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Ideas, Themes, Symbols, and Symbolism in Siddhartha

Siddhartha: Ideas, Themes, and Symbols

This novel had the constant presence of the philosophy of Buddha. From the

beginning to the end, Siddhartha was in search of Nirvana. He repetitively

showed dissatisfaction to each of his new lifestyles and had to move on in his

search. This philosophy was emphasized greatly at the climax, when Siddhartha

attempted suicide but heard the all-knowing “Om” from within himself. By the

end, both he and his friend, Govinda, had reached enlightenment. All of the

characters lived in their own satisfying world. Everyone had reached his own

destiny, everyone had reached his own Nirvana.

The novel had a faint cyclic theme to it. The main character led an ascetic,

pure lifestyle. He then turned to a materialistic world, and finally returned

to the ascetic life. He had lived with the Samanas, a group of ascetics who

lived in the forest. He moved on to the town of Samsara where he fell in love

with a beautiful woman, became a rich merchant, and lived life in luxury. In

his return to the ascetic life, Siddhartha became a ferryman and lived by the

river until the end of this book. He was happiest there, learning from this

great river. This theme was also evident when his young son left him to pursue

other interests. It reminded Siddhartha of when he had left his own father.

Though this theme was never explicitly mentioned by the author, the intent may

have been to have such truths embedded in the reader’s subconscious.

The most important theme was the self-discovery of the protagonist. The

reader is brought into the life of this young man and is shown all of the high

and low points. From the very beginning of this novel, Siddhartha was in

search for the truth. What he had in store for himself was many years of

discontent, but finally he found what he was looking for. It was at the river

where Siddhartha found the meaning of life. For many years after his attempted

suicide, he remained by the river and learned the secrets of the world.

A major symbol was the magical river that Siddhartha crossed several times.

It represented the boundary between the ascetic world and the materialistic

world. He had to cross this river to get from the world of the Samanas (the

ascetics) and the town of Samsara (where his lover and merchant mentor was).

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and DeCSS

Abstract: This paper discusses the ongoing court battle between the Motion Picture Association of America, supported by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and various defendants regarding the DeCSS program and its source code. DeCSS is a utility that allows the circumvention of the encryption built into most DVDs. Specifically, the paper examines the implications of the court decision on a range of issues including source code as free speech, HTML linking, and fair use.

In 1998, the United States Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Congress intended the bill to update US copyright laws to deal with digital media. They believed that digital media such as DVDs would be pirated in large numbers due to the fact that digital copies should appear exactly as the original. The solution was encryption and the DMCA was enacted to protect the copyright on digital media that is encrypted. A year later a program called DeCSS emerged, capable of decrypting the encryption of DVDs. The first challenge of the DMCA began, as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) brought suit against individuals who were trafficking the software on the Internet. The ongoing court case raised serious issue about the Internet and the digital age, including topics such as HTML linking, source code as protected free speech, and the consumer’s right to fair use.

The DeCSS program was created by a group of three European programmers that called itself Masters of Reverse Engineering (MoRE). The media usually attributes its creation to a Norwegian teenager, Jon Johansen, although he has stated that he did not even do the crucial decryption portion [1]. DeCSS was created to provide a method of DVD playback under Linux, which at the time had no program capable of playing DVDs. In order to understand the basis for the case by the MPAA, it is necessary to first understand the encryption scheme employed by DVDs and how DeCSS circumvents this to facilitate playback.

Most DVDs employ a method of encryption called Content Scrambling System (CSS). With CSS, each encrypted DVD contains a key that is used along with a key in the player in order to decrypt the contents of the DVD. The DVD Copy Control Association (DVDCCA), the CSS license holder, issues the key in the DVD player to licensed manufacturers of DVD players [2]. DeCSS uses a valid but unlicensed key to decrypt the DVD content.

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