First (legal) software DVD player for Linux

Linux gets DVD player... this time it is legal

The first legal software DVD player/decoder for the Linux operating system is set to be released this month.

US software developer Intervideo is finalising work on is LinDVD software solution. It will allow Linux users to playback DVD movies, interactive DVD titles, MPEG video content and Video CDs.

The players will include integrated MPEG1 and MPEG2 playback, SVCD playback and a full multi-channel Dolby Digital audio decoder.

The lack of a DVD software for Linux has recently led to a host of problems as users attempt to find ways around the impasse. In October, an international group of programmers published source code for a programme to break the encryption stopping DVDs being played on unauthorised platforms.

The encryption, designed to prevent players playing DVDs from different regions, had the side effect of preventing DVDs from being played on Linux systems. Sixteen-year-old Jon Johansen of Norway, author of the DeCSS programme -- which breaks the encryption and allows DVDs to play on Linux -- was charged with copyright violation and interrogated by police.

To try and prevent distribution of the programme, Hollywood has been fiercely cracking down on hundreds of Web sites posting it, leading some to accuse it of perpetrating a war on open source technology.

The arrival of legal DVD solutions for Linux has been welcomed by the open source community, with Linus Torvald branding the arrival of LinDVD as "an exciting day for the Linux community".