Comment 26 for bug 1235918

Michael Müller (mqchael) wrote :


a long time passed since we gave you an update on this problem and now we can give you a final answer.

Before I will tell you the recent updates, I will first give again a short summary about the background of this problem. Some Silverlight videos use the so-called "certified output protection", which is only available when the graphic card supports a special set of commands. These commands use cryptographic methods, so that the application can be sure it gets the correct values from the graphic card, and the response is not faked. The graphic cards have a certificate which they use to sign the responses and the certificate itself must be signed by Microsoft. The problem is that the Linux drivers (even the proprietary ones from AMD or NVIDIA) do not support these commands. We asked them to simply enable them on Linux since this would be a perfect legal way for us to solve this problem, but they declined this idea. The only company left here which could indeed help us solving this problem. would be Microsoft. If they would give us a legal key we could add the required implementation, but everyone else who gets the key could use it to break their whole DRM, so this is very unlikely to happen. Even if they would give us such a key, it would mean that we need to provide binary blobs with pipelight/wine-compholio, which is also not really possible since both are open-source projects.

Beside these perfectly legal ideas, there also some other creative ways to get around this problem. We spent most of them time talking to organizations like the Free Software Foundation Europe and asked them whether one of these creative ways may not violate any laws. The result is sadly that all these ideas are at least in some gray area and they don't know any similar cases and therefore highly suggest us not to do any of them. The Software Freedom Conservancy, which helps the Wine project to solve such problems, declined to take a look at our ideas, since they think this problem is not related to Wine (although all these functions needs to be implemented in wine and the problem can also be triggered without pipelight at all) . The only way to continue would be to pay some good lawyers to analyze this more in detail and there is no guarantee that a judge would decide the same way.

We can not really spent a lot of money on this problem and it does not make sense to endanger the whole project to solve this bug. We therefore think that this problem a is a won't fix. We can do a lot to solve technical problems, but we can not change laws.