Many websites began providing highly detailed information about the DMCA, DeCSS, and copyright history, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to defending digital rights, launched a "Free Jon Johansen" campaign.
On October 6, 1999, a 16-year-old Norwegian named Jon Johansen used an online mailing list to release a short, simple software program called DeCSS. Written by Johansen and two anonymous developers, DeCSS unlocked a piece of encryption that scrambles the content of a DVD when someone tries to play it on an unauthorized machine.
GARBUS: Do you know whether there are DeCSS sites overseas?
GARBUS: Do you know if the MPAA has tried to stop these DeCSS sites that are overseas?
Last month, the Federal Court of Appeals in New York state upheld a lower court ruling that banned a Web site from posting DeCSS
, a program that strips the encryption codes from DVDs so they maybe copied.
At the end of the trial, the judge indicated that, regardless of what the law says, it may be difficult to fashion an injunction that effectively bans DeCSS
without violating free-speech guarantees.
When the DVD-hacking program DeCSS
hit the Internet last year, Corley reported the story and included a copy of the program on his Web site, 2600.com.
The court then concluded that the essential purpose of DeCSS
was like a combination that can open a safe: its purpose is to circumvent the DVD copyright protection scheme.
Jon Lech Johansen, 19, faces a new trial next week after prosecutors appealed his acquittal for violating Norway's data break-in laws with his DeCSS
He was charged with creating, in 1999, a software program called DeCSS
, which enables users to unlock security codes designed to prevent copying of DVD videodiscs.
Earlier this week we told how a US court ruled in favour of Hollywood studios against a Texan man who distributed the DeCSS
program from his website.
The financial crimes division of the Norwegian police has decided not to appeal a Norwegian court's decision to free Jon Lech Johansen, the developer of the DeCSS