Movie Studios Win DeCSS Case.
November 29, 2001 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Movie Studios Win DeCSS Case.
posted by solistrato (7 comments total)
So, 2600 has to remove links to the DeCSS code. How far can that be carried? Do they have to remove links to other pages that link to the code?
posted by dogwelder at 11:24 AM on November 29, 2001

money talks. constitution walks.
posted by quonsar at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2001

I think discussion is already taking place on this in yesterday's thread.
posted by BT at 11:33 AM on November 29, 2001

I'll live and die by the First Amendment, but could somebody please tell me just how this is censorship? How exactly is this a setback for individual freedom? Free speech doesn't mean you get to disseminate the free speech of others without their consent. I'm sure it would be nice to live in a utopia where all information is free and artists don't need money to survive -- and I'll agree, the big business that runs Hollywood is awful -- but y'know what? We're not entitled to free DVDs just because we want them. Personally, I applaud the court's decision.
posted by UnReality at 11:50 AM on November 29, 2001

They aren't pointing to a site that is giving out pirated dvd's. That would be tantamount to theft. What they are doing is pointing to a tool that has legal uses along with illegal ones. The DMCA doesn't keep anyone from stealing something, it makes it illegal for you to come up with a way to (for example) bypass a copy protection device. You don't even have to commit a crime with it, you only have to think it up.
posted by jbelshaw at 12:18 PM on November 29, 2001

It was/is already possible to copy DVDs without DeCSS, using the copying tools that came with your operating system. If you've got room for multi-gig files and a DVD burner (common now on high-end Macs, and trickling down to the commodity market) you can make copies.

DeCSS was made to decode the data on the DVD for playback, and was reverse engineered for compatibility (an explicit exception to the DMCA, btw) on Linux, where no licensed player existed. It's possible to use the same techniques to make a decoded copy of the DVD (again, multi-gigs of data to store) and to re-"rip" the video to another form that's smaller — typically CD-sized — and easier to distribute, which is what has the movie studios' knickers in twist mode. (Even at broadband speed not many would bother with downloading entire DVDs in original format, though that's what the judge seems to imply is the danger.) As usual for the MPAA and RIAA, the "copy protection" is aimed at the home user/purchaser, as the industrial-sized pirates already have the tools to duplicate the disks (see first paragraph above). Not to mention that the encryption wasn't very good to begin with, and one of the licensees forgot to encrypt their key anyhow...

UnReality, insinuating that any opponents to your position in this matter are just wanting free DVDs for everyone is a cheap rhetorical trick and shows the limitations of your imagination when you approach this subject, not your opponents'. In case that's not clear, here's an example back atcha: I don't see why people like you want to create a technological police state where people are constantly monitored and arrested for accessing any media they're not personally licensed to see. (And no, I don't really think you said that.) "Hey Bob, we're gonna watch the Buffy 10th anniversary special in the next room. Don't come in, though, or the cable box won't let us see it."
posted by retrofut at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2001

Obviously the last thing I want, retrofut, is a technological police state. We should have the freedom to access media without constant supervision or the threat of imprisonment, and we should be allowed (on a limited scale) to share that media with others who might not be personally licensed to see it. I have no problem with a program that allows people to do this, only with the potential for its abuse and massive distribution of media without artist reimbursement. If, as you suggest, massive distribution isn't really feasible given the current technology, and there exist legitimate uses for the program outside of pirating DVDs, then perhaps I do need to rethink my appraisal of the court's decision. I'd like to think I'm still capable of doing spite of my limited imagination and bag of cheap rhetorical tricks.
posted by UnReality at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2001

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