Johansen Takes The Stand In DeCSS Trial

from the no-choice dept

Jon Johansen took the stand in the DeCSS trial, where he pointed out that he only wrote the program so he could view movies he already owned on his Linux box. Apparently, the prosecutor responded to his claims by saying that DeCSS “only works in Windows”. I would imagine that’s easy enough to prove wrong. Why is it so difficult to understand that creating tools that can be used to break the law is different than breaking the law itself?

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Johansen Takes The Stand In DeCSS Trial”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
KB says:

No Subject Given

In some states it is illegal to own a lock pick set unless you are a licensed locksmith or law enforcement officer. In NYC it is illegal to own a gun without a permit. In CA it is illegal to own a billyclub unless you are a law enforcement officer, etc, etc.

There are plenty of law making it illegal to own a tool that *could be* used in the commission of a crime. This is nothing new.

Steve says:

Re: ...Illegal to own a computer

That’s the logical conclusion to your line of reasoning. PC’s are so useful right now because of the huge variety of things they can be used for. But among the many uses are illegal things–hacking of any kind. So since I can write a program on my computer to hack into a website, my computer should be illegal except for “licensed users?”

There is a simple distinction that needs to be drawn. A tool whose intended/primary use is for perfectly legal things shound not be able to be outlawed or used only for “licensed” uses just because it can possibly be used for illegal means. It’s really not that hard to say, “what did you create this for?” or “what percentage of users use it for legal vs. illegal means. Because if you start applying the lock pick/gun analogies, not only will computers require licenses, pretty much every tool–hammers, screw drivers, hacksaws, wire cutters…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...