A Conversation for DVD Video

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Post 1

Smiley Ben

It is absolutely and entirely untrue that CSS stops people from copying DVDs. I don't know why it's in a separate section from region encoding, since that is what CSS is for. CSS stops people WATCHING DVDs on unauthorised players. It is VERY simple to copy a DVD byte-for-byte including the encrypted part, and this copy could be played on any other authorised player. The only restriction that CSS imposes is that it prevents you using, say, American DVDs on British players, allowing price fixing (since they are a lot cheap on the American side of the Atlantic).

Why anyone would WANT to copy a DVD is another question entirely. Blank DVD media cost about three times as much as a DVD video retails for, and the price for a DVD writer is absolutely astronomical.

I hope you'll correct this error. It is a major (and common) misconception, which is currently being used to keep a Norweigian 17 year old in jail...


Colonel Catastrophe..

Post 2

Livzy

What about the fact that if you integrate the technology of fibreoptics, nuclear fision, half a pound of lard and a sprinkling of binary WAP based javascript then it will still work.

Perhaps.

Or not.

etc etc


Colonel Catastrophe..

Post 3

Smiley Ben

Actually, you could just use a program called DeCSS to bypass the encryption, but that's supposedly not legal...


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Post 4

Cybernard

What??? He got arrested?
How typical... first the media says he's an ultimate hacker god (which makes the entire hacker scene mad at him for stealing credit, which he in fact didn't do at all) but not a word if he gets arrested?
Eh, maybe I forgot to pick any newspaper that day.


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Post 5

Smiley Ben

Oh no, don't worry, it wasn't that you missed the news - they just all utterly ignored him.

Considering the fact that all the newspapers are continuing the myth that DeCSS is all about piracy, it's not surprising really that nobody seems to care when he was arrested...


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Post 6

Jonboy

He wasn't arrested. He was just taken in for questioning. And had all his computer stuff confiscated. He was back home later that night and very angry. DeCSS is illegal to use or possess (at least in the United States, don't know about other places). I do know that I have a DVD drive on my computer that I can only use as a cd-rom drive because of CSS scrambling. The only way for me to play DVDs on my PERFECTLY LEGAL DRIVE is to use DeCSS, which thanks to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, is illegal to use. So I'm stuck with a useless DVD drive. =[


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Post 7

Smiley Ben

Oooh, thanks for the correction - the news went very quiet after he ws questioned.

And it's still debateable whether DeCSS is actually illegal... The words 'test' and 'case' spring to mind...


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Post 8

Frood

So what is the program supposed to do if it's not to copy DVD's?


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Post 9

Smiley Ben

The program bypasses the encryption, allowing it to be played on unauthorised players. The reason it was written was to allow DVDs to be played under Linux, since nobody had written a program to do so. It can also be used to bypass region-encryption (which is the same thing, but another way of looking at it).


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Post 10

Jonboy

Actually the Digital Millenium Copyright Act makes it pretty clear that DeCSS is illegal in the United States. Does anyone know of its legality in other countries?


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Post 11

Smiley Ben

On what basis? Reverse engineering? Software licensing?


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Post 12

Mustapha

I've been reading a breaking story on the Internet Movie Database in the past couple of days, about companies in Australia, Britain, Brazil and Sweden (and probably lots of other places as well) retuning DVD players to bypass the regional coding. It's apparently giving movie studios cause to reconsider their habit of staggering worldwide release of movies, when people in Europe and elsewhere can simply get the DVD long before the movie hits their shores.


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Post 13

Kate

Thanks for pointing that out. I just mailed off a corrected version smiley - smiley


All better now

Post 14

World Service Memoryshare team

There you are. Thanks everyone! smiley - smiley


All better now

Post 15

Kate

Wow, she's speedy! Look at her go!

smiley - smiley


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Post 16

Jonboy

Neither. In the US, DeCSS is illegal because it bypasses Technological Protection Mechanisms as defined in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Any nation which is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) should have similar laws. I'm not sure what nations are in this organization, or how much of the DMCA is mandated by WIPO. Anyone have any insight on this? While were on the subject, someone should write an entry on DeCSS. I'd do it, but I don't have time. Spring break will be over on Sunday and I'll go back to doing work for my classes. Happy fun.


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Post 17

Smiley Ben

I shall add it to the index of entries that need writing:

http://www.h2g2.com/A234677


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Post 18

Jonboy

Wow. That index is really useful. I've added a link to it from my page so I don't forget about it. =]


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Post 19

Smiley Ben

It's meant to be (useful)! Any suggestions always warmly invited and accepted!


DeCSS lawsuits

Post 20

Azimuth

What's the latest news on the DeCSS lawsuits, then? The information I've found on the web seems either fragmented or out of date... anyone round here have a handle on what's going on?

Azimuth


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