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Re: Archive of patent-encumbered software



On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 10:24:42AM +0100, Russell Coker wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Dec 2001 04:46, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > On Mon, Dec 03, 2001 at 07:25:13PM -0600, Adam Majer wrote:
> > > Why do they even encrypt the DVD?? If people want to pirate it, there
> > > is __ALWAYS__ a way. It seems hopeless - people are no loger in
> > > control, greed is.
> >
> > DVD encryption isn't about stopping "piracy", and never was.  It's about
> > laying the foundation for a future rewrite of Title 17 of the United
> > States Code in which the term "Fair Use" does not appear.
> 
> Also it makes it much easier to have pricing disparities between countries.  
[...]
> Last time I was DVD shopping in Australia the DVD prices were all at least 
> 50% greater than advertised from American mail-order companies.  But the 
> region issue prevented most Australians from purchasing.
[...]
> While I agree that "fair use" is one target of CSS, I think it's not the only 
> target and probably not the main target.

You could have region coding without encryption, though.  As long as the
DVD hardware has to be licensed, lacking encryption doesn't really lower
the barrier to access.  Exactly the same bit-for-bit knockoffs can be
made in massive bulk.  I simply don't see how either region coding or
CSS encryption pose an obstacle to the high volume "bootleggers".

No, the only people CSS encryption really hurts are people who want to
things with DVD's that are legal with every other form of media.  Recall
DivX and its "pay-per-view" model.  The media cartels are evil but
they're not stupid, even if their cryptographers were.  They knew in the
design stages exactly who would be impacted by CSS encryption and who
wouldn't be; likewise for region coding.

IIRC, the region code of a disc is not an input to the CSS encryption
function.  The disc ID is, and discs encoded for different regions would
probably have different disc ID's, but this by no means necessary.

Here's something else to laugh about.  The public rationale for region
coding is that it's too expensive to distribute film prints all over the
world for simultaneous release.  So, supposedly, they want to
region-code DVDs so they can release a film in theaters in one market
after it's gone to the video stores in another.

Now go out and count how many catalog titles -- even the obscure, niche
films (Hammer flicks, 50's B-grade science fiction, "Danger Diablik!"
and so forth) that will certainly never be re-released theatrically --
are Region 0.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    You can have my PGP passphrase when
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    you pry it from my cold, dead
branden@debian.org                 |    brain.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Adam Thornton

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