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Is DeCSS legal in your country?

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 13 Aug 2002 3:20 User comments (6)

In recent weeks, since EUCD is getting closer and closer -- the final date is 22nd of December -- we've been studying other countries laws governing distribution and usage of "copy protection circumvention devices", such as DeCSS.
In U.S., it is illegal (according to New York's Appeals Court and Federal Court -- not by Supreme Court yet) to distribute DeCSS code or executables that allow circumventing DVD copy-protection known as CSS.

In EU it will be illegal from 22nd of December.

In Australia, it seems to be illegal as well -- the law was amended in 2001 to say this:


Importation, manufacture etc. of circumvention device and provision etc. of circumvention service

(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), this section applies if:

(a) a work or other subject-matter is protected by a technological protection measure; and
(b) a person does any of the following acts without the permission of the owner or exclusive licensee of the copyright in the work or other subject-matter:
(i) makes a circumvention device capable of circumventing, or facilitating the circumvention of, the technological protection measure;
(ii) sells, lets for hire, or by way of trade offers or exposes for sale or hire or otherwise promotes, advertises or markets, such a circumvention device;
(iii) distributes such a circumvention device for the purpose of trade, or for any other purpose that will affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright;
(iv) exhibits such a circumvention device in public by way of trade;
(v) imports such a circumvention device into Australia for the purpose of:


Full text of Australian law can be read from here.

Can anyone provide some accurate information from other countries to us? Non-EU European countries (like Norway)? Canada? Far East? South America? Africa?

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6 user comments

113.8.2002 3:36

As an addition, New Zealand has some laws against DeCSS & co, but nothing specific. They're currently implementing changes to the copyright law and in July, 2002 completed a questionnaire among user groups and copyright owners trying to determine what should be done with the current copyright legislation. The summary of these negotiations can be found from here:

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

213.8.2002 3:49

And to continue my saga to determine each country's legal point of view on this issue; in Canada it is still perfectly legal to distribute "copy-protection circumvention devices", but that is about to change. Canada will most likely introduce a bill to amend the copyright law by end of this year, which would -- in most likely scenario -- render those "devices and tools" illegal in Canada as well. More about Canadian process to "modernize" their copyright laws can be found from here:

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

313.8.2002 4:49

Malaysia: Illegal as well:

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

413.8.2002 9:30

Is there anywhere to dowmload DeCSS

513.8.2002 15:04

Thanks for the info,MSVCRT.DLL missing from DeCSS is there an answer for this

613.8.2002 15:24

Very basic Microsoft file (Visual C++ runtime library, if I'm not totally incorrect), you should be able to google it.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

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