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ComputerWorld: Activist defends DVD hack

The co-founder of the San Francisco-based Electronic
Frontier Foundation said yesterday that what was learned in the
reverse engineering and cracking of a DVD copy-protection scheme
will be used to make future intellectual-property protection
methods stronger.

“The software that resulted is fully appropriate,” said John
Gilmore of the online civil rights organization. “It is in fact the
Linux open-source software for playing movies on your computer
screen.” Gilmore is well-known within the security community for
building the DES cracker machine that broke the 56-bit Data
Encryption Standard algorithm once in common use by the government
and others.”

“Gilmore noted that until now, movies on DVD couldn’t be played
on Linux because the DVD Forum wouldn’t release specifications for
how to do it. He said that now, or in the near future, Linux users
will be able to play DVDs, which he believes is entirely
appropriate.”

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