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Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO 111

Dave Finton writes "Due to my frustration with not even being able to immediately contribute to the DVD case, I wrote a Humorix article called the Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO, detailing how media execs can maintain their iron grip on the keys of communication for tomorrow. Enjoy!"
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Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2000 @10:03PM (#1320403)
    Ok, well, I've spent the last 2 months trying to figure out how I could buy (or rent) a DVD, and copy it, or somehow pirate it for a profit..

    truthfully, I can't even convince any of my friends to download this copy of one of my own DVD's on my hard drive onto their computer..

    ok, here's how the conversation went..

    ME: I have this brand new DVD - The Matrix

    My Friend: Really, I love that movie..

    ME: Ok, well, I have the whole file on my hard drive, and you can have a copy, here's my IP address and username and password you can use to get it.

    My Friend: Really, I can have the whole thing? Can I put it on a CD, because I only have about 4 Gig free on my hard drive..

    ME: no, but you could break up the files, and put it on about 15 CD's, otherwise it takes about 8 gig of drive space, not to mention, if you took the entire bandwith of the network at school, it would take a few hours to transfer it to you over the network..

    My Friend: well, forget it, I'll just buy a copy.. it's easier..

    Anyone else have any better luck getting anyone to take an 8 Gig file from you?
  • >> We've seen it repeatedly: Slashdot condoning what are obviously illegal acts (and therefore immoral acts: the Bible clearly says to obey authority), such as Music piracy through "mp3s" and "Napster." Now, Slashdot readers are attempting to pirate DVDs through the "DeCSS" program, written by a young man who was obviously influenced in his evil ways by the culture of immorality and atheism that makes up this "Open Source" community. But when they must face the consequnces of their unlawful acts: watch out! The Slashdot Moral Relativism Squad takes control, and you better not speak out, or you'll be sent down to -1, where the dissidents, many of whom are actively trying to save Slashdot from its own decadence, gather with their posts.

    >> So what am I saying: that respect for the law is what keeps society together, and when one group feels that it does not apply to them, then the ties of society are severed forever. We will probably see greater piracy now than ever, since it is not only seen as acceptable, but is in fact encouraged as a sort of rebellion, much in the same way as teen smoking or alcohol abuse (two other reprehensible acts). We must end this culture of disrespect, and we must do it together.

    >> Now God tells us to love the sinner, but hate the sin, and as such, I cannot say that I hate you in my heart, but it is also our duty to teach, correct, and bear witness to the Scriptures and the love of Jesus and the doing of His will. So I am asking, pleading even that we may together end these hateful violation of both Earthly and Heavenly law.

    >> May the Peace of Christ be with you all.

    No law was broken, it is LEGAL to make a backup. It really makes me sick to my stomack when someone wants to spout bible passages in place of their side of the arguement, really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
    The bible is not a replacement for understanding the issues you feel you should get involved in, thats ignorance, not to mention blasphemy.
    But on that subject, revelations predicts a time when only people with a mark of 666 can purchase provisions. might 666 be an encryption key? As it is, only people who purchase licensed DVD players can play their encrypted DVD's, even though we never AGREED to those terms. PROOF CSS IS EVIL!!!

    Just a thought...

    Gods IP is PI

  • What do you have to worry about? Won't M$echelon and M$gestapo be useless since they would crash every five minutes? I have a microsoft cordless phone. In order to use any of the features other than the number pad, you have to run a program that eats up 47MB of ram, minimum! Just think how much memory M$echelon would need!
  • It's my understanding that making a commercial, closed dvd player (or at least one in which the decrypting module is closed) is not a problem license-wise (Don't take this as fact just because I said it. I'm not particularly well informed). So I think the companies that make dvd players for Windows could make them for Linux, FreeBSD, or whatever else they chose. It's just that they aren't choosing to do that. The reason would obviously be the size of the market. Justified or not, there's a perception that users of free operating systems won't pay for software, making the market even less attractive than other markets of similar size.

    If it's true that this is possible, and it's untrue that free os users won't pay for software, then that presents an opportunity to anybody who can create software for the free operating systems. Just license the technology and release a player.

    As for making friends, don't count on it. Every time a company gives something to the free software community on terms that aren't perfectly agreeable to the community, the company gets flamed to a crisp.

    Anyone selling a licensed dvd player to free os users would have to do it on terms we don't like: closed source and region locking. I, for one, would not buy such a player until there was something like Zone Selector available for it.

    On the whole, though, I think a developer could make money this way.

  • This sounds a _lot_ like the tactics shown by some well-known software manufacturers, at least one springs directly into mind :)
    Maybe the MPAA had better be careful - Microsoft may ALREADY have done the "patent this business method as applied to the web" thing (henceforth to be called "doing an Amazon") and they may find themselves retroactively in breach of a MS patent - and they are more overlawyered than the MPAA - difficult though that is to visualise.

    unless of course, Sun beat them to it :+)

  • It seems as though this article was only brought to our attention because of its subject matter and not its merit. I wish I had just read the title and moved on, because it was the only funny line in the article! Oh well, maybe I can write down a few buzz words and get myself linked off of /. too :)
  • I've just patented the process in which chemical and electrical signals interact in the human brain, or the process more commonly known as 'thought.' Pay up or I'll sue. Its $3 US for 1 hour of thought, by the way.

    -Elendale (I also own the process known as 'digestion,' have a nice day)

  • What I don't understand is how the Norweigian boy can be arrested for something that is legal in his country, so therefore he hasn't committed any crime. But the MPAA whines about a law broken in the US, and so the Norweigian police arrest this guy?

    I don't get it. Aren't there extradition treatise and laws for this kind of thing?

    Has the media really become this corrupt that they are above the law and can coerce foreign law enforcement to ignore only the laws that interfere with the MPAA's objectives? He didn't even break Norweigian law?! and he's being arrested by Norweigian police, without an extradition agreement? I'm lost.

    Someone please set me straight if I've missed something, otherwise this is a *VERY* sad situation indeed.
  • I think the reason discussions here are like that is because a lot of people are finally just now waking up to the fact that a corporate dominated world is not a very nice place. In the past less people realized just how evil corporations are.
  • Your Humorix article was dead on - but you left out where all successful harrasors are scientologists (sic.)
  • by DaveHowe ( 51510 ) on Monday January 31, 2000 @01:56AM (#1320415)
    I think the case would be better stated as follows:

    You have bought a shiny new $ITEM from your local department store, and it comes with a nice, uniformed man who will set it up in your front room for you, and also install another nice, uniformed man whose only function is to unlock the front of $ITEM whenever you want to use it.
    However, you don't want to be in your front room; you tend to sit in the kitchen where it is warmer, and there is more access to food and other essentials. unfortunately, the nice uniformed man in the front room refuses to work in the kitchen - you need a kitchen man for that, it's against his union rules.
    so, you contact the supplier, and ask them to send you a kitchen-man. unfortunately, they don't think kitchens are important enough places for $ITEM that they are willing to train kitchen man; they say that yes, you have bought $ITEM, but if you don't choose to use it in the front room, then you can't use it.
    Enter your local Norwegian kid (what? you don't have one? then get one! they come in handy for all sorts of things) who looks at the key in the front-room guy's hand and makes you a new one. you are now happy - if you use $ITEM in the front room, you can let the uniformed guy do his thing; if you use it in the kitchen, you can use the Norwegian kid's key. The fact you can now use the key in the front room as well doesn't matter, as it's your choice anyhow, yes?
    NO. the manufacturers you contacted initially rush to court, and make your key illegal. they scream that the guy in the front room shouldn't have had the key where the norwegian kid could see it - it should have been safely in his pocket when not in use - and therefore you shouldn't be allowed to use the copied key. Moreover, they also say you shouldn't even be able to tell people where they can get a key, and to make sure the norwegian kid doesn't make any more, have him arrested and his key-making kit confiscated - and arrest his father too, just to be on the safe side.


  • You said that you wrote some humour and we can have a laugh and stuff.
    I went there but there wasn't any humour only a precise, factual and descriptive report on the current state of affairs :-(

    Kocsonya s.k.
  • The reason the DeCSS program was written for windows was that at the time windows did not have the requisite support for the DVD filesystem.

    Once the support was added to the kernel, the css-auth part of the LiViD package was created, obsoleting DeCSS.
  • I'm not sure about the over-the-air signal, but they are working on an encrypted, copy protected, version of IEEE-1394 (Firewire) to connect DTV receivers to DTV monitors and digital video recorders.
  • Come on, the whole DeCSS brouhaha is business as usual in the US business world. Of course it's familiar. It sounds a lot like the tactics of any large corporation that feels threatened. I'm not saying their tactics are proper, or that they should be litigating in this case (they probably shouldn't), but the discussions on /. make it sound like corporate America has suddenly become meaner than ever and geeks are the target.

    My guess is that wider and deeper equity investment through mutual funds has made executives beholden to a small group of elite fund managers. Perform or deliver! Protect your assets! That's what they are hearing and if they don't listen, they're more likely than ever to be out on their ears. Look what happened at Coca Cola [cnnfn.com] recently - Ivester wasn't seen as protecting the mark and now he's on his way out (although, granted, Warren Buffet rather than a fund manager was probably the one behind his resignation). If execs at the media conglomerates start dropping off the twig, execs at DVDCCA will probably follow. These guys are covering their asses and running scared as much as anything else.

  • This got me wondering...

    "The posting of the hacking code is akin to mass producing and distributing keys to a department store."?

    Now that's an insightful comment... I can agree it's akin to make the keys... _IF_ you need said keys to even enter the store to do some shopping! Building a copy scheme wich is the same as the usage scheme is not only broken, it's plain stupid. In the good ole days of computer programs (games) the scheme often involved the manual, "Look at the fifth sentence's fourth word and add the numerical value on row 5, column 3 of the magic spell table" and such. This worked just because it was such a hassle to copy the manual though it didn't stop the copying because someone, somewhere thought the hassle was worth it. That kind of copy/usage scheme is never gonna work. Using encryption to block out those who don't use a "licensed" player and a "supported Operating System" and to block out people based on geographical location is, IMHO, wrong, stupid and "not good for sales". Does the DVD condone dicrimination? In my opinion it does because people with low budgets and developing countries are much more likel to use "free" software. Besides it also discriminates against people who happen to live "somewhere else" thanks to the "regional" scheme.

    I thought we had come longer than this.

    "Any spelling errors are my own and does not condone the sending of none spellcorrected messages."
  • This is slight OT, but what about the advent of DTV? As I understand it, normal broadcasts will be unencrypted and should be easily digitally recorded. Pay per view will/may be encrypted (168 bit, triple DES?), along with premium channels.

    What if someone figures out the encryption keys? This threat will probably come from the inside, not from some outside crack. Of course, the powers to be will then blame the teenage computer hackers.

    What I don't fully understand is that the TV Broadcast industry has not been a total assholes about digital recording. The only reason that I can think about is that ads get recorded when one records some TV show. Suppose in the future, digital recording is made feesible. Then suppose that someone figures out an efficient automated means of "filtering" out the ads. Then what?

    In all the controversy about DVD's, I haven't seen a lot of discussion about DTV. Is it because of the provisons in DTV for adequate content encryption? If that is the case, then MPAA looks really stupid for not demanding similar protection. OTOH, in their pursuit of money, the powers to be did not wait for the practical implementation of effective decryption hardware/software.

  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @10:20PM (#1320429) Homepage
    I keep wondering what these media moguls are going to do when all the latest audio and video recordings can be freely downloaded from a server that they can't even locate. Think of an IP network composed of encrypted wormholes and anonymous packet routers.
  • Now Divix tried to come out, but it was a late player in the game and we all saw what happened to that clever device.

    *ahem* clever device? It was clever insofar that it was a new and original way of charging me even more money to watch a movie. It died because nobody wants to keep paying for a disc they went through the trouble to buy. I'm certainly not going to pay every time I want to watch a movie. I want to buy the disc and be done with it, I'm sure many feel the same. And forget about watching it at a friends house.

  • Haha, touché. =)
  • I've just looked at some of the entries at http://www.cjr.org/owners/ [cjr.org] and I must say that it's interesting to see who owns what.

    Of course, if a comglomerate happens to operate a national ISP, it's not difficult at all to block out such sites. Just block out the ip's at the router.

    This could be done to any site that carries alternative news, or any site that expresses an optinion that is negative toward whoever owns an ISP.

    I wonder how long before you can't reach Slashdot from say, AT&T@Home or Roadrunner?

  • by grizzo ( 138368 ) on Monday January 31, 2000 @02:31AM (#1320434)
    unfortunately, what all of us little slashdotters are attempting to combat here is an incredibly advanced case of an ages-old disease called "ignorance". this particular case has been the subject of much study by [gang of smarties] in recent years, and they had the following to say about the matter:

    [smarties]: we regret to inform the general public that their beloved friend "movies and recordings" will not be with us for very long. it suffers from a case of ignorance unlike any we've ever seen: while normal ignorace is simply the absence of knowledge, movies and recordings seems to have a bizarre, omni-adaptable strain of the disease which makes it actually ignore anything and everything its twisted subconscious chooses to. the ignorance has taken over the brain; consciousness has given way to disregard.

    thus, readers of slashdot be warned, nothing we say or do is ever going to make any difference: when you're talking to someone who doesn't want to listen, rarely does shouting at them make them more likely to pay attention. i hate to say it kiddies, but what this calls for is total. utter. destruction. of american mainstream culture.

    well. maybe not, but that seems to be the best idea i can come up with (i'm not too impressed with the other solutions i've been presented with)...
  • Couldn't find Mr. Valenti's address/e-mail, but this should do just fine:

    Main Office Address:

    Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

    Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    15503 Ventura Blvd.

    Encino, California 91436

    (818) 995-6600

    you know what to do ;-)

  • Your quote is slightly off the mark. The proper quote is:



    Repeat after me: "encrypted DVD cannot be copied" - exempt from the presentation of MPAA for the preliminary injuction in New York. The transcript is at:2600.com - one of the sites hit with injunction. The quote is located in the very beginning. Presenting it here once again for sake of paranoia (who knows what will they try to injunct next time, the truth maybe):

    MR. GOLD: Now, before plaintiffs were willing to make DVDs available, they decided that they had to have an encryption technology so that the content and their copyright interest in the content could be protected, something that would scramble the picture and scramble the sound. And that system was created, and it is called CSS, which stands for content scrambling system. And you can't watch a movie unless you have an authorized DVD player, and the authorized DVD player has the computer key to the program. So with a DVD and an authorized player, the authorized player will unscramble the picture and the sound and you can watch your movie. But you can't copy it. The CSS technology prevents that.

  • ...when the only thing stopping us from having an open source player is a backwards legal battle? Generally when people want to see Starcraft, Illustrator, or whatever ported to Linux it's because it's a mammoth software product that is the fruit of years of development by tens or hundreds of programmers, which we would rather pay $50-$500 for than try to reimplement.

    A DVD player isn't in that category. We have free software mpeg2 players (albeit not optimized or hardware-accelerated yet; there's a short window where a commercial player would have a number of customers); we have free software DVD filesystem and lowlevel drivers... why should we be prohibited from using these things for legal, fair purposes just because the same software can also be used for (and isn't even required for) illegal, impractical DVD copying?

    Outlawing unlicensed DVD players because they can be used to make copies is like outlawing non-General Motors cars on the excuse that "unsafe, unlicensed cars can kill people", when the reality is that "unlicensed cars have major legal uses, and our existing cars can be used to kill people, but unlicensed cars don't make us as much money."
  • Black Night: All right we'll call it a draw then.
    AC: (walks off)
    Black Night: Oh, oh, I see, running away, 'eh? ... You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you.... I'll bite your legs off!

    "Warning: you are logged into reality as root..."
  • I don't understand what all this hype is about... Connect a cable (S-Video, RCA jacks, whatever) to the video and audio out jacks in your DVD player or your video card on your PC. Attach a VCR to the other end (or some other recording device)...
    Voila! Copied movie!

    People have been copying movies as long as they have existed! What are they bothering with all this litigation for?

    Also, to all those out there claiming that this is about Linux:
    I'm sorry, but it's not.
    For you, it may be, but it's about copyright violations. They (the MPAA) don't see the reason _why_ the "people" do what they do, but they do see the _potential_ of what was done.
    It's just like anti-gun activists: The gun can kill people, so they are evil-and-must-be-destroyed(actually, I'm in support of more gun control).

    This kid doesn't deserve to be prosecuted and harrassed like this. The people in the MPAA just need to be educated better and realize that they can't protect their copyrights anyway, regardless of the deCSS stuff.

    Anyway, I'm rambling, so I must be way past done.


  • Too late, the evil corporations have invented something that will steal away all your business by placing a device in every home that prevents those electrochemical reactions from taking place; it's called tele-vision


  • That is an interesting analogy. However I don't think it reflects some key points in the DeCSS case so I will try to refine it a bit using more "traditional" medium, hopefully represents both side of story (which I gathered from extensive reading of /. and links provided).

    Manufacturers of certain $ITEM have been investigating for a new kind of $PACKAGE for their $ITEMs. They are not very happy with their existing $PACKAGE or the ones they've been using - the inherent technical nature of those $PACKAGEs allows the $ITEMs packaged to be duplicated easily, which they see is potential revenue.

    However, after extensive marketing and technical researches, the manufacturers came to the conculsion that it's too hard to find a feasible $PACKAGE that disables the duplication. Knowing that $PACKAGEs requires $PACKAGE_OPENERs, they wrap special $LICENSE around the new $PACKAGE technology so that you have to register with them to make a $PACKAGE_OPENER. (which wasn't the case with the older $PACKAGEs - please correct me if I'm wrong)

    You have bought a shiny new $ITEM with the latest kind of $PACKAGE from your local department store. You know, from expereince, that new $PACKAGEs requires new $PACKAGE_OPENERs. You shopped for a $PACKAGE_OPENER and there were only $PACKAGE_OPENERs for the front room, study and toilet. You bought one for the front room but you also enquired about one that can be used in the kitchen - unfortunately there isn't one.

    Enter your local Norwegian kid. He'd love to make a $PACKAGE_OPENER for the kitchen as he spents most of his time in the kitchen and would prefer to enjoy the $ITEM there. However this new registration and $LICENSE deal (which original intend is to prevent duplication) requires a large sum of money. Therefore he purchased a existing $PACKAGE_OPENER (much cheaper than getting the $LICENSE), studied it, (in effect reverse engineered it) and produced his own $PACKAGE_OPENER - for the kitchen.

    Now the manufacturers weren't dumb - they have asked all the $PACKAGE_OPENER manufacturer to make their $PACKAGE_OPENER secure so it can't be reverse engineered - but obviously one of them didn't. Note that the $PACKAGE_OPENER manufacturers knew they may make mistakes like this. With every $PACKAGE_OPENER they sell, they have included a $NO_REVERSE_ENGINEERING clause in it.

    So with the existence of an $UNAUTHORISED $PACKAGE_OPENER, whose fault is it?

    The $ITEM manufacturer went for the Norwegian kid. They claim the "$PACKAGE_OPENER for the kitchen" is a duplication tool, a pirating tool and is thieving in nature.

    But is it? :)

  • I hate to tell you this, but you're flouting my authority (authori-tay) by writing that. And you know what the bible says about authority (authorit-tay).
  • Through the magic of timezones, little grasshopper.
  • Wow media is just grand now-a-days. Call me weird, but I bet that in the near future there will be an encrypted form of DVD type media that you can get for free the only catch is you have to be connected to the internet and watch advertisements that they choose for you. That in itself sounds outrageous, but so does the lawsuit against DeCSS.

    Now media and other types of entertainment have flourished throughout the years because of clones and competition. Hence why there's more than one TV or NewsPaper. Now Divix tried to come out, but it was a late player in the game and we all saw what happened to that clever device.

    Everyone forgets about songs too, remember when DVD audio was supposed to come out? Why are they so worried about it. You could copy DVD movies before DeCSS just now they can blame their losses on some programmer. So I say quit holding back the technology and quit holding back the media.

  • This sounds a _lot_ like the tactics shown by some well-known software manufacturers, at least one springs directly into mind :)
    Are you sure you didn't write this a couple of ears ago, and it leaked out ?
    nice piece :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are Slashdot readers above the law?

    We've seen it repeatedly: Slashdot condoning what are obviously illegal acts (and therefore immoral acts: the Bible clearly says to obey authority), such as Music piracy through "mp3s" and "Napster." Now, Slashdot readers are attempting to pirate DVDs through the "DeCSS" program, written by a young man who was obviously influenced in his evil ways by the culture of immorality and atheism that makes up this "Open Source" community. But when they must face the consequnces of their unlawful acts: watch out! The Slashdot Moral Relativism Squad takes control, and you better not speak out, or you'll be sent down to -1, where the dissidents, many of whom are actively trying to save Slashdot from its own decadence, gather with their posts.

    So what am I saying: that respect for the law is what keeps society together, and when one group feels that it does not apply to them, then the ties of society are severed forever. We will probably see greater piracy now than ever, since it is not only seen as acceptable, but is in fact encouraged as a sort of rebellion, much in the same way as teen smoking or alcohol abuse (two other reprehensible acts). We must end this culture of disrespect, and we must do it together.

    Now God tells us to love the sinner, but hate the sin, and as such, I cannot say that I hate you in my heart, but it is also our duty to teach, correct, and bear witness to the Scriptures and the love of Jesus and the doing of His will. So I am asking, pleading even that we may together end these hateful violation of both Earthly and Heavenly law.

    May the Peace of Christ be with you all.
  • Is this a newly created document, or a document recently released from the Microsoft vs DOJ court case?
  • You know what the sad thing about this is? It's very close to the truth. Nowadays, if you threaten an existing mega-corporation's profits, you'd better believe that you'll be in trouble. And nobody will hear of it, as the media, the government, and possibly your friends are all controlled by this mega-corporation. Next thing you know, you're in prison being tortured with rats by a corporation known as BB Industries because you know how to allow people to use BB's products in an environment they can't control! The hierarchal system will never work, as long a humans are human... corruption, power... this is why Linux, OSS and the Independent Media is a Good Thing (tm). Grassroots is the way to go. (Down with BB!)
  • Napster is immoral?
    The Views of the Corporate Machine. (or at least that's what they are putting across.)

  • by Wench ( 9309 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @09:30PM (#1320469) Journal
    Remind your pet politicians that small children need to be protected from EEEVILLL pr0n, and so all ISPs have to do lots of filtering, and everybody has to use censorware.

    This not only effectively blocks out all those naughty hacker sites like geocities or yahoo, it makes running an ISP more expensive so that your big corporation can control the market. And when you control the ISPs, you can control what people post there.

    No worries, mate.
  • Come on everyone needs a little Tolkien Hobbit humor in their night.
  • I fail to see how the use of this program to read DVD's constitutes a copyright violation (not piracy, since piracy means killing the crew of a ship and taking their possessions). Using it to copy the DVD's in a manner inconsistent with Fair Use would constitute a copyright violation. People buy DVD's to view them. Viewing the DVD's you have purchased is not a crime, no matter what method you use to view them.
    This brings to mind a display I saw in my schools library the other day of media through the ages. There was a sample of cuniform. One of papyrus with ideographs. A book from the late middle ages, etc. At the bottom of the display case were some samples of modern media. Spool to spool audio tape, computer tapes, floppies, zip disks, cds, etc. With them, was a plaque talking about how modern media, instead of being read directly, are experienced through some sort of intermediate device: tape recorder, tv/vcr, computer. I didn't think about that very much when I read it, but I'm thinking about it now. It can hardly be said that free access to information has been provided to people throughout the ages. In many places and times throughout history, certain groups of people (often majorities like the peasant classes in their entirety, sometimes persecuted minorities) have been denied, by law, the right to be allowed to know how to read. So, the use of law to try and control access to information that special interests (like the Roman Catholic church in the middle ages, or slave owners in the American South) want to protect is nothing new. Nonetheless, that kind of manipulation is something that only belongs in ages of barbarity. It would be nice if we could at least make a pretense of being civilized people in this day and age.
    It's not really very clear what this DeCSS fight is over. The people who started it obviously have some interest in controlling the media of information exchange. But people already have access to what's on DVD's by using a DVD player. So, unless there's some Master Plan (TM) that I don't know about, what they're after is some sort of Reign of Terror. "Look at what we do with people who try to steal the fire of the Gods! Gaze upon our works and tremble!!", yadda yadda yadda; you get the idea. They seem to want people to be afraid to go near their technology. Why? Well, I'd have to say that the leadership and legal departments of most corporation are Luddites. They lack the technical sophistication to understand that their dream of a media that can't be illegally copied, but can still be viewed by the consumer is a mythical creature. The only technological innovation that could make it possible is the Orwellian State. They don't have that, but they do have one that's willing to let itself be swayed, at least temporarily, by large corporate interests. It's not enough for them to get what they want, but they're sure making the attempt.
    Well anyway, to sum up. This isn't about violating someone's copyright, this is about having the ability to watch DVD's that you've purchased. The special interest groups for the big media companies object for some reason and are making legal waves because of it. What can we do? Wish I knew. There will probably be an appropriate legal defense fund to donate money to soon enough.
  • There are still lots of media companies that aren't in conglomerates.

    There are? Like what? Virtually all the major newspapers (and even most of the smaller ones) are owned by a larger group, and anything like TV or radio is almost definitely at the whim of a conglomerate.

    Sometimes maybe it's useful to get companies together when their services can complement each other. Can anybody name one real reason why Time/Warner and AOL shouldn't merge if their stockholders want them too? Isn't this a free country?

    Rather fortunately, what a company wants is not always what it gets (though of course the bigger the company, the more chance it has of bullying through pesky things like "laws"). Specifically speaking for the U.S., most aren't against the notion of big business so long as said businesses don't abuse their power. And that's the issue that's at stake. Things like monopoly (remember, there's nothing wrong with being a monopoly so long as you don't act like one) and illegal business practices that hurt other companies/individuals are.

    I don't give a crap about AOL-TW so long as AOL doesn't use it to move it's half-assed product into even more homes. And I'd rather not see AOL propaganda when I turn on CNN. Even scarier is when mega businesses use thier limitless resources to just crush anything that's they percieve as a remote threat to them (obviously right now it's over DeCSS, but it's definitely not the first time and sadly won't be the last). In short: I'm all for business so long as they operate within the confines of the law (I'd rather have them be ethical but that's even more of a pipe dream)...

  • Individual freedom is *way more* important than corperate freedom. Too big companies threatens free speech, democracy and our way of life.

    What will you do, when Microsoft owns the net, every com. satellite in orbit, reads all your mail with M$echelon 2005, gets Gates elected President (using their global information monopoly) and sends M$gestapo after every rebel Linux user?

    /Happy NON US citizen
  • by peterjm ( 1865 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @11:07PM (#1320475)
    Ok, there's something about this whole dvd debate that's been confusing me for a little while.
    Everyone's pissed off at the mpaa and valenti and what-not, b/c they make the (admittly stupid & monoplistic & totalitarian & big-brotherish) laws which seem to prevent us linux users from playing dvd's which we bought and had to watch under the other platform (and no, that doesn't mean one of the bsd's). Along with that, he's also managed to get the idea behind the whole thing completely screwed up (i guess that's what happens when the most comfortable chair you own happens to be your shoulders..=)

    But what I don't understand, the thing that confuses me is, don't companies buy licenses from the mpaa or whatever to produce dvd players? Isn't that how css was broken in the first place, by monitering the unecrypted activity of an xing dvd player? Well, assuming my prior assumptions haven't already made an ass out of me...then I want to know why people don't petition the companies licensed to make the players to make something that will work in X? This whole furor has surely proved that there's demand for it, right?

    I mean, what's being accomplished by the people at opendvd and livid is outstanding, and is just such a compliment to the dedication of the linux comunity. But why the hell doesn't Creative or some one just get off their asses and release something? As I said, there's obviously a great demand for it, and the first company that supports and embraces (and satifies) said demand is going to:
    a) make a lot of money
    b) make a lot of friends
    c) pioneer a "new", untouched market...

    Of course, this is all based on my (possibly incorrect) assumption that licenses purchased from the mpaa (or whoever doles them out) aren't platform specifc, like, "you can use these keys for windows players, and these other keys for mac players, etc. etc".

    But anyway, thanks for reading, and please feel free to let me know that I don't know what I'm talking about, and that others before me have thought of this a long time ago...
  • by |deity| ( 102693 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @11:19PM (#1320476) Homepage
    I've had some trouble explaining to people why the debate over cracking the dvd encryption scheme is so important. I've been trying to explain it in my terms. What I should do is explain it in their terms.

    When you buy a dvd player or a computer with a dvd-player built in you are also almost always given the software needed to run the player. So in reality anyone buying a DVD player has already paid for the software needed to run it.

    All that this debate is about, is freedom of choice.

    The DVD CCA is just descriminating against linux users. If a Linux user owns a DVD player that person has already payed for the use of DVD software. The Linux user has not been given working software for linux even though he has already paid for the software. So the DVDCCA is just descriminating against a philosophy. The OSS philosophy which is something that scares the DVD-CCA.

    If this debate were about race, relegion, or sex then the outcome would be much more predictable. Instead it's about the fundamental freedom of thought.

    They are not against the software. They aren't stupid they know that it is impractical to copy DVDs. They are against reverse engeneering because it allows others to gain information outside of their channels of control. They do not want a large group of people using a product that promotes free thought and free products. They want to stop the linux OSS movement while they can.

    So how do they do that? They use the formula that this article is making fun of.

    Sue! The more the better. Even if you don't win you hurt the person that you are litigating against. And you help keep people from doing anything that you would disaprove of in the future.

    Use misinformation. Represent the situation in the most favorable light for your cause. Forget facts if you can sway opinion that will be enough.

    Use misrepresentation. Anyone involved must be made to look like a criminal. Even if their intent was not criminal.

    Use politics. Politicians are only human you can feed thim misinformation. You can buy them and they have the power to change things in your favor.

    Use Law enforcement. Most law enforcment agencies are more then willing to accept the expert help of corperate officials. Back in the day Bell had their own agents that accompanied police to help in the arrest of suspected phreakers.

    This article is funny, as it was intended to be, but it's also scary because it's so close to what's been happening. Sorry about the long post.

  • It's not true.
    It's not true.
    It's not true.
    It's not true.
    It's not true.
    It's not true.
    (You get the idea) ;-)
  • by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <`jim' `at' `mmdc.net'> on Sunday January 30, 2000 @11:31PM (#1320478) Homepage
    OK - I'm unclear on something... All of this talk about how DeCSS is not for making illegal copies of movies - it's for viewing DVD's on linux.

    Thing is, All I've seen of the program is a Windows application and some Source Code done for MS Visual C++. (Not the development platform of choice for most linux users...)

    If someone creates a DVD player for linux that doesn't prominently feature its copying abilities, it will look better in court. Just make a standard-looking player that doesn't feature any export capabilities.

    Really, if the judge doesn't see a Big Red Button that says "Export Movie To Internet", it will be harder to convince him or her that the program is a hacker's tool for doing such.

    Right now, the situation is more like a guy with an (undeserved) bad reputation being picked up with a bag of lockpicking tools in hand. Doesn't matter what he is doing, it looks suspicious.

    If the aim of this really is to watch DVDs on linux, lets start with that, not by giving the script kiddies the means to copy rented DVDs to the school network.

    Next, how about some DVD authoring software? I read recently about an Open-Source alternative to Adobe Premier and Avid. If this software allowed people to create DVDs directly, it would be a useful application of the technology. Why not take that tack? Personally, I would love to use Linux to edit my movies (I use a mac now,) and be able to create DVDs that i can mail to my friends in the US. (For this much data, snailmail is a better transport method for the time being.)

    It may be that I am missing part of the facts on the state of Linux DVD, but I can't get to LiViD from behind my firewall... Forgive me if this is the case.
    Thanks -
    Jim In Tokyo

  • And to think I thought capitalism worked. (in some sense of the word work, anyway)

    Granted, it is rather uncool that there is no DVD player for linux. And it is really uncool that someone should be arresed for making software that would make it easier to do something vaugely related to doing something with something with a dvd and a computer, somewhere. (how most of the world, myself often included, understands this case.

    As I understand it, the people who are buying dvd drives for their linux boxes are buying them with the knowledge that there is no dvd player for linux. It is not as though this is suddenly a surprise when they get the drive home. This being a good capitalist economy, I would think that these people would tell the companies that they are not going to buy a dvd drive until the company makes a dvd player for linux (or amiga, or whatever). The company might just act based upon that sort of information, especially when delivered in a polite way.

    Companies, generally, at least try to act in their own best interests. They don't always, but they try to. And making a product that would make money is something that is in a companys best interest.

    Ask them nicely. Once they realize how much money is involved, they may just think differently.
  • Oh but for god's sake be polite!

    Or at the very least, be creativly impolite: send a trout. Or something.
  • You subject should be "have spoken".

    I am a karma whore, so I am posting AC ;)

    "Warning: you are logged into reality as root..."
  • Emmet should have read the HOWTO HOWTO before writing this. It cannot be submitted to the LDP as it is. He needs to fix it to meet the recently argued about standards for docbook etc.

    "Warning: you are logged into reality as root..."
  • One word, Videotape.
  • Support & service on a DVD player program for Linux????? Do you really expect people to pay for that?
  • Welcome to capitalism, I hope you enyoy the ride, because you're not getting off until the fat man sings. Democracy my arse. c0rarc
  • If a company had to pay for the license (probably big bucks), how are they going to make money by turning around and releasing a free version? Particularly if they open source it.
  • How painfully correct. Capitalism will steamroll democracy every time, if it gets it its path. And big business couldn't care less who they step on as long as their bottom line isn't affected.
  • What a crock of shit. If I had a penny for every christian with a revisionist view of the founding fathers and their intent, I'd be richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined.

    The founding fathers were not, repeat _not_ christians. They were freemasons. In fact, freedom of religion narrowly beat out freemasonry as the official religion. Christianity wasn't even in the running.

    After the war with England, christianity wasn't very popular back then. And just because they mention "God" doesn't mean they were speaking of the god of Abraham...and even if they were, they could be Jewish or Moslem.

    This is not a christian country and I, for one, am very happy about that.

  • Perfect. That is the best analogy I've seen to the situation yet.

    Kudos. I'm going to print it out and explain it to tech-less people, and get them to understand why I'm protesting DVDs, and hopefully covert a few of them to rail against the MPAA too.

    Moderate this up.

  • You, my good sir, are posting what appears to be Left Wing Views. Such things are not to be tolerated on Slashdot, where we open our source but not our minds.

    Have a nice day.

  • Guys, I hate to be counter-intuitive, but what's the big deal? There are still lots of media companies that aren't in conglomerates.

    Sometimes maybe it's useful to get companies together when their services can complement each other. Can anybody name one real reason why Time/Warner and AOL shouldn't merge if their stockholders want them too? Isn't this a free country?

    Anyway, if they don't like being conglomerated, or if it doesn't work out, they can just separate again, and we'll be back to where we are now. What's wrong with big companies? Are they all supposed to stay the same size forever?

  • by Fruan ( 105302 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @09:44PM (#1320498) Homepage
    "And this just in: David Finton, an author for the internet humour site "Humorix" is being sued by the MPAA for patent infringment

    'The "Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO" that he wrote is clearly in violation with our business plan, to which we hold at leat eight patents, even to the extent that many tracts seem to have just been copyed and pasted' said Jack Valentii, president of the MPAA

    David Finton was unavailable for comment, as he had been immediatly imprisioned and held with out bail at the MPAA's request.

    The case is planned to go to court in 8 months."
  • No no, children should be exposed to as much porn as possible. It'll do them good to be sexualized at an early age. Especially by the more derivative sexuality that is so common on the web. And filters are ridiculous! It's the parents that should be more responsible - preferably standing there watching every page the kids view - even at school and at the library.
  • This kind of article will hold no weight for the poor Norwegian family. Maybe your free time would be more fruitfully applied to searching out copyright law on the web. I am sure, and I am searching now, that the software DeCSS must be copyright material in itself, and thus the Association is contravening the very law that it is trying to enforce. Maybe the best way to hit back is to countersue the Associationg rather than write hypothetical titbits.

    Also, is there no European Law to provide safety from American capitalism? Maybe a European Court hearing is in order? Ooops, that costs money, er, another way to stop independant people from fighting back?

    Does anyone actually know of a site that is actively (lawfully) doing anything about this? If there isn't maybe it is worth considering making a group to actively attack the association. I am willing to do my part, are you? E-mail me with suggestions at c0rarc@hotmail.com. c0rarc

  • by Anonymous Coward
    As I've said in a previous post that was moderated down, the companies that own the MPAA are vulnerable.

    Look at http://www.cjr.org/owners/ to see a list of who owns what. You will be surprised at who owns the studios and can be targeted.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've gathered all the comments that was sent from my website: www.newyen.com/dvd to let you know how the people of the Internet feel about Jon Johansen, Open Source, and the DeCSS's case.

    Below are the comments from the people of the Internet:

    "Get the constitution written. I am interested in what the government will do with such a document. If enough U.S. citizens will sign the Internet Constitution, the government will have no choice but to hear the voices of the people. "

    "The information age is about freedom of the mind and of sharing what we have learned. This concept has made the internet what it is today, DeCSS is just one more product from that."

    "Your democracy is deterorating under the weight of the corprate structures. Fight back and reclaim your consitutional rights, and then for gods sake use them."

    "this is a clear violation of human rights. the web is for the people and they are the ones who should decide what should be censored"

    "All creative efforts and products are affected by histories which are greater in scope than the history of any individual or corporate body; thus, a creator is but a single contributer to the history of a particular creation. All restrictions upon information, through institutions based on the notion of individual ownership are hereby invalid. Creation is a collective cultural cooperation; it is not an isolated, ownable achievement. "

    "I cant belive any compeny would do this! I mean we are people trying to entertain ourselves. I was thinking of passing a petition throughout linuxworld expo."

    "I am concerned at the harmful attempts of powerful media organizations to restrict reasonable access to digital technology by individuals. I support your efforts to gather grass roots support for personal freedom on the Internet."

    "I really appreciate the support. Keep up the good work! -jlj "

    "It has always troubled when judges who had no grasp of the matter and failed to realize their own incompetence in the field came to dubious verdicts innocent of any understanding of what its consequences might be. I think now in the new millenium, as computertechnology in general and the internet in particular have become a part of daily life for normal people and have acquired enormous economic and social influence, there can be less and less understanding for such incompetence. The idea that decisions that may have the potential to change our future world are made by such people rooted in the past and inclined to listen to whoever has more status and financial and political power is deeply worring to me. The judicial systems in many western countries should take more care that such trials are dealt with by people who have a clue what they're deciding about, unless we all have to live with the results of their ignorance."

    "I believe that the government was wrong in entering the house of Jon Johansen. I believe in the rights of free speech on the internet, and hope that with the support of it's constituents, this country can make the right choice and allow the DeCSS code to be distributed for the purpose of creating a Linux based DVD player. It is only with the combined effort of all of the worlds greatest minds working together on open source projects that we can ever truly reach our potential as an electronic society. i encourage all those who have similair feelings to express come forward and show their support. without quantity we will never be heard. "

    "Not everything is intellectual property, if ingenuity is not allowed to flourish we as a society of freethinkers will perish."

    "This trial is a ridicule of the justice system and also (should be) a great embarassment to those suing this 16 year old boy. Not only for their laughable excuse of an case, but also for trying to incriminate a boy who cracked their obviously simple code."

    "It's time that we demand changes to the terribly out-dated copyright and patent laws that have allowed the MPAA and so many others to deny the average citizen the right to use their mind. It's time that people realized you can't patent or copyright common sense. An inventor is entitled to some credit, but the actions of the MPAA and its allies (the US and Norwegian governments) have crossed the line between protecting intellectual property rights and discouraging intellectual progress. Not only should we demand justice in the DeCSS proceedings, but we should demand that the existing laws be thoroughly examined to determine the extent of their inadequacy in a digital age and hopefully, correct their shortcomings."

    "We need an Internet constitution right away! "

    "Dumbing down the world's population is insanely dangerous. Did the inventors of the microwave start suing and arresting people for understanding that technology. I think not. We all have a right, a responsibility, to understand the world around us. Big corporations want to prevent that because it prevents them from having to think smart."

    "When the framers of the Constitution of America set out to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they took intellectual freedom for granted." Prob'ly irrelevant 'cause it's the US Constitution and this is Norway, but oh well "

    "What is frightening to me is that a program can draw such incredible heat simply because it has the *potential* to be misused. It does not even require proof of *intent* -- merely the *potential*. "

    "A judge who can't pronounce "Linux" correctly is makeing mockery of justice. Source code is simply speech, it does not take one penny away from the MPAA. "

    "Dumbing down the world's population is insanely dangerous. Did the inventors of the microwave start suing and arresting people for understanding that technology. I think not. We all have a right, a responsibility, to understand the world around us. Big corporations want to prevent that because it prevents them from having to think smart. "

    "It is an unfortunate fact that I have been losing my faith in our judicial system for quite some time now. The recent rulings against the open source community and the abuse incurred by Jon Johnsansen and those who have posted his code have only strengthened my belief that the people who we have placed our trust in are corruptible beyond measure and do not deserve their positions. The two most recent rulings regarding the DeCSS source code are prime examples of the injustices to which I refer:
    1) Judge Louis A. Kaplan of New York not only misunderstood the material over which he was presiding, but made it obvious that he had no interest in having the material explained to him. His biased views were evident in the quote that he is now infamous for. It doesn't take a "moron" to realize his decision was made before the trial even took place. Now tell me that is fair.
    2) Then Judge William Elfving changed his mind and went back on his earlier ruling that the injunction was unbiased in California. Obviously, something outside of the realm of a fair trial influenced him after the trial took place. Gee, I wonder how that happened. Seems like an awful lot is going on outside the courtroom.
    I find it sorely disappointing that these rulings have shown that in today's world money and power still have strongholds over justice in our justice system. "Might over right" has again failed the people of the United States and the "power of the people" has again been rewritten as "power to the people with the money."
    Fair is fair, and this is not fair. This is not a case in which simply disagree with a ruling. This is a case where I will go to my grave knowing that freedoms have truely been violated. "

    "The misinformation that is being spread by the plaintiffs in this case discusts me. The idea that the de-css software is required to pirate movies is so flawed, I'm amazed people haven't jumped all over it. This suit isn't about piracy, it is about control of how we play our licensed software. We could bytestrip dvd's until the next millenium w/out ever decoding them. de-css is about allowing software players to exist -- that these players are beyond the control of the motion picture industry is the bee in their bonet. The raid on Jon's home is a misappropriation of justice -- the mpaa should be tried for perjury. "

    "DVD encryption was always a crime against the free market. It is dumb to fight the new intellectual realities of the interent with a copyright system that belongs in another era."

    "Something must be done to stop the plunder of our individual rights and the corruption of our democratic system by large, greedy, multi-national corporations!"

    "I believe that the law is being twisted in an unconstitional way. The way the judges are acting, and the way the plaintiffs are responding is childlike, uncalled for, and their suit has no legal standing. "

    "Copying DVDs are not cost effective. I would rather buy originals for the quality of picture and sound. But I also have a Linux box and do not appreciate the DIVX-like pressure to use "corporate sanctioned products" to view my DVD. Untill the MPAA get into the game and start writing software/players for all platforms, the open source community will continue to do what it does for the best of the community, legally. Not all of us are hackers. But 98% of us like using Linux and are tired of being treated as second class cyber citizens. This lawsuit and the harrasment of Jon Johansen only raises the fact of a high powered, rich yet greedy corporation trying to protect their "monopoly" over technology. I would rather live in peace and harmony with all parties but if you start pushing hard like this, the entire community can provide one hell of a backlash. Pity you guys don't have one stock we can focus on.. remember what happened to E-Toys' stock after the E-Toy fiasco. Treat us as customers instead of as criminals. There is only so much that you (the MPAA) or Microsoft can do in restricting our freedoms."

    "The ability to learn , interperet and pro-actively contribute to the creation of a new format of distributing information and knowledge , should never be prosecuted , but only encouraged.Those who forge ahead into this realm are the ones who inspire great thinking.Those who condemn it , have slave-holder mentalities. "

    "Who do you guys think you work for?? We want our freedom, and are willing to fight for it, especially if that means knocking you out of office! "

    "Keep fighting.. "

    "I'm thinking it isn't right to charge someone for information they obtain, and how they decide to spread it! "

    "I do not think an Internet Constitution to "supersede" the existing Constitution is a good way to get the most amount of support for your cause. Anything that poses to supercede the current Constitution in the name of this cause has more potential to alienate potential supporters who agree with our Constitution. The current Constitution is not the problem, and making a new one will not protect us from legislative, administrative, and legal abuses of our rights!!! "

    "This case confuses the need for personal privacy (deserving of security) with the need to lock out non-Microsoft consumers (greed and monopolism). I personally do not give a crap about DVDs, but I do care very much about state-supported monopoly power. Had the creators of this system made it available to all operating systems, it is likely that no one would have found the subject so intriguing. "

    "This is capitalism at it's very worse. It's a very sad state of affairs when a conglomerate of corporations can gather and influence the law and state of numerous countries to comply with their will. Jon Johansen was merely investigating and trying to learn and educate, this is an outrage. "

    "Free the code! "

    "If Linux users have no right to play DVD, then suit the MPAA. Its the totally race-discrimination. Fight them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

    "Eat the MPAA! "

    "DVD on Linux!!! Make it real!!! "

    "viva la internet"

    "Jon Johansen is innocent! "

    "Everyone has the right to play the DVDs that they legally bought on whichever platform they want. What Jon Johansen did was reverse engineering, which is legal in both the USA and Norway. And his motivation for doing this WAS NOT piracy, but a wish to play his DVDs on his Linux box. "

    "If Jon Johansen can reserve engineer the code to open DVD, why is he being sued? Can we say "GREED"? "

    "B smart... "

    "If the same thing was done in the computer field, where would PCs be today??? "

    "I have a DVD I can't play without buying a hideously expensive external unit or a cheap linux box... Duh! "

    "This attack on our freedom as American citizens can not go unopposed. I will fight this with non-violent protests, and literature until a reasonable solution is reached. "

    "This is total bullshit... I stand behind this site !!! "

    "wake up, stand up , stand up for your rights, dont give up the fight"

    "We cant just let this sort of thing happen...what will be next? "

    "The government cannot control the natural will of humankind, it cannot contol the natural will that cries for freedom. Humanity will not and never will stand for any sort of injustice that limits the rights of the people of the world. Let freedom of information be the core of the internet, not the tyranny of government watch dogs."

    "It is absolutely unfair that someone who has exposed a flaw should be punished or degraded in such a manner. I hope he sues down and out here there is a lot of support for him. And what about the people or company which messed up in encryting their key? "

    "Vote to support intellectual freedom and Open Source. "

    "The internet belongs to the world.

    "This is wrong, as I've been told this is definately not illegal in Norway and probably not in the US either. Intellectual freedom. That's it. "

    "IF they couldn't do the crypto better than this they shouldn't make a deal of. It was better that the group (netherlands, germany and norway)decrypted the DVD now than befor it had grown to BIG. "

    "This is absurd! "

    "I think this is very very important "

    "open source, open minds, open future NOTHING else "

  • No, except around here, the conversation would go like this:

    Me: I have this brand new DVD - The Matrix.

    Friend: That's nice. How much did you pay for it?

    Me: Oh, about 80RMB.

    Friend: Wow, did you ever get ripped off.

    (8RMB is about US$1)

    Not that I actually own that DVD, of course. Just the VCD. (No DVD player!) And the rack of DVD's at the corner CD/VCD/DVD store has been here ever since I got here in September, long before DeCSS.... (I think they're 40RMB apiece, but I'm not sure. I know the VCD's are 15.)
  • by Surazal ( 729 ) on Monday January 31, 2000 @12:34AM (#1320507) Homepage Journal

    NEWS FLASH: MPAA Attacks DVD Hacker Group

    MPAA officials have confirmed Monday that they have effectively surrounded the area which the DVD hacker group known only as "Those @#$%! Bastards" have stationed themselves and have deployed ground troops to prepare for the final invasion contingency plan.

    Despite massive cease-and-desist orders and an unrelenting air artillery campaign, the DVD hackers have vowed to fight back to maintain their sovereignty. Dave Finton, escapee from MPAA prison and propagandist for the hacker group, announced earlier today "The rivers will run red with the ink of hundreds of bankrupt mega-corporations. We shall prevail!"

    Jack Valentii, president of the MPAA and commander-in-chief of the ground campaign against the hackers, stated in a press release "In no way shall we tolerate these terrorist attacks against our soil. These hackers with their strange ideologies, like free speech and freedom of choice, will not be able to withstand the onslaught of our superior firepower. How will we be able to continue to release creative and original movie scripts when these 'people' will be able to copy their legally purchaced copyrighted material for their own use?"

    One reporter asked in a press conference, "Um, isn't copying movies and audio media legal for personal use? And since when did Hollywood start releasing creative and original movies? Have I been hiding in a mile-deep hole for the past few decades?"

    "GUARDS!" screamed the MPAA president. "Remove this agitator immediately!"

    President Hillary Clinton was immediately unavailable for comment before publication of this Slashdot post.

    - Dave Finton

  • A different article on the page (About Linux being used for spying) says:

    "The name Linux ("Line X") was coined because the kernel can extract any arbitrary line of intelligence from any document it has access to"

    So obviously it was pointless expecting DVD's to remain secure when exposed to such a powerful system
  • by dominion ( 3153 ) on Sunday January 30, 2000 @09:50PM (#1320510) Homepage

    Sometimes maybe it's useful to get companies together when their services can complement each other. Can anybody name one real reason why Time/Warner and AOL shouldn't merge if their stockholders want them too? Isn't this a free country?

    If you're a corporation, a CEO, or a majority stockholder? Yes, this is a free country. Not only free, but a country willing to bend over backwards to do your bidding.

    If you're a person, and not worth seven figures, then no, this is not a free country.

    Anyway, if they don't like being conglomerated, or if it doesn't work out, they can just separate again, and we'll be back to where we are now.

    What if they don't like it? What if we don't like it? What do we do? Boycott them? How do we boycott a corporation that has their hands in hundreds of different markets?

    There's more to this world, and to living life, than money and the "free market." Just because corporations feel that they should be able to do anything unfettered by morality or the needs of people, doesn't mean we should support them.

    Michael Chisari
  • how did this comment get posted hours before the story was submitted?

    The comments.pl script will give you a list of discuusions, some of them for articles that have not yet been posted. I'm not sure if allowing public access was intentional or merely oversight on somebody's part. Anywho, at times is is possibele to see an article before it gets posted to the main page. It obviously follows that some articles are post-dated when the poster puts them into the system. I'm not really sure why they do this.

  • I bet that in the near future there will be an encrypted form of DVD type media that you can get for free the only catch is you have to be connected to the internet and watch advertisements that they choose for you

    You mean TV?

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes