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Re: ITP: oms -- Open Media System DVD Player



On Wed, Dec 06, 2000 at 02:55:40PM +0100, Martin Waitz wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 06, 2000 at 07:18:14AM -0600, Sam TH wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 06, 2000 at 02:03:26PM +0100, Martin Waitz wrote:
> > > 
> > > OMS and all librarys are licensed under the GPL.
> > > For software dvd playback, it needs libcss, which can't be included legally,
> > > but oms itself doesn't depend on libcss, so it shouldn't be a problem for debian.
> > > 
> > 
> > libcss can certiainly go in non-US.  It's only the US where we pass
> > laws that restrict the ability to actually use the products you
> > purchase.  The css decryption routines are only illegal here (and
> > currently, only for a few people).  
> i'm not sure about this,
> we should continue this thread on debian-legal.
> 
> would it be ok to include libcss in non-us?
> 
> Background:
> libcss itself is distributed under the gpl, but is considered illegal
> by the DVD-CCA (dvd copy control association) and 
> MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).
> 
> http://opendvd.org may be a good start on this topic.

Ok, the quick intro to the legal quagmire.  

There are two different potential legal issues with css decryption.

1) The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
The DMCA was passed in 1998 in the US.  Recently Eric Corley,
publisher of 2600, was found to have violated it by publishing DeCSS.
However, this is under appeal.  Regardless of the appeal status,
thought, the DMCA is not law in other countries.  (Althought this may
change.)  Currently, the DMCA has no impact on the contents of non-US.

2) Trade Secrets
This is the case still going on in California.  The plaintiffs
allegation is that DeCSS infringes their trade secrets.  This case has
no actual merit, and I will be surprised if the DVDCCA
wins. Regardless of this, however, the creation of DeCSS was
specifically legal in Norway, and Johansen has since been lauded by
the Norwegian parliment. Again, California trade secret law does not
apply to non-US. 

The only major problem is if people in the US were punished for doing
this on non-US.  Given that debian is not an official organization, it
can't be sued.  Who currently has legal connections to the non-US
machine?  If SPI does, that could be a problem.  But I doubt they do.  

           
	sam th		     
	sam@uchicago.edu
	http://www.abisource.com/~sam/
	GnuPG Key:  
	http://www.abisource.com/~sam/key

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