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Censorship Software

Adobe Uses DMCA On Protocol It Promised To Open 203

An anonymous reader writes "Despite promising in January to open RTMP, Adobe has issued a DMCA take down request for an open source implementation of the protocol. The former SourceForge project page for rtmpdump now reports 'Invalid Project.' rtmpdump has been used in tools such as get_iplayer and get-flash-videos. Adobe is no stranger to the DMCA, having previously used it against Dmitry Sklyarov."
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Adobe Uses DMCA On Protocol It Promised To Open

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  • Ah, Open Screen (Score:3, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:47AM (#28052983)

    Next time, before you open source developers get a hardon for the latest "Open" thing, read the fine print.

    Just because something says "open" doesn't mean it is so. And just because some press release says "giving developers access", it doesn't mean they are giving it to you.

    Why don't they do what they say, say what they mean?

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:52AM (#28053077)
    MySQL have in the past (not sure about their current stance on it) said that any application implementing the MySQL client protocol is required to either have a commercial license, or be licensed under the GPL as they consider the protocol itself to be part of MySQL and thus under copyright.
  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28053087) Homepage Journal

    How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation?

    Ask The Tetris Company. It thinks it owns the exclusive right [] to make video games that incorporate falling shapes made of four square segments.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Informative)

    by baadger ( 764884 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:06AM (#28053249)

    That would only be a trademark issue, not a copyright infringement.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rmcd ( 53236 ) * on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:07AM (#28053265)

    My understanding: Under the DMCA, you can be in trouble for possessing technologies that could be used to circumvent technological protections on copyrighted material So it's not that the technology itself is copyrighted, it's probably that it's part of a copyright protection scheme and thus falls under DMCA.

    The EFF's account of the Skylarov case (which is instructive and chilling) is fully documented here [].

  • Re:Ah, Open Screen (Score:3, Informative)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:10AM (#28053301)

    The problem people think Open Source they think GNU. It is not the case. GNU isn't the only Open Source (besides what the GNU people wants you to believe). They all really try to balance Original Developers freedom vs. End User/Supplemental Developer Freedom, based on the values of the licence creators depends where on the scale they are. Open Source Software can be Look but don't touch to Public Domain.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:14AM (#28053359)

    How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

    It's not copyright law, it's the anti-circumvention provision. The reference RTMP implements various restrictions that the content provider can specify, for instance, marking it as streaming only. The open-source version, however, did not implement those restrictions and was, in fact, used in various projects whose entire purpose was to download media marked only as streamed -- get_iPlayer being the most notorious as used to rip BBC content.

  • by jdb2 ( 800046 ) * on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:16AM (#28053385) Journal
    You get get the rtmpdump v1.5a source [] here [], although this is not the latest version. AFAIK v1.6 was the last version to be released but it seems to have disappeared from the Web, even on non-sourceforge-affiliated sites.

  • Re:Ah, Open Screen (Score:2, Informative)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:19AM (#28053429) Journal
    The word "open" had established meanings before open source -- OpenGroup, X/Open, Open Software Foundation, etc. GNU doesn't use the word open, preferring FREE (which has it's own multiple-usage problems). I think "liberty" is less ambiguous.
  • Re:Plus for Theora (Score:3, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:24AM (#28053503) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand why project was deleted from SF? I mean, DMCA is used only in USA

    SourceForge, Inc. is headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA [].

    so I, plus couple of other people, don't give a flying fuck about that.

    Then host your projects in your own country, not on a U.S. server.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:25AM (#28053511)

    Is this really that surprising? Adobe's press release when they announced the RTMP spec even says, "To benefit customers who want to protect their content, the open RTMP specification will not include Adobeâ(TM)s unique secure RTMP measures, nor will the license that accompanies the specification allow developers to circumvent such measures."

    So wasn't the takedown notice sent because they circumvented what the license said they couldn't?

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Informative)

    by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:41AM (#28053739) Homepage

    Games (and video games) are explicitly protected by a special kind of design patent. This is what protects the rules and pieces of Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, and so on. Their look and feel are protected by trademark, and their specific designs by copyright.

    Tetris is likewise protected by design patents, trademarks, and copyright.

    However only the copyright aspect can fall under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

  • by Misch ( 158807 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:43AM (#28053773) Homepage

    I want to see the request so I can find out whether sourceforge was justified in "complying". Did they just knee-jerk?

    I wouldn't classify it as "knee-jerk", but it's essentially what the law calls for. Read up on the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the DMCA []. Basically, it is "shoot first and ask questions later".

  • by blitzkrieg3 ( 995849 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:48AM (#28053821) may have taken it down, but the other sites are still up and running. Here are some download links:

    get-flash-videos []
    index of rtpdump-1.3a [], including source rpms
    download [] page for getiplayer
    linux/unix tarball []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:50AM (#28053857)

  • chillingeffects? (Score:3, Informative)

    by asdfndsagse ( 1528701 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:52AM (#28053903)

    The project is down here [] google cache still up.

    Does sourceforge (slashdot's partner site) publish DMCA requests to chilling effects. Allow, I am highly disappointed that it just says "Invalid project" instead of saying that it was removed per the DMCA. Learn something from google sourceforge!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:56AM (#28054867)

    For those looking, this is the most recent release of rtmpdump (1.6):

    You can also find 1.5a here: (

    They have just replaced rtmpdump support in a new version with flvstreamer, but it has no RTMPE support. This encrypted RTMP support is new in rtmpdump 1.5 and is probably what got them DMCA'd in the first place. You can find 1.3 and 1.4 on a couple sites but those versions do not have the critical RTMPE support.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @12:26PM (#28055337)

    Now, the DRM flags in the official RTMP specification are a technological measure designed to control access to the copyrighted work in question -- specifically, the BBC has the right to say "you can watch this but you can't make a copy"*, which is a power granted to them by their copyright**.

    That's completely untrue. The BBC (and any other copyright owner) is entitled to say you can watch this but can't make a copy unless otherwise permitted by law.

    Among the many exceptions to copyright (regularly used by the BBC), is for a bona fide news organization to report the news. There are many other exceptions, such as home recording for personal use, fair use, backups, satire, parody, teaching & education. The fine print varies by jurisdiction.

    The trouble with talking about intellectual property is that most people don't know what they are talking about.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @12:32PM (#28055439)

    You should be correct is 12USC1201 (et seq) referred to a product but actually, the statutes refers to technological measures. The no-copy-bit in the stream itself is not a product, but definitely a measure.

    For the purposes of the DMCA, the measure itself "lives" inside the stream itself, not in the product meant to interpret that stream. A product is conformant if it does not circumvents (aka, respects) that measure and is in violation if it circumvents (aka, does not respect) that measure.

    For instance, DeCSS does not circumvent the region-coding of DVD players, it simply implements the CSS algorithm in a way that circumvents the region-coding restriction (which is a "measure that effective controls access to a copyrighted work").

  • by mea37 ( 1201159 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @12:56PM (#28055781)

    "Correct me if I'm wrong"

    Ok. You're wrong. [] PDF is an Adobe proprietary format. There are other readers because (as I noted above) they publish enough spec to let you write readers. Acrobat Reader is the canonical reader implementation, and other Acrobat products are the canonical software for writing PDF.

    Because there are other readers, and because those readers presumably don't know whatever magic incantation makes Acrobat Reader recognize linearization (which is a not an extension but rather is a core part of the spec), you could write PDF-producing software that might work 100% well with those other readers. But in the corporate world, that's not good enough; when a business publishes something as PDF, it needs to work wtih Acrobat.

  • by josath ( 460165 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @01:31PM (#28056357) Homepage
    Huh? I think you have Adobe and Sun confused. Flash is the one that loads instantly, Java is the one that locks up your entire browser for 5-10 seconds with the Java splashscreen while you wait for the JVM to load.
  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @01:46PM (#28056599) Homepage []

    torrent also available.

  • Re:Copyright law? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:21PM (#28058025)

    The makers of rtmpDump don't seem any different then those of the vcr or camera to me.

    If you actually read 12USC1201, you'd know that it is illegal to sell a VCR that does not respect the macrovision flag. In the exact same way, there are flags in RTMP media that control access to the underlying content. rtmpDump circumvents those flags.

    and so long as they send the bytes to me they can have no complaint on how I use (display) those bits on my end (as a user).

    I'm not sure why this is so obvious to everyone as an ethical proposition. If I want to show someone my family vacation photos, I feel like it's quite proper for me to say "look but don't copy" -- same for a draft of a novel I'm writing or a short piece of music I've composed.

    Since you have no right in the first place to demand that someone send you a stream of bytes at all, it seems to me quite obvious that you have no right to require that they not attach conditions to those bytes. This reasoning is known in legal circles as a maiore ad minus -- from the stronger unto the weaker. If the BBC can refuse to give you the bytes in at all, they can give you the right to read the bytes but not copy them.

    Now with the advent of the DMCA - an atrocious law that should be declared in part or whole as unconstitutional - there is a legal ground for attacking the neo-vcr and to that I say bullocks.

    Is the DMCA unconstitutional because it violates a particular provision of the Constitution or just because it's atrocious? People don't like to hear this from lawyers, but the fact is that the Constitution allows many shitty things (it is, after all, manifestly imperfect).

    With no contractual agreement between any of the parties why the fed. gov. need to get involved with everything?

    They need to get involved because a majority of representatives, duly elected by The People, voted to get them involved.

Truth is free, but information costs.