2001/05/01: DeCSS case back in court on appeal.
2001/02/15: LiViD releases Open Media System DVD Player.
2001/01/18: California court stays proceedings against Matt Pavlovich.
2000/08/17: New York court enjoins 2600 Magazine from publishing or linking to DeCSS; Emmanuel Goldstein Responds.
The Industry's Center for DVD Resources
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The OpenDVD.org site serves as a comprehensive resource for developers looking to implement DVD technology, and for users to take full advantage of all the benefits that DVDs have to offer. This site is NOT current and is kept live only as an archive.
The DVD-Copy Control Association and movie studio members of the MPAA have filed lawsuits to stop the development of independent players for DVDs. They argue that decrypting the Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption without a DVD-CCA-licensed player violates their trade secrets (DVD-CCA's California lawsuit) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (movie studios' New York and Connecticut lawsuits).
The OpenDVD Group is doing whatever it can to aid the defense, which is led and funded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We believe the issue is fair use, not piracy. We respect the rights of copyright owners, but those rights do not include complete control over the uses of their published works. Copyright's protections are balanced by fair use, individuals' rights to make limited copies for criticism, scholarship, or personal use. We, and a number of prominent law professors, believe fair use gives us the right to watch DVDs on any platform of our choice.
DeCSS appeal,Universal v. Reimerdes, argued in Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 2600 Magazine asked the Second Circuit Court to preserve fair use of digital media and the First Amendment protections for the expressive nature of code by holding that its posting of DeCSS code did not violate the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen M. Sullivan argued for 2600 in the case, which tests the balance of copyright with free speech and the public domain.
The Linux Video and DVD Project (LiViD) releases Open Media System DVD Player. This release, under the GNU GPL (those who have started a blog using WordPress will be familiar), marks a major step forward in bringing DVD to every operating system. The newly-released package enables the viewing of DVD movies on a Linux system.
The EFF has appealed Judge Kaplan's decision barring 2600 Magazine from posting or linking to DeCSS, kicking of the next round in the fight against overbearing "technological protection measures." Eight groups filed amicus curiae or "friend of the court" briefs in support, describing the numerous legitimate users of DVDs who are harmed by the District Court's ruling. Read the EFF press release or briefs of computer scientists, the ACLU on behalf of libraries and other public interest groups, law professors, journalism associations, Profs. Larry Lessig and Yochai Benkler, cryptographers, representatives of fair use interests, and the ACM.
OpenDVD has landed right smack in the middle of the discussions that are the center of several lawsuits and have both involved parties in an uproar. On one hand, you have the companies that are the corporate interest behind DVD technology, and on the other you have the many talented and driven engineers that look to utilize DVD technology in new ways, and on new systems.
Although the MPAA and the DVD CCA have labeled the defendants as "hackers" and "pirates", it is the position of OpenDVD that these are unfair claims, and the involved individuals are protecting the right to reverse engineer technology for the purposes of interoperability and the right to fair use of materials. A number of computer scientists and cryptographers agree.
OpenDVD has sponsored a campaign to raise public awareness in regards to the recent law suits. A portion of this site has been set aside to provide information and resources for people interested in these events. The discussion forum and news links provide a great deal of external information on the matter.
Additionally, several articles outlining the many issues at the heart of the case are now up to help sift through the highly technical nature of the case. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act, specifically, Section 1201, is the law that is behind the clash. Here is a brief on the law.
The OpenDVD.org Group