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On Sun, Mar 19, 2017 at 08:52:14PM -0500, Michael Milliman wrote:


> As an addendum to my previous post on this topic, the reason this
> library is not included in the Debian repositories is that there are
> legal issues in some jurisdictions associated with using this library.
> I'm not sure exactly what the legal issues are, but it has something to
> do with copyrights, not of the library, but of the videos.  So, you
> might want to check on the legalities in your jurisdiction.

To be more specific: the DVD's content is (almost always) encrypted
(the so-called "Content Scrambling System" aka CSS). To unscramble,
you need a key, issued by one industry consortium. Every "device"
manufacturer (a device can also be a piece of software) has to get
such a key, under the usual "industry standard" abusive conditions,
perhaps involving some money changing hands.

Now DeCSS managed to circumvent all that -uh- circus, which AFAIK
involves some "leaked" keys (remember each "device", that involves
software, has some key somehow embedded in it. Obfuscation makes it
difficult, yet not impossible to extract the key).

The currently preferred libdvdcss uses another approach and doesn't
need leaked keys.

In some jurisdictions, the wormtongue^H^H "content industry" lobbies
have managed to make it illegal to circumvent (or help in circumventing)
such "intellectual property protection schemes". Even talking about
it (as I am doing now) might be considered iffy in some jurisdictions
(I think the situation is a tad better these days, but I might be
wrong). This is the famous DMCA in the USA, although we have similarly
appetizing things over here in the EU.

The gist of the thing is that you *might* get in hot water by even
offering such a library in the InterTubes (the original DeCSS author
actually got into legal hot water). And that the laws and their
exceptions are so mushy as to be ideal food for lawyers. The kind of
warm and humid climate where FUD grows best.

In a nutshell, best to get politically involved or at least to
throw some money at those fighting the good fight (in the USA you
have a huge choice, like the EFF and the FSF to name but two).

Read more here:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_scrambling_system
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libdvdcss

- -- tomás
Version: GnuPG v1.4.12 (GNU/Linux)


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