Your Code is Coming in the _____

by Doc Searls

Can you find your DVD-viewing software? You might not know you have it if you don't know where to look.

Thanks to some fun hacks (and ideas for hacks), it could be in an image or sound file, like this one here, by Andrea Gnesutta, who won Best High Tech Entry for "hack value" in the Great International DVD Source Code Distribution Contest. The contest concluded yesterday, just in time for the latest court hearing in the DVD CCA case.

Samuel Goldstein won Best Low Tech Entry for "reverse hack" value: a CD launch by helium balloon.

And the Greatest Number of Copies Distributed winner was the DVD Copyright Control Association, Inc. The method: "File a motion for a temporary restraining against 500+ individuals for distributing or linking to DVD source code. Include in the complaint the URLs where the accused have published the software, or links to it."

The contest was the brainchild of Don Marti of the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group (SVLUG), who also organized Burn All GIFs day and gave us the Operating System Sucks/Rules-O-Meter, among other subversive and enjoyable things (like the title of his page, "free live nude Linux MP3s").

In addition to Mr. Marti, Judges included: Chris DiBona, author, Linux evangelist and President of SVLUG; Rick Moen, Linux activist and author; Deirdre Saoirse programmer, DVD maven and MBA student; Eric S. Raymond, hacker, author and President of the Open Source Initiative; and yours truly.

The DVD-CCA case is a complicated one that is far more completely explained elsewhere. For more, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, The Ultimate DeCSS Resource Site, and Don Marti's press release with the full contest results.

Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto .

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