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Re: Arbitrary codecs and encryption schemes, was: Re: Encrypted Media proposal (was RE: ISSUE-179: av_param - Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or Counter-Proposals)

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 08:59:12 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDBFCFXhi6K_FCnD9LpR2Sq-bzYu1YVnuek5-vpVe0pSPg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: Charles Pritchard <chuck@jumis.com>, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>, David Dorwin <ddorwin@google.com>
On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 5:38 AM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:
>> Short of hardware encryption, an encrypted stream is no more special than an
>> arbitrary codec.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCSS
>
> They might be legally special in some places.

In particular, it's definitely legally special in the US.  Decoding an
arbitrary codec is always legal, module patent issues.  Decrypting a
stream without permission is illegal, thanks to the DMCA's
anti-circumvention clause.

The two are only the same thing in a vague engineering sense, and even
then there are important details that make them different (namely, the
secret that you have to keep away from the user).

~TJ
Received on Friday, 24 February 2012 16:59:59 GMT

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