copy protection - was: Re: Is it time for playing games on WINE?
wine-devel at shemesh.biz
Thu Nov 6 13:18:36 CST 2003
Alexandre Julliard wrote:
>Shachar Shemesh <wine-devel at shemesh.biz> writes:
>>I don't get it. As far as I understand, so long as the code in the
>>Wine archives does not allow running copied discs, we are not
>>violating the DMCA. If someone else takes Wine code and modifies it,
>>that's where the DMCA violation happens.
>The DMCA does not require copyright violation, what is illegal is
>"circumventing" the protection measure, it doesn't really matter if
>the replacement code has the same functionality or not. For example
>it's illegal to decrypt your own DVDs with DeCSS, but it's legal to do
>it with an "approved" player, even though they are of course both
>running the exact same algorithm. Yes it's absurd, but that's the way
>the law is written.
>So the question is whether the code in question is "circumventing" the
>protection or not.
If the code in Wine still doesn't allow unprotected CDs from running,
there can be no problem.
>I think you would have a hard time convincing
>someone that a dummy driver that returns magic values is not
>circumventing part of the copy protection, even if the resulting
>behavior is identical to the original.
If the resulting behaviour is that copied CDs don't work, while original
ones do, there is no circumvention (the mechanism that protects access
to a copyrighted work is still in place).
If this driver works with a CD, regardless of whether it was or was not
copied, then we have a problem, yes.
>>If this becomes a real issue, I can offer to host the Wine sources in
>>a DMCA free country. I'm sure you'll all agree with me that the
>>sources are the only prolematic part (if a given binary does not allow
>>copied discs to run, it cannot be said to be infringing).
>No, a binary is problematic too. The DeCSS exe is just as illegal as
That's because of what DeCSS does. DeCSS is the circumvention device
itself. It takes an encrypted DVD and produces unencrypted MPEGs. For
example - I'm pretty sure that if you statically link Xine with
libdecss, you will get a binary that is perfectly legal (region codes
non-withstanding). It doesn't strip away (circumvent) the protection,
it's just a player (i.e. - used the same way as it was meant to be
used). I'm not sure how legal the source for that will be, but like I
said, I think I can provide a place where the sources should be safe.
Personally, I think the sources should also be legal, so long as we
don't place a prominant #ifdef that, if set, produces a circumvention
Remeber, the "chilling effect" is when we let the DMCA control what we
do further than what it was meant to do to begin with. I can't see
anyone taking you to court saying "look, it's true that with Wine you
can't do anything that you can't do without, but it's an unlicensed
version, so it's a DMCA violation".
Open Source integration consultant
Home page & resume - http://www.shemesh.biz/
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