AfterDawn: Tech news

CSS protection used in DVDs "ineffective" Finnish court rules

Written by Jari Ketola @ 25 May 2007 8:28 User comments (23)

CSS protection used in DVDs "ineffective"  Finnish court rules In an unanimous decision released today, Helsinki District Court ruled that Content Scrambling System (CSS) used in DVD movies is "ineffective". The decision is the first in Europe to interpret new copyright law amendments that ban the circumvention of "effective technological measures". The legislation is based on EU Copyright Directive from 2001. According to both Finnish copyright law and the underlying directive, only such protection measure is effective, "which achieves the protection objective."
The background of the case was that after the copyright law amendment was accepted in late 2005, a group of Finnish computer hobbyists and activists opened a website where they posted information on how to circumvent CSS. They appeared in a police station and claimed to have potentially infringed copyright law. Most of the activists thought that either the police does not investigate the case in the first place or the prosecutor drops it if it goes any further. To the surprise of many, the case ended in the Helsinki District Court. Defendants were Mikko Rauhala who opened the website, and a poster who published an own implementation of source code circumventing CSS.

According to the court, CSS no longer achieves its protection objective. The court relied on two expert witnesses and said that "...since a Norwegian hacker succeeded in circumventing CSS protection used in DVDs in 1999, end-users have been able to get with ease tens of similar circumventing software from the Internet even free of charge. Some operating systems come with this kind of software pre-installed." Thus, the court concluded that "CSS protection can no longer be held 'effective' as defined in law." All charges were dismissed.

Defendant Mikko Rauhala is happy about the judgment: "It seems that one can apply bad law with common sense, which was unfortunately absent during the preparation of the law" he comments. Defendant's counsel Mikko Välimäki thinks the judgment can have major implications: "The conclusions of the court can be applied all over Europe since the word 'effective' comes directly from the directive". He continues: "A protection measure is no longer effective, when there is widely available end-user software implementing a circumvention method. My understanding is that this is not technology-dependent. The decision can therefore be applied to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as well in the future."

Further information:

Mikko Välimäki
Defendants' counsel
tel. +358-50-5980498

Mikko Rauhala
Defendant who opened the forum

The effects of the ruling on AfterDawn.com


The ruling was made by Helsinki District court which is an entry-level court in the Finnish legal system. The prosecutor can appeal the ruling within 7 days in which case the consideration of the case will be continued in a Court of Appeal. We will analyze the case and the court ruling, and also monitor closely the future developments of the case. Keep your eyes peel. These are interesting times we're living!

Source:
Turre Legal press release
Analysis of potential implications (PDF)

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23 user comments

125.5.2007 8:33

It took them that long to formally say so? Hell, ANYONE with any knowledge in this kinda field knows that DVD Decrypter et al will crack CSS in what? A second or two?

225.5.2007 8:53

so maybe you'll have to buy more HDD's for the servers ketola. This could bring back alot of software and discussions to AD

325.5.2007 11:40

Someone should introduce the Finnish to the 21st Century.

425.5.2007 12:24

Ahh
I remember the days when there used to be many free programs on AD that allowed you to backup your content. Lightning UK used to update DVD Decrypter(before he sold it) and there were many discussions on how to circumvent DRM. Interesting to see how this will affect AD.

525.5.2007 14:40

Quote:
Someone should introduce the Finnish to the 21st Century.
Actually, in terms of the judgement made today, its finland needs to drag everyone else into 21st century. Never made asense to have an ineffective copy protection subject to anti-circumvention laws

625.5.2007 18:11

At least the court was smart enough to realize that CSS protection is no good anymore. It's amazing that it took them 8 years to figure this out.

Well i just hope this does not mean that AnyDVD and programs like this have to disappear from AfterDawn.

726.5.2007 0:37

Originally posted by borhan9:
Well i just hope this does not mean that AnyDVD and programs like this have to disappear from AfterDawn.
Actually, this could mean that AnyDVD & co could reappear on aD, we removed all the rippers on 1st of January, 2006 from our side when the MPAA/RIAA-sponsored European Union Copyright Directive (similar to older, U.S. DMCA) took in place in Finland. This ruling effectively states that the legislation introduced 17 months ago is void in terms of banning distribution of DVD rippers, as court -- surprisingly (its rare to have smart court decisions nowadays) -- decided that CSS et al aren't "effective" copy protection mechanisms and thus, aren't within the limits of the legislation.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

826.5.2007 1:34

Well then this is great news if we can see some of the old programs back on aD like DVD Decrypter would be nostalgic :)


Edited by DVDBack23


"the mediocre teacher tells. the good teacher explains. the superior teacher demonstrates. the great teacher inspires."- William Aruthur Ward
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927.5.2007 1:29

It's very good news but as the headline states this court is only an entry level one. Still, it's good to have a win.

1027.5.2007 22:49

LOL... I could have saved the the whole court sh*t and told them all that long ago....LOL

1128.5.2007 23:55

It's good to see the times are changing. Copy-protection in it's current form is under (legal) attack all over the world. It never works (is always cracked) and it just frustrates consumers because of the problems it causes. I might even start to believe in the justice system once again...

It's also good to see that this might influence Afterdawn in a positive way. Down with copy-protection!!!

1229.5.2007 5:00

About time. I think just about everyone knows that CSS hasn't worked well for years. The only people who don't seem to know this are the courts and the retarded MPAA and its counterparts in other countries.

Oh, and woot to Norway.

1330.5.2007 12:57

DVD Decryptor and it's ilk are like weeds. You can spray them but they will pop up somewhere on the net. Do a Google and you will find...And there are programs that attatch Decryptor to them to increase it's capabilities.

1431.5.2007 13:15

Seems the Finnish court system is way ahead of our American fiasco where money makes the laws and then they are only selectively enforced. The people of Europe, Canada, and Australia need to get ready for the coming white flight from the US. LOL

1531.5.2007 13:52

it's great to see after 8 years that copy protection is no good in any form as it is always us joe public that end up paying inflated prices for there useless crap, remove it all and charge us less .
as most of us just want to back up our dvd's not do it for profit.

1631.5.2007 19:11
jameslf
Inactive

Originally posted by windsong:
Someone should introduce the Finnish to the 21st Century.
The people who need to be introduced to the 21st century are organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA.

1731.5.2007 20:59

*Gobb smacked * lmao @ ineffective
that's what most have been tell'n ya homes it's ineffective (the idiot suppliers of encryption software).

this is gunna be bloody interesting once the toss pots who make that junk get wind of this ruling anyone else starting to sense the panic from the encryptors,man i hope this means DVD Shrink & dvd decryptor are free to go ahead and be updated again,i only have one more thing to say "bend over tossers it's your turn" (the encryption suppliers) what goes around comes around

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 May 2007 @ 21:00

1831.5.2007 21:31

great news, about time.

191.6.2007 12:16

now they will try to get on board to sell their own burning programs to us lol they could not stop the vcr tapes and the cassettes they will only have to come up with a different format like Blue Ray, ha.

204.6.2007 15:46
gus738
Inactive

not only this is good news and brings afterdawn with new possiblies but if dvd companys would stop putting css i wonder how much space and or more stuff they can play with such as less conpression to dvds or higher quality? now i know everyone says now blue ray/hd dvd
turn but this is another thing they still think they can prevent us from hacking it. while some of it maybe true and we think they shoudnt be protected this would cause a fiasco if people were to copy and sell since theirs no copy protection, i still think that their should be a protection HOWEVER to a certain extent say if dvd requires a internet connection and we get rights for that specific movie and lets us back it up, or for those who would struggle enough to know how to back it up for those 2 reasons i think that how low the security should be build up. NOT like sony across or x protect that as soon as you put your dvd on your dvd player it starts to skip and damge your dvds my god that is so F@$ UP that i 100% disagree and thats why i make my backups because not only i save my original but i wont damge my dvd player since no more copy protection is enabled

214.6.2007 17:37

Originally posted by scorpNZ:
*Gobb smacked * lmao @ ineffective
that's what most have been tell'n ya homes it's ineffective (the idiot suppliers of encryption software).

this is gunna be bloody interesting once the toss pots who make that junk get wind of this ruling anyone else starting to sense the panic from the encryptors,man i hope this means DVD Shrink & dvd decryptor are free to go ahead and be updated again,i only have one more thing to say "bend over tossers it's your turn" (the encryption suppliers) what goes around comes around
We don't need any ruling to be updating DVD decriptor. RipIt4Me.exe found at Freeware Files is a program that incorporates DVD Decryptor in it's guts. It increases Decryptor's abilities. As it's useless by itself, it gets away with being what it is, you have to assemble the two parts once you download them (DVD Decryptor & RipIt4Me) to your PC yourself.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jun 2007 @ 17:43

Crafty

2218.6.2007 16:55

So, if they stop including this on the discs, will the cost be lowered for the consumer?

2318.6.2007 18:17

@unfocused

Surely you jest. You're just not focused on the entertainment industry-the prices never go down. LOL

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