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DeCSS Source Mass-Posted to Usenet 393

Flitz writes "It looks like the inevitable is happening: someone is mass-posting copies of the DeCSS source code to Usenet. It showed up today in the comp.os.linux groups, with a little checking, it looks like it was posted to all of the comp* groups. Will MPAA be suing Deja now? Here is a link to the spam sighting report." I'm really amused by the various things that have been released with the DeCSS code embedded. Song lyrics in free MP3s, encoded into MIDI files, poetry, pictures of the statue of liberty. I just wish this whole lawsuit thing would get dropped so I could start playing DVDs on my laptop's DVD drive under Linux. I've bought tons of movies: its so unfair that I can't play them on the plane without rebooting. Having to keep a whole operating system around just to watch movies is pretty harsh.
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DeCSS Source Mass-Posted to Usenet

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  • by SEE ( 7681 )
    Well, it's absolutely impossible for the average person to make a duplicate DVD, because burnable DVDs already have the key-storage space permanently burned out. You can't do it with or without DeCSS or any other tool.

    But it's fairly easy to use a legitimate decoder to give you a stream to copy onto a hard disc or VHS. The biggest problem is "Macrovision", which gives you a non-standard NTSC or PAL signal that theoretically can only be decoded successfully by TVs, not VCRs or video decoder cards.

    However, numerous times DVD players with secret Macrovision disable modes have been released, and "chipping" mods for DVD players to bypass Macrovision have been successful. And a time base corrector can compensate for and even eliminate Macrovision effects. These can be bought for a few hundred (low-end) to a few thousand (high-end) dollars and are often the lower-end ones are included in higher-end VCRs. Most people who do video editing will have time base correctors, either separate ones or ones that are components of their other equipment.

    So, DeCSS makes copying DVDs to hard disk or VHS somewhat easier/cheaper/better than if you don't have DeCSS or a DVD player that allows Macrovision bypass.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    Well, that clears that up, and nixes all my points - except for one:

    Why isn't anybody (the manufacturers) doing anything to shield this stuff (the airplane control systems, or the CD/DVD drives), so that there won't be any problems (from interference)?

    It's almost like someone saying "BRR! It's chilly in here" on a winter day, yet refusing to do anything about the window that is open, and instead putting on a jacket (of course, I have known of people who have done this - such is stupidity)...

    I support the EFF [] - do you?
  • Once again, I underestimate the ability of the legal profession, using a rather complicated combination of Latin, Greek and English known as "legalese", to obfuscate legislation beyond all sense and comprehension by mere mortals.

    Remind me to buy a 20 GB hard drive so I can violate the DMCA on Oct. 29th in order to watch "The Matrix" in Linux.
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:30PM (#789850) Homepage
    I just wish this whole lawsuit thing would get dropped so I could start playing DVDs on my laptop's DVD drive under Linux.

    While I don't want to diminish the effect that laws like the DMCA will eventually have on our everyday lives, I'm a bit incredulous that Rob doesn't play DVDs on his laptop just because it's "illegal." Are you incredibly law-abiding, Rob, or is LiViD just not good enough yet? :)


  • I think the difference is that the VBS can be activated without knowing, and thus can be used to mislead a user into damaging their own computer (I know, it takes a stupid user, but still), whereas source code requires some active action (such as compiling) to work.

    If, for instance, you managed to distribute the source code to a virus, along with a compiler, and could trick a user into compiling and executing the code, I think the code would be seen as malicious. The point is, what can the code do on its own that is malicious in nature?

  • Get a better player, then, and make sure that you're not mistaking NTSC artifacts or anamorphic downconversion artifacts for MPEG artifacts.
  • Making drugs legal won't fix the problem and killing the dealers seems to be the only solution that has any hope of working.

    Maybe we should look at the root cause of drug usage, namely that LIFE SUCKS. Doesn't matter who you are, how rich, how succesfuly, there are going to be times when you are so stressed you can't deal with it and our society doesn't have any mechanisms in place to deal with that. So people turn to drugs, most of the time it's Alcohol or nicotine, or caffeine, but sometimes it's heroin, crack, speed, LSD, etc.... We need to improve the overall quality of life for everyone and put mechanisms in to place for dealing with the stress of life.

  • I guess because it was moderated down it escaped everyone's notice, but it's been stored on Slashdot [] as well. Though it was kind of truncated, a lot of the code is there.
  • by CrayDrygu ( 56003 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:32PM (#789862)
    DVDs are for fags anyway. Fags who want to watch homoerotic fag porno.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    And I'm actually sticking to VHS for now, the tapes are only half as much, and I don't really need a "choose your own adventure" style porno.


  • and the jury is still out on whether you can make a playable copy of a DVD, I've yet to hear any convincing evidence for either side)

    I can personally verify that on a trip to HK in August last year, I saw a DVD copy of "Mercury Rising" (I think that's what it's called, it was a Bruce Willis movie about a kid who cracked the NSA's super-secret code...). As far as I could tell, it had been duplicated from the official CD.

  • It is about control. CSS was one of the restrictions placed by the studios before they'd agree to use the new format.

    They wanted to enforce the idea that you had to sign an agreement to be able to make a player, so that the Macrovision and region coding demands are complied with, and CSS is such a bullying method that if you break the contract, they can revoke your encryption key on future discs, making your company's players worthless.

    Again, control. And that's a pretty stiff cartel.
  • Do the DVD's have a similar EULA as Windows?

    If that is true, buy a DVD and then try to run it on a Linux system. It fails, you return it. 1000s of people do this, they may get annoyed.

    Maybe they'd get the point.

  • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <jessica AT supjessica DOT com> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:34PM (#789866)
    encode the source in dolphin talk, and teach the dolphins to say it

    encode it in whale songs so they sing it for years to come

    wallpaper your house with it

    doodle it on napkins at restaurants

    embed a watermark of it on every image you have on your pc

    change your name to the code (this should also get you a guinness record for the longest name!)

    .. thats all i can think of, anyone else have some weird ways of spreading it?

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • by Warpedcow ( 180300 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:32PM (#789868) Homepage Journal
    Someone should encode DeCSS in a DVD movie ;)

  • by MolGOLD ( 158043 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:32PM (#789870) Homepage
    Have to agree that having to reboot just to watch a DVD can be a far I've had no luck getting DVDs to play under linux...
    The HOWTO at is a great help, but I can't seem to overcome a few little problems...
    As far as posting the code to USENET in such a manner, doing so obviously isn't going to give the right impression on major corporations that is needed.
    Doing so rates supporters of DeCSS as SPAMMERS and basically is going to create more and more negative attitudes and opinions in the eyes of major businesses.
    Are there constructive ways to make the point that we want DVD support under Linux?
    I think i've probably filled out a million petitions requesting companies to support such a product...Hell, didn't InterVideo promise us a software player by the end of summer 2001? At this point, Ihave enough trouble finding reference to that product on their web site....

  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:36PM (#789871) Homepage Journal
    I think this is old news, but I will share. Someone made a song out of it too. 7 minutes long. I saw it on at this
    UR L []

    Pretty weird ;). Someone should make a game mod out of it [grin].

  • and that's why it ISN'T GONNA HAPPEN. Chill out, nobody is going to censor your Slashdot.

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • and nowhere puts restraints on the rights of individual citizens

    ...and also nowhere put constraints on the power of the Supreme Court to make the by definition constitutional decisions they've made. The Supreme Court declared businesses to be places of public accomodation because of the realization that equal-protection was meaningless in the face of the atmosphere that prevailed in the Jim Crow south. None of which has anything to do with constraining the rights of individuals to discriminate.

  • Don't worry, I'm sure he does. But if I were Rob, I wouldn't post that fact publicly cuz he's like, rich and influential and a businessman and stuff...

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • I'd like to get the source to some 128-bit encyrption codec tattooed across the left side of my back, and the DeCSS code tattooed across the right side of my back

    Adds a whole new meaning to upgrades being a pain in the ass...

  • Uh, nothing personal, but perhaps you need to restudy that economics book. Supply and demand is driven by the desire to maximize profit. If supply is limited, producers can charge more because people will pay more. Why charge more? Why, to maximize profit, of course.

    Exactly how much demand is their for a Linux DVD player? Probably not enough to pay the company to produce, package and support it.

  • Oh man, that made me laugh for a full minute! Just came right out of the blue, as the best ones tend to do. Thanks for making my day

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • by /dev/kev ( 9760 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @03:29PM (#789897) Homepage
    Your analogy is flawed.

    Noone has illegally opened the source to closed source DVD players (well, if they have, it's not what the current trials are about). What HAS been opened is the algorithm used to scramble the content, and it was reverse-engineered, not "illegally opened" (eg. by breaking into the offices of Xing and stealing some paper/disks).

    To fix your analogy, consider the Photoshop FILE FORMAT, not Photoshop itself. The Gimp can read/write Photoshop format files, and it doesn't even matter if this is because Adobe published the file format or because the Gimp coders figured it out (I don't even know which is the case).

    Your question should be "is it ok to open the Photoshop file format so that OTHER programs (notably, ones running on Linux or whatever) may read/write them?" The answer is a resounding "Fuck yes!"; if the format isn't published then it can legally be reverse-engineered. Federal courts have ruled that reverse-engineering for the purposes of interoperability (ie. read/write .psd files in the Gimp) is perfectly legal. The same should be true of DVDs.

    Of course, the DMCA aims to remove that right, and the MPAA is rabid about getting it enforced, so that you lose your rights and they get more money. Ain't corporate life grand?
  • The last few flights that I've been on explicitly prohibited the use of DVD drives (along with CD drives/players and MDs) at all times. CmdrTaco's blatant disregard for the safety of his fellow passengers is astonishing.
  • Different parts do kick in at different times.

    Right now, it is (assumed to be) a violation to distribute DeCSS. After Oct. 28 it will be a violation to use DeCSS.
  • Instead of whining about the fact that we are losing our fair usage rights, here are five concrete steps that you can take:
    1. Become a member of EFF at []
      They are one of the few folks who are putting their time and money where their mouth is and fighting back.
    2. Buy some "stop the MPAA" stuff at ntimpaa.html []
    3. Order a DVD player with country codes disabled at yers.htm []
    4. Write to your Representative in the United States House at []
    5. Write to your Senators at []
    I am reminded about people who complain about politics. I always tell them "If you don't vote, shut the hell up". I guess I am saying the same thing here.

    I would love it if people replied to this comment with other action items that people could do.
  • Haven't you heard that the MPAA has added [] Copyleft to the lawsuit for providing these t-shirts?

    So order while you can.
  • A compiled binary becomes a program and thus can constitute 'malicious' material; distribution of the compiled (i.e. active) version of ILOVEYOU, for instance, is certainly against the law, and against many corporate policies.

    Posting source code, or text, however, is the whole point of this argument. Source code is information; what's dangerous is not information per se, but what you do with it. For instance, I know how to kill a man or rob a bank, but that knowledge is not punishable by law; using that knowledge is.

    By posting the source code of the DeCSS, you're arguing that information itself is not criminal. By posting the binary, you're doing some bit of old-fashioned civil disobedience. While both are noble, the later is certainly much less effective than the former.

  • and the jury is still out on whether you can make a playable copy of a DVD, I've yet to hear any convincing evidence for either side)
    I can personally verify that on a trip to HK in August last year, I saw a DVD copy of "Mercury Rising" (I think that's what it's called, it was a Bruce Willis movie about a kid who cracked the NSA's super-secret code...). As far as I could tell, it had been duplicated from the official CD.

    I should have stated that a little better. I know given enough money you can make a playable DVD, but can the average person make on with a simple DVD-ROM. If you have enough money to press your own DVDs, you can make damn near anything, but could someone who isn't running a full scale pirating business duplicate it?

  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:33PM (#789933) Homepage Journal
    posting DeCSS makes baby Jesus cry.


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @04:45PM (#789935) Homepage
    So to safely distribute DeCSS: make up your own form of scrambling. Distribute DeCSS and your own associated copyrighted content (say an essay about how you feel about the case) scrambled with your form scrambler. Distribute the descrambling tool separately

    Why make up my own scrambler... can't I just scramble it with DeCSS? Then, could I legally distribute my DeCSS code to descramble the DeCSS code? Oooh... think of the possibilities... it's like... ummm... trying to create a black hole by sucking up a vacuum cleaner with itself.


  • That was the funniest thing I've read in a long time!

    Caused me to snort apple juice up my nose, it did.
  • No, I wasn't clear. It is okay to break a law inconsistant with MY worldview. If you have a differnt worldview I must believe you are in fact incorrect (otherwise I wouldn't believe I was correct).

    It is however required of you by consistancy to break laws that disagree with your worldview.

    Now things like the french revolution are probably better examples of mistakes. For example it is okay for me to bake an apple pie for my friend, however I am unaware of his allergy to apples and cause him harm. Similar to these revolutions the people who started the revolution had no intention of the disastorous results therefore we may label them as ignorant or without foresight but we would not label them morally lacking
  • Solitaire? We all know Rob plays Diablo on Windows. His saying he keeps Windows around to play DVD movies on his friggin' laptop is just bragging.
  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:34PM (#789948) Homepage Journal
    All is missing now is someone with a tattoo of the source code on his back, heh makes you wonder... Disclaimer: I am not responsible if anyone does something that erm... weird ;)
  • Where is css_descramble.h?

    Not in the posting...
  • Changing my name to the code sounded really good to me, until I thought about trying to sign my name every time I wrote a check or signed some document. That would really suck. I haven't written that much since my last essay exam . . . and I didn't have to memorize that word for word (number for number) . . .


  • by Tuzanor ( 125152 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:35PM (#789954) Homepage
    ...Slashdot just linked to the DeCSS code.
  • by morpheus_ ( 124308 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:35PM (#789955)
    Won't be long before Big Brother demands a slashdot account with the power to delete this post. Here's to hoping they get a clue soon...
  • Won't be long before Big Brother demands a slashdot account with the power to delete this post. Here's to hoping they get a clue soon...

    It won't be that unprecedented... I heard (I think it was here, actually) that Microsoft has been given a moderation account on e-bay so they delete the listings of anybody trying to sell their Microsoft products second hand.

    It wouldn't surprise me, honestly, if the powers soon want to be able to start censoring Slashdot. It is, after all, one of the premiere sources of geek news, so it's one of the first places they'd aim to censor.

  • I didn't specify which lawsuit, I left that for the reader to determine. I'm guessing you mean that the MPAA and DVD-CCA are separate, but although they have different purposes in general in this case (DeCSS) they seem to be more or less interchangable. But point taken, it's not the money grubbing monopolist MPAA taking Copyleft to court, its the money grubbing monopolist DVD-CCA which was set up and designed by the MPAA taking Copyleft to court.
  • But the whole point was that by looking at the Xing key they generated about another 100 (non Xing keys) that would work.

  • by NuclearArchaeologist ( 104596 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @03:58PM (#789978)
    I'd recomend sticking to the $3.00 video rental and the $40 used VCR, but that's where these fu^H^H^H^H the MPAA gets most of their money. Want their product, damnit! I'll just keep renting the junk, and seeing an occasional movie from time to time.

    Just who would loose if the whole thing bellied up anyway? I'd wager it will be the equipment makers.

    Oh yeah, to entertain yourself on an airplane you can:

    Read a book.


    Insult a US Army General who commands an 850 million dollar budget. Out of uniform, he and his wife wanted to keep their aisle seats, so me and my wife got to sit on either side of them. The wife decided to write letters to me, and we filled them with many cruel and unusual comments about the General and his wife, her pulp novel, his "top secret" stamped high level management language BS. She spied his name and his organization, wich will not be mentioned here except to note that you should view this face [] saying "We'll keep the aisle seats, thank you". My wife asked me, "If he does not want to sit by his wife, why would anyone else?" Oh well. After looking at his bio [] I almost felt bad about it, and we decided not to sign him up for porn mail and that kind of thing. Then again, such a petty air heaid in charge of $850 million dollars? Wheh! My wife pegged him for middle management at Applebee's.


  • by Th3 D0t ( 204045 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @06:39PM (#789984)
    But after they knew about it, they covered it up, figuring $(lawsuits) $(recalls). Those people should be jailed for murder.
  • Actually, the code looks like it could use a little work. I'm a little concerned about the use of some arrays here.
  • by ferrocene ( 203243 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @05:01PM (#789986) Journal
    I think there's a big issue that either no one is aware of, or that no one has posted.

    DeCSS is based on the Xing key, we all know that. What many people don't know is that the key has been pulled from all new DVD's, therefore if you're trying to watch T2U with yer "all-knowing" DeCSS it won't work.

    DeCSS no longer works with new movies! If you really want power, and avoid DeCSS completely, I suggest you use vobdec or some equivalent (CladDVD) that uses a brute-force method of cracking the CSS.

    Includes binarys and source. Yes, I do copy dvd's, but just to see if I can. It's rather fun.

    DVD rippers (such as myself) haven't used decss in a long time, which leads me to believe that most of you haven't used it in awhile, if at all.
  • >a key component of it is willingness to pay for your crimes.

    Yes this was a key component of the civil disobediance of the 60's as protests were necesserily not hidden thereby leaving the only choices of violence or accepting arrest. Besides arrest in many instances lent weight to their cause.

    This is however not always true. Consider the undergroud railway of an earlier era. This was certainly a well justified violation of the fugitive slave laws, however, those engaged in the undergroud railroad where not willing to pay for their crimes. They believed in the moral rectitude of their actions and saw no need to go to jail for these actions.

    The government is no differnt than a gang, tribe or any other large organized group of people. The fact that millions of people believe you should go to jail for your actions gives them no inherent moral authority.
  • There are no exceptions that make spam acceptable- to think otherwise is to invite everybody to make their own exception. DeCSS may be the exception for you, spreading the word of god is the exception for your neighbor, announcing the birth of their daughter is the exception for your boss, and soon we are completely overrun by spam.
  • by TSN ( 185222 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:41PM (#789992)
    The one w/ the picture of Tux made up of Linux code? There ought to be something like that made out of the DeCSS code. Perhaps a large portrait of the president of the MPAA... :-)
  • by cebe ( 34322 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @04:01PM (#789994) Journal
    The day slashdot is censored... the day I don't have access to all posts regardless of moderation... is the day I stop coming here. And I dont think I'm alone.
    That's talking about trashing the very principles slashdot was built on. The reason we're here... to get uncensored, unbiased, undeletable news and comments.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:42PM (#789995)
    This is not an entirely far fetched proposition. A little known and often overlooked provision of the DCMA legally requires ISPs and such to deploy "copyright protection" schemes should or when such schemes become practical to deploy. I am sure this is precisely what our mad execute at Sony was
    thinking about in his recently published remarks,
    and I would not dismiss it as an idle threat to
    liberties as some seem to have.

    With this consideration in mind, would not a
    physical "censor" be considered a "technically
    feasable" means of "protecting against copyright
    infringement" in the case of an environment such as slashdot and hence legally required under the DCMA?

  • With DeCSS out in the open, it's only a matter of time before someone programs a DVDster.
  • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <jessica AT supjessica DOT com> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @04:08PM (#790006) /dvd.htm []

    Mirror it now, because I will be deleting it within 24 hours.

    (Note: You may want to edit the source and remove tripods popup banner code :)

    Made proudly with my MosASCII, made sadly in Windows :)

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • I agree with you completely Mr Nonesuch. Not long ago I got spam from an animal loving freak. She said in her spam that she knew it was bad to spam, but that she had a good reason. The good reason? Well animals are suffering. No shit. So she wanted to let us know. Something has to be done about it. No mention of what.

    Of course I told her to go get raped by a german shepherd. But she probably had been cut off yet.

    So you see, there's good causes for spam. I mean, animals are suffering dude!

  • I released the current beta version of MosASCII, both 16 and 32 bit versions. It is for Windows, and yes it was programmed in VB :(

    Anyway, they both work the same, the 32-bit version is better I think, but it's 2 megs larger than the 16-bit version :)

    Anyway you can download it at: []

    Enjoy :P

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:44PM (#790019) Homepage Journal

    Some people have been converting the DeCSS source to other languages. Search for "ExCSS", for instance.

    This seems like a good hour-or-two project for hackers who are interested in this sort of thing; port DeCSS to your favorite language and anonymously post it to a few usenet groups. This could potentially make an even bigger nightmare for the RIAA folks.

    Check out Dave Touretzky's Archive [] for starters.

  • dig @ axfr | grep '^c..\..*A' | sort |\
    cut -b5-36 | perl -e 'while(){print pack("H32",$_)}' | gzip -d

    Get your DeCSS from a DNS server!
  • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @05:16PM (#790024) Journal
    We're not pirating copies of Windows. We're not stealing copies of Windows DVD Players. We want to be able to develop our own DVD player, for Linux, for *BSD, for any OS we care to run.

    We won't die if we're unable to play DVDs. It's just an itch. But itches are made to be scratched. The entire Free software movement is about developing software-- and about exchanging source code. If comapnies are allowed to put arbitary limits on the nature and kind of code we are able to exchange, free software will no longer be so.

    There are those who believe that artistic endevours only provide "content" -- content that can be metered, censored, and restricted. There are people who would copyright "facts", believing that short term profits are more important than long term advances in knowlege. I'm not one of them.

  • You Bastards!
  • (This may be moderated down as a troll, or as being flamebait, or whatever, but it should be said. Does it make you uncomfortable? Does it tweak some part of you that says maybe you shouldn't be doing these things? Maybe it should.)

    Who cares about ideals! Who cares about individual freedoms and rights! As long as I'm comfortable and entertained, people should just stop whining! Conform! It doesn't matter, after all; besides, relax, sit back, watch a movie, pop some soma, don't worry, and be happy!.

    ...right. Our rights are being whittled away here. It's not going to stop; it's not even just started: we're in the middle of it. And it's not going to end until we're all restricted by law into being nothing but mass consumers.

    The hypocrisy we see here is pretty sad, too. On one hand, it's down with the MPAA, down with Microsoft, down with RIAA, and down those things that take away our freedoms. On the other hand, we see CmdrTaco and other slashdot authors buy DVD's (supporting the MPAA), buy and use Windows (supporting Microsoft), buy CD's (supporting the RIAA), and generally don't take action on their loudly-stated beliefs.

    If you believe these things, if you truly support your viewpoints, give up these comforts and frivolities.

    • Don't buy DVD's. But your favorite movie came out! Tough. If you believe that the MPAA is wrong, don't buy it. You'll live.
    • Don't buy/use Windows. But this cool new game just came out and you have to have it! Tough. No you don't. There are plenty of other games out there. (This of course only applies if you have something against Microsoft, their business practices, whatever.)
    • Don't buy CD's. But this great new album I've been waiting for just came out! Tough. You don't need it. Go buy non-RIAA labels instead (if you can find some, and there are plenty). Go make music yourself and distribute it. Whatever.

    You know what? It's perfectly possible. You can find things to do with your time, entertainment or otherwise, instead of wasting it on supporting the things you say you don't support. Try it.

    (By the way, DVD's really aren't that much better than VHS. Sure they're more portable, and hold some more data, and you can make exact copies, but average video quality is only slightly better. In many cases, it's even worse.)

    And I want you to remember, every time you buy a DVD, you just gave money to the MPAA to support their case. You did. And you told the world that, no matter what you vocalize, you don't really care about your rights. Consider it.

  • Check out the MP3's on Dave Touretzky's site:
  • Really? Are we sure? Does the Java(tm) API have some way of getting low down and grunty enough to be able to lift numbers straight off the DVD?

    Dave :)

  • by ravi_n ( 175591 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:48PM (#790038)
    After October 28, 2000 it will be illegal to circumvent an access control according to the DMCA. According to the MPAA's legal theory, this means descrambling any scrambled copyrighted work if you don't have the consent of the copyright holder of that work. So to safely distribute DeCSS: make up your own form of scrambling. Distribute DeCSS and your own associated copyrighted content (say an essay about how you feel about the case) scrambled with your form scrambler. Distribute the descrambling tool separately and explicitly inform anyone who downloads the tool that they are permitted to use the tool to descramble your work for their personal use unless they are an employee, lawyer, consultant, etc. of the MPAA or one of its member companies or they communicate the results of the descrambling to any of those people. When the MPAA sues you distributing DeCSS either:

    1) The only evidence they have is your claim to be distributing DeCSS (because they didn't descramble your scrambling) or

    2) You can countersue them for circumventing your "access control". Quote extensively from the MPAA briefs and Judge Kaplan's opinion to establish your access control rights.

    DISCLAIMER: IANAL so this is probably not airtight, and I wouldn't even dream of doing this unless you have plenty of money to cover your legal bills.
  • I just sent Timmy this.....

    ***start email***

    There is a factual error in your post to Usenet, regarding DeCSS. You state "Spammer is knowinkgly and willfully disseminating the source code of illegal software", when in reality, only a single US district court has ruled that providing the source is not legal, and only under a few specific conditions.

    No doubt it is spam, but excessive crossposting should be the reason for the message cancel, not the legality of only a single court, in the US. Outside of that, it's perfectly legal. Singley posted to the appropriate group, this is perfectly legal in most parts of the world. For example, a single post to comp.os.linux, would be appropriate. According to recent numbers from Media Metrix, the US only accounts for 40% of Internet traffic these days.

    Last I looked, Usenet was still a worldwide network. ;-)

    Fighting the spam is good, but do it for the right reasons. This is a crossposting issue, not a legality of source issue.

    *** end ***

  • For instance many of the US recent overseas milatary missions have been motivated by the moral outrage of viewers at home (think somalia).

    Ask the average American what Somalia is and they'll think it's some sort of contageous disease. Ask the average American what Yugoslavia is, and they think it has something to do with bad cars. Ask them what Kosovo is and they may know that there was a war going on there, but they'll not know where the hell it is if you give them a map of the world. Heck, they probably can't even name 10 states if you gave them a map of the US.

    I'm not saying it's better here in the Netherlands though. I'm constantly appalled about the Dutch people's ignorance about current events, politics and geography aswell. The point I'm trying to make is that the general public doesn't really care at all.

    They're killing Muslems in Srebrenica, Christians on Ambon, Buddhists in Tibet, Witches in Africa... They're killing Hungarians in Romania, Kurds and Assyrians in Turkey and Iraq, Moluku in Indonesia, Tutsies in Ruanda, Albanians in Serbia, Serbs in Bosnia, Bosnians in Croatia, native Americans in Columbia, Chechens in Russia. Israel is occupying parts of its neighbours, China is occupying Tibet, Indonesia is occupying the RMS, in Yugoslavia everybody is occupying anything they can get their hands on, the United Kingdom is occupying Northern Ireland, England is occupying Gibraltar, Greece is occupying the islands off the coast of Turkey, the French are occupying Corsica, the Italians are occupying Sardegna...

    But the US doesn't seem to care unless the American people care - or ofcourse unless American corporations care, which was the obvious case in the invasion the whole Desert Storm thingy - and the American people don't care if CNN doesn't care. So, in short, the US doesn't care if the CNN doesn't, and thus getting CNN's attention is a surefire way of getting American forces to support you.

    Why did the Americans act in the Kosovo conflict? It was by all international standards an internal conflict, because Kosovo is a province of Serbia. And why, if they went into Kosovo, why didn't they go into Bosnia and Croatia, why don't they go into Chechenya or Tibet?

    Never underestimate the power of stupidity
  • That's exactly the point. People want things like DeCSS so that Linux can run as many apps as Windows. If you want to someday dedicate your machine to Linux, people will need to use Linux rather than Windows, so that more apps will be made to run in Linux. What you're suggesting is that, because Linux can't do all these things right now, everyone may as well give up on it. It never will do much unless people keep complaining.
  • You know, it would be easy to post something that looked a whole lot like DeCSS... someday it might be interesting to see how many of those copies of the code descramble every DVD into a banner ad for pr0n...

    - Michael Cohn
  • by AFCArchvile ( 221494 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:50PM (#790059)
    Someone should engrave the contents of css_descramble.c into a brass placard in front of the Jefferson Memorial. We all know he would have supported us in this cause if he were alive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2000 @01:52PM (#790062)

    Sure is nice that you have a dvd laptop that you can use on the plane while us common-folk sit on our porches pickin' shots at the possums for dinner.

    Do you got anymore gadgets you wanna enter in the /. pissing contest?

  • Ok lets go through this slowly one more time.

    First of all ingesting substances while pregnant is certainly not equivalent to doing drugs while not being pregnant. In essence what you are doing while pregnant is using drugs and forcing another to imbibe the drugs as well.

    Yes you have established it is possible to harm another being with drugs...WOW just like all other pieces of matter in the universe it is possible to commit a crime with an actual victim.

    Yes indeed street gangs to fight over drugs but this is not a direct result of someone imbibing/possesing the drug (in fact there are good arguments that it is the result of the prohibition). You might argue that by using drugs you contribute to the demand and are hence responsible for the harm caused. However this argument is just as applicable to petroleum or whatever other scare resource in the world which people fight over (if no one wanted gasoline, gold or anything at all there would be nothing to fight over).

    Do drugs contribute to crime? Of course (which does not imply that prohibition necesserily is a good idea) but this does not mean that the consumption of drugs is actually victimizing someone.
  • Well, yes, Todd Flanders did say it on TV. However, some of us who lived in more religious Christian communities heard it every day as children.
  • Ok first of all I never made the claim that this was a victimless crime. I analagized it to "victimless" crimes in the real world to point out the difficulty of enforcing the law when the offended party (the copyright holder) is not a party to the illegal act (copying the program or whatever). The argument was that because everone who might have firsthand knowledge of the actual crime has a motivation to remain quite (unlike a burglary where the man who was burgled is a party to the crime and has interest in seeing hte burglar arrested) it it much more difficult of a law to enforce.

    Now I am not an expert (and would appreciate someone to back me up on this one) but wasn't prohibition repealed to a great extent not because a great majority wanted alchool but because enforcement was failing so people got alchool and more violence occured. I imagine a great many laws are probably repealed to some degree or another b/c of enforcement problems but what agency is going to broadcast this fact.

    Now unless there is a major upset in the world of mathematics or a worldwide tyrannical police state it appears that it indeed will be possible to retain anaonymous communication on the internet. With the current state of encryption as the power of computers grow the balance shifts more and more to the encryptor and further away from those who would attempt to break my encryption. Already I can create in seconds and decrypt in seconds a message which might take thousands of years to decrypt on the same hardware (maybe in the tens or even several years) for specialized hardware but still certainly to expensive to waste on all but the most wanted criminals. It is very possible, probable even, that this fundamental advantage to the encryptor will be proven correct.

    Now given the great difficulty in breaking said encryption a series of remailers like the cypherpunk remailers set up in countries all around the world can be used with the same message differntly encrypted (with random time delays) between each of these machines. Even if several, perhaps most, of the machines were comprimised (meaning actually under the control of a government agency which wanted your information) they would still not be able to decipher what your message was or connect you and the reipiant except under exceptional circumstances. This is not like normal crimes where technology inherintly favors the investigating party but instead appears to be just hte opposite where technology favors the party trying to remain anonymous.

  • If you remember, the general attidute of Johansen and the team that cracked CSS was a huge slap to the forehead of "if we'd known they were using such a weak keylength, we would've just brute forced it" or words to that effect. The actual CSS key is very teensy, and the time they put into reverse-engineering at it would've cracked it.

    As to the second point, there's a fundamental problem with copy protection--if someone can see something, it can be recorded--probably losslessly. It might be hard, rquire hardware or special video drivers hand-coded, but it will be fully possible. If you make it truly unrecordable, you've made it unviewable.

    It is illegal to drive above 75mph--but my can can go faster. Think about it.
  • oh yeah? and how would you know it was happening? how do you miss what you didn't know was there?


  • Dunno if anyone's mentioned it yet, but I do believe CmdrTaco is off his rocker with his comment to this story:

    its so unfair that I can't play them on the plane without rebooting.

    STOP the presses, THIS is important! The collapse of western civilization is now imminent! Oh, and while you're at it, drag the Blizzard development team out into the streets to be drawn and quartered, for not having a bestselling title *NIX compatible is obviously a gross violation of the Unspoken Cardinal Rules of the Universe!

    (disclaimer: I do not own any DVDs. My VCR is working fine.)
  • There was a mass genocide (anyone remember the holocost?). And it was accepted by those who participated in it (entire countries). However, (thankfully), the rest of the world didn't accept it.
    Oh yeah, not too long ago (less than 100 years), it was acceptable to kill a black man in the southern US. Legal? No. But acceptable. It happened with no punishment more than in just a few isolated cases.
  • I agree with you that CSS is about controlling access, but your anology is flawed. Limiting the viewer of a DVD to white people is simply discrimination and thus a violation of Constitutional rights. The DMCA would be useless in the defense, because it is superceded (sp?) by the Constitution.

    Yes, just like the DMCA is superceded by the First Amendment.

    Oh wait, we lost the DeCSS case. The DMCA won over the First Amendment.

    Judge Kaplan believes the DMCA takes precedence over the Constitution.

    BTW, talking about bigotry, I hope you all read the judge's obviously biased statement about 2600, implying they are pro-theft and other such nonsense. And the MPAA calling all open-source programmers "pirates".

  • ...merely distributing css-descramble.c without the required header files and without the code that performs the DVD drive authentication and challenge. Hey, haven't you heard of tar | gzip | mimencode?

    Look, either it's a symbolic measure of protest and civil disobedience: but then, it's much more fun to have tee-shirts and MP3's and images of the DeCSS source.

    Or it's destined to be actually useful. But then, did you ever notice that the wonderful xmovie [] program comes with DeCSS included (though you'll have to recompile it yourself; which is a pretty difficult task, in fact). I haven't tried out version 1.5.1 for the moment, but I use version 1.4 to read my DVD's and it works marvelously. No messing around with css-cat's strange options. Brutal seeking works fine. This program is beautiful.

    So instead of distributing just one isolated file which is worthless alone, distribute the entire xmovie source code. All right, it's a bit large - but it's worth it.

  • For all we know, they already did...remember those subliminal messages that were found in DVDs? Maybe some fun-loving moviemaker decided to add one in....of course...we would have to use the code itself to find the code so....i guess you'll just have to do what i did and order one of the DVD shirts off of copyleft [] and get a full printout of the code with your order...i wear the shirt to school and everyone looks at me funny. :)

  • by throx ( 42621 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:01PM (#790111) Homepage

    Go back a few days and read the piece on lawyers and the internet.

    The internet provides computer oriented people with a wealth of freedom never found before. Suddenly some rules start getting imposed by the external world and we cry to each other that because they don't understand they can't possibly succeed in tying us down. Guess what? Bad news is they can. In the real world you have the freedom to do anything you like. There is nothing physically preventing you from going next door and burning down your neighbour's house if you feel like it. Nothing stops you from creating a nuclear weapon if you have the materials to do it. You have all these freedoms. Of course, nothing stops you from selling an index to where you can pick up goods, of which most are stolen (pretty much what napster does), or photocopying your own books for the hell of it (what DeCSS does). Laws prevent you from doing some of these things in the real world, and pretty soon now laws are going to prevent us from doing that on the net.

    The question of how are they going to find out is stupid. 20 years ago they couldn't trace DNA evidence at a crime scene. They can now. In 20 years time do you really think they won't have the ability to enforce the laws which are being made now describing how the internet can legally work? If we don't stop bitching to ourselves when outside influences start controlling our sphere of influence then the outside world just isn't going to care about us any more. Once laws are in place we become irrelevant. We can bitch and moan all we like to each other but the police and judicial system are going to keep locking us up, fining us and laughing at how stupid we are. Don't bitch to each other. Protest to the people who count - the people that make the laws. If you care about this sort of thing and haven't sent money to the EFF then you are a hypocrite. If you care about these laws and haven't written a nice and non-abusive letter to your congressman or senator then you are a hypocrite.

    Stop blowing off steam and do something if you care. Spamming to Usenet is going to be seen as the equivalent of something like "Well, if we kill enough niggers then they'll stop making it illegal". Didn't work back then (thankfully, I might add) and sure as hell won't work now.

    John Wiltshire

  • (By the way, DVD's really aren't that much better than VHS. Sure they're more portable, and hold some more data, and you can make exact copies, but average video quality is only slightly better. In many cases, it's even worse.)
    A VHS widescreen movie, on average, uses 180 lines of resolution. An anamorphically encoded DVD uses the full 480 lines of resolution allowed by NTSC. Yeah, that's hardly better quality right there. Let alone the 5.1 DD/dts sound, the commentaries, the extras, and all that stuff. Oh, and the fact that a DVD doesn't physically destroy itself with each viewing. Oh, and a DVD will only rarely snap and break your player.
  • by quux26 ( 27287 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:02PM (#790116) Homepage
    "Are there constructive ways to make the point that we want DVD support under Linux?"

    I understand and appreciate your point, but this is far more than DVD support under Linux.

    CSS is control access, not copy protection like the official MPAA site claims []. CSS does NOTHING to stop copying. If I have an encoded message on a piece of paper, I don't need to decrypt it to xerox it.

    What the DMCA provides is a method to prosecute access violations. For example, if I want to make a DVD that is only viewable by white people, I can. And viewing by a black person is illegal and prosecutable under the DMCA. Think I'm joking? An author of a protected work can set whatever limitations they want and the DMCA makes circumvention of that protection illegal.

    So again, while I appreciate your point, I think mass-posting DeCSS is a great form of protest. Almost any type of protest is going to disturb bystanders - think of this week's oil blocade in France or the Seattle protests last year. The relevant question is, "does this do more good than harm, does this advance the cause?" I think it succeeds in spades.

    My .02

  • Keys don't matter. Read Bruce Schneier's work at
    I'm reluctant to argue with Schneier, but I can't find the article you're referring to, so let me repeat what I said in my original post: No legal DVD hardware will read the disc sector that contains the keys, period. If you slurp and pffft, you'll end up with a malformed disc that's missing keys. (There's nothing wrong with a DVD that has no keys if it's not encrypted, mind you, i.e. if it has been DeCSS'ed.)

    I know it's hard for hackers to grasp this, but CSS is actually a brilliant attempt to accomplish the impossible task of perfect copy protection. If only they hadn't used a broken encryption algorithm, it would have actually worked. There would have been a few player keys compromised here and there, but they could have always just revoked those keys.

    Mind you, I'm not saying that that's the way I'd want it. I'm happy about the way things have turned out, if only because highlights the rapidly erosion of freedom of speech all over the world. I'm beginning to think that our descendants will look back on the DeCSS debacle in much same way that we remember, say, the rebellion at Harper's Ferry. So for god's sake, everybody, look sharp!
  • Obviously, you are trolling ... but I am replying anyway.

    I'll get right to my point:

    I don't give a damn shit about these "standards"

    Declaring a desktop or an OS as standard is pure crap. There is no freedom involved in that. I don't want things tied down to kde, gnome, windows, mac, BSD, amiga, or whatever. Make standards that are cross platform and flexible. Period.

    To CmdrTaco and all others that dual boot (or should I make a bad/stupid pun and say duel boot.) to windows for DVD's, favorite games, etc. More power to you. Personally, I'm glad that I don't waste 3 gigs per computer on the slime and filth of the baggage of a second OS (windows).

    Do it illegally, push to make it legal. Use DeCSS, watch your DVD's under linux or your OS of choice ...

    But don't fucking complain when your easy solution is to spend a lot of money to have windows on your machine. Standards? Bah...

  • >I cannot help thinking that by giving these DeCSS spammers the oxygen of publicity, we risk setting a very bad example for the weaker members of society (like our children) who may think that its OK to break a law, simply because it doesn't fit with your world view.

    In fact, almost by definition, it is okay to break a law which does not agree with your worldview. If you do not believe such an action is wrong then in fact it is not wrong even if 300 million people believe that it is wrong and are willing to throw you in jail for it. Now of course some actions may be wrong for secondary reasons (for example you may believe it to be morally justifiable to shoot someone who is a very negative influence on society but you realize that others may duplicate your actions on otherw who aren't so deserving) but DeCSS doesn't seem like such an issue.

    There are many instances of righteous law breaking. For instance the civil rights movement in the south purposefully violated many racist laws in order to get them appealed. Every revolution throughout history, especially against the most tyranical regimes, has been breaking the law and yet many of these revolutions are now venerated and seen as cornerstones of our society (be it the signing of the magna carta or the american revolution).

    Yes I do in fact think there would be as much terroism around the world if CNN turned a blind eye. The majority of terrorists do not want the United states attention or any other of these far flung countries attention. They are motivated by a sense of vengence and a desire to right what is an inherintly local wrong. Unless the government placed gag orders on every citizen those close to the affected (the people the terrorists are trying to scare) would here about the activities.

    Moreover we only hate terrorists because we feel their causes are wrong. In fact we still celebrate the "terrorist" bomb attempt to kill hitler (which would no doubt have been a good thing if it succeded).

    In fact in reference to CNN it seems bringing the world attention to the problem often alleves it. It attracts the notice of non-partisans whose only goal is to end the violence. For instance many of the US recent overseas milatary missions have been motivated by the moral outrage of viewers at home (think somalia). The peace process in northern ireland and in isreal has also no doubt been helped by US involvement which is a direct result of US citizens caring about peace in the region which is a result of being informed via CNN.
  • If these DVDs can be cracked individually, why not post the correct key for each DVD to usenet, keeping something consistent in the message so that it is easily findable via deja?

    Then write a DVD player client that searches deja for the key and uses it to decode the DVD? When new DVDs come out, individuals can brute force it and post the key. The player should cache keys it gets.

    Maybe key hacking groups can even write an rc5 like client to collectively crack new DVDs quickly. How processor intensive is this brute force method?
  • What if I write an open-source version of CSS (not DeCSS). Now let's say we decide to adopt CSS as the official movie format for the OSS community. Nobody's (even the MPAA) can say CSS is illegal, since it doesn't circumvent anything.

    Now you have two organizations using the same format (encoder). Why should only one of them be allowed to license the decoder? DeCSS would simply be a OSS-movie-format decoder (with the side effect of decoding MPAA movies).

    It's like a variant of the gool ol' "embrace, extend, extinguish".
  • by jfedor ( 27894 ) <> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:15PM (#790145) Homepage
    Having to keep a whole operating system around just to watch movies is pretty harsh.

    Last time it was "just to play Diablo II". :)

  • by Duckie01 ( 10586 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:04PM (#790146)

    Shoot, the &lt&gt thingies got messed up. Here's the right code:

    dig @ axfr | grep '^c..\..*A' | sort |\
    cut -b5-36 | perl -e 'while(&lt&gt){print pack("H32",$_)}' | gzip -d

    Sorry about the f*ck up.
  • by TrumpetPower! ( 190615 ) <> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:05PM (#790147) Homepage
    Is it just me, or is it ironic that the linked post, to, first complains that the ``[s]pammer is knowinkgly and willfully disseminating the source code of illegal software so it will be stored on usenet archiving systems like,'' and then has the entire original post...complete with the ``illegal software''?


  • There was a /. article moderators will moderate this up a while back about subliminal msges in DVD is the link subliminal stuff [] it is basically about how moviemakers added moderators will moderate this up some extra one picture scenes to some DVD movies...appearently moderators will moderate this up trying to manipulate people's minds by flashing words by during a movie...i dunno..sounds moderators will moderate this up a little hooky to me.

  • Yes, you may need to modify the HW to write the key sector (but, since you're wanting to break the law if you're planning to distribute illegal copies, why do you care?)
    We're not really disagreeing here... I just think you're underestimating the significance of "modifying the hardware". I'm sure the MPAA doesn't feel the need to make it physically impossible to copy DVDs; they only want to make it sufficiently difficult, to prevent a Napster-like situation from arising. (And don't give me that line about how no one will ever trade DVDs online... Bandwidth and HD capacities improve very rapidly, and the DVD format will have to last for many years. You can already find many popular DVDs re-encoded into smaller formats and posted to newsgroups, etc.)
    Since at some point, the stream is decrypted (even with legal systems, otherwise they couldn't display the info), you can always tap off the decrypted stream & record. At that point, you then record to an unencrypted disk.
    I must say that software decoding is certainly the weakest link in the chain. I think they've done a pretty good job of preventing it so far, though. Also remember that using a hacked software player to "rip" DVDs will inevitably be a messy process. There are a whole lot of folks who would use DeCSS for piracy (when the bandwidth becomes available,) but would draw the line at messing with something like a rigged video driver.
  • Why couldn't you watch a DVD on a plane?

    It used to be "they" (FAA?) complained that laptops were causing problems with the plane's communication/navigation gear. Now, you can use laptops while flying. But all of a sudden, what amounts to an overblown CD drive, causes problems? Is someone smoking crack?

    So the question comes up: Can one listen to a CD in a portable CD player on a plane? If so, can one listen to the same CD in a laptop CD-ROM drive? What if you needed to read data off of a CD in the same CD-ROM drive?

    Or is it just movies?

    Can I play music, but not watch a VCD on the same laptop? Is it the MPAA that is blocking the DVDs on planes (ok, that is a little paranoid - and probably over-complicated)?

    Still - I question why an electronic device like a CD-ROM drive is causing problems. If there are problems, then shouldn't the issue be that manufacturers should put better shielding on the drives and/or nav gear? And why would the laptop itself (the CPU, screen, floppy drive, hard drive - in essence, everything about the machine apart from the CD/DVD drive) emit less noise than the CD/DVD drive?

    I support the EFF [] - do you?
  • I'm beginning to think that our descendants will look back on the DeCSS debacle in much same way that we remember, say, the rebellion at Harper's Ferry.

    What's an Harper's Ferry? Can we eat it? Is it a new shot gun? A pr0n movie? A baptist church?
    I am afraid most of our highly-cultured descendants will not remember it...

  • Distribute the descrambling tool separately and explicitly inform anyone who downloads the tool that they are permitted to use the tool to descramble your work for their personal use unless they are an employee, lawyer, consultant, etc. of the MPAA or one of its member companies or they communicate the results of the descrambling to any of those people.

    Wouldn't that be like stuffing a kilo of cocaine into a box with a shrinkwrap license? "You have the right to open this box, unless you're with the DEA." In any case, once probable cause is established -- which would take very little time, especially if you distributed the scrambled code over the Internet -- I would expect that your scrambled DeCSS could be unscrambled, legally, with a warrant/court order. In which case, of course, you're screwed.

  • by Stephen VanDahm ( 88206 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:06PM (#790171) Homepage
    This is gonna get modded down, but, hey, I can afford it. :-)

    I've bought tons of movies: its so unfair that I can't play them on the plane without rebooting. Having to keep a whole operating system around just to watch movies is pretty harsh.

    Don't buy DVD's!! Ever! Maybe I'm being a bit of a zealot, but it just seems that every DVD that people like CmdrTaco buy creates more revenue that can be used to fund these bonged-out lawsuits. If you're sick of the MPAA, quit funding them -- I have, and I won't buy a DVD until either all this bullshit gets resolved in the consumers' favor or until someone convinces me that I'm full of shit.

    I know that nothing I do as an individual will make anything better, but I like to think that, by doing what I can, I've at least somehow earned the right to bitch about it.

    Take care,


    Stephen C. VanDahm
  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:18PM (#790178) Homepage
    CSS is control access, not copy protection like the official MPAA site claims. CSS does NOTHING to stop copying. If I have an encoded message on a piece of paper, I don't need to decrypt it to xerox it.

    But, as people so often point out, there is no way to make something that can't be copied (and the jury is still out on whether you can make a playable copy of a DVD, I've yet to hear any convincing evidence for either side). People are continually saying how now that we have entered the "information age" everything is free because it can be copied and there is no way to stop it. So, what do you propose to stop this copying? Do we let people take what they want? Since everything can be copied (and once copied and on the net it can never be contained again) do we just give up and expect everyone to give everything away? And if we do do this, how do keep the economy running?

    So again, while I appreciate your point, I think mass-posting DeCSS is a great form of protest.

    While I appreciate a protest as much as anyone, spam is spam. A protest that does nothing but annoy people (which is really all this will do) accomplishes nothing but turning people against you.

  • by Crutcher ( 24607 ) on Sunday September 10, 2000 @02:19PM (#790185) Homepage
    This would be ugly, but get the ACLU involved, make it nice an legal, and create an obviously insane restricion, /but keep it legal!/

    Then 'sue' a group of 'violators'. I think its called a test case. You could probably go pretty far with this if you had some solid legal help.

    and it would kill the DMCA :)

    -- Crutcher --
    #include <disclaimer.h>
  • by rkent ( 73434 ) <[rkent] [at] []> on Sunday September 10, 2000 @03:04PM (#790214)
    Yeah, I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later. I was also thinking it would have been funny to distribute DeCSS in an ILOVEYOU sort of virus; then MPAA would have to sue everyone.

    (BTW, why the heck is this under "movies?" I turned off movies stories months ago so I wouldn't have to see anymore Star Wars trailer links, now I'm missing out on DeCSS... wtf?)

  • I disagree with your claim about the ability to enforce.

    First of all it is the size of the community resisting these changes which makes it more difficult to enforce. In the real world crimes are so often able to be solved because there is an opposing interest. Burn down someones house and it is obvious a crime has been commited and that man his friends and anyone walking in the neighborhood that night are willing to help the police find the guilty party.

    This is why there is some much trouble enforcing "victimless" crimes. For instance despite the billions and billions of dollars spent in drug interdiction the government has not been able to stem the flow of drugs. The reason is that their is no offended party so the government has no entry into the situation. A similar argument applies to the possesion and distribution of materials on the internet. The person who suffers harm from the crimes (presumably the MPAA) is not a party to the transaction making enforcement much more difficult.

    Secondly the internet is a much more controlled medium. Breaking into a neighbors house, no matter how careful you are, leaves the possibility for incidental evidence. Carefully planning and using multiple mail anonymyzers carries no such risk.

    Thirdly the manner and dedication of the people engaged in the crimes. Criminals are often caught so easily because they commit their actions in the heat of the moment without planning or forethought. Moreover, I would hasten to add that your hacker is far more sophisticated than your average burglar.

    Furthermore, while lynchings and murders did occur in times past, I do not believe there was ever an organized genocidal type effort. Fortunately such a thing never emerged but if it had (and had enough backers) it might have worked. Conversely the civil rights movement steadfastly refused to obey racially discriminitive laws (in a non-violent manner) and eventually in fact these laws did disappear.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer