Legal Status of libdvdcss

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Mon Feb 20 13:54:09 GMT 2006

On Mon, Feb 20, 2006 at 12:34:49PM +0000, Matthew East wrote:

> "In many countries it is forbidden to sell or document programs that
> provide ways around copy protection systems. CSS is not a copy
> protection system, but thwarts attempts to play the DVD without proper
> software."

I'm not convinced by this. CSS doesn't prevent wholesale duplication of 
DVDs, but it does prevent you from getting your hands on the raw mpeg. 
The MPAA have sued people, claiming CSS is a circumvention device as 
described under the DMCA. The 2600 case seems to support this.

(The fact that vendors are now using decess in licensed DVD players may 
confuse the situation, but saying it's "not a copy protection system" 
would seem to require some further lawsuits)

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

More information about the sounder mailing list