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LSDVD Starts Cooking 152

A reader writes: "The guys at LSDVD, now funded, are going to pay the powers that be the licensing fee and the per program royalties for the rights to make and sell a DVD player for Linux. This means that a free, give-em-hell, fight-the-power, Linux DVD player is a long ways off" - you can read the news on the homepage. Remember, LinDVD is also moving and shaking as well.
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LSDVD Starts Cooking

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  • Clerk: How good is your monitor at 640x480?
    Woman: Nobody uses that surely! Its too blocky.
    Clerk: DVD's do. Your TV is designed to soften low resolution natural images
    Woman: Um....
    Clerk: Where do you keep your computer?
    Woman: In our study
    Clerk: Where do you keep the comfy sofas?
    Woman: In the living room
    Clerk: So are you going to move your computer to the living room?
    Woman: Um... no
  • Q: So how much did you say it was going to cost?
    A: I didn't say. How much are you willing to give us?

    Dunno about you but this doesn't give me much of a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

    At least they seem to have a sense of humour.

  • The purpose of law is to protect the lives, liberties and properties of people. The fault for tyranny is not the law, but the fact that we have given control of the law to the state. Please reread your Bastiat.
  • the spokesman for the Linux movement he surely carries some weight around here ?

    RMS is not the spokesman for the Linux movement. He is the spokesman for GNU, a very different thing. He also happens to be one of the many spokesmen for Free Software in general, but they often disagree amongst themselves.

    This is not a religion, so stop looking for prophets.
  • is not about anything, at least you should know that
  • ...and I hope you do the same. Why? Because of this, taken from the FAQ:

    A: Unfortunately the DVD Forum, Dolby and MPEGLA have proprietary rights to AC3 and decoding schemas (as well as much needed hardware specs). In order to legally develop this program we are going to have to pay a huge licensing fee to each and (on top of that) royalties on every program distriputed. Hence, we have to charge for it, but not too much hopefully.

    I will not participate in such a controlling scheme, designed to keep the masses subdued while filling their coffers. Now, I have nothing against closed source software or software that isn't free: If you were to create an MS-Office killing suite for Linux, I would buy it in a heartbeat...but NOT a DVD player. Not when corporations are treating us like crap, trampling our rights and so many principles of freedom are at stake. So to all you people who write "Yay, now I can watch DVDs legally", stop and think for a minute: is it really worth the cost?

  • There's nothing "crystal clear" about interlaced video at 60Hz.

  • Has Slashdot's collective memory become so short that nobody here can remember the pending DeCSS lawsuits?

    Having a licensed, approved, certified and authorized DVD player for Linux is only a victory for people who like to watch movies on their computer monitor. For open source, free-speech, and freedom of expression, it is a defeat. The licensing scheme itself and the lawsuits against reverse engineering are reprehensible, and all we're being offered here is an opportunity to buy in to--and help underwrite--corporate thuggery.

    So if you really feel the need to subsidize the MPAA's lawsuits against freedom and innovation, go ahead and support these guys, or anybody else that sucks up to the consortium/cartel. In the meantime, though, I'm reluctant to sell my soul just so I can hear director's commentary for Battlefield Earth [].


  • I just checked. They're not working for Intervideo.

  • Well, at least you're being honest. What rattles my cage is when you see 2 people in a discussion (both registered). Things get heated and deep into a thread 2 AC's start swearing back and fourth.

    Now did the original 2 posters leave only to have their issues, opinions, and writing style mimicked by 2 AC's to carry on the fight? I don't think so.

    Perhaps Taco and friends can fix the code so that it is obvious a registered user is "hiding". Call them AB's: Anonymous Bastards
  • by bfree ( 113420 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @06:46AM (#1061824)
    If someone hacks up a client with everything except the keys, and starts distributing it -- that can't be illegal, can it?
    YES it would be ILLEGAL! Or at least unlicensed! The part of the story that got me was reading just how many licenses are required to watch a DVD, it made me feel very sad. If I was to hack together a free client I would have to leave out:
    1. A navigation system for accessing the DVDs format
    2. The keys to decrypt the data stream
    3. The MPEG-2 video player to display the un-encrypted stream
    4. The audio interpretter to read the audio track to 1,2,3,4,5,5.1 chanel sound
    I'm sure the above is technically incorrect, but it does present a picture close to the truth (and better for free software supporters than the truth!). If I bothered doing all this, the end user would still have to plug in a bunch of systems to actually play a DVD and I wouldn't exactly be providing a player, would I?
    We have to focus our lobbying effort on these licensors, get them to remove software form the equation. Let's face it we are all quite happy to pay £5 on our amplifier/soundcard for dobly digital decrytion licensing, but we won't pay £0.02 for the same in software, let them recoup their money from hardware.
    Off-Topic: Can anyone tell me if there have been any DVDs produced yet WITHOUT CSS and therefore not-encrypted or regonalised and if these disks would play on hardware players. Perhaps we should lobby for all the production houses to release without CSS, finally recognising that this is a stupid system which creates hassle and serves no purpose (well not since it was broken anyway, and that was always only a question of time).
  • Closed Source does NOT mean worse software. These people are paying for the rights to a produce a DVD player, the very least they should be able to do is recoup that cost.

    Am I missing something? I thought free software and open source were different. In that case, there's no problem with them wanting to sell software to you, just the problem that you can't look at the source code because their license to use code protected by law (even though CDMA is a bad law) forbids the publishing of that source. Perhaps, the source code will be opened after a few good court cases...
  • Asides from that, watching DVDs on a computer monitor means that you don't have to go through the aweful NTSC system

    Being in the UK, of course, I don't have to do that anyway...

  • Closed source is not inherently evil, and open source is not inherently good. But the DVD folk have given good reasons for believing that they are inherently evil. So I don't intend to contribute in or to anything that will support them. This means movies. This also means hardware. As long as I think that it might benefit them, I will resist purchasing a DVD player. (Well, not totally. Say, if it had a 50% price / ease of use advantage over what it was competing with, then I might go that way ... if I didn't just skip the whole thing.)

    It's really rather like MS, in a way. Until MS came out and supported UCITA, I didn't take the plunge into Linux. But since then I haven't bought any MS product, and I don't intend to in the future. But, were they to really try, they could change my mind (but I'm sure not holding my breath!).
  • I'd happily pay for a DVD player for Linux, but not if I know that a lot of the money is going to a bunch of bastards that have nothing to do with the product other than they'll sue if they don't get their cut. So, forget it.

    Or, better, use some of the funding to move to a country which doesn't recognise these stupid, unethical, "patents" and copyrights and write and release the program from there.


  • There's a big difference between Open Source and Free (as in beer) Software.

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with charging for the software you write. After all, we all have bills to pay. If you think that you can afford to give it away, or just don't think that you'd make any money if you tried to sell it, then that's great; if not, then that's fine, too.

    Open Source software is merely software for which the source code is available. That does not preclude the possibility of selling the software. Hands up everyone here that has bought a copy of a Linux distribution, even though most of them are freely available for download?

    Selling Open Source software may not be easy, but I don't see that it's that much harder than selling closed source software; there's nothing special about a CD full of code that I don't have the source to that prevents me from burning a copy, after all.

    Surely there's nothing to stop a company from sitting down with a couple of lawyers and thrashing out a licencing agreement that lets you look at and learn from the source, but prevents you from distributing illegal copies of the software and/or ripping off large chunks of code verbatim?

    Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?


  • Clerk: But where is the most comfortable seat in your house?
    Woman: The expensive office chair in front of my computer.
    Clerk: Isn't a sofa more comfortable?
    Woman: Since when have sofas been designed by engineers with a background in ergonomics?

  • Why on earth would I want to watch a DVD on my computer? The only conceivable reason I can come up with is easy video captures. Is that what everyone is doing?

    Ehh, I have a Powerbook G3series with the DVD-kit and it rocks.
    Second, if I want to view it on my TV I connect the TV to the video-out on my Powerbook.
    The biggest reason why I bought a DVD-kit was it's price and the fact that I can reset the regioncode after five times changing of.
    The price was $ 249- for the drive and card.
  • I do not understand your claim that Debian installed anything, especially Netscape, without asking you. This is for several reasons:

    1. Even if you do submit to using their default tool, dselect, it does NOT select any packages "automatically" beyond a base set of about 30MB or so. This does not even include X.

    2. Debian does not even present you with non-free packages by default; you have to tell it to do this. Netscape is definitely in the non-free section (as well as any other packages that do not meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines).

    3. I am not that familiar with dselect, but I know that apt will NEVER install any extra packages without confirmation (ie, dependencies for something)

    4. I _wanted_ to install Netscape and found it difficult to do so, because they break it up into so many different packages (flexibility IS good...but...)

    So please tell me exactly how this occurred. I've installed Debian on dozens of machines and never encountered this, and I'm very interested in knowing.
  • the perfect program to watch Spinal Tap and The Wall on!
  • Does the timing of this strike anyone as being rather odd?

    We have the meeting at Stanford Law School on Thursday in an
    attempt to limit the effectiveness of the Digital Millennium Copyright
    Act of 1998 -- a piece of legislation that gives music producers,
    Hollywood studios and software companies unprecedented powers over the
    use of copyrighted works, and today the annoucement of this Linux vaporware DVD software magically appears?

    Just a fluke?
  • Okay, I'm boycotting the movies. No, really. There is one whole person actually willing to admit they're actually boycotting, and it's me. I feel like a minority of one, but there you go.

    I'm boycotting, too. Well... sort of.

    I refuse to see news movies, or buy new movies and CDs. I buy from sites like SecondSpin [] to get stuff. In the past month I've purchased a Matrix DVD and a Phantom Menace VHS tape. Prices are competive with new (they ought to be!), and I get that warm fuzzy of knowing the MPAA and RIAA are not benefiting from my purchases in any way.

    Now if I could find a place with Enigma's latest CD that is used...

  • Anybody have any idea what the quality will be like? Close to current proprietary Win32 players? I supppose it won't feature hardware acceleration, so it's probably software-only, but I'd like to be able to have it comfortable at a smooth 30 FPS+ @ 1024x768 in 32-bit color.
  • I haven't gone to the trouble of buying a DVD player yet. Without Linux support it wouldn't justify the exrtra expense. My questions is, does Linux have a driver for reading Data DVD's? DVDs are a storage medium capable of carying more data than CDs. Is the only issue getting a DVD movie decoder for Linux ir is it getting a driver to read DVD's at all?
  • by MeYatch ( 110355 )
    This is sweet, now I won't have to boot into windows to play DVDs.
  • That clerk is a big fucking asshole (I orignally said "moron" but he's just being an asshole salesman). A DVD player adds a marginal amount to the cost of a computer ($50 maybe less now). Furthermore, software is likely to be distributed in DVDs soon. Already, many of the "Extras" on a movie DVD require a PC.

    This clerk was obviously trying to sell the nice old couple something they didn't want. He wanted to moved the merchandise he had.

    The whole 19" vs 31" is irrelevant. I don't sit 12" from TV set. Resolution on my monitor (only 17" 1024x768) is superior to any TV set I've seen. I can read the fine print in commercials.

    Besides, in many households, the main TV is tied up or otherwise difficult to use as your work n surf.

    Pathetic salesperson. Buy online. Buy out of state.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Can anyone tell me what this is about? I can't be bothered reading the article.
  • The guys at Heroine Virtual [] have developed XMovie [] with deCSS built in. Although the current version does not have it (due to GPL violations), the older ones do. The average slashdotter should be able to find older version. XMovie can play MPEG2 video, and with the deCSS in it, it can decode DVD too.


  • It boils down to this: when Windows users buy a DVD-ROM drive, they get the software necessary to make that device work with their operating system of choice at no additional charge. Until the same can be said for Linux users who purchase DVD-ROM drives, I will have no use for the hardware.

    I prefer free software, then open source software, then finally closed software -- but I'll be damned if I pay for a hardware driver with a little userland app built in. I'll never pay for anything that has a no-cost equivalent for Windows.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is this open source, free software? I don't think so and therefore it is not something that is worth an iota of our time. The last thing we want is to have Linux corrupted by closed source, proprietary software, which by definition cannot be as good as open source.

    As Linux advocates, we should not be interested in this except to fight it. We already have DeCSS, and so the idea of paying for an equivalent piece of software is rediculous. Linux is meant to encourage freedom, and that means free software, free MP3s and free DVD players. Compromising on any one of these issues will lead to us comprising on them all.

  • The statement makes perfect sense...this product will be sold, but the availability of a free (and legally unchallenged) DVD plater for Linux will be hampered now that there is a solution for playing them...kinda puts some holes in the pro-DeCSS argument of "well, the industry wouldn't make the software, so we did."

    Well, we could always just do it for FreeBSD instead...

  • Beacuse that 31 inch TV is all across the room, and that 19" monitor on the desk appears huge when you sit that close to it. Things that are further away look smaller, that's how they did that "I'm crushing your head" trick on Kids from the Hall. Those weren't special effects.

    Plus, some people like to watch movies that, you know, you might not want to be in the living room with the kids and wife around.

  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @03:38AM (#1061847) Homepage
    The last thing we want is to have Linux corrupted by closed source, proprietary software, which by definition cannot be as good as open source

    And the bells ring out for all to burn the heretics. Closed Source does NOT mean worse software. These people are paying for the rights to a produce a DVD player, the very least they should be able to do is recoup that cost. The holier than thou attitude that "if it ain't open source its rubbish" is just plain wrong. In Utopia everything is free and everything works. But sometimes you have to pay the bucks to get the quality.

    As has been said before about databases, Oracle and DB2 are closed source, and reliability is definately not one of their problems.

    Open your mind, this is a good progression.

    And remember, CPUs are just hard coded software, and you don't complain about not having the schematic do you ?
  • This falls into the "better than nothng, but not by much" category. There's no mention of it in the FAQ, but I'm guessing that support for non-x86 platforms will be minimal or non-existant. They may go for a PPC version, but I don't hold out much hope of seeing a version for my Sparc Linux box. Oh well, at least there's still LiViD.
  • Woman: But what if I want to watch DVDs from a different region?
    Clerk: Er ...
    Woman: Cos may I remind you that we are in the UK and so pay double the US rate for DVDs.
    Clerk: Well, the price might drop if ...
    Woman: And they come out six months later here, too.
    Clerk: But but but ...
    Woman: And what if I want my DVD to play upside down?
    Clerk: Well you can stand on your head in the lounge.
    Woman: But for my head to be level with the telly in he lounge, I'd have to float 3 feet in the air and my feet would have to go through the roof.
    Clerk: Damn! Why is this Lynx form so small? I just thought of a really good argument to beat that silly cow and now there's not enough room for me t
  • I will allow you to beta test my DVD player for only $75 and a $0.25 per-use fee. Please contact me if interested.

  • It has been several months since I had this encounter with Debian, so the exact details are blurred. I did not choose to install just the base packages of 30M. I do not know how Netscape was installed, but I have a strong suspicion that it was as a dependency for something else.

    I do remember pages and pages of packages to select from in a hard to grasp format, so it may have been possible that Netscape was clearly marked as selected, but I just did not see it. There are inumerous times where I was asked to confirm the installation of dependencies, and some of these confirmation messages extended beyond the page. It may have been that I grew weary of the install and said yes to one of these lists without scrolling down to see if all the presented twenty dozen dependencies were acceptable.

    All I know for sure is: I had never installed Debian before, it took two hours to do it, and while the list of packages being currently installed whizzed by, the word "netscape" flashed past, and I saw that it was indeed installed when the process was complete.

    This may have been simply a bug that was subseqently fixed. I don't know. I just know what happened to me despite righteous and devote assurances from Debian advocates that it was flatly impossible.

    Be that as it may, the non-free section is still included with Debian. It may be semantically correct to say that non-free is not a part of Debian proper, but any newbie perusing the CDs he just purchased would conclude that a particular directory called non-free is actually a part of the CD, and not a figment of his imagination.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @03:45PM (#1061852) Homepage Journal
    Linux is not a kernel for the GNU system. What you normally call "GNU/Linux" is actually the creation of distributors who bundle the linux kernel with a lot of GNU stuff and a lot of BSD stuff and a lot of MIT stuff and a lot of other free stuff. As well as a bunch of linux kernel specific stuff to bind it all together. The operating system I am currently writing this on is most certainly NOT the GNU System. It's official name is "Slackware Linux 7.0". In the interest of brevity, I commonly shorten this name to "Slackware" or "Linux". If you take Slackware Linux 7.0, exise just the kernel, and slip in a copy of Hurd, it won't work. It cannot work without reengineering several major components. If Hurd won't even work in the GNU System, perhaps it's not really the GNU System after all.

    I am certainly very concerned about my rights. Very much so. Exceedingly so. But I am not so shallow and wind-driven to assume that I lose any by not running an OS that lacks the imprimatur of the St. IGNUtious. My rights do not extend to demanding for free (as in beer as is all of GNU) someone else's coding labours. To suggest using NT makes someone dominated, subjugated or enslaved is utterly preposterous and an insult to all that ever lived under or fought against real and genuine slavery.
  • A new drug that gets you sick instead of high?


    ... paka chubaka

  • I know this is offtopic, but in the interest of attempting to clarify a widely held misunderstanding on the Boston Tea Party:

    The Boston Tea Party was a protest against the monopoly on tea importation granted to the East India Company, and was a response to the Tea Act, which *lowered* import duties so that the ailing Company could compete with smugglers. So, the Patriots were taking action against an act that far from raising taxes, was lowering them. You might take the view that they were acting on behalf of American tea smugglers.
  • Yeah he's a troll. But at least he didn't click the checkbox "Post Anonymously". You're no AC, you're just a kharma whore protecting your stash of $3 crack.

    OMG did I say that? You're damn fucking right I said that.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Once you have signed the agreement, you are bound by that agreement. You will be unable to change the terms of that agreement, no matter how hard you try. The lawyers who created that agreement will make sure that you will have no exceptions for escape and no recourse in law. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken and you will only find out how mistaken you are long after there is no possible chance for a remedy by law.

    Your situation would be different had you never signed the agreement. There would be no binding contract with which you could be beaten.

    I can not and will not wish you luck in this because it is undermining many possibilities of reversing the illegal monopolistic hold the DVD Consortium has over the industry and Congress.

    It has nothing to do with zealotry.

    It has everything to do with knowing what is right and doing what is right; not what is convenient and subservient to the illegal monopolies.

    DVD Consortium: "It's my way or the high-way."
    Me: "I already know which way your way leads, so I will take the high-way. The air is fresher there and the view is wonderful."

    Only you can choose to take the low-way or the high-way. I know which way I will take. I think I also know which way you will take, unfortunately.

    Freedom isn't free. You have to fight for it.
  • > Q: Not even for me? I am "eleet dude", come on!
    > A: Nope, not even for you.

    Wow. They misspelled 31337 d00d pretty badly. I'm offended.
  • Please prove that open source software is better than closed source software.

    I'll bite.

    You will always have one additional feature -- the source.

    For a real-world example I present the commercial PKZip and the GPL'd zip/unzip package. Both are vitually identical. Both are "free" to use for non-commercial purposes. Yet I always use zip/unzip, rather than PKZip. Why? Because I have the source and I can use it if I need to.

    No, I'm no programmer. I can tweak Makefiles and the compilation process, however. So for CPU-intensive apps like compression, encryption, raytracing (povray), I go the extra mile to use pgcc [] to compile with insane optimizations (I used the optimizations found in the GOGO [] mp3 encoder makefile) to wring every last bit of performace from my 700MHz Athlon.

    In my mind, if all things are equal between 2 products, then having the source to one will make it better.

  • The only purpose of the law is to sufficiently restrict the freedoms of people and organisations enough to keep the ruling body in power. Deluding yourself into thinking otherwise is just plain ignorant. What the law says is irrelevent to anybody who has a true desire for freedom, and of great concern to those who support the suppression of rights in the name of statism.

    It's too bad you're posting anonymously, because I would have liked to e-mail you some questions. In any case...

    It has been my observation that /. doesn't take well to the "governments aren't good for much" idea. It's been my observation that such posts tend to generate mostly "knee-jerk" responses, sort of an instinctual protection of their mental programming (The State is Good. The State is Loving. The State is to be Protected at All Costs.) Look at some of the responses you have:

    1. The purpose of law is to protect the lives, liberties and properties of people.
    2. Go away, Astroturfer! We don't need you fucks defending Bill Gates here!
    3. Fuck off and die, you Nihilist.
    4. The character portraying the same philosophy you're advocating here gets just as screwed as the idealist. You better hope the idealists win out in the end.

    America might have been founded with the ideals mentioned in #1 above, but the purpose of "law" (so called) has evolved since that noble founding into the protection of the ideals and interests of the few.

    An example: I was listening to Loveline [] last night as I drove to Phoenix. One of the first callers was a heroin addict looking for a free detox center. Dr. Drew basically said that there wasn't much availible to someone who didn't have money or insurance to pay for detox. As they exist today, your "laws" classify this person, desiring treatment for an ailment, as a criminal. If "laws" really existed to serve the interests of the people, this person (who desires treatment but cannot afford it) would be classified as someone who sufferes from a disease, and would offer free treatment centers. Instead, the law exists to make politicians look good (Fighting the patriotic War On Drugs), and providing a paycheck for all the people employed to keep drugs out of the hands of the children.

    A second example: "Traffic law" (as currently carried out in America) exists primarily as a control method:

    • driver's license - supposedly exists to make sure that everone knows how to drive a vehicle - "Pull out of the parking space, turn left, right, back into the space. Congratulations, you're now a licensed driver in the State of (insert your state here)." Actually serves as a control mechanism - Requires its holders to report any changes they make in where they live, "privledge" to drive can arbitrarily be suspended (depending on the state, for reasons unrelated to driving).
    • "National Speed Limit" - Originally instituted to control how much oil people used in their car, later morphed into a safety measure - "55 saves lives" (highway fatalities have droped in states which have reinstitued saner speed limit laws).
    • Vehicle Registration - Gives "law enforcement officers" an easy way to track their charges (motoring public). Also requires informing the state of where the owner lives.

    There's so much I want to say on this topic.. Suffice it to say that I second the idea that what the "law" says is irrelevant to people who love freedom. Anyone who is willing to go to jail for what they believe in (while practicing "Civil disobedience"), even if no parties have suffered damages (such as when DVD's are played with unauthorized Linux DVD software), does not know (or even deserve) freedom.

  • Topic says it all really...
  • I'd rather give them $100 to make an "Open Source" player than give them $1 to make some industry controlled BS.

    Fight the man,
    hey wait... I'm the man.
  • Are you related to a certain Michael R Henson, by any chance?
  • I accuse you sir of being a chatter (of the ucam variety). Or is Mr. R. Henson more wide spread than we believed.
  • No. The 2.3 kernel series already provides support for DVD ioctls and the the UDF file system. I think 2.2.15 has this supportbuilt in as well. The main obstacles to DVD support on Linux are as follows.

    Information on the open-source Linux DVD player is available at LiVid []

    1. DVDs are scrambled using a low grade (40-bit) encryption algorithm known as CSS. Although the relevant algorithms have been reverse engineered, and cracking the relevant keys has been shown to be trivial, the legal status of these reverse engineered algorithms is very much in doubt, as two lawsuits, one by the Motion Picture Association of America, the other by the DVD Copy Control Association, may have the effect of removing this source code from open distribution.

    2. Portions of the AC3 sound decoder algorithm may be owned by Dolby, although an unlicenced decoder has been developed.

    3. Portions of the MPEG2 video decoder algorithm are entangled in various patents. An unlicenced decoder has been developed.

    4. The menu system and subpicture/subtitle decoders still need some work.

    5. The current focus within Livid seems to be syncing up audio and video streams.

    Most of the people working on LiVid are working on technical problems, not legal ones, however, and development continues apace.

  • When I was testingout decss when it came out, I found that my copy of "Lock stock & 2 smoking barrels" was not encrypted. I have no idea why, it was shop-bought like the rest of my dvds, it just wasn't encrypted. And, btw, I didn't immediately run off a few a few thousand bootlegs, so I guess encrypting the rest of the discs had little point.
  • Did you just use the term "Shit hot" to descibe a monitor? Man, I almost fell outta my seat..

    Well, that's how the "sales clerks" in Dixon's talk. They only get an hours training tocover all the products in the shop, and generally this training seems to consist of learning ways of saying that each item is fantastic, shit hot, cutting-edge, great value for money, etc. etc.


  • That's AMAZING! Where'd you get a case with a 12" bay?

    (Knowing /.ers, someone will find one :))

  • Hi,
    If you read through the "news" page on their site, you will notice that they do not make any reference to the name of the company that is paying them. Furthermore, they mention that they met the guys from this secret company after LWE - this could perhaps have been sometime in March. They were given funding to complete their work. This was shortly before rumours about InterVideo's LinDVD started circulating. Perhaps there is a link between the two? Perhaps not.

    In any case, this deserves consideration fokes.

    If you do go back and read through my orriginal submissions about LinDVD, please follow the links to the additional comments that I made which are relevent to this.

  • If I buy a DVD drive or card and drive package, and I receive DVD playing software in the box for an operating system I do not run/own can I return the un-used/un-loaded/un-clicked-EULA software for a return of the licensing fees a la returning an unbooted windows? If not can the benefactors of my purchase be sued for monopolistic practices?
  • Anybody have any idea what the quality will be like? Close to current proprietary Win32 players? I supppose it won't feature hardware acceleration, so it's probably software-only, but I'd like to be able to have it comfortable at a smooth 30 FPS+ @ 1024x768 in 32-bit color.

    The frame quality is as it is in a windoze player. Right now they are working on increasing the speed and a lot of other tweaks.
  • Many of us do. I choose to not run proprietary software because of how I feel towards the Free Software Movement and where this movement can take us.
    I love to play video games, however a while back I made a decision that I would not play any game that was not free. I don't mean free as in it's cost, I mean free as in what I can do with it once I own it. I truely feel, as do many others, that once I own something, it is my right to do with it as I please. I should be allowed to modify the software, redistribute the software, whatever I want.
    I really want to play DVD's on my linux box. However, I myself am not willing to sacrafice my principals for that goal. I will continue to watch them on my TV until a solution presents itself. I urge others to do the same.

  • Actually, I'd really like to have hardware schematics for my computer. If someone were to manufacture a LART [] I'd buy one just for the sake of having the schematics. (Also darn useful for robotics, I'd expect.)

    As is hardly news, it's possible to sell Free Software, RMS has been doing it for a very long time (selling tapes of emacs, for example). RedHat is a newer example of the same.

  • Well, you know, posting copyrighted material (and remember, everything is copyrighted by default unless explicitly put into the public domain) is the brou-ha-ha that's currently getting Slashdot into some hot shit with Microsoft. And for the site maintainers' view of it, check out a section from the Slashdot FAQ [], specifically, Slashdot should Cache linked sites in case of the Slashdot Effect []. Quoting, "Sure, its a great idea, but it has a lot of legal implications... So the quick answer is: Sure, Caching would be neat. It would make things a lot easier when servers go down. But I'm just not interested in dealing with the legal aspects, or the overhead required to ask permission."

    Obviously, they won't delete what readers post. Lord knows they've shown that up to this point. :) But I get the impression that it's frowned upon. (But who knows, maybe that's the impression we're supposed to get. To look all good legally and stuff. I don't know.)

    "But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong..."


  • Thanks, I appreciate the info.
  • I like your morse code analogy; let's take it a bit further.

    Consider buying a book printed in morse code. Except that once decoded into plain text, you discover that the text is mildly encrypted, you need a 'secret decoder ring' to decode it with. You can buy these things (surprise!) for a lot of money.

    Someone manages to break the code without using a decoder ring. I know this a bit different from the situation with DeCSS, but as I understand it once one knows the algorithm the code is very easy to crack.

    Now, this someone tells you how to read the book without the decoder ring. Are you acting illegally by doing so?

  • Why can't it be free (as in beer)? We donate money to free software all the time. Let's just create a fund for a free Linux DVD project, and pay royalties out of that.

    How is this different from buying the software?

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • Actually it is... You have to buy the laserdiscs that have that resolution (My collectors edition of 1941 that comes on 6 discs and has gobs more footage than any dvd will have) as for the life, yes a poorly pressed LD will get laser rot from the platters seperating. This is from only POORLY made discs, a good disc will not get that (Oh also properly stored help too!) Yes, production has slowed on the discs, as they dont put crap movies on them anymore (Thank god there isnt a barney collection on LD.... but there is one for DVD!) But, I do have episodes 1-48 of Startrek DS9 on laserdisc that are recorded in the HD format that gives me 720x480.

    So it's available, :-)
  • I told my kids that they can install any operating system they like, as long as they reinstall Windows 98 before they go to bed. I think this should be easy since there's apparently an "install wizard" that does all the work for them.

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • Hi,

    There's a MPEG-2 player I saw first at Linux Expo 99 and then Linux Expo 2000 that runs on x86 but also Sparc, etc.
    It runs a DVD unencrypted at full rate on a Celeron 400. They support X, and also GGI.
    It's (soon to be) GPL when the school agrees (it's written by students):

    VideoLAN []

    It's very impressive !


    Soutenance []

    Linux Expo []

  • There is a GPL'd Linux DVD player. It's availible at Intructions on how to make the thing work are at The player is still in early testing stages, and they are short on programmers (I think...). Making it work is kinda bitchy, but it does work more or less, although it's definatly pretty far from being called a stable release. Personnally, I won't run closed source software on my linux box (this is not my box), so this player gets my vote. I agree with some of the posts above that open source software is inherently supirior, not because of better fetures, coding, or anything like that, merely because it is open source. I would rather use a piece of shit free software app, then some full fetured, easy to use, intutive closed app.
  • >we consciously made the decision to write the player the Right Way.

    THE right way? I would say _A_ right way. In this case the right way for your company. But not necessarily the right way for everyone. THE right way for me would be a free (as in freedom) DVD player. That may not be good for your company, but I don't care about any company. You're choosing what the DVD forum says is the right way. And I happen not to agree. I havent found any clause in current legislation that forbids me to decrypt DVD movies to view them. (no, I'm not bound by the DMCA) As far as I know there is no law against making your own VCR, cassette player, or CD player and I don't see why DVD would be any different.

  • I'm a university student. I have no TV of my own. But I have a nice, 20" monitor that I've been using to watch TV for a few years. Add in a DVD-ROM, decoder card, and even a little surround sound system, and this thing is my home entertainment system until I graduate - and possibly beyond.

    But that's just my story...
  • Unless they dropped $5000 on their TV, it still only has a resolution of five hundred something by four hundred something. An HDTV quality movie playing at 1024x768 on a computer monitor (Or an HDTV) set will so amazingly sharper and more detailed that you wouldn't believe me without seeing it for yourself. I recently got to see a few HDTV sets in action. They're quite simply amazing. Not $5000 worth of amazing, but maybe $1000 worth of amazing (Which is about what you'll pay for a reasonably good 21" monitor.)
  • Yeah, that's great but I've pretty much decided that any device where that much work has gone in to preventing me from exercising my rights to fair use has got to be evil. So I've decided not to buy a DVD player, standalone or otherwise. Moreover, I've skipped several movies with this whole DVD thing rattling around in the front of my mind -- I actually haven't been to see or rented a movie in months.

    Admittedly when the DVD ROMs come out, if I can write to one with Linux I might buy one to store my MP3 collection (None of which, for the record, was downloaded over the Internet and which was ripped entirely from my collection of CDs.)

  • "Project GNU tools from the FSF, whose essential code (kernel, filesystems, compiler) is protected by copyleft"

    Of those three essential parts, my Linux OS contains only the compiler! There is no Hurd. There is no GNUfs. Gee, I'm using gcc on Solaris at work. Does this mean that it's really GNU/Solaris? Hardly!

    I can easily get a booting Linux system utilizing nothing from GNU except glibc. But only the unthinking fanatic would call this The GNU System. Before you obnoxiously demand that distros advertise GNU, find out what an OS really is first.
  • in any country where deCSS is legal, deCSS is the right way.

  • Clerk: How big is your television? Me: I don't have a TV.
  • by philg ( 8939 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @04:55AM (#1061909)

    "I don't like Windows either but y'all are looking sort of childish making a political statement out of not using it."

    Okay, I'm boycotting the movies. No, really. There is one whole person actually willing to admit they're actually boycotting, and it's me. I feel like a minority of one, but there you go.

    Anyway, the reason I do has nothing to do with Windows. I simply believe that I should be allowed my rights under existing Fair Use provisions of copyright law. The MPAA doesn't want to permit that, so they're basically trying to rework the law to remove Fair Use, through application of the DMCA. That has nothing to do with Windows, and everything to do with how I may use property I own.

    If we lived in a much, much wierder world, it would be just as easy for the MPAA to only license players that played under Linux, shutting out Windows, Mac, and other OSes. I wouldn't jump for joy at that point; that's just as immoral.

    Have you seen what kinds of restrictions some people are asking for on digital books? Same thing. Further, they're wanting to keep you from loaning your book to someone else, or selling it at a digital used-book store. There is no reason the digital medium should allow that, except that publishers want it. The MPAA, should they be successful, will have laid the legal groundwork for that.

    Technology should empower the individual, not to strip the individual of rights s/he already has. That's why I'm boycotting the movies.


  • Well, we could always just do it for FreeBSD instead...

    Or NetBSD (a program labeled "for NetBSD" must be free software because NetBSD is available on so many architectures).

  • I was at a smallish computer shop a few months ago. There was an older couple looking at the "hot deal" computer and picking "options". On of the things they wanted was a DVD player. Here's how the conversation went:

    Woman: We want a DVD player.
    Clerk: Why?
    Woman: (unsure) watch DVDs.
    Clerk: How big is your television?
    Man: 31 inches
    Clerk: This monitor is 19 inches. Why not buy a DVD player separately and hook it to your TV?

    That's exactly my feeling. Why on earth would I want to watch a DVD on my computer? The only conceivable reason I can come up with is easy video captures. Is that what everyone is doing? Renting porn on DVD and making a killing with video clips?
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • by meisenst ( 104896 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @03:05AM (#1061916) Homepage
    "Free software" is not the be-all and end-all of the software world.

    Loki, for example, is doing the Linux world a great favour by porting popular games to Linux. Their games are not free. Same with id (until they released Quake x sources), if you didn't own win32 Quake before you got the linux port.

    A piece of software released as a source tarball can have more of an effect on the Linux world, sure, but IMHO, we don't have to expect everything to be that way. It's really very simple; a lot of work requires licensing fees to be paid (a-la-CSS), and we can't always expect companies to dish out cash and reward us all with their efforts for free.

    That having been said, I will probably not buy a Linux DVD product, because I have no problem using a win9x box for that. I already have a Windows box for playing Windows games. What's the crime in that?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2000 @03:06AM (#1061918)
    In order for this to be some sort of holy Open Source movement, you people need to understand a fundamental part of civil disobedience--you're wiling to go to jail for what you believe in. If your whole stance is "free software and free MP3s and free DVD players" then you either abstain from the technologies until a legal, free solution is provided, or you utilize an illegal solution, with the understanding that you may have to pay the price for that defiance.

    "Linux is meant to encourage freedom" - Well, Linux hasn't been codified into law in any country I've heard of, so if you'll continue to use illegal technology (even if the law is stupid), be prepared to face the consequences.

  • There are several reasons why people would want this:
    1) You are on a trip using your Linux laptop, and don't want to drop $1000 for a portable DVD player
    2) You don't have space in your room for a TV and a monitor (like my kids for example) and you want to use your computer as an occasional DVD player
    3) Because you can...
  • What's stopping you from buying a player like the Apex AD600A or the Raite AVphile 715, which plays MP3s(horror against RIAA), VCDs, can disable Macrovision(hex against MPAA)?

    There is a way to fight the system without hurting yourself, isn't there? Buy only systems in which Macrovision and Region encoding is disabled, in which MP3s are playable, in which copy protection is a moot point?

    Or is that too much of a cop out?

  • Karma Whore, (n.), term used against those who post useful information, by those who dont.
  • Hmf. The keys are out. I don't see why not someone sits down, and starts hacking up a decent open-source DVD-player for Linux. If someone hacks up a client with everything except the keys, and starts distributing it -- that can't be illegal, can it?

    And since we all have got the keys somewhere, or may retrieve them from somewhere, that would be all we need. Then we have a fully functional open sourced DVD player.


    "Rune Kristian Viken" - - arcade@efnet
  • As for Sparc. . .you're joking, right? I like my SparcStation too, but if I feel the need to blow hundreds of dollars on DVDs and a player I'll use my TV, thank you very much.

    No, I'm not joking. It's true that if I wanted to view DVDs, I wouldn't go out an buy a Sparc. However, I have already made the investments in that hardware, and I already have the DVDs (most of which, yes, I do watch on my TV). So why shouldn't I use my existing Sparc hardware (which sports a DVD-RAM, currently used for backups) to watch my already purchased DVDs? BTW, my monitor is the same size as my TV, with a significantly higher refresh rate, so the old "your TV is better" claim won't wash. BTW, as for your "single monitor" argument, my Sparc has two...

  • Q: So how much did you say it was going to cost?
    A: I didn't say. How much are you willing to give us?

    They can't charge more than the market price of a real DVD player plus a video capture card.

  • Any open-source implementation of any algorithm (MPEG 2, Dolby Digital, etc.) whose patent has not expired is a patent infringement, and everyone in possession of the code can potentially be sued for statutory and treble damages.
  • I doubt anyone can explain to you why you would want to watch DVDs on your computer. I can explain why I watch them on mine.

    I have a really nice setup where I can use my computer in bed or from a comfy chair next to it. Add a DVD player and a TV tuner card and I can watch DVDs and TV in bed or from my chair.

    I could have bought a TV and a standalone player instead. The cost would have been greater. Last time I checked, standalone DVD players were ridiculously expensive. I would have had to rearrange the furniture in my bedroom to fit the TV at the foot of the bed. The image quality would be lower. The viewing arc would be smaller due to the increased distance (assuming a TV screen size I can afford). I would have had to be careful to pick a TV that doesn't emit that annoying high-frequency whine that no-one but me seems to be bothered by. I would have to pay the Icelandic TV tax. When I wanted to use my headphones with the TV, I'd either have to unplug them from my soundcard and plug them into the TV or DVD unit and then back again when I wanted to use them with the computer or I'd have to run a permanent line from the TV or DVD unit to the line-in connector on the soundcard. That connector is in use at the moment, feeding from the other computer, which sometimes plays mp3's for me while Quake 3 hogs the processor on the main machine. That's sort of OK though, since that machine's line-in connector is free and I could pass the DVD audio signal through that machine. That would force me to keep that machine on while watching TV or DVD, but that's no biggie and I doubt the signal degradation would be noticable. Then there's the region thing. I'm not even sure that multiregion players are available locally.

    Let's see. Anything else? Well, I was planning to set up something to capture and compress TV shows on a timer much like a TiVo or ReplayTV. I haven't taken the time to make it happen, but I look forward to tackling that problem when work settles down to a sensible pace (yeah right, like that's going to happen). TiVo's and ReplayTV's aren't available here so cost doesn't even enter into it on that front.

    In conclusion, I have many reasons to prefer a computer and a DVD drive to a TV and a DVD player. None of them may be relevant to you or most other people, but they are valid and I'm sure the hordes of people who have bought DVD drives have equally valid reasons for doing so.

  • Of course, you can hook your computer up to a really big monitor/TV/projector/whatever and watch your DVDs on that. Besides, for people who don't have the space or money for a separate TV/DVD player combination and already have a computer, it makes sense to put the DVD playing system in the computer.

    Furthermore, with the DVD drive in the computer, any DVD-based software is also accessible. Try using a DVD-ROM with a DVD-Video player! B-)

    In most cases the extra cost of buying a DVD drive instead of a CD-ROM drive for a PC is smaller than that of buying a DVD player for a TV.
  • by mav[LAG] ( 31387 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @03:12AM (#1061942)
    Q: What is LSDVD?
    A: A wicked awesome audio/visual experiance that allows you to witness the awe and mystery of true DVD playback under Linux with AC3 and all the goodies. Look elsewhere on this site for more information.

    Q: Oh yes! DVD under Linux! Hooray!
    A: We thought you would be happy.

    Q: Since this is a Linux project it's going to be open sourced and gpl'd, right?
    A: No.

    Q: WHAT?! Why (optional profanity) not?
    A: Unfortunately the DVD Forum, Dolby and MPEGLA have proprietary rights to AC3 and decoding schemas (as well as much needed hardware specs). In order to legally develop this program we are going to have to pay a huge licensing fee to each and (on top of that) royalties on every program distriputed. Hence, we have to charge for it, but not too much hopefully.

    Q: You're sure it won't be free?
    A: Positive.

    Q: Not even for me? I am "eleet dude", come on!
    A: Nope, not even for you.

    Q: Well how about a beta then. Can I be a beta tester?
    A: No, all of our testing is going to be done internally with the developers and other hand picked individuals.

    Q: When will it be released?
    A: Eventually.

    Q: Eventually? Eventually!?!? How soon is that!
    A: How soon do you think it is?

    Q: Can I please have a beta?
    A: No.

    Q: So how much did you say it was going to cost?
    A: I didn't say. How much are you willing to give us?

    Dunno about you but this doesn't give me much of a warm fuzzy feeling inside. The folks over at LiViD [] may have some work to do still, but at least I can see their progress, and help contribute to the source tree where I can. Not that I don't welcome projects like LSDVD - but I'll believe it when I see it.
    FWIW the LiViD CVS tarball features AC3 decoding, decryption and authorisation of discs, mpeg playback and a whole lot of other bonus features - including hacked up hardware acceleration for DXr2 and Matrox owners.

    Support them /.'ers - they need your help.

  • Sorry to burst your bubble, but the FAQ [], it's not going to be "legally distributable".

    It sucks, I know.


  • There are several fights all entangled into one big mess here:

    • The power and freedom of Open Source Software
      • Use Linux and Open Source software

    • The right to explore, hack, and reverse engineer
      • DeCSS and fighting against the DMCA

    • The right of fair use and the ability to use your own goods in your own manner
      • Playing of DVDs under Linux, and fighting against the DMCA, backing up DVDs, recording off DVDs, etc.

    • The battle against the tyranny of the RIAA and the MPAA
      • Boycotting anything that gives money to those organizations, using and behaving in ways to miminize their income, and to violate their proscriptions

    Which battles are worth fighting? Which do people even consider battles to fight?

    I want to watch movies. I rent tapes/DVDs. I will fight for fair use, though, and against the DMCA. I support Linux, Open Source, and Free(Source) Software. I don't have a stand yet, but it's forming, slowly.

  • I guess since I'm writing part of the s/w, I can explain. When I started the project, all I had to my name was a computer and a 19" monitor. I am a college student, and therefore, by law, I am required to be broke. In my dorm room, I don't have a television, and I don't particularly like watching dumb sitcoms....but I do like watching films.

    DVDs were the best answer for me, because the 19" monitor was large enough to watch them, and I didn't need to purchase a TV or VCR/DVD. The only nuisance was the OS I had to use to watch them. Thus, started LSDVD. Does that answer your Q?
  • Asides from that, watching DVDs on a computer monitor means that you don't have to go through the aweful NTSC system and you basically get a progressive scan output, something available only on very high end players and TVs. Unfortunately of course, many people have TVs which are signifigantly larger than their monitors...
  • Having a licensed, approved, certified and authorized DVD player for Linux is only a victory for people who like to watch movies on their computer monitor.

    The only people interested in a DVD player for Linux are those very same people who like to watch movies on their computer monitor. Those that don't like to watch such movies, well, so what?

    If this is a victory for group A, and only group A gets any benefit out of this, it is rather pointless for group B to bitch about it. Sort of like coffee drinkers complaining about the price of tea in China. The kvetching and venting might be fun and self-satisfying, but does little else.

    Speaking of tea, the famous Boston Tea Party of early American history managed to provide certain disillusioned Bostonians the opportunity to get drunk and paint their faces, and to get themselves mentioned in every domestic history book since, but did absolutely nothing to benefit anyone who actually enjoyed drinking tea. The problem wasn't the price of tea, or even the so much the tax that was put on it that raised its price. The problem was with the British government. Things really didn't start moving freedom-wise until the colonists started attacking the King's troops instead of the King's merchants.

    The problem is not the MPAA. They are merely the King's merchants. The problem is the DMCA which takes away the freedom to reverse engineer. If the MPAA utterly disappeared tomorrow, the DMCA would still be there. Vent your anger at the US Congress and Senate (the King's troops) who saw fit to curtail your previously held rights for a mere thirty pieces of silver.
  • Thank you from the bottom of my dog-eared copies of Thoreau.

    Let me start out by stating some personal biases here. For starters I have nothing against the idea of IP. I have nothing against propriatary software. I do not believe in free MP3s. I do not believe in any *inherent* right to have a free DVD player.

    I do believe that *the law,* the DMCA notwithstanding *already gives me the right to view my DVDs by whatever means I need to take to do so.*

    In this respect, and in this respect alone, I disagree with you. I believe that I am NOT engaging in an act of civil disobeience by using DeCSS code to view my legally licensed DVDs. Anyone who takes measures to legally prevent me from doing so is violating my legal rights. THEY are the ones who are engaging in an act of civil disobedience.

    The DVD consortium has done somthing legally unprecedented, and I believe legally unsupportable. They are attempting to separate the license to possess from the license to use. The law explicitly denies this. It is as if someone sold you a book, but you couldn't read it unless you bought an additional book from them * and they were the only legal source of that other book.* What's more it's as if it would be illegal for you to *figure out how to read it on your own.* This isn't just analogy, it is legal identity.

    The DVD consortium is currently relying on certain provisions of the DMCA to fight open source DVD players. This provision gives certain protections to digital media. This protection has no other standing in law and other provisions explicitly give me the rights that I would have for any other media.

    To use my book analogy, let's say I publish it in *printed* digital form. The DMCA would apply even though it is a book different than no other, *other than the alphabet set used.*

    Lets take a digital code that has been in common use since 1938. The Morse code. Yes, the Morse code is a purely digital format, fully compliant with the terms of the DMCA for digital media.

    So, I print a book in Morse code. Do you have the right to read it? Of course you do. We all *know that.* Do you have to purchase a *legally licensed* Morse code decoder to do so? Of course not. Even if such a decoder existed it wouldn't stand up in court for 5 minutes. We all "understand" printed media and our rights to fair use of it. The fact that it's printed in a new format dosn't flummox our thinking about it.

    There is no difference between Morse code and any other digital format. What's more, there is no difference between digital format and a standard alphabet * in terms of intellectual property rights.* A standard alphabet and the Morse code are just two different ways of representing *exactly the same data.* They are nothing more than alternative alphabets.

    Now then, I will repeat, the DMCA *explicitly* states that I have the same fair use rights with regard to digital data as to any other data. The format dosn't matter with regard to my *personal* rights. What's more, if you look at the actual court decisions that have been handed down so far no court has denied this at all. What the courts HAVE ruled is that the DMCA makes it illegal for someone to "teach me Morse code." The key point here is that is still legal for me to KNOW how to read Morse code.

    The DVD consortium would like us to believe, in fact they would like it to be true, that it is illegal to KNOW how to read Morse code. That you must purchase that knowledge *separately* from them and that learning how in any other way, such as applying known techniques of cryptography, is also illegal. This is not true and is NOT supported by the DMCA.

    This has not been tested in court yet though, and I believe this is for one very simple reason. The DVD consortium have no interest in prosecuteing this case! They would almost certainly lose. So, they have prosocuted the pipeline of information. This IS supported by the DMCA, and so far, by the courts.

    Get this, and get this well. Distributing DeCSS and it's related technology has been ruled illegal.

    POSSESSING it hasn't, and I don't believe can be.

    Now, an argument has been made here on Slashdot that this is no different than having to buy software to play a CD on your computer. I'm sorry, but the two cases are not at all the same. *No one is claiming ownership and restricing access to the FORMAT of the data on a music CD.* I can write my own player using published sources to play my CDs if I want. The DVD consortium is seeking to deny this right *even though you already have the legally PURCHASED right, guaranteed by law and the DMCA itself, to make fair use of the data on the DVD.

    So, here we come to why all of the previous is relevant to your post. You are right, the open source movement has not taken up the fight. They have acted in a completely defensive manner letting the DVD consortium dictate the terms of the fight. This is horrible generalship. It reminds me of the old Bill Cosby routine.

    " The captain of the settlers says that during the war, his team can wear any color clothes that they want to, shoot from behind the rocks and trees and everywhere. Says that your team must wear red, and march in a straight line."
    (Note, the above is the IP of Bill Cosby and/or his legal agents. I fall back on fair use rights to post it here.)

    Of COURSE the DVD consortium is winning. They picked the fight on their terms!

    Here is what I propose. I have legally puchased DVDs for which I have proof of legal purchase.

    I will use "illegitimate" means, as the DVD consortium would define it, to view that DVD.

    I will THEN write a letter the the DVD consortium informing them that I have done so and requesting an opinion from them in return!

    Now THAT should prove to be an interesting legal interchange.

    Guess it's time for me to check up on the state of the LiViD art.

  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @11:40AM (#1061959) Homepage Journal
    The last thing we want is to have Linux corrupted by closed source, proprietary software, which by definition cannot be as good as open source.

    Self-definitions are meaningless. If you look at the proprietary dictionaries, they will say the opposite. And of course, the ambivalent dictionaries are ambivalent. The only people who classify Open Source as better by definition are a subset of Open Source advocates.

    The quality of a program has nothing whatsoever to do with its licensing. This is like judging automobiles by their extended warranties. Good licenses and warranties are very desirable, but they aren't the only things. A closed source DVD player is by most people's definitions, better than an non-existant open source player.

    Besides which, you're talking about Linux. Every single Linux distribution, and I mean every single one of them, comes with closed source and proprietary software. YaST, Netscape, XV, StarOffice, you name it. The first time I installed the self-appointed champion of freedom, namely Debian GNU/Linux, it installed proprietary and closed source Netscape Navigator WITHOUT even asking me first. Needless to say, this was also the last time I installed it.
  • posting copyrighted material is the brou-ha-ha that's currently getting Slashdot into some hot shit with Microsoft

    Wht makes you think that /. is in hot shit? This is the best of all possible worlds for them. They get a ton of free publicity fighting a company generally despised by their audience with virtually no legal liability. It costs them a relatively small amount for legal costs. What kind of actual damages is Microsoft going to claim? I really doubt that they filed for a copyright for the document before the infringement which would earn them statutory damages.

    In short, there ain't no shit here -- neither hot nor cold.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • It sucks, I know.

    Not really. Ever since DeCSS caught the rath of the MPAA, evryone has been saying "We only want to be able to play DVD's on the platform of our choice". Well, now they can. Noone said they wanted to be able to play DVD's on the platform of their choice, but only if the player was Open Source.

    It's a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
  • Well, at least my 17-inch monitor is larger than my TV set, but then I've never been a TV person -- I've considered simply getting rid of my television altogether. Besides, the only reason people need big televisions is that the refresh rate of TVs is so terrible that sitting too close to one gives headaches. With a good monitor, I can sit for an entire day a foot and a half away from my monitor with no problems. So, why wouldn't I want to watch a movie on such a high-quality screen?
  • In order for this to be some sort of holy Open Source movement, you people need to understand a fundamental part of civil disobedience--you're wiling to go to jail for what you believe in.
    I wish I had moderator points right now.

    Very well put.

    I believe in Free Software, too... but this is something that you've forced me to think about.


I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.