Re: [SLUG] playing dvd's

From: Levi Bard (
Date: Wed Jan 18 2006 - 09:51:02 EST

> Uummmm.... Hey guys, supposedly playing encrypted DVDs is illegal on a
> computer. Even if you bought and own the disc. Xine & Mplayer are purposely
> crippled by many distros to prevent this because of legal restrictions/fears.
> Don't know about Debian and the other distros but in Suse you have to dump
> the distro package and get an un-crippled one. In SuSE you can get either or
> both at the Packman site. A little googling will point you in the right
> direction. You MUST also install a copy of libdvdcss to play these DVDs or it
> won't work. Even libdvdcss has been pulled from many sites in the US and
> Europe because of these restrictions/regulations. It is available though. I
> got my latest copy from a site in Brazil. I've been watching DVD movies for
> several years now. (Since 8.2 - now at 10.0)

There is no "distro package" for mplayer in debian. I assume michael
either built from source (similar to ) or installed the marillat
packages ( ). Either way,
mplayer has native, builtin dvd support, and doesn't need nor want
libdvdread nor libdvdcss. If you do `mplayer dvd://1` , it will try
/dev/dvd. If you don't want to link /dev/hdc (or whatever) to
/dev/dvd, you can also pass the -dvd-device flag, as in `mplayer
-dvd-device /dev/hdc dvd://1`

Xine, on the other hand, requires both libdvdread and libdvdcss to
play commercial DVDs. And it does play menus, quite nicely, although
I've found it uses quite a bit more cpu than mplayer in general,
although with modern machines this is more of an annoyance than an

As far as the legal issues, in a world with software patents, any
sufficiently complex piece of software is guaranteed to violate one or
more patents. The Linux kernel itself has been shown to be in
violation of some obscene number of patents, including the recently
upheld FAT patent.


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