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Does anyone have information on this topic in the United States? I'm not talking about "I heard this" or "Suse does it like this", I mean specific information they can ...
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  1. #1
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    Legality of distributing a dvd capable distro?


    Does anyone have information on this topic in the United States? I'm not talking about "I heard this" or "Suse does it like this", I mean specific information they can back up or provide pointers to. So far all I have is a link to the DMCA, which I will look through soon, but I'm not a lawyer so I don't know exactly what to be looking for here. And the way they phrase some things is really mind boggling.

    Anyway, here's the deal. I am (possibly) being brought into a company which installs computers into cars. These computers have touch screens and do things like play music, DVDs, videos, GPS, internet, etc. It's all based on Windows currently, but my job will be to move it to Linux. The MP3 issue is no longer an issue, I've found a way to include licensed MP3 support with no additional cost (even though already there's lots of cost savings by moving it to Linux, since all the software won't have to be licensed anymore). The problem is, I'm unsure if we will be able to provide support of playing encrypted DVDs without getting a license to do so.

    Which is why I need specific information, so if you have any or can post links to where I might find some, it would be much help. And as I said before, the rumor kind of information is absolutely no help here. I need solid info, stuff I can look up from a credible source.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    I'm not a lawyer nor am I American so I'm definitely the wrong person to be giving legal advice on this one. My only advice is to talk to a lawyer (perhaps the corporate lawyer would be your best).

    Your best bet really is to talk to a lawyer about this one. The law is a tricky thing!

    Bryan
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    I understand that, but I don't want to go to a lawyer empty handed, I want to at least have some information and a better understanding of the issue before I see a lawyer.

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    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    Well, from what I understand of libdvdcss (which I assume might be a possible solution being contemplated), it works through circumvention. Perhaps you could ask about circumvention laws and how this may affect any attempts to create a DVD system without any licenses (if you go the libdvdcss route).

    This just popped into my head - I believe it was Mandriva that shipped the first "legal" DVD player. Perhaps you could investigate that. From my very quick research (I'm on my way to bed), the two options you have are LinDVD and PowerDVD.

    Bryan
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    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
    Queen's University - Arts and Science 2008 (Sociology)
    Registered Linux User #386147.

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    I did look up both LinDVD and PowerDVD. I wasn't able to find much about either, though neither is quite what I was hoping for. I'm hoping to be able to use MPlayer for all the video playing, including DVD. If I remember right, a DVD uses the MPEG video format, so maybe something like this will work, though there might be an issue with it being in another country. I'm not really sure right now though, but hopefully I'll have an idea soon.

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