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The DVD CSS mess

I support the rights of myself and all individuals to take apart and/or reverse-engineer anything we have paid for. We are free to explore and understand the things in our world. It's called progress.

Do not sell me a locked box and expect me not to open it. If automakers suddenly started selling cars with locked hoods that only the manufacturers could open consumers would be outraged. This is the same thing.

The DVD and deCSS wars are not about pirating DVDs. Besides the fact that DVDs can and are right now being duplicated without breaking the CSS encryption, the people who first cracked the CSS code did so only to watch movies on their Linux computers where no commercial players were available.

That piracy is wrong goes without saying. I favor the type of solution where media is cheap enough where those licensing the content make their fortunes on volume, not overpriced, heavily pirated products. DVD piracy is almost nonexistent because DVDs are generally priced reasonably. Often, new release DVDs can be purchased for less than the average cost of two movie tickets. This is how it should be. Morality aside, consumers will buy DVDs rather than pirate them if the cost of the DVD is less than the trouble of piracy.

Sites with more information:


Home Recording Rights Coalition

2600's catalog of DeCSS mirror sites

Village Voice Article about the deCSS case

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Dr. David Touretzky's CSS Descrambler Gallery

Son of DIVX, DVD Copy Control (mirror)

A huge list of resources

Stop the MPAA (mirror)

A copy of the original Stop the MPAA document

How CSS actually works

This is a mirrored copy of the analysis of the encryption routines in the CSS system. Aside from the english parts and the astute conclusions, I don't pretend to understand any of this document:

Cryptanalysis of Contents Scrambling System

The CSS tarballs (mirrored)

DeCSS source code

For a short time last year, the deCSS source was posted to Download.com, there were 60,000+ downloads before noon. It was later removed. The source is also available on T-shirts from Copyleft.

I haven't used these files and don't know what the difference between them is.

The actual source code


I do not endorse any criminal activity, nor do I believe any information on this page constitutes a criminal act. This information is posted for educational purposes and is excerpted as a discussion of my personal views and opinions under USC Title 17, section 107 Fair Use guidelines. I hope you'll do the same.

Fair Use of Copyright
United States Code: Title 17, Section 107

The Constitution of the United States

Joe Maller
April 28, 2000 (revised August 1, 2000)

Links to More Info

Stop the MPAA

How CSS Works

Linux CSS Tarballs

DeCSS Source Code



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