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Re: Bug#156287: Advice on Drip (ITP #156287)

On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 01:49:48AM +0000, Robert Millan wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 29, 2003 at 06:14:53PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 01:02:36AM +0000, Robert Millan wrote:
> > > Whatever. The fact is that when we put Drip, libdvdread and libdvdcss
> > > together we obtain what what the DMCA calls a "circumvention device for
> > > copyright protection technology". This may happen in non-us, but must not
> > > happen in main.

> > I don't see any bright line that would be used here to legally
> > distinguish between (Drip+libdvdread+libdvdcss) and libdvdcss by itself.
> > It seems to me that if we're allowed to ship libdvdcss, we're also
> > allowed to ship applications that use it.

> This is what the DMCA reads:

> "(2) No person shall manufacturate, import, offer to the public, provide,
> or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component
> or part thereof, that--

> (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a
> technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected
> under this title;"

> The libdvdcss has the primary purpose of allowing DVD players to reproduce
> CSS-encoded movies, and not that of circumventing CSS. Any DVD player has
> the primary purpose of reproducing CSS-encoded movies, so the same applies.

> Drip is a DVD ripper. Without CSS support, it rips DVDs but doesn't break
> the CSS protection so it is not put in question. When CSS-enabled, its
> primary purpose is argueably the circumvention of CSS, which is "a
> technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected
> under this title".

This is an arbitrary distinction that has no clear basis in the law.
You are also circumventing CSS by playing the DVD in question (viewing
is also a form of "access").  Remember that CSS is a standard developed
by a consortium of DVD *player manufacturers*, to maintain their
hardware profits.

> Anyway I find this discussion much useless, since the DMCA can't be applied
> to non-us.

SPI is a US corporation, and its assets could be seized as the result of
a court settlement against us.  AIUI, this is the main reason why
CSS-aware software is not already commonplace in non-US.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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