[mythtv-users] MythCloud, think bigger think outside the box

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Nov 24 19:30:40 UTC 2009

On 11/24/2009 06:14 AM, Bill Williamson wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 9:46 PM, Robert McNamara
>> Sadly, I suspect I
>> am about to get shouted down for this post.  THIS
>> LIST.  YOU have nothing to lose from the project getting sued and/or
>> the authors of the project being help liable for facilitating illegal
>> activity, *I DO*.
> Will you reply this response to the next person asking about dvd playback?

DVD playback is legal.  MythTV supports playing and ripping unencrypted 
non-copyrighted DVD's.  MythTV does /not/ support playing encrypted 
DVD's.  Since all commercial, copyrighted DVD's that I have ever seen 
use CSS encryption, Myth doesn't support playing and ripping commercial, 
copyrighted DVD's.

Some users--often in violation of local laws, and /always/ in violation 
of the DVD CCA licensing terms--install libdvdcss to allow them to break 
the technical protections on the DVD disks.  /They/ may be adding code 
to their systems that breaks the encryption, but it's not Myth adding 
that code nor Myth breaking the encryption.  (Keep reading before you 
say, "But that's what he said, 'Let's set up a service with no legal use 
and make it so that the users violate the law so that we can't be 
stopped.'" because this is not my argument, but only a fact that 
provides foundation for my argument.)

This approach they're using is basically the same as the approach some 
Blu-Ray owners are taking of installing a program on a Windows box that 
breaks the Blu-Ray encryption and rips the video to an unencrypted MPEG 
stream.  The only difference is that DVD users can do the DVD decryption 
on a *nix box.

So, with that in mind, what do you want?  A worm inside MythTV that 
seeks out all computers with libdvdcss installed and destroys it?  Code 
in MythTV (an /open-source/ project) that disables DVD playback if it 
detects libdvdcss is installed?  (It's not like a patch to remove that 
code wouldn't be placed on the 'net in minutes--or, for that matter, 
reverse-applying the commit would remove it.)

There's also a thriving community of people stealing satellite service 
who are using MythTV with patches that add support for softcam and other 
methods of illegal access.  There's /nothing/ that Myth can do to 
prevent this or the illegal DVD decryption.  We can, however, state a 
policy that we do /not/ support stealing video and try to convince our 
users and the list users to at least discuss any nefarious activities 

Basically, come up with some good and enforceable way of preventing a 
user from playing or ripping a commercial copyrighted DVD while still 
allowing them to play or rip non-commercial and/or self-copyrighted 
DVD's and I'd be happy to apply it.

This is why I don't use my Myth box to play DVD's.

And, now, my argument against the "MythCloud":  We /can/ stop people 
from discussing this illegal distribution mechanism on the list.  
Therefore, we are attempting to do so.

And, I hope--if someone decides to pursue this idea--that the owner of 
the MythTV project forces that person to remove all association with the 
MythTV project (including forcing them to rename their "service").


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