Antics of the DVD CCA

If you’ve been following the DVD CCA’s antics, you’re probably aware that the initial hearing is today. If you’re haven’t kept up with the news, here’s a summary. The designers of DVD included a badly designed encryption system to prevent unauthorized viewing or copying of discs. Linux users with DVD drives can’t watch DVD movies they’ve legally purchased because there is no player. To solve the problem, the DVD encryption system was reverse engineered and open source software was created and distributed to play DVD discs. The DVD CCA is now trying to get a restraining order against hundreds of individuals and organizations who have talked about the open source decryption software (like I’m doing now), who have included links to sites that offer the source, or have links to the source code itself:

css-auth_tar.gz – CSS authentication source

LiVid.tgz – the Linux DVD source code

nist-0_6.tgz – an initial Linux DVD player

DeCSS.zip – for Windows

The DVD CCA has mounted a PR campaign to make it appear that the software in question is used to pirate the DVD content, something that is untrue, highly impractical, and will probably only be believed by computer illiterates (which unfortunately includes most of the media and legal system). You are encouraged to join in the fight against the forces of evil in the world by downloading the source, mirroring it on your own web site, or making a tax deductable donation to the EFF, who will be fighting the DVD CCA in court for your right to free speech.

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