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VideoLAN Announces libaacs

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-hear-what-you're-doing-there dept.

Music 105

supersloshy writes "VideoLAN, makers of the well-known media player VLC, have just announced a new project called libaacs. The libaacs library's intention is to provide a free software library to implement the AACS specification, the copy-protection found on things such as Blu-ray discs. Note that this isn't meant to actually be a decoding library. It includes no AACS keys and is solely developed for research purposes."

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105 comments

Cease and Desist in (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210194)

3... 2... 1...

Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210244)

I'd like to see how such a cease-and-desist notice might be worded. From the summary: "It includes no AACS keys". From the article: "this project doesn't offer any key or certificate that could be used to decode encrypted copyrighted material." So without the player keys, it's not a complete circumvention device but instead an encryption research project, exempt under 17 USC 1201(g) [copyright.gov] . And even if it did have keys, the interoperability exemption in 1201(f) combined with the fair use exemption that the Register of Copyrights recently enacted for three years might save it.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (5, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210312)

I'd like to see how such a cease-and-desist notice might be worded.

Fuck you, pipsqueak? ;)

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210942)

>> I'd like to see how such a cease-and-desist notice might be worded.

> Fuck you, pipsqueak? ;)

HULK SMASH!

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

graica15 (1876062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213938)

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Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210318)

I'd like to see how such a cease-and-desist notice might be worded.

You seem to be under the impression that having the law on your side means that you won't be harassed by lawyers.

The cease-and-desist will claim some intellectual property violation and it will be up to you to give in to the intimidation or resist by contacting your host to get your site back online.

Which "intellectual property"? (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210474)

You seem to be under the impression that having the law on your side means that you won't be harassed by lawyers.

This is the sort of thing that EFF jumps all over.

I'd like to see how such a cease-and-desist notice might be worded.

The cease-and-desist will claim some intellectual property violation

One does not violate "intellectual property" [gnu.org] . One infringes a copyright, infringes a patent, or infringes a trademark. Which of the three would apply?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210592)

> One does not violate "intellectual property" [gnu.org]. One infringes a copyright, infringes a patent, or infringes a trademark. Which of the three would apply?

A very good question. Unfortunately, only a team of highly trained and well-paid lawyers would be qualified to determine the answer.

Did you know it's illegal in almost every state to "practice law" without a license? (source: http://www.dcba.org/brief/mayissue/2002/art40502.htm)

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33212608)

Who cares, i do not live in the U.S and have no plans to ever go there in my life so I will chip in here.

Depending on if it registered or not AACS could be trademarked. VideoLAN could possibly be foreced to remove all references to AACS "to make sure that customers won't think theirs is the official one" or however they now reason.
The more probable route will be to claim patent infringement but this requires that they have actually tried to patent anything in AACS.

Hey, that law of yours that I think is supposed to protect your population from bad legal advice, how did it work out for you now that we have internet?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213042)

It isn't supposed to protect someone from bad legal advice, it's supposed to protect them from unqualified individuals passing themselves off as a lawyer.

There is a difference between advice on a law and legal advice, The state doesn't really care if you are both a moron and a lawyer as long as you can pass the bar and do not take too much of the courts time up when being an idiot, They do care if you pretend to be someone's lawyer. And this is pretty much true for about any country or political subdivision within to some extent.

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213080)

Did you know it's illegal in almost every state to "practice law" without a license?

What, even if you say IANAL first?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

Krakadoom (1407635) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213196)

What you do after dark is your own business ;)

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33213216)

A licence itself has no physical presense. It may be written on paper but indeed if you lose the paper, you still have the licence. One might even say a licence is an "intellectual property".
The point: maybe he just torrented his licence to practice law?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (5, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210604)

This is the sort of thing that EFF jumps all over.

And the EFF has some bad-ass lawyers. I know one EFF lawyer, who spoke to a local group here in Chicago back in the Spring, who's been offered jobs by two industry groups. I guess they figured they'd rather be paying him a salary than facing him in court. He was an interesting guy. He'd made some dough doing mergers or something before joining the EFF and didn't seem to be phased by the dangling carrot. He was also an extremely persuasive speaker. I could understand why someone like the RIAA wouldn't want to meet him in front of a judge.

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (2, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211010)

You seem to have forgotten about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the concept of a "circumvention device". That was what they chased after everybody who distributed DeCSS for. Of course, it was totally futile then as it is now, but there is a legal stick to shake at people for this sort of thing, at least in the US.

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213034)

actually i'm getting to like the DCMA, it's a lot more of a double edged sword than the people who were lobbying for it thought. sure, you get a take down notice and you're boned if you're not rich and right and don't take it down immediately, however if you do take it down immediately 50 other people immediately put it back up and they have to go through the whole process again. gives the lawyers something to do too.

Forgotten my rectum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33214172)

You seem to have forgotten about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the concept of a "circumvention device".

And you seem to have forgotten what was in tepples' comment while composing yours. Do "encryption research project, exempt under 17 USC 1201(g)" and "interoperability exemption in 1201(f)" sound like "hav[ing] forgotten about the DMCA"?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

schon (31600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211074)

You seem to be under the impression that having the law on your side means that you won't be harassed by lawyers.

This is the sort of thing that EFF jumps all over.

And that makes the harassment worthwhile?

Just because you might be able to get your legal defense for free doesn't mean that the harassment from the FBI, being arrested, potentially losing your job, etc. is all OK.

Sorry, epic logic fail.

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211916)

One does not violate "intellectual property" [gnu.org] . One infringes a copyright, infringes a patent, or infringes a trademark. Which of the three would apply?

One migt think that pleasuring oneself to computer porn was a violation of intellectual property.

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (2, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212472)

One does not violate "intellectual property" [gnu.org]. One infringes a copyright, infringes a patent, or infringes a trademark. Which of the three would apply?

One migt think that pleasuring oneself to computer porn was a violation of intellectual property.

One does not pleasure oneself to "computer porn". One pleasures oneself to hot teens, sexy MILF's, or the serious freaky-deaky. Which of the three would apply?

Re:Which "intellectual property"? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212158)

Which of the three would apply?

Whichever ones an Intellectual Property lawyer can convince an Intellectual Property judge(formerly IP lawyer) apply.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210500)

You seem to be under the impression that having the law on your side means that you won't be harassed by lawyers.

You seem to be under the impression that you have to obey cease and desist letters.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211038)

>The cease-and-desist will claim some intellectual property violation and it will be up to you to give in to the intimidation or
>resist by contacting your host to get your site back online.

You need a hosting provider that won't act without a court order.

Make sure your contract with them puts them in breach if they shut you down without a lawful reason.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211258)

You don't need a court order for a DMCA takedown. And the oppressor doesn't have to swear to the accuracy of there being a violation, only that they are representing the proper company. The repressed have to swear that the information is non-violating in order to get the site back up.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (3, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211268)

The cease-and-desist will claim some intellectual property violation and it will be up to you to give in to the intimidation or resist by contacting your host to get your site back online.

Back when the first AACS decoder was released on Doom9, it was called BackupHDDVD and made use of a key obtained from PowerDVD (IIRC) for Windows.

The programmer, however, implemented AACS decryption by following the specification as posted directly on the AACS Licensing Authority's website.

Food for thought ;)

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210374)

VideoLAN is in France.

DADVSI (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210450)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

VideoLAN is in France.

For one thing, France has its own counterpart to the DMCA [wikipedia.org] . For another, I am speculating on the right of United States residents, including the editors of Slashdot, to use VideoLAN products.

Re:DADVSI (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210532)

For another, I am speculating on the right of United States residents, including the editors of Slashdot, to use VideoLAN products.

Tangential riff: Anyone else notice CNN using videolan recently? It looked to me like they used it all the time for showing video of the oil spewing out of the well. They frequently had multiple videos running simultaneously, each in its own window and often there would be at least one 'dead' window with the trademark videolan traffic cone in it.

Re:DADVSI (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211382)

I suspect that's more likely because you were using the VLC browser plugin to playback those videos.

Re:DADVSI (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33214192)

Actually he is talking about those videos that are often shown behind the speaker in their "war room" or whatever they call it and I have seen it too. I would guess it is because VideoLAN has that simple checkbox to loop videos indefinitely and the fact it'll play nearly any format, so it is easy for them to take several videos fresh from viewers and folks at the scene and loop them in the background.

As for TFA I wish them the best of luck and hope they enjoy their cease and desist. It is getting to the point where everything has to be based in bumfuckistan just to develop anything cool anymore. And now with the government trying to ram DMCA style crap on the world with secret treaties I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a whole lot worse.

Re:DADVSI (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33215374)

For another, I am speculating on the right of United States residents, including the editors of Slashdot, to use VideoLAN products.

Using the product isn't the issue. The DMCA is about the distribution of a product to circumvent protection schemes.

Re:DADVSI (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33215476)

For another, I am speculating on the right of United States residents, including the editors of Slashdot, to use VideoLAN products.

Using the product isn't the issue. The DMCA is about the distribution of a product to circumvent protection schemes.

One cannot use a product that has not been distributed. Please allow me to rephrase: I am speculating on the right of United States residents to obtain VideoLAN products.

Re:DADVSI (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33219592)

One cannot use a product that has not been distributed.

Yes, but the distributor of the product is the one who gets in trouble not the user.

Please allow me to rephrase: I am speculating on the right of United States residents to obtain VideoLAN products.

And it's still irrelevant to what the DMCA says.

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210388)

you forgot that this specific use should also be covered by the same court ruling that deemed it legal to jailbreak iphones and rip/copy DVD's for personal or educational use

Re:Without the keys, it's 1201(g) (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210524)

The exemptions the librarian of congress recently decreed don't apply. See 4(ii) in the research exemption: MPAA lobbied sufficiently to get it crippled to the point of uselessness. And the fair use exemption is only for DVDs. If you want to legally play a Bluray, nothing has changed.

"legally play a Bluray" (4, Interesting)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210716)

"legally play a Blueray" (same question for DVD)

What exactly does that mean?

A Blueray/DVD player that one may purchase at Best Buy also decrypts the disc. Is that circumvention also?

What exactly is the difference between a commercial player and an open source player (which also must decrypt the disc)?

The main difference that I see is that one is using the official specification, and one is using an unofficial specification.

But using an unofficial specification is not illegal.

Perhaps, If some are claiming that an open source player plays "BlueRay" or "DVD" discs, then that may be a Trademark violation, as it has not been certified.

Is that what you are implying? a Trademark violation?

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210902)

no, you miss the point.

players are LICENSED. money.

freeware players skip this. that annoys those who, uhh, like money.

get it?

its JUST that simple.

(then again, you can't GET a license just by asking for it. you have to bend over and kiss corporate ass and promise never to allow users to do what they wish with the media they bought)

back in the early days of linux/dvd, authors DID try to buy 'proper' licenses. they were refused. at that point, we all turned 'rogue' in the industries' eyes.

well, so be it. don't want our 'player fees'? then you get NOTHING.

but we still will be able to play our media. you have done nothing but stopped revenue to your own self, you silly mpaa morons.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210962)

I like money, but this does not annoy me.

What annoys me is purchasing a blu-ray drive for my gnu/linux computer and several blu-ray movies a few months ago, only to discover that it was currently illegal to play them. Of course, that didn't /really/ bother me since there was, of course, an illegal way to still play them, but it annoyed me that there is no FOSS that I can download and run to play these movies. ;(

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211212)

players are LICENSED. money.
While i'm sure the money is nice gravy I don't think it's the only reason and probablly not even the main reason for keeping things tightly gaurded.

Open source and open standards are fundamenally incompatible with drm since if you have the unobfuscated source to a player or even a sufficiant spec (including all required keys) needed to implement a player you can create a player that does not respect the drm.

but we still will be able to play our media. you have done nothing but stopped revenue to your own self, you silly mpaa morons.
I agree with dvd they are fighting a losing battle. At this point the best they can do is try and keep copiers relegated to the darker corners of the internet rather than something you get bundled with your PC or buy in a computer store.

Unfortunately for us the creaters of blu-ray learned from the mistakes they made with DVD. They designed it specifically so that even after it had been cracked once they had avenues availiable (e.g. revoking keys and even potentially firmware updating players) to lock it back down again.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211944)

The money is the ONLY reason. It must be, since the ones promoting this are corporations, and it isn't a benefit otherwise.

As to key revocation -- sure, why not? But, existing material can still be decoded. Of course, "official" players would then have to be updated to play new discs. Which gives a very bad "out-of-the-box" experience. Imagine you (accidentally) purchased a new disc, and an old-stock player. Take it home, and discover that your Blue-Ray won't play Blue-Ray.

Until you attach it to the internet with an ethernet cable. Or give it an update on a USB stick, or order a special Blue-Ray from the manufacturer. Oops, you discover that your model is two years old, and no further updates are being done...

Which means that key revocation and crypto changes will be very unlikely, or applied very rarely. The only solution to the model issue is to ensure that all models run the same crypto code. Of course, this makes it easier to crack. Different machines will use different processors, as part of the normal cost reduction process. Which means the crypto code will have to be written in a p-code system which is slow and interferes with the goal of cost-reduction, or in a separate chip, which then becomes the weak link since all hardware players would have the same chip. But PC players don't have the chip (although there is a push to include such things in PC's as well), which means software players would have to be disallowed.

Or, the Blue-Ray vendors simply ignore the model issue, and apply revocation, thus rendering players automatically obsolete. Would you want to deal with the backlash? I don't think this would work in Europe anyway -- fitness of purpose is a consumer right there. Or, vendors could promise to support players "forever". I would buy a European player, just to be sure to be able to play upcoming Blue-Ray titles.

Just sayin', Revocation won't be common...

And it's STILL the money.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

happylight (600739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213124)

As to key revocation -- sure, why not? But, existing material can still be decoded. Of course, "official" players would then have to be updated to play new discs. Which gives a very bad "out-of-the-box" experience. Imagine you (accidentally) purchased a new disc, and an old-stock player. Take it home, and discover that your Blue-Ray won't play Blue-Ray.

Until you attach it to the internet with an ethernet cable. Or give it an update on a USB stick, or order a special Blue-Ray from the manufacturer. Oops, you discover that your model is two years old, and no further updates are being done...

They just put updates for players directly on the new discs. No internet/usb/update disc necessary.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33217696)

An update for every blu-ray player ever on one disc? Be glad you can store a lot on those discs I guess.
Some are already no longer supported.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213520)

Revocation works, and has worked, because all the keys identified so far came from Windows software players, and it's deemed standard operating procedure to have to patch Windows software occasionally. If someone gets the AACS key out of a Sony BDP-S370 or whatever, we may see a very different result.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211334)

It would only be illegal to play a disc if the disc, not the player, had an attached license that you would be violating. Player licenses only means you can't sell or distribute a device that decodes it without one. If you were intrinsically capable of reading the disc with only the power of your MIND, player licenses wouldn't stop you. Of course, that would also make disc license infringement a little hard to detect.

That's not to say that they do or don't have licenses on every blu-ray disc, I don't know, I've never bought one. And of course, it's not really practical for everyone to roll their own solution to reading blu-rays, so that doesn't help, but again, the two aren't the same.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211600)

I see two main things:
  1. Royalties
  2. Freedom. Open source software generally makes it easy to connection functionality of different programs together. So once you have it decrypted, there's a lot of cool stuff you can do with it. Commercial software potentially makes all sorts of promises to the people they get the license from to not allow that.

Re:"legally play a Bluray" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33212948)

Actually, for Blurays, they could be using the official specifications. The specifications are open, the keys aren't. And an implementation of the official specification can't be illegal, so the player for Blurays could turn out to be legal, unlike the one for DVDs (although this is still only in the USA, and I believe there is no judge that has ruled that a FLOSS DVD player is illegal). And the actual AACS keys, there is no way that I can believe that their distribution could be illegal under current law. Which doesn't mean that some judge won't decide so. But still, it might turn out to be possible to create a legal Bluray player for Blurays without BD+.

Re:Cease and Desist in (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210310)

If they had the power to take down BluRay decrypters, they'd be going after the commercial tools that actually work. This is roughly the umpteenth open source library announced and what they all have in common is that they don't work on any of the newer movies with MKBv11 or higher and/or anything more than the simplest forms of BD+ protection. It's unlikely open source will catch up until the MPAA gives up the DRM fight, you may not see it but there's still a constant war of updates to make the decrypters work on new discs.

Re:Cease and Desist in (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211062)

I'll buy BluRay discs just as soon as they can work in my player.

Re:Cease and Desist in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211276)

This is roughly the umpteenth open source library announced and what they all have in common is that they don't work on any of the newer movies with MKBv11 or higher and/or anything more than the simplest forms of BD+ protection.

You must be new here.

Its not like people have stopped breaking these codecs. Eventually they will be broken. All of them. The people doing the cracking aren't even doing it for the possible commercial or even "accolades galore" reasons you might think. They are doing it for the joy of cracking a puzzle. The novel joys of breaking a code. In the process they might be developing new tools to help them break stuff. In a sick and twisted way, kiddies try to trash web sites, not for the joy of defacing a site or spreading some message (or stopping someone else from spreading a message they don't like), but many of them break in just for the novelty of getting into something they aren't supposed to. They are gaming the copy protection system. Its a thing for hoots and jollies. You thought it was all over. The economics of constantly updating the rom in players can't match the cracking joy the kids get breaking into them.

Re:Cease and Desist in (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211574)

Its not like people have stopped breaking these codecs. Eventually they will be broken. All of them. (...) They are doing it for the joy of cracking a puzzle. (...) The economics of constantly updating the rom in players can't match the cracking joy the kids get breaking into them.

You really don't get how modern DRM works, do you? They don't have to constantly update the ROM, they just reveal the functionality bit by bit with new discs and so there's an endless war to reverse engineer and update the decryption software. It's a war of attrition and they're winning, it's more puzzles than people are willing to work on just for shits and giggles. It literally takes manyears of dedicated work to continuously update the tool and open source is lagging more and more behind, not closing up.

Re:Cease and Desist in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211920)

Perhaps, but eventually, one of two things will happen:
1. They will have used up all of the secret functionality in the ROM, and it will only take a short time for everyone to catch up
or
2. Someone in the know will leak all of the details about the functionality.

Either way, it's only a matter of time - and I think it will happen before BluRay II, if there every is such a thing. It's telling that Apple refuses to even deal with the whole mess. I also don't bother, DVD is just fine, thank you.

Re:Cease and Desist in (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212284)

You really don't get how modern DRM works, do you?

Neither do you, apparently.

AACS works by encrypting the disk's key with every allowed player key and placing the resultant block of encrypted keys on the disk.
To decrypt a disk the player tries its own key on each encryption key in the block until it decrypts a key that can play the disk, or it runs out of keys to try.

To revoke a key they simply stop including a player's key in the batch of encryption keys in the block of keys.

This is fundamentally flawed because the decryption keys are on the disk / player. In order to play the media your player must have a good key...

When they (Sony) revokes a key that your player was using you need to update that player with a new key, and once again give the hackers a new key to discover.

They won't run out of keys because they make more and require updates.
However, it only takes one cracked player key to decrypt all movies currently released.
When Sony finds out and stops including the cracked key it doesn't keep you from using the cracked key on older releases, just new ones.

You see, there is no "reveal the functionality bit by bit with new discs," and putting the key on the disk (or under your welcome mat) is not secure.

Re:Cease and Desist in (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212734)

Thanks, but I know plenty. To get rid of AACS all you need is the MKB derived from the player key, but open source doesn't have that either. The other part of most BluRay disc protection is BD+ which works pretty much like I said. And now they're just starting to top it off with Cinavia too, an audio watermark that'll prevent decrypted copies from playing on hardware players. If you have a decrypted copy of The Losers (Region A) and a fully updated PS3, the sound will die after 20 minutes and a nasty message will tell you it's not licensed. Pretty soon you have to reencode to have the damn thing play or use a HTPC and an unlicensed player.

Re:Cease and Desist in (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33217752)

Thus explaining why I still only buy DVDs. When opensource software can play blurays the I will buy them.

Re:Cease and Desist in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210646)

Why would they C&D it? AACS is a completely open spec. I'd say VLC has more to worry from Certicom than Sony, given that the former is the one suing Sony over patent infringement regarding AACS.

One small error (5, Informative)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210212)

Sorry guys. I submitted this article before I realized this. libaacs has been around for a while and was a project started at Doom9. It was just adopted by VideoLAN. My bad!

Re:One small error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210508)

I was wondering about that. I actually had a copy of this a while back, since while it doesn't have keys for BD stuff there was keyfiles available for HD-DVDs. While the menus and such weren't available it was awesome to be able to pick up 5 dollar HD-DVDs and a 40 dollar Xbox 360 HD-DVD player and watch movies in 720p and beyond!

In fact the only problems with it were the need to rip the dvd to disk (since it couldn't read off the drive fast enough to play smoothly, probably a software issue rather than hardware) and the fact that it required quite a bit of finagling to get mplayer to run them (ffplay with some patches worked great, but obviously is a bit less user friendly than mplayer.)

I may have to dig those movies out later and enjoy some HD movie playing goodness :)

Re:One small error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211094)

Oh my GOD! You cannot admit to error! Don't you know the rules!? We all have an image to maintain!!! Quick, blame the universe before someone notices!

Re:One small error (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211842)

Well, it's a good thing Slashdot editors fact check articles before posting them, or that would be embarrassing.

What's that? Editors don't do a damn thing here? Carry on. Nothing to see here. Maybe this story will hit the RSS feed a couple more times before they get it right ...

Sounds legit (5, Insightful)

anarkhos (209172) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210228)

"Note that this isn't meant to actually be a decoding library. It includes no AACS keys and is solely developed for research purposes."

Riiiiight

It's perfectly legal (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210350)

To decode your own Bluray disks.

In the free world, anyway, even if not America.

Re:It's perfectly legal (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210842)

Or Europe, after the EUCD. And it won't be most other places either, after ACTA. But over time you realize the law isn't a perfect democratic tool but often run by special interest groups, and how little the law means if sufficiently many disagree with it.

If ACTA gets ratified (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211328)

I don't know about elsewhere, but they've been trying to pass copyright expansion legislation here in Canada for nearly a decade without any success.

Re:If ACTA gets ratified (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33222450)

largely thanks to a few good people that keep calling the bluff each time the legislation gets renamed and presented as something thats supposed to fix a new problem. Sadly, for each generation there are fewer thats willing to stick their neck out for those kinds of causes.

Re:It's perfectly legal (1)

Kynde (324134) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212512)

Why is that marked as a troll?

Decoding ones own DVDs for watching purposes on a linux is illegal these days in many european countries and becoming illegal in the others.

Haven't bought a dvd since and will not.

Re:It's perfectly legal (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212526)

What makes you think it's illegal to decode bluray disks in America? Just how do you watch your movies anyway?

This is a decoding library nothing more. It's useless without AACS keys. How you obtain those keys is your problem and the problem of the person who actually is in breach of the stupid American anti-circumvention laws.

Using this library is no more illegal than using a TV to convert 1s and 0s into pretty pictures.

Re:Sounds legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210494)

And they will use this pretty picture as the logo for the project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Free-speech-flag.svg for "artistic purposes" only :)

Exceeeellleent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210236)

Develop a free and open framework to get into various repositories and then just have a drop-in key for later.. ;)

Awesome (3, Funny)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210264)

It includes no AACS keys and is solely developed for research purposes.

So was lysergic acid diethylamide. Looks like a win for us if things go according to history!

Re:Awesome (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210584)

Police raids?

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33220638)

Police raids?

Worse, hippies.

Nice Name (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210324)

Wanted to be first in alphabetical listings, eh?

Re:Nice Name (2, Funny)

jdunn14 (455930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210402)

Sadly they'd still be beaten by my local ambulance chaser who is in the phonebook as "A Accident Attorney"....

Re:Nice Name (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211104)

Wow. What is this country coming to? Now even the lawyers don't speak English.... :-D

(For anyone who doesn't get it, "An" comes before a vowel sound.)

Re:Nice Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211672)

- (For anyone who doesn't get it, "An" comes before a vowel sound.)

Not on the internet.

Re:Nice Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211706)

Now even the lawyers don't speak English

Now?

Re:Nice Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211912)

Well, it could be part of the name, like "A+ Tutoring"

Re:Nice Name (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212874)

Better than mine. "Aardvark Accident Associated Attorneys".

Re:Nice Name (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213968)

He should have used "AAAAAAAAAAAAA! Accident? Attorney!" to secure first place.

They should improve the interface (1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210448)

While I appreciate Videolan's achievements, VLC's programmers should improve the interface in one key aspect that has boggled my mind for a while:

I would like to see video and audio controls on the active default interface. At the moment, if I am watching video and want to adjust contrast, saturation, brightness etc, I have to click an icon on the interface, then choose video controls which I first have to activate!

Too many steps for a simple thing in my opinion. With the present implementation, If one chooses video or audio controls, these controls should be found active because why did I choose them if I did not want to do anything with them in the first place? There is always room for improvement.

Re:They should improve the interface (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211042)

So why are you telling us instead of Videolan? Nobody here wants to hear this crap. Go [videolan.org] tell someone who cares (Videolan).

Re:They should improve the interface (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212922)

VLC's programmers should improve the interface in one key aspect that has boggled my mind for a while:

Because most of the world cares about how the video player performs rather then how it looks. When I use VLC I want to press the play button and have the whole thing go away until I'm done. At this very moment VLC does just that.

I would like to see video and audio controls on the active default interface. At the moment, if I am watching video and want to adjust contrast, saturation, brightness etc

This puts you into 0.00001% of VLC users, besides VLC is open source so if it's that important to you make your own damn interface.

Too many steps for a simple thing in my opinion.

If it were a simple thing, most people play with equalisers for 2 minutes and never touch them again for the rest of the gadgets/software lifetime.

There is nothing wrong with the VLC interface.

Re:They should improve the interface (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213132)

besides VLC is open source so if it's that important to you make your own damn interface

That's really constructive advice, I'm sure that the GP is a programmer and had just never thought about doing it himself before.

As Bill Cosby says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33210488)

Rrrrriiiiiiiiiigggghhhhttt.

( voopah vooopah vooopah )

Translation of research exception in the law (4, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210544)

From the cited ruling [legifrance.gouv.fr] which discusses application of the EU ban on circumventing DRM:

Ces dispositions ne s'appliquent pas aux actes qui ne portent pas préjudice aux titulaires de droits et qui sont réalisés à des fins de sécurité informatique ou à des fins de recherche scientifique en cryptographie

Which roughly translates to:

These provisions do not apply to acts which do not interfere with rights-holders or to acts carried out for computer security purposes or for scientific research or cryptographic purposes.

So libaacs is legally 100% safe so long as it stays in those boundaries. (That EU law is unjust and should be contested.)

Re:Translation of research exception in the law (2, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33210602)

Small correction, the last part of the translation should be:

or for the purpose of scientific research in cryptography.

(I misread an "en" as an "et".)

Note the incorrect wording (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213840)

These provisions do not apply to acts which do not interfere with rights-holders or to acts carried out for computer security purposes or for scientific research or cryptographic purposes.

Bolded for emphasis. I put the French original into Google's translator and got

These provisions do not apply to acts which do not prejudice the rights holders and are made for purposes of security or for scientific research in cryptography

A very important difference. One says security and research are allowed regardless of whether it inconveniences the RIAA/MPAA, the other (I assume the real one) that these things can be done only for security and research and then only if the RIAA/MPAA don't suffer.

.shn (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211014)

It's weird how VLC plays every codec under the sun, but not SHN.

http://trac.videolan.org/vlc/ticket/632 [videolan.org]

Re:.shn (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211286)

It's weird how people expect VLC to play every codec under the sun, including little-used codecs that the average user would never come across.

Re:.shn (1)

Kevin108 (760520) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211428)

Well...the slogan on the web page proudly announces, "It plays everything!" So yeah, I guess they want it to...do...that.

Re:.shn (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33211836)

As I read it the "Plays everything" slogan refers to the types: "Files, Discs and Streams".

Just a little bit further: "It comes with support for nearly all codec there is." (emphasis mine).

Re:.shn (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213452)

Shorten isn't all that obscure, although it's fallen out of favor. There was a time not too long ago when it was the most popular and widely known lossless audio codec. Of course, the market for a lossless audio codec was pretty small back then--most people, as now, were perfectly happy with MP3s, and few people had the bandwidth to download lossless files. And nowadays, SHN (or "Shorten") has been almost entirely supplanted by FLAC and lossless formats from Apple and MS. Nevertheless, it's hardly "little-used", at least when compared the range of available codecs. The Internet Archive still has many tens of thousands of files in .shn format from back in the day when it was a standard among the lossless trading community.

Of course, the "lossless trading community", especially back then, was basically a bunch of hippies--specifically, fans of the Grateful Dead and Phish. Still, there's a lot of hippies in the world. They may not be "the average user", but they're hardly rare or obscure.

Re:.shn (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213114)

Well I, for one, haven't ever come across .shn files am I missing something?

Re:.shn (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213480)

Depends on whether you consider the Grateful Dead or Phish or other similar bands to be something. Shorten (.shn) was the standard lossless audio format among the "taper-friendly-band" recording exchange community until FLAC came along, and it hasn't been fully supplanted in that community yet, though its use is dying.

funky... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33211166)

sonicwall classified videolan.org as a 'pay to surf site' and promptly blocked it...

Re:funky... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33212160)

I think I'm missing something. Why would you have software to block "pay to surf sites"? If you don't care to see them, then don't pay, and the problem should take care of itself. Or is "pay to surf" a euphemism for porn or something?

Niiiiiice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33212086)

Damn VLC, why you so good to me?

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33212978)

"legally play a Blueray" (same question for DVD)What exactly does that mean?A Blueray/DVD player that one may purchase at Best Buy also decrypts the disc. Is that circumvention also?What exactly is the difference between a commercial player and an open source player (which also must decrypt the disc)?The main difference that I see is that one is using the official specification, and one is using an unofficial specification.But using an unofficial specification is not illegal.Perhaps, If some are claiming that an open source player plays "BlueRay" or "DVD" discs, then that may be a Trademark violation, as it has not been certified.Is that what you are implying? a Trademark violation?

Jurisdiction etc. (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33213798)

AnyDVD HD already does decrypt AACS and BD+ and it contains all the keys necessary to decrypt movies. So far Slysoft (makers of the tool) have kept themselves from being sued by being located in Antigua where clearly they have some kind of legal defence.

Traditionally that has also been the case for VLC which was based in France where software patents don't apply and decss appears semi legit. I don't think they have much to worry about (more than now) by inserting an AACS implementation. Where they might get some heat is if they shipped actual keys. Unlike decss where there is a class break, each Blu Ray disk has its own key. It's conceivable that could tip fair use into copyright infringement.

I expect sooner or later someone will produce an up to date list of keys that can be plugged in. Blu Ray's best defence against key discovery is BD+ but the platform seems strangely laid back about it. They have the potential if they so wished to ensure every batch of disks used a different BD+ scheme and different keys making it extremely difficult for Slysoft or anybody else to keep up with them all.

Which "intellectual property"? (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33215884)

I see two main things: RoyaltiesFreedom. Open source software generally makes it easy to connection functionality of different programs together. So once you have it decrypted, there's a lot of cool stuff you can do with it. Commercial software potentially makes all sorts of promises to the people they get the license from to not allow that.

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