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From dent@cosy.sbg.ac.at Wed, 21 Jul 1999 19:05:48 +0200 (CEST)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 19:05:48 +0200 (CEST)
From: Thomas 'Dent' Mirlacher dent@cosy.sbg.ac.at
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

dear list,

i trying to reverse ingeneer the format of IFO files, we need to have
a repository with lots of different IFO files.

so i volunteer to gather the information and set up a small repository,
including information of what i've found out right now (if someone
cares or is interrested in :)

greetings

++Thomas

-- 
Linux is no REVOLUTION - it's EVOLUTION at operating system level ;)

From pvolcko@concentric.net Wed, 21 Jul 1999 12:16:03 -0400
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 12:16:03 -0400
From: Paul Volcko pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

> i trying to reverse ingeneer the format of IFO files, we need to have
> a repository with lots of different IFO files.
> 
> so i volunteer to gather the information and set up a small repository,
> including information of what i've found out right now (if someone
> cares or is interrested in :)

I applaud your effort, it is well worth the time investment as long as 
no one is expecting results immediately. (here it comes) But, 
correct me if I'm wrong, wouldn't copying IFO files and sending 
them to a central repostitory for mass distribution be construed as 
copyright violation, tantamount to piracy? I really don't know and 
am asking seriously. It would seem that since vts ifo files are disc 
key blocked that copying them into such a holding area for 
developers would be illegal. The vmg ifo files aren't access 
blocked, however. 

Does anyone know if making a repository of IFO files that are not 
on discs that you own, and then distributing them to developers on 
this project would be considered piracy/copyright infringement?


Paul Volcko
LSDVD Project

From kju@flummi.de Thu, 22 Jul 1999 00:48:33 +0200
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 00:48:33 +0200
From: Michael Holzt kju@flummi.de
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

On Wed, Jul 21, 1999 at 12:16:03PM -0400, Paul Volcko wrote:
> But, correct me if I'm wrong, wouldn't copying IFO files and sending 
> them to a central repostitory for mass distribution be construed as 
> copyright violation, tantamount to piracy? 

I'm no lawyer and i don't know about copyright law in other countries,
but here my knowledge about german copyright law.

German law requires a minimum of mental creation in a work to be
copyrighted. There is a court decision that something which can be
done only in one way (which has to be done in this way) cannot be
copyrighted.

There is not much of mental creation in a ifo file, and the
content is somewhat defined by the dvd standards, so there is 
apparently only one way to do ifo-files.

Check your local law. I'm sure many copyright laws have this 'mental
creation' rules in it. You simple can not copyright each simple shit.


-- 
mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Michael Holzt kju@flummi.de
58566 Kierspe, Germany kju@debian.org

From pvolcko@concentric.net Wed, 21 Jul 1999 17:57:04 -0400
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 17:57:04 -0400
From: Paul Volcko pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

> German law requires a minimum of mental creation in a work to be
> copyrighted. There is a court decision that something which can be
> done only in one way (which has to be done in this way) cannot be
> copyrighted.
> 
> There is not much of mental creation in a ifo file, and the
> content is somewhat defined by the dvd standards, so there is 
> apparently only one way to do ifo-files.
> 
> Check your local law. I'm sure many copyright laws have this 'mental
> creation' rules in it. You simple can not copyright each simple shit.

I'm going to play devil's advocate and argue this:

Yes, the format of the IFO file has a lot pre-specified content in it, 
at least in form. There is a significant amount of creativity, 
however, going into what the actual fields are filled with and what 
the files represent. For instance, the interactive menu of a DVD. 
There is visual, perhaps audio, and sub-picture information in the 
.vob file for it. It would not work, however, without the ifo file and 
the contents of it. As such it is part of the creative work involved 
with the menuing on that particular DVD.

Would this argument hold it as copyrighted material? Remember, 
these files are not autonomous, they all work together to form a 
system of sorts. That system is a creative work.

I'm still pushing the idea of developing an IFO parser that makes an 
entirely different format file or output (not that hard since the goal 
should be for the parser to output human readable information). 
Use these new files as the passing medium. In parallel, develop a 
program that will take these different format files and make them 
into IFOs. I think this would get around any copyright issues and it 
will give a way for people easily contribute to the project (modify 
the parser and it's documentation to make a contribution to the 
effort).

Or simply do not have a repository of DVDs. 

Paul Volcko
LSDVD Project

From yngvi@saga.is Thu, 22 Jul 1999 02:32:15 +0000
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 02:32:15 +0000
From: Yngvi Thor Sigurjonsson yngvi@saga.is
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

Paul Volcko wrote:
> 
> > German law requires a minimum of mental creation in a work to be
> > copyrighted. There is a court decision that something which can be
> > done only in one way (which has to be done in this way) cannot be
> > copyrighted.
> >
> > There is not much of mental creation in a ifo file, and the
> > content is somewhat defined by the dvd standards, so there is
> > apparently only one way to do ifo-files.
> >
> > Check your local law. I'm sure many copyright laws have this 'mental
> > creation' rules in it. You simple can not copyright each simple shit.
> 
> I'm going to play devil's advocate and argue this:
> 
> Yes, the format of the IFO file has a lot pre-specified content in it,
> at least in form. There is a significant amount of creativity,
> however, going into what the actual fields are filled with and what
> the files represent. For instance, the interactive menu of a DVD.
> There is visual, perhaps audio, and sub-picture information in the
> .vob file for it. It would not work, however, without the ifo file and
> the contents of it. As such it is part of the creative work involved
> with the menuing on that particular DVD.
> 
> Would this argument hold it as copyrighted material? Remember,
> these files are not autonomous, they all work together to form a
> system of sorts. That system is a creative work.
> 
> I'm still pushing the idea of developing an IFO parser that makes an
> entirely different format file or output (not that hard since the goal
> should be for the parser to output human readable information).
> Use these new files as the passing medium. In parallel, develop a
> program that will take these different format files and make them
> into IFOs. I think this would get around any copyright issues and it
> will give a way for people easily contribute to the project (modify
> the parser and it's documentation to make a contribution to the
> effort).
> 

I think you are treading on thin ice here (probably no ice, 
just walking on water.) Just think of some other scenarios:

1. If I uuencode a copyrighted program and then copy it oraly to a 
audio cassette and then somone else types in the UU codes and
uudecodes the result and gets a working program. Am I not 
violating the copyright.

2. If a FTP server stores disassembled binaries of MS Office,
and allows downloads off theese, would he not be violating
the copyright.

But maybe if there was no way to get the complete IFO file 
back, just the parts that we have not yet figured out.

Regards
Yngvi

From pvolcko@concentric.net Wed, 21 Jul 1999 23:08:57 -0400
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 23:08:57 -0400
From: Paul Volcko pvolcko@concentric.net
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

> I think you are treading on thin ice here (probably no ice, 
> just walking on water.) Just think of some other scenarios:
> 
> 1. If I uuencode a copyrighted program and then copy it oraly to a 
> audio cassette and then somone else types in the UU codes and
> uudecodes the result and gets a working program. Am I not 
> violating the copyright.
> 
> 2. If a FTP server stores disassembled binaries of MS Office,
> and allows downloads off theese, would he not be violating
> the copyright.
> 
> But maybe if there was no way to get the complete IFO file 
> back, just the parts that we have not yet figured out.

In both those cases it sounds as if you are trying to transmit the 
entire body of work, the system. In the case of the ifo file it is only 
a part of the system. Perhaps that means that they can be 
collected.

And my original analogy between this idea of making a "new 
format" file and the public access databases of CD and DVD 
information was flawed. In those cases the information is mostly 
entered by hand and is not information on the disc (save for a disc 
ID code and perhaps basic stuff like number of tracks/title/chapters 
etc.). This makes my idea bad, as you point out above in other 
terms.

A repository of ifo files is most likely a copyright violation. It would 
be best to stick to simply using your own discs or private emailing 
of the ifo files (still a violation but at least it isn't as public and 
traceable).

I hate all this legal bullshit.

Paul Volcko
LSDVD Project

From holzt@multimediahaus.de Thu, 22 Jul 1999 09:00:17 +0200
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 09:00:17 +0200
From: Michael Holzt holzt@multimediahaus.de
Subject: [Livid-dev] IFO file structure

On Wed, Jul 21, 1999 at 11:08:57PM -0400, Paul Volcko wrote:
> In both those cases it sounds as if you are trying to transmit the 
> entire body of work, the system. In the case of the ifo file it is only 
> a part of the system. Perhaps that means that they can be 
> collected.

I think there can only be two cases.

1. The .ifo files are worthfull and therefore copyrighted. In this
case copying would be not allowed and it would make no difference
if this copyrighted work is only a part of a bigger work. Converting
this copyrighted work into another format would not help, as not
the format is copyrighted but the content. Translate a magazine
article from english to german and it will still be copyrighted.

2. The .ifo files are not copyrighted. In this case we just may copy them.


Converting the .ifo is a nice idea but will not change the legal situation.

> And my original analogy between this idea of making a "new 
> format" file and the public access databases of CD and DVD 
> information was flawed. In those cases the information is mostly 
> entered by hand and is not information on the disc (save for a disc 
> ID code and perhaps basic stuff like number of tracks/title/chapters 
> etc.). 

The information is collected from the disc, but is not saved as is, but
as a checksum or hash or something similar. 

> I hate all this legal bullshit.

Add me.

-- 
mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Michael Holzt Multimediahaus GmbH
Technik D-58540 Meinerzhagen
holzt@multimediahaus.de +49 2354 9296-0

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