DeCSS Trial To Start This Week

from the what-are-the-chances-for-a-reasonable-outcome? dept

I’m not much of a betting man, but if I were, I don’t think I’d put my money on Jon Lech Johansen this week. It’s unfortunate, but if past lawsuits are any indications, he’s not going to come out on top when he goes to trial this week for writing and distributing the DeCSS code that is used to let Linux machines watch DVDs. The problem, of course, is that DeCSS breaks the encryption system on DVDs, meaning that people could not only watch the DVDs, but they could also make copies (or watch DVDs from other regions). Of course, there was a completely practical use for the code (to watch DVDs on Linux boxes) but that’s a concept that too many people are having difficulty understanding. Johansen didn’t copy any movies illegally. He just wrote some perfectly practical software that some people could use to copy movies – and now he’s going to get in trouble for it.

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