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MPAA Fires Back at AACS Decryption Utility 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
RulerOf writes "The AACS Decryption utility released this past December known as BackupHDDVD originally authored by Muslix64 of the Doom9 forums has received its first official DMCA Takedown Notice. It has been widely speculated that the utility itself was not an infringing piece of software due to the fact that it is merely "a textbook implementation of AACS," written with the help of documents publicly available at the AACS LA's website, and that the AACS Volume Unique Keys that the end user isn't supposed to have access to are in fact the infringing content, but it appears that such is not the case." From the thread "...you must input keys and then it will decrypt the encrypted content. If this is the case, than according to the language of the DMCA it does sound like it is infringing. Section 1201(a) says that it is an infringement to "circumvent a technological measure." The phrase, "circumvent a technological measure" is defined as "descramb(ling) a scrambled work or decrypt(ing) an encrypted work, ... without the authority of the copyright owner." If BackupHDDVD does in fact decrypt encrypted content than per the DMCA it needs a license to do that."
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MPAA Fires Back at AACS Decryption Utility

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  • well.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @09:59PM (#18189684)
    1. Horse
    2. Gate
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
    • by Grinin (1050028)
      wasn't it:

      "Phase 1: Steal under-pants"
      "Phase 3: Profit"

      "But wait, whats phase 2?"

      "Phase 1: Steal underpants"
      "Phase 3: Profit!"
  • why bother (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:01PM (#18189692) Homepage
    Legality aside, they must know they will never eliminate this utility. DVD Decrypter is still easy enough to find. And that is something a lot of people might be interested in compared to the number of people who actually own a HD Disc.
    • Re:why bother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Curtman (556920) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:09PM (#18189740)

      Legality aside, they must know they will never eliminate this utility. DVD Decrypter is still easy enough to find.
      It's a shame that they dropped the case against Decss [wikipedia.org]. Hopefully they won't this time and they'll lose fair and square.
    • by 0111 1110 (518466)
      And here's [ed2k] an emule link. Don't think they'll be taking down these copies any time soon.
    • Picked a bad example (Score:5, Informative)

      by wmansir (566746) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:16AM (#18191348)
      DVD Decrypter is easy to find, but Lightning UK was forced to stop development and take down the original site because of legal threats. Fortunately he continued to develop the excellent burning portion of the program with ImgBurn [imgburn.com]. As a result of the legal threats DVD Decrypter itself is now outdated as it cannot handle the some of the latest copy protections without assistance. RipIt4Me [ripit4me.org] is a much better option for the latest DVD releases.
  • by physicsnick (1031656) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:02PM (#18189696)
    They're firing back at the total and utter destruction of AACS by using... lawyers.

    Yeah. That'll stop piracy.
  • Law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:02PM (#18189702) Journal
    There are laws, legal interpretations and then there is reality; the courts will connect this program to its most wide use, not its intended use.

    Why do we keep using the same methods of our oppressors against ourselves? For CREDIT??? For PERSONAL GAIN???

    A note to any future coders of freedom; write it anonymously and just release it into the wild. Do not claim the rights over it for your benefit because that is exactly how they keep shutting you down. They can't fight a ghost! ;-)
    • Re:Law (Score:4, Informative)

      by Skreems (598317) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:16PM (#18189828) Homepage
      I'm pretty sure muslix64 (or whatever his alias is) HAS remained anonymous. But they can file take-down notices against anyone hosting the thing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by grub (11606)

        But they can file take-down notices against anyone hosting the thing.

        They can file take-down notices against anyone in the US hosting the thing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by failure-man (870605)
          Jurisdiction has never seemed to have much influence on where the take-down notices go . . . .
           
          They can enforce take-down notices against anyone in the US. Fixed.
        • They can file take-down notices against anyone in the US hosting the thing.

          Certainly true, and they also tried when DeCss turned up several years back. If I remember, the original hosting site was shut down briefly...and then a bill magically turned up that suggested any website linking to a website that hosts something "illegal" can also be taken down.

          Of course, it was only a few months later when several thousand t-shirts [cafepress.com] baring the decss code went out to anybody with a credit card and a sense of irony

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mfh (56)
        Nah, he'll have some stupid line of code that identifies him. Or they'll reveal something that connects it to him.

        By anonymous, I mean without connection or identity, not pretending to be someone else. They get subversives every time by their need to maintain their self identity in some form, be it though personal expression or some other random link that forensics easily trails back like a string right to the perps (which is what you are if you're doing anything creative these days with computers).
        • by Skreems (598317)
          Ah, I see what you mean. But if he's playing it smart, I think he can maintain anonymity even while giving written interviews and such. Correct use of encryption and anonymizing proxies goes a long way, unless maybe you're up against the NSA or something really hardcore.
          • You Misunderstand (Score:2, Insightful)

            by mfh (56)
            There is absolutely no need for anyone like this to do interviews unless they have some sort of self-congratulatory outlook on greyhat coding. Any number of onlookers, including slashdotters could tell exactly what was meant by certain actions or features in any project. The only people doing interviews are looking for attention and that's not the point, IMHO.
    • Re:Law (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:40PM (#18190436) Homepage

      write it anonymously and just release it into the wild.

      I absolutely agree that if our society had really degraded to the point that it was no longer safe to share information it would be possible for things like this to be posted with complete anonymity. If the world had truly become a horrible dystopian nightmare, that might even be absolutely necessary.

      I like to think that we're not there yet, and that it's still safe for people to share what they know with full credit for the work they have done to obtain that knowledge. If the world has really progressed to the point where sharing simple knowledge is no longer safe, then we have a worse problem than simply being locked out of the content of some video disks.

  • Copyright? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:04PM (#18189710)
    You can't copyright a telephone number. I don't see why an encryption key should be any different. It doesn't represent a creative work and should not be subject to copyright protections. At best an encrytion key would be considered a trade secret. Of course a "secret" that is readable to anyone with a debugger isn't much of a secret.
    • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Informative)

      by idonthack (883680) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:07PM (#18189734)
      It's not the fact that the decryption key is known and distributed. It's the fact that muslix64's program is capable of decrypting a copyrighted work without permission. That's a violation of the DMCA.
      • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Skreems (598317) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:18PM (#18189848) Homepage
        I see what they're trying to do, but I don't understand how that should be legal. If I buy a HD-DVD, they're giving me permission to watch it. To do so, I have to decode it. I signed nothing at the time of purchase promising to watch it only with players they approve of. By all logic, they HAVE given me permission to decrypt it.
        • by dr.badass (25287)
          I signed nothing at the time of purchase promising to watch it only with players they approve of.

          I assume you've also never signed anything that says you won't break into houses and crap on the floor. That doesn't mean you have a right to do it. I don't understand why so many people think that their rights are defined only by what they agree to on paper.

          By all logic, they HAVE given me permission to decrypt it.

          To do so you have to be privy to secret information (i.e. keys). To obtain these you must be
          • Re:Copyright? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by AoT (107216) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:08PM (#18190198) Homepage Journal
            I assume you've also never signed anything that says you won't break into houses and crap on the floor.

            Yeah, but if I buy a bottle of coke I don't see any reason I shouldn't piss in it.

            And what's more, if you sell me a sheet of paper with a code on it and then get pissed when I break it, you're going to have to start prosecuting all us folks who do the crypto-quote in the newspapers. That's illegal, too.
            • by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:43PM (#18190460)
              No, see, you're thinking about laws rationally. Stop it.
          • Re:Copyright? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mattsson (105422) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @06:21AM (#18192216) Homepage Journal
            While you could contort this into meaning they've given you permission to decrypt it, they've not given you the right to obtain the keys you would need to do so.

            By selling me a HD-DVD/Bluray-disc, they give me permission to decrypt said content, but they do not give me the tools or keys to do so.
            When, for instance, Toshiba sell me an HD-DVD player, they sell me a tool to do the decryption with and a key, although a bit hidden.

            I now own an encrypted media-file and a key to decrypt it.
            What tool I use to decrypt this legally acquired file with my legally acquired key with should be no ones business but my own.
          • DMCA all the way (Score:3, Insightful)

            by remmelt (837671)
            The real question is: can they take away the right you have to do with your property what you want? You buy a BR (or DVD, for that matter). You want to watch it on Linux. What now? Can they say: you cannot do that? Your analogy with breaking in is a straw man. You have been given the right to watch the movie on your equipment. It doesn't specify what equipment anywhere on the disk, the receipt or in the store. Copyright laws say that I cannot distribute the content without permission. I'm not doing that. I
        • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Informative)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:06PM (#18190182) Homepage
          If I buy a HD-DVD, they're giving me permission to watch it. To do so, I have to decode it. I signed nothing at the time of purchase promising to watch it only with players they approve of. By all logic, they HAVE given me permission to decrypt it.

          Not quite.

          It's a bit easier to use DVDs as an example for this, rather than Bluray or HDDVD, since they're not as well documented.

          The movie studios encrypted discs with CSS. They then gave the DVDCCA the power to grant authorizations to decrypt and access those movies. The DVDCCA in turn authorized the player manufacturers to build players that could handle that decryption, provided that they conformed to certain requirements (e.g. respect region codes, add macrovison to the outputs). The permission is granted, therefore, to the disc-playing machine, not the owner or user of the machine, nor the owner or user of the disc itself.

          This is why, when you watch a DVD on an approved player, it is lawful with regards to access-controls, regardless of whether the DVD is lawfully made and possessed, lawfully made but stolen, or unlawfully made (and yet still encrypted for some reason). But it is unlawful to watch a DVD on an unapproved player, regardless of the provenance of the DVD.

          So no, when you bought the DVD, you did not get permission to decrypt it. But so long as your player is approved, then it isn't unlawful for you to use it -- or for anyone to use it -- without having to be given permission themselves.

          I'm pretty confident that the newer generation formats work in substantially the same way.
          • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ewhac (5844) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @12:35AM (#18190750) Homepage Journal
            What utter sophistry. If this is the true state of intellectual "property" law in this country, I suggest you change specializations before your soul starts dissolving away.

            Playing a movie DVD constitutes a performance of a copyrighted work. A license to perform the work in a private residence is concomitant with the purchase of a copy. There is nothing anywhere that says how you must perform the work. The license is relevant only to the performance, not the performer. You may perform the work either in a super-uber high-end jewel-encrusted DVD player, or in a crufty piece of junk you bought second-hand at Salvation Army.

            ...Or, in a DVD player program you wrote yourself.

            I don't need "permission" to write a program, I don't need "permission" to run a program, and I don't need "permission" to have that program crunch on data in my lawful posession. The End. There is nothing inherent in the statutes or the Uniform Commercial Code that grants copyright holders the right to constrain the method of performance, nor can it be reasonably argued that they should enjoy such a right.

            As for the DMCA, well, that needs to be repealed yesterday.

            Schwab

            • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Informative)

              by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @01:05AM (#18190918) Homepage
              A license to perform the work in a private residence is concomitant with the purchase of a copy.

              Utterly and hilariously wrong.

              No such license ever, ever, ever exists. The reason being that it is impossible to license something that you haven't got to begin with. Copyright is a limited collection of rights; it does not apply to every single thing in connection with a work. In particular, the right of performance is a part of copyright. But only of public performance. Copyright holders have no right whatsoever to control private performance. Not having that right, they cannot license others.

              Everyone has the right to privately perform any damn thing that they like. It's a part of free speech, and is not limited by copyright. Public performances are what's limited by copyright. Public performances are the performances that can be licensed.

              If you're going to complain about my knowledge of the law, it would help if you knew something about it first.

              In any event, we're not talking about copyright law, per se. We're talking about circumvention law, which for all anyone knows isn't even pursuant to the copyright power. It is its own beast, and in the case of DVDs at least, it operates as I have described it. The UCC is irrelevant to this discussion, as is anything other than 17 USC 1201 et seq.

              I agree that much of the DMCA is very bad, but I think that it's vital that people understand just how bad, without suffering from any misconceptions, such as yours, in order to get support for copyright laws that we can actually be happy with, if not proud of.
          • Re:Copyright? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Skreems (598317) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @12:38AM (#18190768) Homepage
            That's all well and good, but it seems borderline illegal for them to give me something and then require that it only be used with other products they approve of. It's like car manufacturers putting special-shaped gas nozzles on, saying you can only fill up at licensed gas stations, and then suing you if you modify the nozzle to work with other stations.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        That's a violation of the DMCA

        in USA and applicable only to US residents

        the other 5.7 billion people can enjoy their HD rips

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by xantho (14741)
        Sure it decrypts the content, but isn't it for the purpose of interoperability? We already know that an HD-DVD + Vista + Windows Media Player + LCD TV connected via DVI is a losing proposition, but decrypting the video first makes everything interoperable.

        <5 minutes go by>

        OK, I read this article [hellerehrman.com] which discusses the reverse engineering part of the DMCA, and it seems like it might not apply because the software does not otherwise check to make sure that the user is authorized to do the thing in the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlHunt (982887)
        >It's the fact that muslix64's program is capable of decrypting a copyrighted work without permission. That's a violation of the DMCA.

        Are you sure? My car is capable of going 100 mph and my car isn't illegal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by UncleFluffy (164860)

        It's the fact that muslix64's program is capable of decrypting a copyrighted work without permission.

        So is this. [gnu.org] And this. [staples.com]
  • Why is there any doubt as to the legality of this? The wording of the DMCA makes it very clear that open programs doing this kind of thing are illegal.
    • I really have no idea who muslix64 is but perhaps he/she are not in the US and could care less about the DMCA? The post did say "they" received the take down notice, not he/she.
      • I remain boggled by the universal use of "could care less" by Americans when it means the exact opposite of what you intend. In NZ we make a bit more sense, by saying "I couldn't care less" - but we say it with a funny accent, to make you laugh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sancho (17056) *
      I don't think they can have it both ways. If distributing the program is illegal, then distributing the keys must not be (after all, the key is not a program which can decrypt the copyrighted video). This should actually make things easier, since the keys are the hard part to find (any idiot can implement an algorithm that's an open specification).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by muonman (162064)
      Perhaps because the wording of the First Amendment makes it very clear that the DMCA is illegal.

      Of course, YMMV.
  • by RalphBNumbers (655475) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:07PM (#18189732)
    Going by the 'logic' in the article, *all* AES implementations (i.e. software included on most of the world's computers) are forbidden by the DMCA.
    After all, someone somewhere might use any of them, along with a key acquired separately, to decrypt some media for which they don't own the copyright.
    • by arkanes (521690)
      In fact, by the logic in the article, and implementation of any decryption system which does not involve a central copyright authority is a DMCA violation. Unless the program can extract keys from players automatically (which I don't believe it can) they don't have a leg to stand on and they're strongarming. If it can scan memory for things that look like keys automatically (so it becomes a "one stop shop" for copying) then things are hazier.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by hcmtnbiker (925661)
      Actually the DMCA reads like this:

      (2) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that - (A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;

      So there you have it. This is perfectly legal because AACS doesnt "effectively controls access."
      ------
      Infact that whole part of the law contradicts itself, if you have a technological measure that bipasses DRM, wouldnt that DRM not effectively control access to the work?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by subreality (157447)
      AES is just encryption. AACS also specifies a lot of key handling procedure.

      So no, it's not just AES, but IMO that doesn't make their claim much more credible.
  • Single Page Thread (Score:4, Informative)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:10PM (#18189760) Journal
    http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=122770&pp= 40 [doom9.org]
    Coral Link [nyud.net]

    &pp=40 works on most (all?) vBulletin boards.
    (The default is 20 posts per page)
  • by $uperjay (263648) <jstorrie@ual[ ]ta.ca ['ber' in gap]> on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:11PM (#18189766) Homepage
    My web browser allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is it in violation of the DMCA?

    My operating system allowed me to operate this web browser which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is it in violation of the DMCA?

    My computer allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is it in violation of the DMCA?

    My university's computer store sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is it in violation of the DMCA?

    My government runs the university which runs the computer store which sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is it in violation of the DMCA?

    My fellow citizens elected the government which runs the university which runs the computer store which sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Are they in violation of the DMCA?

    Some MPAA members are citizens who elected the government which runs the university which runs the computer store which sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Are they in violation of the DMCA?

    Some MPAA members worship a deity who allegedly convinced them to elect the government which runs the university which runs the computer store which sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption. Is He in violation of the DMCA?

    etc., etc.
    • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:22PM (#18189888) Homepage
      Some MPAA members worship a deity who allegedly convinced them to elect the government which runs the university which runs the computer store which sold me the computer which allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption... ...in the hole at the bottom of the sea.
    • by SEMW (967629)
      ...
      that killed the butcher
      that slew the ox,
      that drank the water
      that quenched the fire,
      that burned the stick
      that beat the dog,
      that bit the cat
      that ate the kid,
      that my father bought for two zuzim
      Chad gadya, chad gadya!

      Ah, memories...
    • Yes^8

      ...ok just kidding.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)
      My computer allowed me to run my operating system which allowed me to download this utility which allowed me to circumvent this encryption.

      Not to worry. With the advent of Trusted Computing, your next computer won't.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mgiuca (1040724)
      Could God could create a DRM so secure even he himself couldn't crack it?
  • by TomRC (231027) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:12PM (#18189778)
    "If BackupHDDVD does in fact decrypt encrypted content than per the DMCA it needs a license to do that."

    Yep - and the users who are entering keys for encrypted content should do exactly that. The software is no more a violation of DMCA than is the PC it runs on. Oh wait - I guess that's where we're headed, isn't it?
  • Just? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dosius (230542) <bridget@buric.co> on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:19PM (#18189856) Journal
    I believe a law written to keep people from doing what they want with what they set out money for is unjust, and my belief is that unjust law should be "flagrantly ignored". DMCA or no DMCA, this program should be ensured its place on the Internet. Not because it's a piracy tool, but because it's a tool promoting fair use - something the MAFIAA seems to have forgotten the existence of.

    -uso.
  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:20PM (#18189864)
    One easy runaround is to publish the code as a printed book like Zimmermann did for PGP. This takes away any "digital"-ness and reverts to normal, proper copyright law.
  • by cfulmer (3166) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:21PM (#18189876) Homepage Journal
    Under section 1201(b) of the DMCA, offering to the public a "technology . . . that (A) is primarily designed . . . for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

    Section 512(c) is the part that specifies the notice-and-takedown provisions, but it appears to me that it only refers to infringing material.

    Note the difference: a circumvention device is not infringing material; it can be used to infringe, but unless it contains copyrighted code, it does not infringe by itself.

    Now, naming something 'BackupHDDVD' is probably enough to show its primary design. So, just like DeCSS, it's a circumvention measure. A takedown notice is just the wrong method to bring it down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpt kangarooski (3773)
      Well, I think it's just a screwup with regard to what the people on the business end of it are calling it, really. It can't be a 512 takedown notice, since the program is not infringing even though it pretty certainly is a circumvention device. But it can be a regular old cease and desist notice. The main difference is that for 512 takedown notices, ISPs do what they're told in order to protect themselves from being sued, in accordance with the law that protects them so long as they obey the notices. For C
  • by liftphreaker (972707) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:28PM (#18189930)
    Yeah I know we're drooling over the resolution and quality of HD, but as a matter of principle, why note vote with your wallet and don't buy a single HD/BR movie? Or is it OK for us to be treated like criminals, in the hope that we accept such treatment?

    I know for sure that I won't be buying any HD/BR media, ever, till this DRM mess is sorted out.
  • by Lethyos (408045) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:30PM (#18189948) Journal

    Who has proliferated, most of all?

  • by khchung (462899) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:41PM (#18190020) Journal
    I have to wonder why so many post here still talks about how the DMCA do not apply, how the utility is legal, etc.

    Isn't it obvious by now that what DMCA and other laws really said never mattered to **AA? Lawsuits, DMCA notices, etc, are simply hammers to beat down any opposition so the **AA members can keep reaping profits with their outdated business models.

    As long as the hammers are useful, it will be used. Saying that the hammer is not made to hit people is not going to help. As long as DMCA notices can take down stuff they do not like, it will be used and abused. Saying that DMCA is not applicable here is not going to help.

    I don't know what should be done about these **AA tactics. However, I do know that telling a street thug that punching below the belt is unethical will be futile.
  • QTFairuse6 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AusIV (950840) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @10:58PM (#18190118)

    If BackupHDDVD does in fact decrypt encrypted content than[sic] per the DMCA it needs a license to do that.

    Quite some time ago, slashdot ran this article [slashdot.org] about a program called QTFairuse6, which uses iTunes to decrypt Fairplay music. If that argument against BackupHDDVD is valid, QTFairuse6 should be fine because iTunes is doing the decryption, and iTunes is allowed to do that. I'm sure the RIAA would disagree, and I know inconsistent arguments work better in law than my line of work (CS), but that was my immediate reaction when I read the summary.

  • by Ant P. (974313) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:11PM (#18190224) Homepage
    ...When the copyright owner has given the user both the encrypted data and the key to decrypt it with? Surely if they don't want people decrypting their secret content they wouldn't do something as stupid as that, would they?
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday February 28, 2007 @11:12PM (#18190244)
    Okay, so this software requires a decryption key in order to work. By default, it doesn't include a key, and you have to enter it yourself. So, as shipped, it does not circumvent an encryption system, because it can't decrypt a ham sandwich if it doesn't have the key. Now, if you are licensed to use the decryption, then you will have a key that you can type in, and then this software will work. If you have a key that you're not licensed to use, then that's on you, not the author of the software.

    What this means is that the content cabal is asserting that they are the only ones with the right to encrypt using AACS by virtue of the fact that they are the only ones who can license others to decrypt using AACS. If I decide I want to encrypt something with AACS, I'm going to need a player that decrypts it. I don't need the content cabal's sacred keys - I just need the keys that I generate to decrypt my own work. This software provides the mechanism for applying my keys to my content.

    In other words, if there's an "intellectual property" issue here, it's not copyright, and therefore, not DMCA-related. There may be applicable patents being violated here, though, which is how the content cabal keeps a strangehold on implementations of AACS (and CSS) to ensure that they fulfill their draconian content control functions like region codes and UOP.

  • Technically, it doesnt do anything until... someone executes the program. Until then, its just a bunch of code that doesnt do a dam thing.

    Why dont they go after the users of the program and prove that they are using it to break DMCA? They're the ones that execute the program, which puts it into action.

  • by Jartan (219704) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @12:57AM (#18190874)
    The problem is they are correct that this IS illegal. The DMCA is a law and it prohibits this activity. Now of course the DMCA itself is illegal as well which means they'll just use it as a club against someone but drop the case before it can be proved unconstitutional.
  • Not illegal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@NOspAm.earthshod.co.uk> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @05:21AM (#18192010)
    The important phrase is "without the authority of the copyright holder". If you own the disc, you are entitled by sole virtue of ownership to use it for its rightful purpose -- which (assuming it is just an ordinary, home-viewing sell-through disc) is to watch the movie stored on it, in private. The copyright holder cannot prevent you from doing that, without rendering the disc unfit for its rightful purpose (and therefore owing you a refund of the purchase price you paid).

    Go ahead and decrypt. Either you do have the authority of the copyright holder, or the disc is unfit for purpose and you are owed a full refund. In either case, you will find your purchase receipt very helpful.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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