If you’re not familiar with

If you’re not familiar with the DeCSS situation, here’s a rundown. The
Motion Picture Association of America is upset
because a bunch of hackers figured out how to play DVDs on their computers.
They wrote a program to
play DVDs on a computer. DVDs, for which the consumer has payed. Nothing illegal,
no piracy, nothing. They distributed the program, and it was popular. But the MPAA
freaked out, because they say that you should have to purchase an MPAA-approved player
to play DVDs. Said hackers declared that the MPAA can bugger off, because people can do with
their DVDs as they see fit. Now everybody’s in court, and things look bad. The worst part
is that the author of the program wasn’t the only one who got sued — pretty much anybody
that ever linked to the source code is named as a defendant, too. Hundreds of people. And
now I’ve linked to it, too. And I
recommend that you do the same. Or you could buy
a shirt with the source code.
Read the articles that Wired,
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and
2600 have up. Also, check out the
. OpenDVD gives a good overview.
This whole thing stinks, and it’s up to you and me to do something about it.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »