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TurboLinux Businesses Media Movies

Commercial DVD Software Comes to Linux 416

timekillerj writes "Turbolinux launched a new version of it's Linux distribution today. The key feature is the first commercial DVD player, provided by Cyberlink. PowerDVD for Linux supports menu navigation, Dolby Digital sound, subtitles, and more."
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Commercial DVD Software Comes to Linux

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  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) < minus cat> on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:31AM (#9661007) Journal
    No commercial skipping? No region unlocking?


  • DeCSS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by falcon9x ( 618587 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:33AM (#9661016) Homepage
    So then what happens to DeCSS? IIRC, the main defense of DeCSS was that no Linux player existed. Well... now one exists, but I'm sure people don't want to give up their ability to use open-source alternatives. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • Re:DeCSS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:37AM (#9661041) Journal
    So then what happens to DeCSS? IIRC, the main defense of DeCSS was that no Linux player existed. Well... now one exists, but I'm sure people don't want to give up their ability to use open-source alternatives. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
    I don't think it will change anything. Just because there are commercial products doesn't mean you have to use them.

    It was one of the arguments, not the only one :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:39AM (#9661049)
    Now a Linux distro that can be preinstalled everywhere is much more desktop ready.

  • EULA's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:39AM (#9661050) Homepage Journal
    So, which one is it? LI CENSE

    You should carefully read the following terms and conditions of this end user license agreement ("agreement") before installing any of the software stored on the enclosed cd-roms. By installing any of this software, you (and any entity on whose behalf you are acting) are consenting to be bound by this agreement. If you do not agree to all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, do not install any of the software and return all enclosed cd-roms together with their complete packaging to the place of purchase for a full refund.
    Turbolinux will offer an even exchange for damaged media within 30 days of purchase. We regret that we're unable to accept returns for all other opened software.

    So, If I don't agree, I can't use the software AND I can't get my money back. I think I'll go rewrite the EULA myself and agree to my version instead.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyberMalex ( 713793 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:43AM (#9661073) Homepage
    Actually, as an avid Linux user, I'm extremely pleased to see commercial entities realizing the market potential of Linux.

    I am personally sick of trudging through MPlayer's DVD navigation abilities, and welcome CyberLink's entry into the fray. (Even if the software isn't open source, is IS native to Linux, which is a first step.)

    PowerDVD has been my favorite software MPEG2 decoder for windows for quite a while, and I can only wonder what the power of Linux will do for the same technology.
  • Re:DeCSS? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:44AM (#9661076)
    > It was one of the arguments, not the only one :-)

    Exactly. In the Norwegian DeCSS trial the main argument wasn't "Decrypting DVDs under Linux is not illegal". It was "Decrypting DVDs is not illegal".

    Laws don't specify operating systems.
  • Re:Great. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:58AM (#9661156) Homepage
    or at least know that the source has been availible to a thousand examining eyes, so to speak, and no one has raised the alarm.

    Oh come on, that's a pretty specious argument. Just because the source is available to examining eyes does not mean people have availed themselves to it and have ensured line for line security.

    Your comment is not unlike saying "Microsoft software is inherently more secure then open source software because no one is able to read its code and find bugs in it."
  • by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:58AM (#9661158) Homepage Journal
    You people who are whining that you actually have to pay for something need to get off your high horses. If you ever want to see anything supported in Linux in some fashion you need to pay for it.

    It's this same stigma that causes companies to not build software for Linux because they think Linux users dont want to pay for anything.

    If you really think it's such a bad thing to have to pay for a commercial dvd player. Think if you pay for it and Linux becomes very popular that you will see a free version shipped on the dvd's themselves so you can watch it on Linux. This is how it is for Windows. Most dvd's you buy come with free player software.
  • PowerDVD stinks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JavaPunk ( 757983 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @12:03PM (#9661191) Homepage
    A few months ago I bought a dvd+-rw drive which was the first DVD reader on my computer. So I install PowerDVD in windows plop in Pirates of the Caribbean and get a, "You have the wrong region set. Would you like to change you region?" I say yes and it changes nothing! I can't play a DVD on windows because of this stupid software. On the other hand, I boot into gentoo do an 'emerge mplayer.' And Pirates runs perfect! So do I really want crappy software with such a nonstandard interface on linux for a large sum of money? No way! Mplayer rules for me!
  • Re:EULA's (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nametaken ( 610866 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @12:28PM (#9661309)

    Maybe I'm missing something, or I read this wrong. But what I get from this is, if you purchased a copy you would be required to read the EULA before you open the envelopes with the CDs (like MS soft). If you disagree, don't open the cd envelope, and take it back for a refund. If you agreed, opened it, and the media is damaged... take it back within 30 days.
  • Why is it ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @12:49PM (#9661403) Homepage Journal
    That most; if not all DVD playing software on any platform ; from any company; closed or open source. Insists on making their gui's look like the front of a set-top dvd player?Do they not always look ugly and out of place? No single dvd playing software seems to spend enough time on getting the gui right. I know stuff like Xine and MPlayer are skinnable (and others probably) but invariably they default to a nasty rendition of the front of a dvd player. Id like to see more time spent on a cleaner, simpler interface with buttons that are simple to understand. For example; take a look at the powerdvd screenshot. WTF are all those icons for ?

  • by r00t ( 33219 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @12:53PM (#9661420) Journal
    I have a Mac G4 running Linux. The Mac G5 (64-bit)
    is popular now; that's what Linus himself uses.
    AMD Opterons (x86-64 or AMD64) make nice Linux boxes.

    I've only seen BitKeeper try to keep up with all
    the different ports. Nobody else even tries.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:02PM (#9661462)
    For crying out loud. Not every programmer out there has another job or in-house development to pay the bills with. How do you expect people to earn a living to put food on the table? Donations? ROFLMAO!

    Waah, I want free software. Waah, I want the source code. Waah, Apple hardware is too and I want to build my own from substandard parts someone threw away.

    If you don't have money, get a real job son.

    Don't get me wrong, Open Source is good is a good thing but you should pay for your codecs like everyone else does. Reverse engineering codecs/encryption methods without paying royalties is just as bad as software piracy. Commercial software will be key to the success of linux on the desktop and those that stand in the way of it are only helping MS keep their hold on the market.

    I don't know if these people complaining are rich kids with trust funds who have never worked a day in their life or pizza delivery guys who are bitter because they could not afford college. I grew up poor and I had to work hard to get where I am today.

  • Re:commercial? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:14PM (#9661506) Journal
    Actually, in major parts of the world, decss is totally legal. In the US and part of europe, it is illegal, but that may change down the road.
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:15PM (#9661509)
    ... do you also bitch that you had to buy a VCR to watch video tapes?

    Again you're making no sense, because the physical counterpart to the VCR is the computer, and Linux users don't complain about having to buy their computers.

    You can not make money on Linux software ...

    Sure you can. Create something new that isn't already provided free, and people who need that functionality will buy it. (If they don't buy it then they really didn't need it, or the price was much too high.)

    The trouble with the moaners like you is that you don't produce anything novel enough to be worth buying.
  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:19PM (#9661523)
    I think PowerDVD is fantastic, I use it under Windows.

    speaking of which, Windows just lost its major feature for me - DVD playback. (I know about DeCSS, I want legal solutions and don't care about money)

    if I weren't addicted to Virtual Pool 3 MS would be dead to me.
  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:22PM (#9661537)
    FYI. Distributing Mplayer with codecs that violate patents/copyright violates the GPL in the US and many other countries.
  • by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:22PM (#9661538) Journal
    Let's be a bit more precise, since being precise is rather important in legal matters..

    What the norwegian court found [] (in Norwegian) was:

    "DVD-Jon" did not have the intention to promote piracy, but to enable playing on Linux, and enable making back-ups of his DVDs.

    The court also found that there is a fair-use right to a backup copy. They also found that licenses voiding this right were unenforcable.

    They also found that the reverse-engineering done by "the nomad" (not Jon himself) was done in order to obtain interoperability, and thus legal under Norwegian and European (91/250/EEC, article 6) law.

    Hence, they found that decrypting DVDs using this information aquired through reverse-engineering in order to create backup-copies was legal.

    Basically what I'm saying here, is that from the verdict, it is not clear that he would've been found innocent if the procecution had been able to prove he had created DeCSS with the intent to enable piracy.

    So you can't generalize the ruling into "Decrypting DVD's is not illegal in Norway".

  • Re:commercial? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nurgled ( 63197 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @01:32PM (#9661586)

    Also, PowerDVD has the worst interface of any software DVD player. Why try to mimick a real device with all of the limitations that go along with it?

    I don't want a DVD *Player*, I want a set of DVD *Codecs* which can be plugged into my player of choice, where I play everything else. On Windows this means a few DirectShow plugins, but of course there's no standard media codec API for "GNU/Linux".

  • by SHEENmaster ( 581283 ) <travis.utk@edu> on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:16PM (#9661803) Homepage Journal
    I still don't have a single legal way to play DVDs.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:17PM (#9661808) Homepage
    I wonder if it's legal to run DeCSS as a service on a server outside the US - i.e. it cracks the keys to watch the DVD over the internet - it only has to be done once because your DVD player can then cache the keys for the next time you want to watch the DVD.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:26PM (#9661868)
    I've bought many DVDs that came with a player (for Windows). So is the DVD distributor paying royalty for each copy of the DVD player software?

    If not, then claiming that each copy of DeCSS distributed should include a royalty payment is inconsistent.

    If so, then it is consistent, but I will personally ignore it. Why? I'm a good citizen. I obey the speed limit (don't want to hurt anyone). I pay my taxes (ouch. We need public services.) I don't pirate software and I don't share music. But I paid $20 for that Spiderman DVD and I'll be damned if someone's gonna tell me how I can watch it. I understand not copying it and giving it away, but my conscience is clean watching it using DeCSS. The only reason this is an issue is because they think I'm gonna copy it and give it to someone else. Well I'm not.

    I think they should try another approach that doesn't offend us non-piraters. Play a 30-second commercial that says "Are you or your kids illegally sharing music?" or something of that nature.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:30PM (#9661893)
    The last time I priced comercial DVD software, it cost more to buy it than the DVD players it comes with (around $50 for the software, I can find a cheap DVD player in town for $40). If the software used complex deinterlacing algorythyms that made the images looks as nice as it does on a good TV I wouldn't mind (I watch a lot of anime, and what's with all these movies I'm seeing interlaced lately?). But they don't look any better than Xine/mplayer (latest versions of both of cousre).

    Offtopic side note: This is one of my Windows pet peaves. For $200 dollars, you'd think Microsoft could include a bloody DVD decoder. But to be fair, I guess they've got enough antitrust problems to deal with.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:34PM (#9661919)
    They own CSS. Correct.
    DeCSS is illegal. Correct.
    It's illegal without sending royalty. Wrong.

    DeCSS is illegal period. This isn't a patent issue with CSS. It's industry trade secret protection.

    Even if you don't agree, with patents or trad secrets, even if I wanted to pay, I cannot get permission from them to use their decoding scheme. That's what monopoly power over an intellectual property means. You are the sole provider. You decide who can or cannot use--for example, with patents and unlike copyrights, this *includes* research purposes (cannot use for research without permission); there is no clause protecting research or anything similar to fair use.

    DeCSS is illegal because they do not have an open or really known royalty system. This is further complicated given playback is an mpeg2 variant--you also have to get the permission of the mpeg2 holders, but that's realisticly surmountable given mpegla (mpeg licensing association) which has open requirements, but afaik, they have a minimum limit--but one could get around that likely by forming a small group of people who want to purchase legal implementations).

    CSS owners have chosen not to do anything like mpegla. So even if I wanted to pay royalties, they have elected not to grant me the right to their intellectual property. I'm dead in the water until they decide they want to sell. Note this has nothing to do directly with price, although indirectly, if you wanted to dumb a few billion, I think they'd listen.

    I have, for years, wanted to buy a commercial, standalone (the app, not a whole system) legal Linux or BSD runable DVD application. I contacted a few companies in the past that /. covered who noted they had such an app in the pipeline and the licensing worked out (IBM, Cyberlink, and one other). None would sell to me, whether it be for personal use or to integrate with a product.

    No where is it found where I can send royalties even if I wanted to *and* which they would accept and grant me a one app/user right.

    DeCSS is illegal because they have chosen to control the scheme, not because of the want for a free (as in money/beer) app, so forget about a legal open source free as in source and beer app. You can likely get away with DeCSS running on Linux boxes because it's small scale; they aren't going to bother going after you.

    (The only legal scheme is this (close source, third-party commercial app with presumed license), although I think it would be interesting if a non-licensing body bought a slew of PowerDVDs but sent their own app out (likely illegal but I'd like to read that court case)).
  • Re:commercial? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ianezz ( 31449 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @03:11PM (#9662133) Homepage
    but of course there's no standard media codec API for "GNU/Linux"

    Well, GStreamer [] is probably going to be it.

  • Re:commercial? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 2004 @05:47PM (#9662961)
    why even bother with the cache?
    why not set up a dvd-db, just like cddb, except this one stores CSS keys instead of song titles...

    a lot of free players out there would jump on including support for it in the software... automatically look up the dvd and use the key to open the css, without violating the DMCA (it's not circumvention if you're not actually use decss yourself).

    Although I'm sure this could be seen as a slippery slope - using this logic it could be seen as being OK to borrow a stolen car from the guy who stole it, because you didn't technically steal it yourself.
  • Re:commercial? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @07:02PM (#9663255)
    Please don't talk down to me.

    You set a poor precedent with your onomatopoeiac pronuciations and implications that people who disagree with you are no-talent, bitter losers. What's the matter? You can dish it out but you can't take it?

    I was not talking about Open source projects involving infrastructure such as Apache or mysql

    So what? Did I say anything about infrastructure? Oh you assumed that all those billions are just going into the kernel and back-end tools? I think you still haven't been paying close attention. Sun has been doing usability research with gnome. Mozilla is as focused on end-user stuff as they are on the API. Novell's Ximian is all about Evolution and their Desktop. Music composition and creation tools for linux are starting to seriously compete with expensive stuff from the likes of Steinberg. Meanwhile Free applications like vlc blow away powerdvd in terms of functionality and quality of output. Other than poorly thought out legal constructs, aka software patents, standing in the way, there is no reason to use powerdvd over the Free alternatives. Powerdvd is not the best tool for the job.

    PS. I'm quite proud of the fact that I work for a private company that receives no hand outs from other companies.

    WTF? What the hell does that mean? The best I can make out is you seem to think that companies like IBM and Novell are giving money away, no strings attached, to other companies working on Free software? If that's the case you have a seriously poor grasp of the way business works. And furthermore, 10 to 1 your "private company" takes "handouts" from the government in the form of tax breaks if not outright grants, few companies of any size in America do otherwise.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye