1) The DMCA doesn't use the words "Decrypting", it uses the words "Circumventing". Could it be argued that using some specialized software to do a bitwise copy of the disc to local drive and then another piece of specialized software to mount the image is circumventing the copy protection of the disc? I think that yes, quite possibly. The copy protection is meant to keep anyone from making a copy of any sort, therefore circumventing it is circumventing it. Perhaps slightly more of a grey area, but only in an interesting legal argument sort of way. You'd still have the same lawsuit on your hards (Well, if it was a DMCA suit, then it would be the FBI seizing computers, subject to arrest, the whole nine yards)... Most people are ill-equipped to deal with a large scale civil suit, let alone a criminal one, even though a criminal suit is actually far easier to have dismissed. Please don't take this as approval of this law - but I believe only with visibility into the seriousness of the legal problem can people really understand and hopefully change it.
2) It sort of misses the point of the "loaned that backup to a friend" that the OP was talking about. I mean, you can't read the ensuing data chunk in a dvd player, for certain... and "Here, buddy, hand me your portable HD and I'll copy this
Anyways, thanks for letting me know. Now I'm interested to see how legit the technique really is. I'm still very very skeptical. Have you done it yourself?
You can copy DVDs bit for bit, thus not breaking encryption. You argument falls apart there,
srsly? We can copy DVD's without breaking the encryption? How exactly does that work, then? Also, no fair cheating and saying "Well, it _could_ be done, you just wouldn't be able to watch it." because that's useless.
I watch movies for free all the time over at a friend's house. He rented or bought them, I paid nothing. If he loans me the physical media, is that illegal? I still paid nothing. Now just stretch it a bit further and say he ripped it for the purposes of back up, then loaned me that copy? There isn't a lot of difference in these scenarios, and it proves, that yes, you can legally watch movies for free sometimes.
Well, no, there actually is a difference in those scenarios. In the first scenario, you are not breaking the law or committing a crime. In the second scenario, a DVD is being decrypted. This is a violation of the DMCA and a crime under US statutory law. You should always strive to be aware of the laws that you break. https://www.eff.org/es/wp/unintended-consequences-under-dmca
Have you considered lending the machine to a NetBSD developer? In order to have hardware supported, we need the conjunction of (access to hardware, skills, time). You may lack the second entry of the tuple, but someone else may just lack the first one.
NetBSD mailing lists (port-sgimips here) are the right place to discuss such an arrangement
Eh, lack of availability of those computers isn't the problem. The problem is that the systems have very custom/unique architecture and there isn't a lot of end-user desire. I, too, went through what the GP is talking about. Irix is _still_ commercial and is realistically still the only option if you want to fire up your Octane. I went down all of the roads I possibly could with Linux/mips & NetBSD/mips.. support on both sides of the coin was the same: Terrible. Anything besides Irix on those old mips SGI's is pretty much useless, everything from "Hey, I got a bootloader to work and you can totally telnet into the machine, no framebuffer support" to "framebuffer support, mostly works, but no acceleration of any kind". The SGI Octane is really a conversation piece at this point anyways, I donated my long ago to the local PC-recycler and they turned it into scrap metal. Not old/rare enough to be a museum piece and not new/fast enough for modern use.
Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.