AfterDawn: Tech news

FIRST VICTORY!: California Judge decides that posting DeCSS is legal

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 02 Nov 2001 0:40

In an extremely long case where major movie studios and their organizations, MPAA and DVD CCA, have been trying to prevent the distribution of tools that allow decrypting the CSS encryption scheme found from DVD movie discs, California appeals court has made a decision that favours sites and individuals who distribute DeCSS code over the web.
California case was filed in 1999 against hundreds of individuals that distributed the code on their websites and was aimed to prevent this from happening. Now California appeals court decided that distributing DeCSS should be legal based on free speech rigths.

"Although the social value of DeCSS may be questionable, it is nonetheless pure speech," the decision reads. "Our respect for the legislature and its enactment of the (trade secrets law) cannot displace our duty to safeguard the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment."

In New York there's a separate federal case against's owner, Eric Corley, who refused to remove links to DeCSS after MPAA's request. This case also been ongoing since 1999 -- first decision was that Corley violated the DMCA law, but there's still plenty of courtrooms to come in this case as well.

While the decision definately favours EFF and others who fight for free speech rights, it is far from being a final decision. It is 100% sure that MPAA will appeal and tries to bring the case to Supreme Court eventually.

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