Enable Commercial DVD Playback on Ubuntu 8.04

I realize it has been ages since I first wrote on this topic so I figured I’d revisit it again.  If you’ve ever found yourself unable to playback a DVD on your Ubuntu system, this post will outline the reason and the fix.

The Reason

At first you might wonder why this bug hasn’t been fixed.  If, as I say, I wrote about this long ago why hasn’t it been fixed?  The problem is not in the code, but in the software patents involved.  For the same reason mp3 support is not enabled out-of-the-box, neither is DVD playback.

I should give the obligatory disclaimer about checking your local law and all that jazz.. but I wont.  Just know that you can blame the DCMA and ridiculous US patent law for this restriction.  If you are outside the US you are likely fine.. lucky bastards.