Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes they can. Today we are all american.

We were told they cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. And they only grew louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months that came.

We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of that nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready or that we shouldn't try or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Digital restrictions management FAIL (again)

I just read the news that the Blue-Ray Digital Restrictions Management system has been successfully circumvented with a Free and Open Source Software program.

Here is 17 pages of fantastic account of how it was programmed. Those guys are pretty cool, I must say. It seems to be a different group of people, but the same community that circumvented Restrictions Management of the other High Definition format, the (now mostly dead) HD-DVD.

Actually this should be mostly uninteresting to me, as I don't own any equipment or any of the High Definition disks. And as even Apples Steve Jobs admits that Blue-Ray is an expensive pile of crap, I probably won't buy it for as long as I can manage to avoid it.

But the announcement reminds me of what happens when industry lobbyist buy and push through international legislation, that is so at odds with common sense that it has to be reinterpreted. Confusion and non-sense happens.

So is the new software legal to distribute? Or to use? Well, it is hard to say as the Danish Ministry of Cultures interpretation of the lobbyist-law (InfoSoc) leaves something to be desired in the "clarity department". I think the general answer is the sensible "yeah, go ahead, we won't care much what you do inside of your own house". But as that conflicts with the actual wording and intention of the lobbyist law that they support, the ministry just leaves confusion instead.

They have two pages (here and here) that explain that the law doesn't not prevent consumer freedom of choice in operating systems and hardware. Except maybe. So the deal is that even though the lobbyist law says that laws should prevent " the circumvention of any effective technological measures[=DRM]" the ministry of culture sensibly says that circumventing DRM to be able to use eg. a BlueRay dist on a GNU/Linux system is ok. But it is not ok to copy from a BlueRay disk.

This then leaves everyone to wonder what to do when the only way to watch a BlueRay disk on linux involves making a temporary copy...alas!