Multimedia Codec Legality in the US

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

Multimedia Codec Legality in the US

Postby roguer on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:38 am

I know libdvdcss isn't legal to download in the US; but, I don't know about the rest of them. I'm putting Linux Mint 16 on refurbished PCs at work were the bio-degradable Windows COAs are no longer legible; and, I don't want my employer to get taken to the cleaners. I'm looking for feedback.
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Re: Multimedia Codec Legality in the US

Postby computerbob on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:49 am

Google search libdvdcss

libdvdcss is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption.
Features

Portability. Currently supported platforms are GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSD/OS, BeOS, Windows 95/98, Windows NT/2000, MacOS X, Solaris, and HP-UX.
Simplicity. There are currently 7 functions in the API, and we intend to keep this number low.
Freedom. libdvdcss is released under the General Public License, ensuring it will stay free, and used only for free software products.
Just better. Unlike most similar projects, libdvdcss doesn't require the region of your drive to be set.

It is legal to install Mint16. Be Free. Whose telling you this FUD?
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Re: Multimedia Codec Legality in the US

Postby roguer on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:46 am

I agree installing Linux Mint 16 is perfectly legal. However, the multimedia codecs are a problem area, which the project recognizes; as, there are 'nocodec' versions of the iso images for those who want to avoid possible litigation in their legal jurisdiction. This link will give an idea of the plot complications involved with libdvdcss: http://archive.is/mf5Zz. My principal concern is to identify the packages which do NOT have legal issues in the US, when the 'Install Multimedia Codecs' option is selected. 24 packages are installed when this option is exercised. I could advise my employer to hire an attorney at $$$/hr. to research this; but, we're a small non-profit and don't have a budget for patent attorneys.
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Re: Multimedia Codec Legality in the US

Postby kurotsugi on Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:12 am

it's true that it's illegal in US for any OS to be distributed with libdvdcss but AFAIK it still legal to end user for installing it manually if they want to install it.
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