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Re: Distributing libdvdcss2 from ftp.skolelinux.org?

>From Petter Reinholdtsen on Tuesday, 2006-09-19 at 15:19:54 +0200:
> [Holger Levsen]
> > I have now contacted him and pointed him to this thread.
> Gregory is a good man to talk to, but his USA-based knowledge might
> not match our needs.  As far as I know, the DMCA in USA prohibits
> distribution of libdvdcss2.  More interesting for us is the european
> and norwegian regulations, as ftp.skolelinux.org is located in Norway.
> I'll try to activate someone with legal experience from Norway.
> But I am definitely curious to what Gregory have to say on the topic.
> Friendly,
> -- 
> Petter Reinholdtsen

Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer.  But I can tell you a little about
reactions to libdvdcss2 in other parts of Europe.

First of all, you should remember that there was a concerted effort last
year to bring the whole of Europe into line with the American point of
view on libdvdcss2 and DMCA.  Since the clocks stopped in 1984, the
political activity surrounding the European Union Copyright Directive
was called "harmonisation".  "Harmonisation" included elements that very
much resembled the DMCA:


In Norway, many of us resisted "harmonisation", but in the end our
resistance had only small effect:  in Norway, in contrast to other
nations of the EU, it is still legal to convert your CDs into MP3s.  

Norway, as I understand it, is also freer when it comes to libdvdcss2.
When Tapani Räikkönen tried to distribute Suomiknoppix with libdvdcss2
last year, he was blocked by FUNET.  I include an excerpt from our
conversation at the end of this message.

In light of the political circumstances, my suggestions
are the following:

1)  Include libdvdcss2 in the skolelinux archive, possibly in
    a special directory (like "non-US"), so that people can
    mirror the archive without getting into trouble

2)  If you care about mirroring the skolelinux CD, do not include 
    libdvdcss2 on the CD.  If you do not care about mirrors, include it.

I am all in favor of including it (I believe it is legal to do so
in Norway), but you should be aware of the complications that
others may experience as a result.


> Conrad Newton wrote:
> >The reason is that I have considered distributing libdvdcss2
> >with my new CD, Bestix:
> >
> >
> >ftp://ftp.skolelinux.no/skolelinux/knoppixes/bestix/
> >
> >
> Nice to hear that. I download your distro someday because I'm very
> curios to know how things has been done in different Knoppix derivates :)
> >I believe it is legal to distribute it in Norway
> >(the home of Jon Lech Johansen and DeCSS!), after
> >Johansen twice went to court here.
> >
> >But the situation may be different in Europe---
> >so I would like to hear your story!
> >
> >
> Well, Funet thinks it's illegal to DISTRIBUTE a distro thas has
> libdvdcss installed. I'm 100 % sure it isn't! As you know libdvdcss is
> free software and I or you can even modify it and put in a distribution
> legally.
> So the problem in Finland is because our new copyright law that is so
> unclear that  nobody seems to know what it really means. So Funet wants
> to wait some time to be sure what is legal in a Linux distribution and
> what is not. But who can tell it? Nobody wants to go the court because
> of this.

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