So, You Wanna Play Movies in Linux?

I first got involved with DeCSS when I started looking for a way to play my DVD movies in Linux. I have the hardware, and the discs, so I should be able to play them, right? That's when I first heard about DeCSS. Imagine my shock when the DVD CCA declared war on this particular program! Every now and then something so profoundly stupid happens that you just have to sit back and say "wow, that's really dumb." That's why I wrote this page, because the DVD cartel1 is attempting to stamp out fair use and legal reverse engineering, as well as Capitalism and the Free Market for good measure. They will try to take down all of the sites with this completely legal code, but they are powerless to remove it from the Internet. One big game of whack-a-mole :). When one is taken down, three more pop up in its place. Here you go, CCA, another mole to be whacked. Do your worst :^P

There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
--The Cluetrain Manifesto

Why the CCA is wrong

Short Version

DeCSS was written for interoperability, so you can play DVDs in other operating systems. It also allows you to access fair use privilages over the content, which is a right we have thanks to the Bernstein vs. DOJ case. CSS prevents this, and thus must be stopped. They are maintaining a monopoly over DVD players by a tying arrangement, which, while illegal under antitrust laws, unfortunately does not apply to cartels such as the MPAA. They are also practicing Discriminatory Pricing through region codes, which is very bad for free trade, and enables them to not only price gouge us, but make it pretty much impossible to get ahold of an imported movie without buying a whole other DVD player.

Long Version

Check out my lengthy rant on the subject for more info here. This is a hacked up version of the one I sent to the Library of Congress.

The Goodies

Here's DeCSS, css-auth, and LiViD. Have fun! I would tell you not to use them to do illegal stuff, but that's not even practical anyway and you can pirate without decrypting. So I won't bother :)

DeCSS This is the original version written for Windows, back before Linux had UDF support.
css-auth This is the tarball for the Linux version. Make sure you have the DVD ioctls first.
I compiled a newer kernel version, but you can get ahold of them seperately as well.
LiViD This is the complete suite of programs you need to play dvds, including css-auth. You'll probably be better off dl'ing this instead of all the crap seperately. Updated 5/25/2000: I just uploaded the newest build of LiViD, the original was getting a little stale. If you want the absolute newest version, don't forget to check out for nightly builds of LiViD.

Relevent Links - They are working on a DVD player for Linux based on DeCSS called LiViD, among other cool stuff. - These people are great. They have all sorts of useful information about DVD and how to play them under Linux. Go check them out. - News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters. They are actively covering the DVD lawsuits, and a damn fine news page anyways.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation - These are the guys that are defending the Doe's in the lawsuit. I would recommend joining them to support the cause.
2600 Magazine - They are always on the lookout for cases of huge companies and governments stepping on hackers' rights, and have been threatened by the MPAA with "immidiate incarceration" for their mirror of the source.
Linux Journal - Article about Jon Johansen and the MoRE group who reverse engineered CSS. - These guys made a nifty anti-dvd cca shirt with the source code to css_descramble.c on the back. And four dollars from every sale goes to EFF!
Linux and DeCSS: What the MPAA is /really/ after - Another article from Linux Journal, this time taking on the MPAA and the reasons behind the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Stop the MPAA - A flyer created by 2600. Print it out and post it somewhere!
Criminal Code? - An insightful article about free speech and the movie industry's attempt to stamp it out.
Analysis: The Digital Millenium Copyright Act - An article on Slashdot by Jon Katz, detailing what exactly is wrong with the DMCA and how big corporations can use it against you. Part one of two.
Analysis: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Part Two
DVD Playing HOWTO - A guide for playing DVDs in Linux.
Son of DIVX: DVD Copy Control - A really funny and to-the-point article about what's been going on.
Eric S. Raymond's respone - A message from ESR explaining the situation.
DeCSS Source Code Distribution Contest - Ironically, the DVDCCA is the winner, for "Filing a motion for a temporary retaining order against 500+ individuals for distributing or linking to DeCSS source code. Include in the complaint the URL's where the accused have published the software, or links to it." :)
The DVD Cracked T-shirts - Another T-shirt with the DeCSS code on the back, Tux on the front. $2 from every sale goes to the EFF.
Feedback: Who Owns Ideas - Another awesome article by Jon Katz about the DMCA and how Intellectual Property badly needs to be rethought online.
Protesting DMCA - Timothy from Slashdot joined in on the DMCA protest in DC, here's the story. They have pictures! :)
Riding the DMCA Bullet - Apparently, Stephen King is in violation of the DMCA for reading his own eBook! Check it out.
6th Circuit Court: Code is Speech - Woohoo! The 6th Circuit Court has ruled that source code is expression, and covered under the First Amendment. This will give us major ammo against the DMCA :)
MPAA files another injunction against 2600 - Hmm, a whole new level of stupidity. They're filing another injunction because 2600 has linked to sites with DeCSS -- despite the fact that the judge already ruled that deep linking is legal. Boy, they really must be a bunch of morons.
Check out this cool T-shirt at 2600. Nice caricature of Valenti, don't you think?
Down by Law - An uplifting story about how Martin Garbus, a famous lawyer who's known for being on the right side at the right time, is joining the defense of DeCSS against the movie industry. The bastards make you log in, unfortunately.
How do you feel about the DMCA? - A good article about the DMCA and how Time Warner finally admits they're using an anti-copying law to prevent personal use.
Red Hat helps fund the EFF - Red Hat's RedHat Center has announced they are helping fund the EFF.
RE: Martin Garbus - Feedmag has an interview with Martin Garbus, the well-known First Amendment lawyer who will being defending 2600 in the DeCSS case.
DeCSS Deposition - Cryptome has a copy of a deposition from the DeCSS trials, with Martin Garbus. Interesting read, but a little hard to follow. You've been warned.
Jack Valenti's deposition - For those that want to know, he said "I don't know" 62 times, "I don't recall" 29 times, and "I'm not aware" 16 times. For someone making a lot of outrageous claims, he sure doesn't seem to know very much :)
There's an article over at Wired for those with a strong allergy to legal documents.

I'll get some more links here as soon as I think of some :)
If you know of a good article online, by all means send me a link.

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Last updated June 15, 2000