Friday, February 20, 2004

DVD freakout

News!I don't get this. If it's legal to make personal use copies of CD's, or videotapes, or goodness knows what else... how the heck can DVD's be exempted?

After eight months of deliberation, a San Francisco federal judge has ruled that software company 321 Studios' popular DVD-copying products are illegal.

I'm sorry, but this is just messed up. How can I make a personal use copy of my DVD's to preserve my investment? Is outlawing technological innovation going to do anyone any good? I doubt it. All it means is that this type of R&D work will flow outside the United States... companies will arise in those countries to feed the demand... and consumers will purchase products from those companies that can supply it.

This decision is short-sighted. It's silly. And it's certainly not the American way. America is innovation. It's not putting the kibosh on software technologies because they could potentially be used to violate laws. If that were the case, no one would have a video-casette recorder or a Xerox copier. Dumb. And, it seems to me, un-American.

In a ruling released Friday, Judge Susan Illston granted Hollywood studios' request for an injunction against 321 Studios, saying the small software company has seven days to stop distributing its DVD-copying products.

The case was widely viewed as a test of how far commercial software could go in helping consumers make backup copies of their own legally purchased digital entertainment products, such as DVDs or video games. Illston wrote that federal law made it illegal to sell products that--like 321 Studios' software--break through DVDs' antipiracy technology, even if consumers do have a legal right to make personal copies of their movies.

"It is the technology itself at issue, not the uses to which the copyrighted material may be put," Illston wrote. "Legal downstream use of the copyrighted material by customers is not a defense to the software manufacturer's violation of the provisions (of copyright law)."

Judge: DVD-copying software is illegal

XML Parsing

PHP Everywhere, bee-otchPHP everywhere has a good blurb on XML parsing in PHP. A bunch of different methods for parsing XML are benchmarked and you would think SAX or XPath would reign supreme. Surprise!

Now here's the dirty secret; most of it is machine-generated XML, and in most cases, I use the perl regexp engine to read and process it.

High-speed XML parsing

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