Legalizing Linux DVD Playback: Why Bother?

DVD playback on Linux is still illegal in many places, but guess what? Users soon won't care.

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(That Google's upcoming ChromeOS is Ubuntu-based opens that possibility even farther.) Novell's work with Moonlight gives them a technical edge, but the DRM issue is unlikely to bring a compromise.

All of this ultimately means that the question of DVD playback on Linux may become a non-issue. Presented with the option to legally and cheaply download entertainment on their machines, Linux users may simply forgo the legal and ethical hassles of DVD playback and choose the online route.

Is this a good thing? For end-users, it will look that way. But in the long-term, it may be a problem, because frankly the CSS restrictions need to be pushed off a legal cliff, and these online video services may only serve to strengthen DRM in the long run.

So which do we want more: consumer choice or consumer freedom?

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