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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).

Received on Friday, 24 February 2012 16:59:59 UTC

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