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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,

This is an unjustified assertion. There's no precedent indicating that
libcss is illegal.

> > > 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?
> 

Yes, it can go in non-us. But I see no reason why it can't go in main
either.

> 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).
> 

libcss is not illegal, nor is its legality being contested. You're confusing
it with another program called DeCSS that's the subject of civil lawsuits by
copyright cartel industry groups in CA and NY. DeCSS is a program for PC's
running Microsoft Windows that enables users to copy raw mpeg data from a
DVD to a storage device on the PC. DeCSS is not a DVD player nor is it
designed to be easily used as a DVD player component. Even DeCSS isn't
illegal for most people in the US - only a handful of people named in
injunctions issued by courts in CA and NY.

Note that it's quite possible the MPAA will contest the legality of libcss
or the OMS player in the future, but this hasn't happened yet. Even when it
does happen, Debian and Software in the Public Interest are not nearly as
attractive targets as "2600, The Hacker Quarterly." Copyright cartel
industry groups won't get good press for suing a charity. Even so, in any
such event the maintainer could always move the problem package to non-us or
if necessary, orphan the package and allow it to be adopted by someone
outside the jurisdiction of the problem court who will then package it for
non-us. We've already done similar things to work around stupid software
patent and crypto laws in the US.

-- 
Brian Ristuccia
brian@ristuccia.com
bristucc@cs.uml.edu

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