Topic: Stop the MPAA, not DeCSS!!!
From:Fairfax, VA, US
Registered: Jun 2000
posted 06-25-2000 10:45 AM
Of continuing interest to me are the stupid legal battles going on about DeCSS, and how the MPAA is like the 'Big Tobacco' of entertainment. This stuff, once you read both sides, is real scary!!
Do you wonder why you canít skip past the DVD warning screens? Or why you canít go straight to the menu instead of watching the previews on newer DVDís? This is why:
Do you realize that when you purchase a DVD, your don't actually own that DVD? You only own a license to watch that DVD on licensed hardware/software in only the way that the DVD license owners allow you to!!!
For example, the DeCSS scandal isn't really about what you hear on the news... DeCSS is NOT, something to allow us to copy DVD's; although you certainly could if you had the right hardware. But you donít need DeCSS to do that! DVD warehouses in Asia have been making bootleg versions of DVDís long before DeCSS was around. All they do is create a device to copy DVDís bit-for-bit. If you think about it, the copier device doesnít care what the data is on a DVD; it just makes a copy of the 1ís and 0ís. Your DVD player is the device that decrypts the data into a readable format. DeCSS really allows you to decrypt a DVD so you could watch your DVD in a way that the DVD consortium doesnít want you to watch it (like on the Linux OS, before InterVideo licensed a player), or covert the DVD media into another format like .mpg or .avi (this is legal with CDís). Itís like the equivalent of someone Ďowningí the technology that encodes CD music, and telling consumers that they can only play there CDís on a Ďlegalí player; and then not allowing any software/hardware companies to make a product that could record from your CD to a .mp3, or to a tape, etc.
Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but you can just read all this info yourself on these links. Iíd love to hear what you all have to say about this subject. At times itís so disturbing to me I want to toss out all my DVDís!!!
www.2600.com - one major web site being sued by the MPAA for posting the DeCSS code.
http://www.mpaa.org/Press/content.htm - What the MPAA has to say about the subject.
http://www.2600.com/dvd/docs - all documents related to DVD on 2600.
From:San Jose, California USA
Registered: Dec 99
posted 07-21-2000 11:06 AM
Well.... hmm. I'm somewhat torn on the issue - While I understand the motivation, I think the objective is undesirable in the public eye, but perhaps un-rightfully.
I see the motivation as being that CSS was intended to encrypt the digital streams in such a way that they could not be deciphered except by legitimized vendors. In effect, this prevents XYZ Corp from producing DVDx2 product which converts the digital streams to their own, proprietary format, juices them up with more options and power, then creative a competetive product for a lower price, thus defeating the DVD industry. CSS makes it (or was supposed to) impossible for XYZ Corp to pull such a move.
As it stands, DeCSS has opened the doors to this type of activity. And guess what - it IS happening. Every day, more and more "divx" movies are coming out (not the pay-per-view divx, this is a different, MPEG4 format for PC's) based on digital streams sourced from DVD. DeCSS allows the pirates to decrypt the stream, convert it to a standard format, then distribute as they see fit. This type of activity cannot just be overlooked - it is the epitomy of software and video piracy.
I think that the MPAA is looking out for their own interests, their objective being to prevent illegal duplication of the content. This is both good and bad - the good is that with piracy under control, the studios are in a better position to control their pricing at reduced rates since they minimize losses due to piracy. The bad is that, yes, ultimately you would be purchacing a disc which you don't really "own".
Or do you? Is this so different from any other type of medium or product? What IS "ownership"? If you buy Microsoft Windows 95 on CDROM, do you OWN it outright? No. You get a license to use. Buy it doesn't grant you exclusive right to duplicate, transmit, reverse-engineer, and plaster the Windows `95 logo wherever you want. There is a limited liscense of usability, and this very same license applies to DVD. This is a widely accepted distribution model.
Conversely, I'm opposed to the concept that nothing can be "owned". This means I've worked all my life for a home filled with licensed products from various corporations, to which I have only the right to use, within license, revokable at any time. Similarly digital television broadcasts are looking at encryption transmittal models such that you won't be able to record.
You're telling me that ABC owns Such and Such show/movie which they transmit once, never to be seen again - to be lost FOREVER in the history of humanity since noone was permitted to record it. This is absolute BS, if you ask me. My vote is that the original artists and talent who produce and develop the work all have partial ownership stakes in the works and that corporations may contract out transmission and distribution rights, but should the owners wish to port it to alternative mediums in the future (likely!), they fully have it within their power to do so.
My personal opinion - "ownership" should rest in the hands of the people, not corporations.
End 2 cents.
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