(decss :language :lisp)

Is software speech? You decide.


The Open Source Club at The Ohio State University announces the "Lisp Programming Contest", sponsored by Interhack Corporation. The contest will be held from October 2 to November 15, 2000. First prize is a cash award of $250. Second prize gets $100, and third gets $50.

Who is eligible?

The contest is open to students at The Ohio State University. Undergraduate, graduate, full-time, part-time, whatever. As long as you're a student, you're eligible.

Grad students are eligible, too? That's not fair!

Stop whining.

What are the rules?

  1. You need to produce a program that does something, anything. It also must contain functions needed to descramble CSS encrypted DVD content. We'll be using css_descramble.c by Derek Fawcus and M Roberts as our reference. Whether the CSS decryption is the primary purpose of the program is up to you, but we think it would be an awfully cool side-effect of a program that's really intended to do something else...
  2. The program maybe written in any language, but it must run under the CMU CL environment for Common Lisp. That is, if you write it in a language that you created yourself, you must make an interpreter for it in Common Lisp.
  3. You may enter as many submissions as you like, but you can win only one cash prize. Don't submit a dozen programs, all in the names of your room mates and stuff just to get more bucks. That's lame.
  4. There must be more to the program than the stated functionality; there must be an element that only a human would be able to appreciate. (For example, your program could be a poem that also happens to be a Lisp program.)
  5. Entries will be judged for correctness, creativity, and originality. Readers should learn something, be amused, or both. Writing something that would parse and run an English-language description of the algorithm would score much better than an implementation that would run very quickly.
  6. Interhack Corporation will pay the winners and supply the judges. Interhack Corporation reserves the right to clarify the rules, change the rules, and pretty well do anything that it wants. The deal is simple, really: if you give us grief, we won't give you money.
  7. The decision of the judges is final. Don't go complaining if the judges don't agree that your code rocks all over.
  8. Entries must qualify as "open source". Works licensed under the GNU General Public License, BSD-style license, and released into the public domain count.
  9. Entries must be gratis; available as-is to anyone who asks without cost.
  10. Entries will be considered for inclusion in CIS 459.31, "Programming in Common Lisp" in Spring 2001 and possibly beyond.
  11. Submissions must be received by 12:01 a.m. on November 16, 2000. Send your entries to
  12. The winners will be announced on December 1, 2000.

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Matt Curtin
Last modified: Mon Oct 2 21:23:18 EDT 2000