy of something and sharing it that is criminal according to copyright law.
  • From the Washington Post article:

    "The DVD CCA has never tried to reach the VideoLAN team about our development of the libdvdcss library," developer Sam Hocevar wrote in an e-mail.

    3....2....1.....

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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