DVD playback

Ben Novack bennovack at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 14:09:06 UTC 2005

On 6/28/05, Graham <oldrocker at f2s.com> wrote:
> On Tuesday 28 Jun 2005 13:53, Ben Novack wrote:
> > Have you added either the hoary-extras or marillat repositories? The
> > default Ubuntu repos don't have libdvdcss2, for legal reasons.
> I wonder what those legal reasons are, and under what jurisdiction they
> relate?
> Here in the UK, the legal position (I am told) is that if you hold a
> legally obtained original DVD it is perfectly alright to use software
> to play that DVD if the encryption on that disk prevents playing
> otherwise.  This is the equivalent of resetting the regions which your
> stand alone DVD player uses to play DVDs and is likewise perfectly
> legal.  It is also legal to reverse engineer software, and this is how
> dvdcss came about, and it is accepted that dvdcss is a legally produced
> piece of software.
> It is NOT legal to copy DVDs for anything but personal use, but dvdcss
> won't do this, nor do you have to install it to allow other software to
> copy a DVD.  A DVD-RW drive will do this effectively for you and these
> are not illegal.
> Now, I can understand the Ubuntu repositories being afraid of the DVD
> producers coming after them to try to impose their view that DVDs
> should only be played in ways they want, because they have enormous
> financial resources and may want to try and make courts in all parts of
> the world uphold that view.  But this is not the same as saying that
> dvdcss should be excluded from the repositories for legal reasons.
> The Ubuntu repositories are quite within their rights to say that they
> do not wish to include dvdcss in their repositories, as most do, but I
> do not know of any other repositories to exclude it because it is
> illegal to include it.  So could you clarify these "legal reasons"?

In the United States, libdvdcss is a 'circumvention device', and
therefore using it is illegal. I'm not sure of the specific wording of
the DMCA, but I'm pretty sure that just posessing the code qualifies
as breaking the law.

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