CyberTech Rambler

May 21, 2012

Legitimizing DVD decryption software (at least temporarily)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:40 pm

The Fed is said to be considering allowing DVD encryption to be bypassed temporarily. While I can a lot of interested parties on both sides fighting their corner, I believe the biggest impact will be on DVD decryption software. If they approve this, it means at least for a while, they will become legal in the United States. That is significant because it allows hassle-free distribution of the software, particularly open-sourced one. For the latter, once the genie is out of the bottle ….

Since the Fed is also considering making jailbreaking of game console, the hacker that signed a “do not hack” agreement with Sony thinks he may be able to workaround that agreement and start to play with jailbreaking on (limited) Sony products again. Although I am not privy to his agreement with Sony, the fact that I know he had good lawyers to fight his corner and he is willing to go on the record to say he might be able to do it if the Fed agree to the jailbreak, it is possible. However, my view is the Fed is unlikely to permit this: There is no potential monopoly concerns here and the competition is as healthy as it could get if we take into account that only two giants (Sony and Microsoft) in the game. Downstream developers actually benefit  from the fact that there are only a few major players in the arena. I also cannot see how the public interest can be better served by permitting the jailbreak on balance of probability, let alone the more stringent criteria the Feds require for granting the exemption. Thus, I say to him: Dream on.

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