The DVD Copy Control Association has finally admitted that CSS, the encryption system built into DVD players, is not a trade secret, and therefore DeCSS, an open-source program that cracks the code, can be redistributed without any legal penalty.
Before the DVD CCA caved on this issue, you could only manufacture a DVD player with the studios’ blessing if you signed a blood oath pledging that, in exchange for a license for the decryption system, you would frustrate your customers by:
Update: According to ZDNet, the DVD CCA says they may file patent infringement suits to keep DeCSS underground. (First it’s a trade secret, now it’s patented. Neat trick, eh?)