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’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.
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.
What a week! The MPAA is going nuts, our T1 problems resurfaced again (only briefly fortunately!), and lots of perl coding. And now we’re in the middle of a sudden pile of cold weather. It’s been below freezing two days in a row and there was even a bit of snow falling yesterday – all very unusual. I did manage to get some time to refurbish our sick linux box at home. The hard drive has been threatening to die for a while. I pulled the SCSI drive and controller card out and put in a spare 11gig IDE drive. I’ve installed RH6.1 and things seem good as new. It’s nice to have a real computer at home again. Now I have something to do while Susan works on her genealogy on the Windows box. And I’ll take a P133 with Linux over a PII450 with Windows any day…
This news is just too weird to believe. Jon Johansen’s house was raided today. The MPAA’s power is completely out of hand. I quote from his email posted on Slashdot:
The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway raided my home today and seized my Linux box, FreeBSD/Win2k box and Nokia cellphone. Not only I, but also my father has been indicted, since he owns the mmadb.no domain (webhotel) where my homepage(s) have been located. They also took me in for questioning which lasted 6-7 hours. It’s 2 am CET now (I just got back), I haven’t eaten, and someone’s definitely going to pay for this.
This is insane. The MPAA, RIAA, DVD-CCA, and other IP organizations are now waging all-out war against the open source movement. Please consider making a donation, however small, to the EFF to help defend the victims of these attacks. If you have access to a web site, please mirror the source.