Since I frequently rant about how bad Verio is, it seems only fair to mention when they occasionally do something good. Verio is the upstream provider for cryptome.org. Verio was recently notified by the MPAA that Cryptome was in violation of the DMCA because it contained a transcript of John Hoy’s declaration from the DeCSS trial in NY. John Hoy is (was?) the president of the DVD CCA and the document in question is part of the public record so the MPAA’s claims seem a bit absurd. (Mr. Hoy just happened to enter the source code to DeCSS into the public court record as part of his declaration and that’s why the MPAA is trying to supress it.) Rather than shutting down the site like most ISPs seem to do when threatened by the MPAA, Verio exchanged a couple of emails with John Young of cryptome, and agreed the site should not be taken down. There’s a cnet article on the events and the entire email exchange is available on cryptome for the curious.
I celebrated independence day by wearing my DeCSS T-Shirt and watching the Richardson fireworks show from the front lawn of my sister’s house. I get questions about the the T-Shirt every time I wear it and I’ve come up with a one sentence explanation that is reasonably understandable. “The shirt signifies my opposition to current movie and recording industry attempts to prevent fair use of copyrighted works.” Additional explanation is usually needed but it’s the most concise explanation I’ve come up with so far.
I was reviewing the stats on several of our websites this month and noticed that Mozilla is begining to be a measurable quantity in the list of user agents. The May stats showed Mozilla/5.0 with a 0.12% share. June stats showed it with slightly more at 0.18%. It’s not much but it’s more than most non-IE/non-Netscape browsers like Opera and Lynx get. I’m looking forward to continued growth as M17 and M18 are released.
I’m back from Vegas where I spent the past couple of days wandering around this year’s NAB convention. I was pleased that so many of the vendors were aware of Linux and either had or were working on Linux software for their products. There were several MPEG boards, some audio boards, and a variety of other non-driver software. One audio board manufacturer had some stuffed penguins and a sign that read “ask us about our Linux drivers”. The Broadcast 2000 guys even had a booth there. I was also pleased to find in reading through some of the trade journals being distributed there that, for the most part, the video hardware manufacturers understood the whole DeCSS thing. I read one editorial that said they understood that what we were trying to do was develop software to play our DVD discs, not pirate movies. I was less pleased that the MPAA guys didn’t have an exhibit this year – I was hoping to spook them by visiting their booth while wearing my DeCSS T-Shirt. And, of course, I stopped by the Play booth for a few minutes to watch Kiki Stockhammer demonstrating the latest version of the Trinity software (maybe when she gets back from NAB she’ll fix her web site).
Well, back to work now… I’ve got several hundred emails and quite a few phone messages that piled up while I was gone.
There’s a nice summary of last weeks DVD Protest on the 2600 web site. I never did find out if the Dallas 2600 group did anything here. Hopefully they’ll put a little more planning into this if they do another event. Some of the reports in the summary are pretty funny. Sounds like the upside to having virtually no advance notice is that the MPAA didn’t have time to organize a response.
Only a few hours left until the DVD protest and I still haven’t found out where the heck it is. I’m assuming there’s going to be one in Dallas since there’s supposed to be a local 2600 group. I’ve been unable to find an email or phone number so despite wanting to go, it looks like nobody from NCC will make it to the protest tonight. Maybe if they hold another, they’ll actually put some planning into it and give people more than a couple of days notice and even some contact info.
We just received our DVD shirts from Copyleft today. On the front they say “DVD CCA” behind the universal circle & line “no” symbol. On the back they contain the css_titlekey(), css_decrypttitlekey(), and css_descramble() functions from the DeCSS code, making the wearer an official enemy of the MPAA and DVD CCA. Also included with each shirt is your official copy of the complete css_descramble.c source code printed on Copyleft letterhead, suitable for framing or handing to the judge when the MPAA hauls you into court for wearing their alleged trade secrets.