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Re: libdvdcss

On Wed, Jul 30, 2003, Robert Millan wrote:

> Ok. What are the necessary steps to request that we hire a lawyer to
> resolve this? Can I do it on my own or is SPI the entity who should take
> action here?

   I don't know about those steps, but I have some additional information
about libdvdcss. As you know, it is already distributed worldwide by
many OS vendors (OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Gentoo, SourceMage). Only FreeBSD
seems to be distributing it in binary form. But the Lindows DVD player [1]
also came to my attention.

   This player is based on Xine (which is GPL). I first thought they
were using a closed-source access plugin to decrypt DVDs, but according
to non-official sources they are actually using libdvdcss and bought a
license for it from "some DVD organization" [2].

   I find this extremely interesting, because:

  1. It seems to legitimize the very _existence_ of libdvdcss. libdvdcss
     blatantly ignores the disc region, is shipped with 31 player keys
     (while commercial players only have their single private key), and
     can crack the DVD's title key if the usual way to retrieve it does
     not work. All this with the benediction of "some DVD organization"
     (which is probably the DVD CCA)!

  2. If Lindows are respecting the GPL, it means that libdvdcss is
     shipped with no additional restriction. Which means we just have
     to download libdvdcss from them, and re-distribute it. It's a
     magical world.

   Is anyone a LindowsOS Warehouse subscriber? I think it would be
interesting to know what license the DVD player is distributed under,
and the member's price is only $4.95. The normal price is $39.95 and
I definitely don't have that much money to spend.

[1] http://www.lindows.com/lindows_products_details.php?id=11804
[2] http://sf.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_id=2900337&forum_id=7131


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