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osOpinion: DeCSS and The Big Deal

Nov 03, 2000, 08:15 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Yates)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"DeCSS is the name of a piece of code written for Linux in order to play DVDs on a Linux-driven DVD player. Unfortunately, it seems that in order to run DVDs on a Linux-based computer, it helps if you remove the copyright protection on the DVD -- one of the features of the DeCSS-code. CSS is the acronym for the industry DVD copyright standard, which DeCSS deconstructs."

"I don't want to give the wrong impression. If you're thinking, "Sweet Linux action. Between Star Office, The GIMP and this crazy free DVD thing, this Linux OS must be the most excellent OS," you might be disappointed. It's really a technology that requires a good amount of Linux knowledge to use, but the implications are encouraging for the future of open source OSes like Linux."

"Despite being made illegal in the United States and the charges against DeCSS' underage author in his native Norway, the code continues to surface on download sites from servers located in countries around the world. This past August, Hacker Group 2600 was defeated in court for linking to sites where you could download DeCSS. Still this hasn't stopped access to DeCSS. 2600 can still post their site list without linking the addresses. Also, because so many people are offering it for download, often a simple search on most commercial search engines should turn up a link to a DeCSS download site."

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