Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
The Courts Government News

DeCSS Reply Brief Posted 137

Thanks to Macki from 2600 who sent the DeCSS Reply Brief Filed on 2600. You can read it in all of the appropriate formats - the next hearing is May 1, at the 2nd Court of Appeals in NY.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DeCSS Reply Brief Posted

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The perl script is a sham. it does no authorization stages. It requires another peice of code to authorize the media or the DVD head will refuse to read the media.

    The DVD CCA and MPAA are fighting the Xing stolen Master Key found in most tools and most source capable of authorizing. People are too lazy or stupid to avoid the Xing Key.

    Shame on Livid too.

    And shame on all you slashdot fools that think little perl obfuscation contests to de css descrambling are in anyway related to what the DVD CCA and MPAA are fighting over.

    The fight is over the 40 bit Master key, nothing else.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lies!

    DeCSS was done by NON LIVID RELATED people! It was done by Windows hackers not LINUX people.

    Livid was 2nd place and "pirated" the DeCSS advances by Jon Johansen, deCSS fall guy, the 15 year old who worked with anonymous 30+ year old german engineer.

    DVD Copy Control Association or "DVD CCA" was a japanese entity until dec 2000 and lacking jursdiction on the earlier release, the MPAA is the front money for the lawsuits against the non us citizens and non california working aliens accused of using a WinICE shrouder to rip out the 40 bit master key, STILL RELIED ON TODAY, from the XingDVD VidSub Decoder.

    All thse silly posts about perl code being DeCSS are typically ignorant slashdot crap.

    All these court battles are over the follwoing 40 bits = E2A34510F4

    Validation is a 8 step process and just because Windows, Apple Mac OS, and Linux wipe your butt and usually have the DVD player code do it for you when you access a dvd ususally, does not mean that a solution exists.

    the Livid crap uses one key, a key that can be easily invalidated by the DVD CCA at anytime. And I hear they already started on new DVDs.

    UDF was on Linux in Oct 1999, the arrogance and conceit to pretend that the 15 year old wondows hacker and his friend were not first to crack DVD is nauseating.

    Wondows was not used by LINUX weenies except possible to dissassemble DeCSS to help out the LIVID project in Oct 1999.

  • If its so unimportant why do all the programs use it? 50 untrusted keys that are not distributed publicly anywhere, or used anywhere are not that persuasive an argument against this alleged revelation here.

    What source code offers these 50 keys you speak of?

    Livid (openmedia dvd)?

    Why not?

    auth.dll ?

    Why not?

    The many FlasKMPEGDeCSS source derivatives for wintel?

    Why Not?

    Where are these keys that you speak of that are "better" than the Xing key everyone seems to use?
  • But E2A34510F4 (the Xing key) is dead and soon new DVDs will stop playing on Linux, and NOTHING you guys have posted here over the months will help because without the 8 step validation process, the laser head will not do a read of an encrypted DVD keyframe block.

    The Xing key is dead, sure, but the other 400 or so master keys can be brute-forced trivially on a Pentium box. There's no way the CCA can clean up their mess without breaking millions of existing players, and I doubt they feel THAT strongly about the whole issue.

    DVD/CSS is done, dead, cracked to hell. The only thing that should be worrying you, aside from all the lawyer-fu from the studios, is that media makers are learning from the crack how not to design a content-protection scheme. Next time, a single vendor key ain't going to get you the keys to the kingdom.
  • Dude. It's clear to me that somebody has set you up the bomb.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    YOu cannot read any encypted blocks on a DVD until the 8 step validation is first done to "authorize" or validate a session key.

    Therefore, without the Xing key, you cannot get any other keys because I think not only are key frames of MPEG-2 streams stored within VOBs protected from reading without validation, I also believe that all blocks containing any scrambled or encrypted keys are likewise protected.

    YOu cannot use a VOB brute force descrabler, or a regular VOB decoder UNLESS A DVD HAS FIRST PASSED ALL AUTHORIZATION steps, as discussed.

    Its a simple problem, not a paradox. The only paradox is created when you assume a VOB exists with all of its blocks readable and authorized.

    This is not the case except when using other tools to first authorize the media path. And most of the hobby tools use Xing key.

    Apples tools keep the session private to itself and furthermore only validate from the player (which, like all players, tries to kill all known debugging tools, or refuse to play if a debugger is loaded.

    This is similar to all the unpacking wars when hackers try to defeat SecureDisc2 "protected" pc games encoded using Macrovisions (or truthfully C-Dilla's) multi-layered secured CD assets. These Macrovision games even try to kill not only Win ICE but all known shrouders around ICE that try to hide ICE from ani-ICE tools, and these games even refuse to run if CloneCD is loaded, but usually a CloneCD of a protected SD2 is on inert media merely being ripped so its a moot point.

    Thse court cases are all squarely centerred around a click-wrap violation and acusations of theft of a 40 bit player key.... the Xing key.

    After all, the DVD CSS was not patented, nor was it trulY a trade secret violation by an employee.

    It was legally reverse engineered fair and square.

    Someone should post confirmed player keys and device master keys.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:30AM (#344867)
    Why do so many comments on Slashdot by people still show total misinformation and myth regarding DeCSS?

    Multiple major posts on the silly descrabler perl script merely further this misinformation.

    Or the uninformed post regarding prime numbers holding the descrambler.

    Descramblers for CSS DVD video frames are practically worthless and unimportant and only a final small part of the challenge of extracting "protected" DVD media.

    They area all related to wimpy little descramplblers that only work on pre-authorized (validated) DVD MPEG-2 scrambled keyframe blocks.

    I am so mad about all this misinformation every month YEAR AFTER YEAR. Who gives a damn about various VOB decoders? They are mundane and hardly interesting nor even contraband knowledge!

    The DeCSS lawsuits concern a 40 bit KEY. This KEY is the one licensed to XING as a master key. It is the one, of over 400, that is being killed on new DVDs as we speak.

    It was ripped out of XingDVD VidSub Decoder, or its earlier incarnation.

    It is what Jon Johansen was accused of stealing by using a WinICE shrouder, and posting on October 6, 1999. The DVD MPAA group (actually not MPAA but the DVD Copy Control Association or "DVD CCA") . Hilariously, due to legal foulups the DVD CCA was not a US group until dec 1999 and has no California, no USA jurisdiction. In fact it is really one extortionist bully at Toshiba Corporation until Dec 1999 (or July 1999 depending on who you believe) hiding behind a few other names listed as partners in the DVD FLLC alliance. The DVD CCA and MPAA are fighting over this one goddamned 40 bit key Jon Johansen distributed. Not the rest of the many many different cracks and decoders and descramblers.

    Just these 40 bits.... nothing else you fools. The rest has little merit. Its not stolen object code, and certainly was not patented.

    Most VOB descramblers, and MPEG-2 DeCss descrambler loops work on **VALIDATED** data files from VALIDATED devices with valid session keys. They sometimes use brute force kracking and and care less about session keys... but they all come from VALIDATED mounted media... and in Livid and other enabling players they all rely on the 40 bit stolen Xing key.

    Validation is a 8 step process and just because Windows, Apple Mac OS, and Linux wipe your butt and usually have the DVD player code do it for you when you access a dvd ususally, does not mean that a solution exists.

    The 8 steps are :
    LU_SEND_ASF
    INVALIDATE_AGID
    LU_SEND_AGID
    HOST_SEND_CHALLENGE
    LU_SEND_KEY1
    LU_SEND_CHALLENGE
    HOST_SEND_KEY2
    LU_SEND_TITLE_KEY
    LU_SEND_RPC_STATE

    You can read about it in the huge publicly available INF-8090 Specification (though it is buggy) [INF-8090 v3.6 1999 SFF Committee Information Specification for ATAPI DVD Devices 8090) section 4.7.2].

    all this endless crap on Slashdot every month year after year is discussing what is done AFTER the 8 steps are completed! What idiots every single poster seems to be. Including the fools at Livid apparently, for never revealing more than one dvd key, the Xing key. There are no kracks until ALL DEVICE MASTER KEYS ARE DIVULGED!

    True, there are divide and conquer crypto attacks mentioned in Oct 26th 199 at http://crypto.gq.nu/mail2.txt (Frank A. Stevenson), but frank did not provide any keys, and you NEED a key to mount and access a DVD. There is no HACK. There is no slashdot provided links or code. Its all just the Xing key 40 bit reliance, or reliance on Apple and Microsoft to do it for you.

    You need a bus key and player key. The MPAA zeroes out the Xing master key on a special test CD (DVD ROBA buffer has a key wiped). If it fails, then they have proven the key is "stolen" in a player, if the test DVD works with other players using different player keys

    Nobody at Livid, and nobody on slashdot, and nobody on the net HAVE EVER OFFERED another key!!! I have 600 keys, of which only 4 are relevant, but only have one goddamned bus validation key. ONE.

    This crap you idiots keep talking about on slashdot is pure crap and you deserve to have to see that this little post is searchable in future archives but probably quickly forgotten despite the time of day of the entry. I post anonymously from cybercafes because thats what real hackers do, I don't give a rats ass about creating a slashdot account just to pretend to be non-anonymnous.

    I don't care that moderators all seem to surf this dying LNUX site at +1 and will never mod this up past 0. The last time I posted this It was labelled a trol and never brought up past 0. I still don't care if you people never learn. I think its funny that the facts never seem to ever get out.

    You can all just keep posting the same bullshit misinformation about DeCSS all you want to week after week.

    All you slashdot linux losers are morons if you think that the old patent "US5917914: DVD data descrambler for host interface and MPEG interface being implemented in software" frightened the MPAA. This patent was released publicly on June 29, 1999 and does more damage to the weak "protection" of DVDs than a bunch of lame Perl-script obfuscation contests.

    Ohh! impress me by encoding that patent into a Perl Script.

    Wow thats so L337 and k00l and Hax0r! Wow a VOB decoder.

    I Never see anyone ever talk about this issue, EVER. Not in any US court proceedings or filings. I have yet to study this newest one line by line yet.

    Perhaps I am the only person than knows a damned thing about how DVDs are encoded and are validated. Maybe its because I actually did some damned hacking day and night in Sept 1999 instead of sitting on my ass speculating.

    Sure I use 0xE2;0xA3;0x45;0x10;0xF4 (E2A34510F4) just like everyone else, despite the fact that I could use Microsoft or Apples keys that I refuse to share.

    But E2A34510F4 (the Xing key) is dead and soon new DVDs will stop playing on Linux, and NOTHING you guys have posted here over the months will help because without the 8 step validation process, the laser head will not do a read of an encrypted DVD keyframe block.

    I should not blame all you guys, the rest of the ENTIRE internet is also totally clueless.

    I think I am the sole man on earth who understands that player keys and master keys are still pivotal.

    Playing my DVDs on my home computers that do not seem to allow DVD playback in the OS is the only reason I care about this field. Livid is an honest and worthy cause, and despite the membership signal to noise, and the crappyness of their programming skills, Livid is worth defending. People have a freedom of speech in some parts of the world and the freedom to express themselves with source code, especially if transcribed into human readable prose for amusement. This is not an exploit nor a Krack, this is about being able to watch the movies you own on DVD on the video equipment you own from the DVD player you own. I have no interest in copyright violation at all.

    If people want my list of other 400 comaptible 40 bit player keys (not a device master key, just player keys) I could post them here if enough people want them. You merely run a tool that brute force deduces them all from a conquer standpoint. Of the >400 only 4 seem to be universally perfect on all media.

    But the lack of other non Zing Keys merely fuels the lawsuits and endangers all the LINUX DVD authorizers when the media changes.

    The lack also fules most of the ignorant posts by poeple impressed by brute force descramblers or standard descramblers.

    gabest_CRAPCRAP@freemail.hu_CRAPCRAP
  • > I mean, why would I come to Las Vegas?
    > Linus Torvalds

    Houses that cost 150K rather than 1.5 Million and nice cheap shuttle flights to the valley... '-)
  • ...no mind altering substances: just the usual "hippie bad" "suit good" mentality.
  • What's next on your "ban list"?

    Howabout Chainsaws, or hammers, or automobiles?
  • Leave it to these "liberals" to grossly skew the argument. In the grand scheme of things, a few sensationalized killings are relatively inconsequential.

    More teens died that year from suicide and auto accidents. Many more people died from gun abuse than those sheltered suburbanites.
  • In America, I am less worried about some "peasant" or "yokel" civilian carrying a gun than I am worried about the average policeman.

    The average yokel actually is LESS motivated to try and act like Clint Eastwood, or Judge Dredd...

    Liberals are complaining about the WRONG gun toting crowd here.
  • For what it's worth: (sourceCode == freeSpeech) [x-omega.com]
    -the Pedro Picasso

    --
  • Got DeCSS? [copyleft.net]
    -the Pedro Picasso

    --
  • They are about stolen 40 bit keys snatched with ICE shrouders after a click-wrap liscense screen button was dismissed.

    That's some funny shit. Is it just you posting this, or is there a concerted team effort? I'm serious. Top notch work.

    Slashdot - tecthnorbaboblell for the new millenium
    -the Pedro Picasso

    --
  • The Studios make much of the fact that Congress did not expressly write a fair use defense into 1201. This is correct.
    They didn't? What does this mean then:
    `Sec. 1201. `(a) `(2) `(c) OTHER RIGHTS, ETC., NOT AFFECTED- (1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

  • > > use firearms daily in a non-agressive
    > What? Do you polish it or something? What the hell other sort of use has a gun than aggression?

    Sporting (target shooting), hunting food or shooting vermin, or self-defense (including armed forces and national defence).

    Personally I like living in the UK where most policemen don't carry guns, and most criminals don't either, but that doesn't mean no-one anywhere has any good reason to use one. And if you do use one for any reason, practising on a range is a good idea.

    --
  • Getting even further offtopic, but never mind. The people I knew with guns at home weren't worried about "yokels" or "peasants", but about junkie burglers - because that was what their neighbours had problems with.
    And plenty of liberals _are_ complaining about police overuse of guns. Do a Google search on "drugs wrong address shot".
    (And it's not necessarily because the police think they are movie stars, it's because raiding e.g. heavily armed drugs dealers is an extremely dangerous job that makes people nervous enough that the natural reaction of a surprised innocent person to having his front door smashed down in the middle of the night looks suspicious).
    --
  • by jjr ( 6873 )
    They overturn the verdict because it might hurt any who wish to any type of publication. We need people will write the stories that will make america stand on thier hind legs.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @09:59AM (#344881) Homepage
    Why don't the lawyers always write like this ?

    Because ANYBODY can write like this. Lawyers as a group(1) seem to like unnecessarily complicated laws and strange ways of wording things so that it's necessary to pay them piles of money to keep from getting flung in jail and/or bankrupted by silly lawsuits. In addition, I think the jargon adds to their mystique, and therefore their perceived value. (Would you feel a surgeon was worth the money if he/she said "One of your blood vessels in your heart was clogged up, so we whacked open your chest and wired in a new one"? Of course not...that's why they say "Myocardial infarction necessitated coronary bypass surgery" instead...)(2)

    (1 - I say "as a group" because I know a number of individual lawyers, and none of them strike me as the type to encourage this sort of thing, at least not intentionally.)
    2 - I am not a [real] doctor, and certainly not a real MEDICAL doctor and therefore may have my jargon mixed up, but you get the idea...)
    ---
    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"

  • ...I am not familiar with the US system.

    What is a "reply brief", who writes it and what is it for?

    ------------------
  • by Royster ( 16042 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:56AM (#344883) Homepage
    Way down in footnote 19:

    Yelling "Napster" in a crowded courtroom, however, does not an argument make.
  • by Royster ( 16042 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @07:02AM (#344884) Homepage
    But because of the broad definition of "DeCSS" being used by the court, it includes the Open Source DVD player from LiViD as well as various perl implemetations and oprime numbers flaoting around the net these days.

    DeCSS, even as a Windows program, is important because it is a proof of concept. It tells the reader how to read encrypted DVDs.
  • by Royster ( 16042 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @08:03AM (#344885) Homepage
    The cryptography has been done to brute force all of the keys. I have no doubt that Frank Stevenson, for example, knows all of the keys as do many other people.

    In fact, you don't even need a player key to get the title key. The player key unlocks the title key area so that you can use an IOCTL to read the title key. But the title key itself can be found by analysing the encrypted portions of the VOBs. The player keys aren't even needed anymore.

    The keys are not the issue. The New York case isn't about distributing a key, it's about distributing the software that unencrypts a VOB so that it can be played on an Open Source player.
  • Carrying a gun is aggressive

    Uh, no. The mere carrying of a gun is not enough to establish aggression, if I have said gun concealed and/or holstered. If you take me to court, and claim that you feel threatened or assaulted because of the mere fact I had a holstered pistol on my person, the judge will laugh at you.

    On the other hand, if I make threats ("Why don't you give me a break here?" while pulling aside my jacket to show you the pistol) or threaten you physically with the gun, then I have committed an aggressive action and could very easily wind up in prison.

    You had it correct the first time: The use of firearms regardless of whether shots are fired or not is always an aggressive action. Simply carrying a gun is not considered use, though.

    --
  • What? Do you polish it or something? What the hell other sort of use has a gun than aggression?

    Personal protection.

    Or should I let the mugger with the knife stab me, rather than defend myself?

    --
  • Move to a decent country, where carrying a pistol is properly illegal, and the violent idiots who carry them are put away for good.

    See, it's only a good troll if you bring up some other topic that is only peripherally related to the original one.

    Simply rephrasing the original troll statement, especially after it's been debunked, only makes you look like an amateur.



    --
  • Just think of all the people who died so that you could have the 'right' to make sarcastic comments about gun control.



    --
  • I don't know if this is a troll or not, but I'll assume it isn't.

    They died for freedom, not because some kid had had enough of being bullied by jocks.

    Yes, they died for all freedoms, not just the ones that you support. That includes the freedom to own firearms. And you're right, they did not die for some kid who was bullied by jocks.

    Now, having said that, I don't think you'll find a single right-minded gun owner or gun advocate that actually believes children should have unsupervised access to weapons, nor should use them to shoot other people, or commit any of the atrocities that have been happing the past few months/years. I don't think you'll find a single right-minded gun owner who believes that Kleibold and Harris were justified in doing what they did in Columbine, or what that kid did in Santana a few weeks ago, or what that kid did in San Diego just the other day.

    Saying, "I want the right to own a firearm," and actually owning a firearm, comes with the responsibility to ensure that the firearm(s) you own do not fall into the hand of people who are not mature enough to handle them (physically, mentally, or emotionally). It comes with the responsibility to store your gun safely so that it cannot be accidentally found and/or discharged.

    We don't ban cars when somebody commits murder with one, we prosecute the person who committed the murder and (sometimes) the person who supplied the car (or who gave the person the liquor, or fill-in-the-blank). Let's stop trying to ban guns, and let's start going after the people who abuse/neglect their responsibilities to safeguard their gun from children and thieves.


    --
  • The main argument for gun control is the people who oppose it...

    The main argument for the 2nd Amendment is the people who oppose it... ;)

    --
  • Yes, yes, yes. Personal protection in the form of meeting aggression with aggression. You're still being aggressive (opposite of passive).

    Ok, if I squint enough, I can see your point.

    But I think there's a big difference between being aggressive-as-in-starting-trouble and aggressive-as-in-defending-oneself. I think aggression in defense is a very legitimate reason to carry/use a handgun. Aggression, for the point of causing trouble, is certainly not.

    Which, of course, is why using handguns to commit a crime is illegal already, and why - at least for the moment - using handguns as a defense mechanism is not. The law has recognized that aggression (as you would define it) is a lawful method of self-defense, and that aggression to commit a crime is not.


    --
  • It depends on the scenario, really.

    If the mugger had his knife to my throat, I'd be an idiot to try to use my firearm (or to even allow the mugger to discover that I was carrying it).

    If the mugger was standing a few yards in front of me, waving his knife, I'd be in a better situation to defend myself (of course, this isn't foolproof either).

    Basically, any situation in which you would actually have to draw your gun is a situation that inherently carries some risk to one's mortality.



    --
  • I think it is odd that people so often avoid facing up to the fact that using a gun in defence is an act of aggression. If you never question things like that then you'll never ask the question "well, is there another way?".

    I guess I look at it like this.

    If somebody is threatening my life, there's two outcomes: either I live, or I die. With some method of self-defense (which, yes, can be considered aggression), the odds skew in favor of "I live," because most self-respecting criminals value their lives just as much as I value mine. (This isn't to say that there's no risk of my dying, even after I defend myself, but the odds are skewed towards my survival.)



    --
  • The man may not have known the details and history of the technology when he took on the case, but he certainly seems to have a good handle on the precedents.

    Sony v Connectix, Betamax, RIAA v Diamond Multimedia, the guy cites a laundry list of overbroad and overreaching claims by media companies that have been shot down by the courts. Whatever the guy's getting paid, he's worth it.
  • I remeber, at the time when all this started, donating a considerable amount of money to the EFF (at the time responcible for defending the authors of DeCSS as well), and im very happy to see it has payed off.

    The document (though in legal english) should hopefully prove, without a doubt, the current injunction against 2600, and other news sites like it, is flawed in its very essence, and just an expression of the big media companies attempting to achieve domination over the audiance.

    Thank god history so far has proven that these big companies never do get away with it (think betamax, vhs, and more recent the visor handheld or sony playstation clones), but its a fight worth fighting everytime.

    I mean, if we would loose this fight, who is to say we can still post stories on slashdot on the topic of DeCCS, let alone link to a DeCCS tshirt, perl sniplet, prime number, etc ..


    -- Chris Chabot
    "I dont suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it!"
  • Because most of the time they're trying to get you to agree to something that you wouldn't... if you actually understood them.
  • Hrmmm.

    Okay... DeCSS is like a lockpick except the situation isn't like it is in "real life".

    Lets say you had a storage room in your house (within a space you control), and its just the right environment to store all your family photos. You decide that you want to secure it against theft, so you think. "Oh. I need a door. I should get locks." The locksmith comes in, sells you the lock, installs it, and gives you the keys.

    With a DVD its like saying "Oh. I need a door. I should get locks." At which point the MPAA Authorized Locksmith is sent out to sell you the lock, and install it... but he doesn't give you the keys to the door. Instead he gives you an 800 number you can call 24hours a day to reach him. If you need that door unlock, just call him and he'll be happy to come down, unlock the door for you, wait around and make sure you don't mess up the door, and then re-lock the door when you are done. Oh, and you also aren't allowed to change the lock ever again.

    In that situation I know I would sure as hell want a copy of that key, and if I couldn't get one myself, I'd go ahead and invest in a good lock-picking tool. I know I'm happy that my computer setup is Region free (and damn proud of it). Have I played non-region 1 movies? No. Do I plan to? Probably not in the immediate future. Do I dislike the limitations and practices that encompase Region-coding? You Betcha!
  • Instead of proving harm, the Studios rely on unsupported prophesies that the entertainment industry will be destroyed if 2600 Magazine is not silenced. Such prophesies may be good public relations, but they are no substitute for legal proof of harm, especially in a First Amendment case.
    Simple, straight, efficient. Why don't the lawyers always write like this ?
  • by Flower ( 31351 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @09:38AM (#344900) Homepage

    Jon Johansen's testimony and depostition was never contested during the 2600 trial. Say what you will but the reasoning he gave for why MORE did the RE the way they did was reasonable and despite the way Kaplan portrays the testimony I find no reason to think Jon perjured himself.

    As for what you consider to be /. crap I suggest you read Kaplan's ruling. He uses the term DeCSS to cover a lot more than just the original code made by MORE. Oh, and there are over 400 of those 40 "bit thingies" on a DVD. MORE, after getting the Xing key, were able to RE over half of the keys before finally getting bored with it. They included only the Xing key in the original DeCSS program by choice. The newer programs out use other keys.

    I'd be surprised if someone hasn't RE all of the CSS keys by now. Also what is nice about the perl code is you can use any key.

    OMS, Livid's DVD player software, doesn't use DeCSS though you can add it in. And, iirc, it doesn't use the Xing key.

    Your validation sentence doesn't make any sense. And I still haven't seen that closed sourced DVD player software available for purchase yet so afaic it might as well not exist and the only available linux player is closed source and the only way to watch CSS protected DVDs is to use DeCSS. And what solution are you talking about anyway?

    This rant has some things right but for the most part has too much wrong and the rest incoherent.

  • Florida Star establishes another crucial point: once truthful information has entered the public domain, no interest can justify an order barring its further release. See Florida Star, 491 U.S. at 535 (court could not constitutionally restrain dissemination of truthful information once "publicly revealed" or "in the public domain")(quotation omitted).

    Does this mean that free software enjoys greater protection as speech if it is in the public domain? Generally free and open software is not in the public domain but covered by some kind of license.

    Is a piece of software "publicly revealed" if it is revealed under a license agreement?

  • But, this is primarily about DeCSS. So, my original posting was an example of the idea that people get wrapped up in a tool and forget the basis of law that it's actions that break laws, not the ownership or availability of tools.

    Well, I believe I more or less agree with you here, and on this basis: the abuse of a thing is a poor excuse for its outright banning.

    I strongly disagree with your analogy of guns with DeCSS because it confounds a strong argument with a weak one. Free expression is utterly fundamental to a free society. I know that a lot of people feel the same way about private firearm ownership, but I think the case is much weaker. The right to free expression is clearly protected in the first amendment, it is doubtful that the right to private firearm ownership is even addressed in the second (although this is irrelevant by the ninth amendment).

    DeCSS should be free because (1) it is expression and (2) it is an instrument of free expression (funny how software tends to confound these two).


    I like the 9th Amendment argument, but it is even more vague than the 2d.


    I don't find it vague at all -- it's very clear. You just can't say somebody doesn't have the right to private firearms just because the 2nd amendment is about limiting the powers of the federal government to sieze caches of public arms (as the British did leading up to the revolution).

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @07:32AM (#344903) Homepage Journal
    (now THAT's going to annoy some who are less than thrilled with anyone who disagrees with them.)

    Open and fairmindedness is a dimension that's orthagonal to left-right politics. Let me clue you in: narrow minded people don't experience themselves narrow minded -- quite the contrary. In their own minds their personal viewpoint is so broad it encompasses the universe in its entirety.

    As a bona fide liberal, I'm not annoyed that you disagree with me, just that you characterize me as being necessarily narrow minded because I disagree with you. Actually, I should be thrilled that somebody who disagrees with me does it so clumsily. (By the way, I support a ninth amendment based right to bear arms -- just as I support a right to privacy based on the same... so there).

  • Quite simply, what DeCSS does is read and de-encrypt the raw MPEG-2 data off of a DVD. From there, it is pretty straightforward to decode the MPEG-2 and re-encode at a lower bitrate using DivX -- and then it's the whole napster nightmare for the MPAA.

    No, the sound and video is not in MPEG-2 format. It is in a raw uncompressed format. Remember that while MPEG is good compression there is a price to pay....

    Sorry, the first guy had it (mostly) right. DVDs are MPEG-2 video and AC3 audio, which I think is a format owned by Dolby. Granted, it is a very high bitrate MPEG, but occasionally complaints of MPEG artifacts are heard. And every DVD player for Linux has stuff like mpeg2dec.c and ac3dec.c, so don't try to argue with me. ;)

  • So, it's like a programming language?

    Yes. Others have noticed that as well. Even a brief bit in Cryptonomicron where a hacker talks of hacking law.

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:00AM (#344906) Journal
    At what point did lawyers stop using the English language?

    Actually, it's more a matter of when they stopped using latin exclusvely. Law has been around for many years, some of the principles of US law go back to, IIRC, the Roman Empire. Much of US law is derived from the English Common Law. The words in the brief have very specific meanings, unlike the words in English as it is commonly spoken, which can have multiple meanings. That specificity is required , else all laws could be overly broad.

  • Shit...another post by you. I read your first one and agreed somewhat with you. But regardless of what the legal ramifications of actually using/stealing a key and "illegally" watching a DVD you own are, the DeCSS case is *NOT* about this. It is about posting this code which you so loudly and annoyingly proclaim to be irrelevant. Who the f*ck cares whether it is legally relevant or not to decoding a DVD - the case is about the legality of *publishing* it. Christ, if you are so damn concerned stop trolling slashdot "MORONS". Drop the l33ter-than-thou attitude, give a chunk of change to the EFF, shut up and sit back content that you've done your part, like the rest of us. Whether slashdotters have the technical aspects right or wrong they are still generating interest and money for the cause.
  • the media (you know, time, newsweek, cnn, etc) certainly will not be there with cameras. not saying you shouldn't go protest; but the battle is in the courtroom, and at the end of it all, that's going to decide how things are. the media is owned and controlled by the same people who want linking to something like decss illegal. you're not going to have cnn interviewing anyone wearing a decss tshirt to get an opinion. being there standing silent is noble, but it's not going to change or affect the decision.

    that being said, I have my decss shirt and my printed copy of decss, and I make it a point to explain why I'm wearing code every chance I get. the time for silence is long since past; silence is how we got here in the first place.

  • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @05:43AM (#344909) Homepage Journal
    IIRC, it went something like this....

    DECSS was written on windows because at that stage there was no UDF Filesystem support in Linux, so the disk file had to be read & decoded on windows. The user could then reboot into linux to watch the movie from the hard drive. That was the only way to watch the movie in linux.
    Once UDF was supported in linux this was no longer needed, and it could be done directly under linux.
  • You've come close to the argument I held for several weeks on OpenLaw; that DeCSS is merely an implementation of the decryption half of the CSS encoding mechanism.

    DeCSS is no more a tool for circumvention than any other software that decodes CSS encoded data. Either every DVD player circumvents, or none do.

    It's a shame that, though I didn't read a refutation of my claim, that the position was not taken in trial... but much of OpenLaw's musings on authority did appear in the form of one paragraph in the appeal brief:

    The Studios argue that a purchaser of a DVD containing their movies does not receive legal "authority" to decrypt the work. Studios at 63 n. 43. Instead, they claim that "authorization by the Studios [upon purchase of a DVD] has been limited to accessing DVD content via authorized equipment." Id. But where and how has this authority "limited"? Nowhere during or after the purchase transaction are consumers informed, much less contractually bound, to view the work only on "authorized equipment." To the contrary, DVDs are sold with no contractual restrictions whatsoever (paragraph 2, section c, Appellate Reply Brief [eff.org])

    Read my full argument at: OpenLaw [harvard.edu]

  • by underwhelm ( 53409 ) <underwhelm&gmail,com> on Friday March 23, 2001 @08:56AM (#344911) Homepage Journal
    You ignore the testimony of the creator of DeCSS, Jon Johansen, something Judge Jacson did as well: Page 619, Trial transcript day 4.

    19 Q. Who wrote DeCSS?

    20 A. I and two other people wrote DeCSS.

    21 Q. How did this come about?

    22 A. In September, October, 1999 I met a person on the Internet

    23 and he was also a Linux user. We decided to investigate and

    24 find out how we could make a DVD player for Linux. You'll make a fine federal judge someday.

  • YOu cannot read any encypted blocks on a DVD until the 8 step validation is first done to "authorize" or validate a session key.

    Therefore, without the Xing key, you cannot get any other keys because I think not only are key frames of MPEG-2 streams stored within VOBs protected from reading without validation, I also believe that all blocks containing any scrambled or encrypted keys are likewise protected.


    Frank Stevenson released a tool which obtains all player keys used on a particular disc. This tool uses no prior key knowledge it obtains all valid player keys **for that DVD** and thereby enables the extraction of the title key regardless of the player keys used. I runs in a few minutes.

    The CSS **algorithm** has been cracked in the strongest possible way: all keys and the cleartext can be deduced from only the encrypted message and knowledge of the algorithm.

    While you are correct that the original DeCSS did not use Stevenson's method and instead relied on the hard coded Xing key, you are flatly incorrect to say that "without the Xing key, you cannot get any other keys".

  • Bus keys are runtime generated session dependent keys created to avoid eavesdropping on the bus. They are differnt each time and are formed by each side (host and drive) applying a modified form of CSS's linear feedback shift register algorithm to a random set of bits in a challenge and response method. After each side determines that the other knows how to decrypt the CSS LFSR, they construct the bus key from the two arbitrary bit sequences. This key is never sent over the bus, which foiles man in the middle attacks.

    For more info see http://eon.law.harvard.edu/archive/dvd-discuss/msg 11603.html

    If either side were to change the algorithm for constructing the bus key, then no communication could take place, so it really doesn't matter if it depends on some fixed magic number, as that number is essentially written in stone. Since the method for obtaining the bus key can't be changed, your entire argument is irrelevent.

    And by the way, it is settled law that you can publish "keys" obtained by reverse engineering: Chicago Lock Co v Fanberg, 676 F.2d 400 (9th Cir. 1982), which refutes your entire argument even if you were right about the bus key.
  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @05:45AM (#344914)
    Is it just me, or does anyone understand this legaleeze? At what point did lawyers stop using the English language?
  • >> Be afraid, be very afraid when the populists are argumenting (sic) that laws should be simplified down to the lowest
    >> common denominator in the populace. That way we will eventually end up with a tyranny of idiots.

    There's no reason that legible wording prevents strong legislation. Hell, all of this argument is based on:
    Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.
    We need more laws like that.
  • > Actually the very purpose of legalese is to make ordinary people unable to understand it.

    Does that make legalese a type of contect control that prevents anyone without a law degree from actually reading it? Would a program that converts legalese to English be illegal under the DMCA?
  • Thse court cases are all squarely centerred around a click-wrap violation and acusations of theft of a 40 bit player key.... the Xing key.

    After all, the DVD CSS was not patented, nor was it trulY a trade secret violation by an employee.

    It was legally reverse engineered fair and square.

    Sorry, AC, but it really has nothing to do with patents, trade secrets or click-wrap licenses.

    It's all about section 1201, one of the DMCA's ammendments to the Copyright Act.

    1201(a)(2) states:

    No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof that--

    (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effictively controls access to a work protected under this title...

    The Xing key and the authentication code together form a device that that circumvents a technnological access control measure. Therefore, it's a crime to have anything to do with them. That's it.

    It doesn't matter how they were obtained or created.

    That's why this law is so scary.

  • Please, just read the DMCA and some of the trial documentation, and it will quickly become clear that you have no idea what you're talking about.

    From Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's Finding of Fact and Law in Universal City Studios, Inc, et al. v. Shawn C. Reimerdes, et al.:

    Late last year, computer hackers devised a computer program called DeCSS that circumvents the CSS protection system and allows CSS-protected motion pictures to be copied and played on devices that lack the licensed decryption technology. Defendants quickly posted DeCSS on their Internet web site, thus making it readily available to much of the world. Plaintiffs promptly brought this action
    under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the DMCA) to enjoin defendants from posting DeCSS and to prevent them from electronically linking their site to others that post DeCSS.

    It is only the section 1201(a)(1) prohibition on the act of circumvention that did not take effect for two years after the passage of the DMCA. The anti-device regulations of sections 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b) were in effect at the time of the lawsuit. It is section 1201(a)(2) that 2600 is said to have violated.

    It is you and the other AC (assuming you're not the same person) who are clueless.

  • I heard at Keith Winstein's seminar that
    in New Zealand, retailers are forbidden to sell
    DVD players that can't play DVD's from all
    regions. It's a violation of consumer protection
    laws or something. :)
  • > Thse court cases are all squarely centerred around a click-wrap
    > violation and acusations of theft of a 40 bit player key.... the Xing
    > key. After all, the DVD CSS was not patented, nor was it trulY a
    > trade secret violation by an employee.

    Hmm? My understanding was that the 2600 case centered around the claim
    that the DeCSS code is primarily intended to circumvent a copy
    protection scheme, and therefore trafficking in it is a violation of the
    DMCA. If you can post references to court papers that suggest
    otherwise, that'd be very interesting.
  • Thanks for the heads up. We'll bang on that.
  • Because ANYBODY can write like this. Lawyers as a group(1) seem to like unnecessarily complicated laws and strange ways of wording things so that it's necessary to pay them piles of money to keep from getting flung in jail and/or bankrupted by silly lawsuits. In addition, I think the jargon adds to their mystique, and therefore their perceived value.

    My brother (who recently became a lawyer) said that he thought it was because that was the way they were taught to write in school (trying to use an ambiguous language to make unambiguous definitions about ambiguous situations), and in a horribly circular way, you HAD to write like that or other legal professionals wouldn't take your work seriously.

    I've been reading a lot about refactoring lately - I'm wondering how much of these techniques could be applied to laws...

  • Actually the very purpose of legalese is to make ordinary people unable to understand it. If people can't understand the laws they won't notice when their freedom is taken from them. So the powers that be want laws to become even more impossible to understand.

    All citizens are expected to know all laws (not knowing something is illegal is no excuse in the eye of the law), but in practice noone does, not even lawyers. This is clearly totally absurd, and it is steadily growing worse by new complicated laws added.

    IMO we should revoke the vast majority of laws - at least 99% has to go - and make the rest fair, intuitive, simple and easy to understand. All laws with victimless "crimes", and everything dealing with "IP" should be totally abolished. The law should not concern itself with whether I smoke some pot or copy some warez.

    But then again, I am an Anarchist.

    /Dervak

  • Yeah, right; that's a good one. That's what we are supposed to believe.

    The need to be clear, precise, concise, and unamiguous forces legislators to write 200-word-plus sentences and WRITING IN ALL CAPS? Give me a break. Y N0+ wR1+3 1n 31337, +H3n 1+ 1z 3v3N m0r3 uNr34d4813?

    I think my deliberate obfuscation hypothesis fits the facts better.

    /Dervak

  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Friday March 23, 2001 @09:42AM (#344925) Homepage Journal
    How did this get modded up ? DVD Video is absolutely MPEG! There is no fucking chance that DVDs are storing uncompressed video!

    Come the fuck on. Consider a 512 x 384 pixel screen, at _256_ colors (1 byte/pixel).

    Consider 12 frames per second (24 interlaced fields/sec). Consider a 1 hour movie (3600 seconds).

    What do we get:

    512 x 384 x 12 x 3600 = 8,493,465,600 bytes

    Now. DVD has better resolution, more than 256 colors, i think it stores full frames, and most DVDs are longer than 1 hour. the 8GB number is already big enough to need a dual sided or dual layer DVD... and has no audio, no menu, no extra features, no extra audio tracks. So how the _fuck_ do you think DVD is uncompressed video ?

    My Pioneer DVD player gives me the MPEG bitrate of the movie im watching. Dont tell me its uncompressed video.
  • If you misuse DeCSS, someone gets to watch a movie without paying. (But by the way, you do know that CSS doesn't prevent illegal copying, don't you?)

    If you misuse a gun, somebody dies.

    I get your point, but get some perspective, eh?
  • Although I support your right to own guns responsibly, I thought I'd point out that having a gun in the mugging scenario you mentioned would more likely result in your death than not having a gun would.
  • Doesn't Babelfish [babelfish.org] have a Legaleeze translator?
  • Well it appears that I was wrong on the MPEG format thing. I applogize to all about the misinformation. Seems that a little bit of knowledge is worse then none. Again sorry about the mistake. Had I moderator points I could use on myself I would mod me down.
    Molog

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • by molog ( 110171 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @07:28AM (#344930) Homepage Journal
    The DeCSS program itself was written for Windows because Windows had the DVD driver support necessary!

    It wasn't the drivers. It was suport for the file system that is used on DVDs. Linux did not have support for the filesystem at the time so it was developed on Windows to see if it would indeed work.

    Quite simply, what DeCSS does is read and de-encrypt the raw MPEG-2 data off of a DVD. From there, it is pretty straightforward to decode the MPEG-2 and re-encode at a lower bitrate using DivX -- and then it's the whole napster nightmare for the MPAA.

    No, the sound and video is not in MPEG-2 format. It is in a raw uncompressed format. Remember that while MPEG is good compression there is a price to pay. The color is not as distinct and the images are not as clear. Not too noticable but there is a trade off to be made. Plus even with DivX, the resulting file is still around 650MB. That is not very small. Even with broad band that takes a while to download. Most people don't want to bother saturating their connection for that long. There are some but not many.

    MPAA != DVDCCA. Yes, the DVDCCA is concerned that their monopoly on DVD players is in jeopardy because of the release of the key. But that is entirely separate from DeCSS, a **Windows program** to decode DVDs.

    Well then what about css-auth, the Linux version of DeCSS which some of the code is used by the LiViD [linuxvideo.org] for playing of DVDs? I think the intent was to allow projects like LiViD to show up. Decrepting the VOBs(the files that on the DVD that contain the raw video and audio) was needed to be done before a player could be made. I followed the events of the different groups trying to break the encryption for a long time. DeCSS came on the scene and it was instantly seen as a way to play DVDs.
    Molog

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • Agreed, this one is a marvel of clarity. You need to have read the piles of briefs in this case to appreciate how clearly and concisely this chops up the many arguments. It's far better than Garber's brief in the original case. The important things here is that it doesn't argue the copying issue, but hammers on the fair use for play point. That is the issue that has been consistently missing in previous rulings, pleadings, and especially the media coverage.

    Well done!

    -dB

  • It sort of undermines the attorney's credibility when he flippantly writes "The sky will not fall."
  • Actually the very purpose of legalese is to make ordinary people unable to understand it.

    This is 100% wrong. If you try to write things in plain language, people can use the ambiguity of everyday speech to claim that the law means something other than what its authors thought it meant, which is exactly contrary to your stated goal- that laws' meanings should be absolutely clear. The goal of legalese is to make the meaning of the writing as specific as possible so that people can't weasel out of it. In this way it's like the jargon used by any other profession; it uses a large number of technical terms with extremely precise meanings that are not used in everyday speech. There was actually a wonderful comparison of legal jargon and computer language in one of the earlier briefs, although that was in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, there's a lot of inertia in jargon- as long as the concept doesn't change the word doesn't change- and law has been going for thousands of years. That means that some of the terms have been used exactly the same way since before the birth of Christ while the rest of language has mutated around them.

  • Is it just me, or does anyone understand this legaleeze?
    Actualy, it's quite easy...

    Bend over and enjoy.
  • Indeed, the Spoon(42)man speaks the truth. The video is in Mpeg2 format with a variable bitrate, and the audio is either uncompressed PCM (rare), Dolby Digital or DTS (copyright Dolby and DTS respectively) with a maximum total bitrate for the lot of 9.8Mbit/s.
  • sneaky followup - its easy to tell that the video is compressed; at a resolution of 720x480 for NTSC, 720x576 for PAL, and a colour depth of (roughly) 16 bit (the details of Mpeg2's real colour depth are quite complex as its greyscale is a different resolution to its colour) means an uncompressed NTSC frame would be 675k, or 5529600 bytes. Taking a two-hour movie at 24 frames a second leaves a total storage requirement of 111GB for video only, not the 4-8GB that such a movie regularly fits into including soundtracks.
  • IIRC, I send the EFF some $200 (2x$100) since this all started; specifically to help fight this case.

    Certainly, it isn't a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but I like to think that it helps some.

    Seeing quality work like this brief encourages me to believe that I'm getting my money's worth and makes it more likely that I'll donate more in the future.

  • Who even suggested that I was talking about YOU? If you can hold intelligent conversations with those who absolutely disagree with you, then you are one that I would like to talk with. I'm always willing to hear the other side of whatever story I have.

    I like the 9th Amendment argument, but it is even more vague than the 2d.

    But, this is primarily about DeCSS. So, my original posting was an example of the idea that people get wrapped up in a tool and forget the basis of law that it's actions that break laws, not the ownership or availability of tools.

    First amendment grounds:
    Anarchists Cookbook, that someone else has already mentioned. Legal to own, legal to sell, legal to have on line etc. Even though if someone built some of the things in it, they could then go do severe harm to themselves or others. Or they could clear their field of stumps. The knowledge or the tool is not the cause of harm, it's the implementation of the tool or knowledge that actually does the harm and that requires action.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • So the other way should work too:

    Suitland Md. March 22, a man in his house was rudely interrupted by a larger man kicking in the patio door. Homeowner had a pistol, burglar went to the hospital.

    DeCSS - I get to watch the movies I paid for.

    Gee, there seems to be a large disparity of the good each can do as well. Allowed a homeowner to live Vs watching a movie.

    So, the level of positive outcome balances the negative outcome (more so that people use firearms on the order of 5 to 1 at the low end to 40 to 1 on the high end for defensive use Vs criminal use) and both become along the same lines.

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • The original claim was that they were giving away piracy TOOLS. That, in and of itself is BS. Then they slap an injunction for the linking of it. That is beyond anything a 'reasonable man' should even consider sueing for.

    I hope this makes it to the Supreme Court and becomes case law of the 1st Amendment variety.

    I cannot find anything that holds the MPAA's view, I can only find things in case law that show their claim is invalid.

    What was the original Judge smoking to rule against 2600?

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • All you who think this is off topic, read it all the way through first.

    DeCSS is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I wonder about those who holler about free speech, claim that DeCSS is only a tool to be used or misused by the person who has it, then they turn around and claim that guns are evil and should be banned.

    The MPAA views DeCSS the same way liberals view guns. 'It can only be used for one thing' 'makes life a whole lot easier for those who will break laws'

    If you are for free speech to the point of thinking that the MPAA is full of BS for trying to stop DeCSS, think about those of us who use firearms daily in a non-agressive, non-criminal manner before you decry the use of them because criminals misuse them.

    (now THAT's going to annoy some who are less than thrilled with anyone who disagrees with them.)
    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • by HvidNat ( 148511 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @05:49AM (#344942)
    It would seem to me that CSS encoding represents a software or device specifically designed to interfere with my access to copyrighted works to which I have right and license to access.

    CSS is, prima facia, software designed to circumvent access controls (my hardware/software reading the disk I purchased) intended to permit me legal access to the DVD.

    Why hasn't anyone filed a suit with that counterclaim? It seems like a fantastic class-action opportunity.

  • The point was that misuse of DeCSS for piracy is not even close to being comparable to misuse of a gun by shooting schoolkids.
  • Yes, who cares if a few people die so long as you have the 'right' to shoot cans off a wall.
  • The point was about perspective. If DeCSS is misused the MPAA lose some money. If a gun is misused someone dies. Banning guns altogether is a bad answer, but then handing them out to just about anyone is pretty stupid as well.
  • They died for freedom, not because some kid had had enough of being bullied by jocks.
  • Which is why guns should not be available to just anyone. The reason why shootings are so widespread is that it doesn't matter how many problems you have or how irresponsible you are you can still exercise your constitutional right to own a lethal weapon without having to pass any fitness tests at all. Banning guns outright is unnecessary, just don't give them to everyone.
  • use firearms daily in a non-agressive

    What? Do you polish it or something? What the hell other sort of use has a gun than aggression?

    Really, though, you are trying to claim that guns are a tool like DeCSS when they are in fact a tool like a lockpick. They have a very few legitimate uses but the main use is immoral (but not always illegal in the case of a gun).

    TWW

  • I was trying to get at the idea, without actually stating it, that although aggression is often the first resort when answering aggression (including mine) there have been others such as Ghandi and Jesus who have suggested that the opposite approach is better. Ghandi seems to have had the most success, while alive, in this idea while most "followers" of Jesus (even in his lifetime) just plain ignore what was the central plank of his teaching.

    I think it is odd that people so often avoid facing up to the fact that using a gun in defence is an act of aggression. If you never question things like that then you'll never ask the question "well, is there another way?". Regardless of what answer you arrive at I think you'll be better off for having asked the question.

    Personally, living in Northern Ireland has left me with the conclusion that there often is no better way but that the gun is a crap answer too.

    TWW

  • by 1337d00d ( 177978 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @07:06AM (#344952)
    You can read it in all of the appropriate formats

    Can we read it in .VOB?
  • by rtos ( 179649 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:06AM (#344955) Homepage
    The way to make a difference is to educate people. Check out the shirts at Copyleft.net [copyleft.net]. I know my shirts have struck up many conversations on DeCSS and the whole issue of DMCA vs. Free Speech.
    • qrpff [copyleft.net]: the famous perl implementation on a shirt. This is by far the best DeCSS shirt I have seen. Check it out.
    • OpenDVD [copyleft.net]: Pretty cool shirt.
    • Got DeCSS [copyleft.net]: Still one of my favorites. Only available in forest green for some reason. I own one, its a nice green.
    Pick up a shirt, wear it and educate those around you. But remember, first educate yourself at OpenDVD.org [opendvd.org].
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:16AM (#344956) Journal
    Is it just me, or does anyone understand this legaleeze? At what point did lawyers stop using the English language?

    Actually, as far as I can tell, all that it is needed is to read it slowly and carefully. But to be brief, the essential point seems to be as follows (from near the beginning).

    As the Studios' brief makes clear, the First Amendment problems at issue here arise from an underlying question: whether 1201 is to be limited to its goal of shielding copyright holders from infringement or whether, as the Studios claim, it is a sword that empowers them to wield unprecedented control over the private viewing of copyrighted works. The Studios claim that 1201 grants them control over the players for their works. This admission demonstrates that, despite their protestations, the Studios' concerns here transcend copyright infringement. For them, 1201 is the key to gain over digital content what they have unsuccessfully attempted to gain over past formats--control over the means of viewing their works.
    Which is the argument that has been made all along. the rest of the doument is quite readable, although you may need an extra cup of coffee to wake up an extra brain cell or two. ;-)
  • IANAL(oser), but...

    If 2600's move is accepted and the case is dropped, the DMCA gets the equivelent of a big hole drilled through it. And the chances of the MPAA/RIAA getting another law passed similar to this are about as good as some left-over piece of Mir slamming into the Taco Bell pad tommorow. Basically, it will become legal to circumvent encryption (if you take the right steps, such as getting somebody from Germany to send it to you or something).

    OTOH, if it doesn't fly and 2600 is "convicted", then the precedence becomes that are own laws take precedence over treaties. Now that's a heavy precedent - and one I bet the judge doesn't want to make...

    I can't be karma whoring - I've already hit 50!

  • I don't think that has to be true. I don't think that there's a conspiracy to make twisted, labyrinthine laws, but I do think that it's a misguided effort to do so--and that the inevitable result is a quashing of basic liberties for those who cannot afford to pay to have sense made of them. As you say, social problems are extremely complex and likely unsolvable. If you really believe that, then there's little point in trying to legislate them out to the finest detail. Rather, our reliance needs to be more on the judiciary to make judgement calls. A legislator can't possibly crank out a piece of code that can fairly cover all the different possible aspects of some of these issues. All of this minimum mandatory sentencing crap and zero tolerance policies takes that overlooked, but extremely important, human analysis out of the exaction, and we are the poorer for it.

    I agree with the previous poster--fewer laws, more simply stated. There is a long-standing tradition that ignorance or misunderstanding of the law is no excuse for violating it--I would argue that the corollary needs to be that the law must be well-published and understandable. Let judges judge... guidelines are better than rules for most social interaction. Few things can be reliably hard and fast and at the same time just in all cases in such a mixed society.
  • Those are nearly the exact words that I was about to post. I am so happy that the contibutions I've made to EFF recently have in some small way helped make this document possible.

    It's a very well written brief, and as legal briefs go, fairly easy to read.

    Score one for the good guys.

    -S
  • by BigumD ( 219816 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @05:53AM (#344967) Homepage
    Offtopic, I know, so mod me down...
    • Put 500 byte perl script on WAP phone, wave at lawyers as walking into court
    • Dress a Ken doll up as Jack Valenti, burn with hand held blow torch
    • Dress up in a Tux costume, throw DVD's at bystanders
    • Buy boxes of DeCSS t-shirts, sell at court with hot dogs and soda.
    • Sit outside with Linux on Laptop, play DVD's, sing the National Anthem.

    • I'm sure you guys can think of more...
  • To anyone who hasn't, spend 30 or 60 min and read the brief, it is an amazing read. I have been following the MPAA vs 2600 case for a while and this document really lays it out on how critical this case is not only to 2600 and it's supporters, but also to the open source community, the hacker community and even the movie watching community. Just like the RIAA vs Napster, this is a precedent setting event that not only has to do with massive corporate dollars going against the little guy, but more so being huge corporations trying to control the way we live our lives and access media.
  • All of us in NY should buy ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com] shirts with the DeCSS code on it and stand outside the courthouse for a silent protest.
  • by poemofatic ( 322501 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:14AM (#344992)
    On the one hand, you've got the MPAA claiming to have the sole legal license that every DVD player must agree to. A license which mandates "region pricing." Moreover, they claim that CSS is a "trade secret" even though their own lawyers leaked the source code in public records, plus it's available on thousands of websites worldwide.

    No one goes after these guys for monopolistic trade practices.


    Then, you've got this 16 year old kid arrested for trying to play DVD's on his linux box, and 2600 sued for linking to him.

    I keep waiting for the evil Kirk to burst into the courtroom, zap the jury and cackle hysterically...


    Also, Kudos to the foreign activists who post the code on their webpages. Thank you. Things are pretty messed up over here in the States...


  • by poemofatic ( 322501 ) on Friday March 23, 2001 @06:54AM (#344993)

    DeCSS is code, and there is a strong argument, as well as a federal court ruling, which says that source code is speech, so the analogy fails on its face.

    moreover, the case against 2600 is not that they wrote the code, but that they linked to a cite where the code was posted, so a better (but still wrong) analogy would be to arrest someone for giving them directions to where a gunshop might be found.

    ..but even if that analogy held, things like the anarchist's cookbook are legal publications. The Progressive even published instructions on making a hydrogen bomb and was allowed to publish this on the grounds of freedom of speech -- the ruling is still wrong(and stupid).

    finally, DeCSS does not enable copying -- you can copy bit-for-bit just fine, and then press unauthorized DVD's which will play on authorized DVD players; this is happening on a mass scale in China and other foreign countries.

    What DeCSS does do is allow a person/company to manufacture a DVD player without being under the thumb of the MPAA. This means that
    1) MPAA can't make a buck in "license fees" on every DVD player sold.

    2) it cannot control how the movie is watched -- i.e. whether you have to sit through "previews"/commercials or fast-forward through them, and

    3) whether they can control price/availability. i.e. -- charge more/release sooner in the richer countries and charge less/release later in the 3rd world (via "region coding"). Also, in those countries with weaker anti-trust laws, they could conceivably license only *one* manufacturer of DVD's who would be their distributor. Then they would control the price, since if those guys didn't play ball, they'd lose their license.

    It's not about preventing copying -- the "encrypting" is so trivial it can be broken by a brute force attack in seconds on average hardware. It's a technical application of an industry-written copyright law to control a hardware market.



    Sorry, but this is just not an appropriate metaphor for the pro-gun crowd to hang their from.


Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.

Working...