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- 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.
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The Industry's Center for DVD Resources - Journalists' Fact Sheet

Due to the highly technical nature of this subject, there have been many requests on the part of the press to have the key points organized and explained in non-techno jargon.

For a technical response to the issues of the CSS scheme please read this.

Journalists with suggestions for facts to add or questions to answer on this page, feel free to write to: We really appreciate the (often very much to the point) feedback given to us by journalists, so if you have the time, please drop us a line... Thanks!

If you want a good story on the legal side of the matter, please read I want my DVD, your honor. It conveys some of the most important points in an entertaining way. This document should not be used as a legal reference, as it has been pointed out that there are a few errors regarding the legality.

  1. Until recently, DVD movies could only be viewed on Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh systems. The growing number of people using systems based on Linux, were not able to fully utilize the technology, despite having purchased DVD drives.
  2. The DVD CCA (DVD Copy Control Association) and the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) claim that the intention of the software being developed was for illegally copying DVD movies.
  3. It is possible to (illegally) copy a DVD disk without decrypting anything! You can do this because the decryption is done at play time and is unrelated to copying. It is not possible to view a DVD movie without decrypting it. Furthermore, the cost of a video-size DVD writer (the PC DVD writers have less capacity) is extremely high and empty DVD media cost about $50 a pop ... which is much more than any movie currently on the market!
  4. That means that currently, it is much cheaper to just buy a movie than to pirate it. It also means that the only economically viable use of the allegedly ``pirate'' DVD decryption software is watching DVD movies. Movies which have been bought in the shops like any other!
  5. That aside, there still is the consumer right of ``fair use''. This basic consumer right was set down in the Berne convention on copyright. The ``fair use'' doctrine specifically allows users of a copyrighted work to make quotations from works and the right to copy portions of works for educational and research purposes. The DVD industry is trying to take that consumer right away by hiding the content of the DVD behind an access control system. We will not stand by quietly and let our consumer rights be taken away.


What does it mean that DVD is encrypted?

The movie industry tries to defend their decryption code as a copy protection code, thereby opening a window to sue people for making available tools for piracy (because then "they are able to copy the movie"). Even though you could argue that this is equal to the 1983 ``Betamax decision'' where the movie industry tried to outlaw VCR recording of TV programs to watch them later. Also see the Home Recording Rights Coalition for more information on how consumers have had to fight for their right to home recording (even though that right is granted in the Berne Convention on copyright).

This very clear explanation of what cryptography means in this case was lifted from this message (sorry - post currently unavailable) in our message board. We'd like to thank the anonymous poster...

"Look, it's like this - a DVD Movie is basically just a message [the movie] written in secret code on a piece of paper. To read the message [watch the movie,] you need a secret decoder ring. To be a pirate, you need a photocopier, but you don't need a decoder ring because you don't really care what the secret message is, as long as your photocopier makes nice, crisp copies that your client (who has a decoder ring) can read. All these guys did was make a decoder ring that works under linux, because all the commercial decoder rings only run on Windows [or standalone DVD players.]"

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