From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: OT: Lawyers and cops attack 16 year old kid's work
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 19:26:18 EST
> >For those who haven't been following this saga, the code in
> >question cracks the DVD copy protection mechanism and allows
> >you to copy a DVD movie disk (or view it on Linux).
> Who cares?
Oh... You might. How would you like to have a little box in your
trailer that contained dozens of movies that you could watch on
command? All without having to have some sort of disk changer with
all the moving parts to shake loose and break or carry around a
bunch of easily stolen, fragile and expensive DVD disks.
The DVD encryption was a failed attempt to keep you from doing that
and even keep you from buying movies in one part of the world and
watching them in others. (The DVD format has region coding built
Instead of having to wag around a collection of expensive DVD disks,
wouldn't it be nice to be able to load them all on a little box in
your RV where you could access them at random and at will? With
this hack, you can do that. You can't yet buy such a box off the
shelf but one can build a small footprint PC containing enough hard
drive capacity to store multiple movies. With Linux and the proper
application, this little box can become a dedicated movie player.
Or not. You might also find it nice to use the general purpose
aspect of the computer too. The movie industry wants to keep you
from doing that or else paying extra to do so.
You may not think this is of any interest to you but I assure you it
is. Back in the 60s when the only video tape machines were either
commercial machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or home
built by hard-core hobbyists, no one could have conceived of the
home movie business as it exists today. But through innovations and
the perseverance of early adopters (easy to tell - they're the ones
with the cuts and bruises and arrows in the back :-) AND (most
important) the legal protection for at-home, personal use copying of
intellectual property, the VCR appliance came into being as we know
it today. The big studios tried to get, first, audio taping and
then video taping either outlawed or taxed. Fortunately Congress
was not as easily bought back then and the individual's right to do
with his source material what he pleased was protected. To see the
other side, look at Digital Audio Tape. This is a wonderful format,
much better than CD and in widespread use in the commercial world.
Effectively not available to consumers. Why? The greedy studios
and Congress. The studios bulleyed (with threats of lawsuits) the
equipment makers to keep the consumer DAT equipment off the market
for over a decade. Then congress slapped a tax on DAT blank tapes,
called it a royalty and passed it directly into the hands of the
studios. corporate welfare at its worst.
They've pulled much the same trick with audio CD recorders. If you
buy an audio CD duplicator, it will not work with just any blank
CD. You have to buy "Audio CDs" which have special coding and cost
more. This is because again, Congress has put a tax on the blanks
and called it a royalty, supposedly to compensate the big studios
for "piracy". Funny, none of the big media companies seem to be
going bankrupt. The monkey wrench in this plan is that music CDs
can be reproduced on computer CD-ROM burners using cheap data disks
or simply converted to MP3 format and transmitted on the internet.
The music industry is undergoing a vast and fundamental change as
the result. The benefit to us is/will be more variety of music,
more flexibility of use (copying onto mp3 players and making
compilation CDs of only the specific songs one likes, for example)
and at lower prices.
The industry thought it would prevent people from re-recording DVD
disks with their pathetic encryption scheme. They would have
prevented you, for example, from copying a DVD onto another disk so
you could leave the expensive and fragile original at home and carry
a copy with you in your RV. Or load it on the aforementioned black
box. This hack has again thrown the monkey wrench in their plans.
Again, the benefit to us will be more selection, more flexibility in
viewing it and lower prices. I hope you care about that. I sure
BTW, the hack doesn't really yet allow the copying of DVDs per se.
It simply allows the capturing of the digital and audio data streams
to a file. It does NOT allowed capturing all the ancillary material
such as multi-threading, out takes and multi-languages that is
commonly on a DVD. This puts the big lie to the studio's claim that
this hack will enable wholesale pirating of DVD movies. It does
not. It merely allows one to either watch the movies on computers
running Linux and allows one to capture the data stream to a file
for later viewing.