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Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
Links Home : IP Controversies : DeCSS

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Reverse engineering the DVD Content scrambling system (CSS) by Linux programmers, and then disseminating the code may violate the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA.

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· Jon Johansen Case (4/4)

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-REC 2600 Drops DeCSS Appeal
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Jul 2002]

2600.com; Press Release; July 3, 2002

The DeCSS case may have focused on us but it was about so much more. That's why we had to look at the bigger picture when making this decision. The MPAA and their cronies went out of their way to choose a defendant (us) that the court system would be prejudiced against. That's the one part of the case they got right. But what they didn't count on was the massive amount of support that came our way from all kinds of communities - support that continues to this day. In a way, the MPAA has brought a lot of us together. And that has made us stronger as a group.

While it's tempting to think of this as a defeat, we must look at the good that has come out of it. People the world over know all about the DMCA and are committed to overturning it. The amount of education that has occurred in the last two and a half years is simply phenomenal. There are many other combatants now in the fight and we have never been more convinced that we will ultimately prevail.

Slashdot has an extensive article, with lots of links, and discussion: 2600 Drops DeCSS Appeal
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-REC 2600's DMCA Challenge Blocked
[14 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 17th May 2002]

Wired.com; Declan McCullagh; May 17, 2002. Yikes! The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals essentially decided not to review the appeal. So now it's whether to apply for certiorari before the Supreme Court. Slashdot discussion: 2600 Appeal Rejected
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-REC DeCSS ban upheld by court
[9 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 29th Nov 2001]

ZDNet News; Evan Hansen; November 29, 2001. "A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld an order that prohibits publishing or linking to DVD-cracking code--a decision with sweeping significance for free-speech rights and copyright protection on the Internet." The Talkbacks are worth a read, too.
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-REC DeCSS History
[10 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 9.00] [Added: 12th Aug 2001]

Lemuria.org; Tom Vogt; undated. Text of a speech given to reprise the current state of affairs in DeCSS - his site also gives a good compedium of DeCSS information. There is a discussion of the international agreements leading to the DMCA, and a discussion of the copyright implications, especially in the areas of control and fair use - and a discussion of the central role John Hoy seems to play in the activities. A link to the obligatory Slashdot discussion
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-REC Reverse Engineering Under Siege
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jul 2002]

Berkeley.edu; Paula Samuelson; forthcoming, 2002.

Reverse engineering has always been a lawful way to acquire trade secrets embodied in mass-marketed products. This longstanding principle on which software engineers as well as engineers in other fields so frequently rely could be significantly undermined depending on what happens in a case now pending before the California Supreme Court. The precedent set in this case could, in turn, influence courts in other jurisdictions. A key issue in the case one that legal scholars and intellectual property lawyers have debated for many years is whether an anti-reverse engineering clause in a mass-market license should be enforceable.

The California case, DVD CCA v. Bunner, presents this issue squarely, although the litigants have thus far primarily focused on whether Bunner had a free speech right (or not) to post a computer program on the Internet that developed, in part, with aid of information derived from reverse engineering allegedly in violation of such a mass-market license. This column will explain why the California court should reaffirm the longstanding rule that reverse engineering is a lawful way to acquire trade secrets and should reject the premise that breach of a mass market license forbidding reverse engineering is an improper means to obtain a trade secret. The litigants emphasis on free speech issues has obscured the considerable weaknesses in the trade secret theory in this case.

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-REC The Dubious Logic of Prohibiting Journalists from Posting or Even Linking to Code That Circumvents..
[13 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 9.00] [Added: 13th Dec 2001]

Findlaw's Writ; Julie Hilden; December 13, 2001. Fuell title: "The Dubious Logic of Prohibiting Journalists From Posting or Even Linking to Code that Circumvents Copyrigh Protection Measures." A discussion of the thinking behind the 2600/Corliss/DeCSS decisions. Hilden argues that the DeCSS injunction is far more troubling, as an infringement on free speech and fair use, than either the Napster or Sklyarov prosecutions.
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-REC The Universal City Studios V. Reimerdes Case
[14 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 8.00] [Added: 1st Jan 2002]

Findlaw's Writ; Marci Hamilton; December 20, 2001. Full title: The Universal City Studios V. Reimerdes Case: The DMCA, Decryption, and Building Fences In Cyberspace. And opinion piece - one that contrasts with Lessig's. In this case, the argument that fair use is not constitutionally protected, but exclusive property right to intellectual property is - meaning that there also is no constitutional protection of the public domain, either. A challenging opinion, one that I personally believe is wrong, but is representative of a perspective that is becoming increasingly prevalent.
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-REC Touretzky's DeCSS WWW Site
[12 hits, 2 votes, Average Rating 8.00] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

Everything you wanted to know about how to promulgate the DeCSS code, wrapped up in a message about free speech and the extent to which code is speech.
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-'DeCSS' DVD descrambler ruled legal
[9 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 2nd Nov 2001]

The Register; Thomas C. Greene; November 1, 2001
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-2600 Responds to Appellate Court
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th May 2001]

Slashdot; May 30, 2001. Links to responses to the appellate court from 2600 and the MPAA
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-A Constitutional Right to Decode?
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 31st May 2001]

Wired.com; Declan McCullagh; May 31, 2001. A review of the appellate court activities in the MPAA vs. 2600 magazine case
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-Border controls crumble in DVD land
[14 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 19th Aug 2002]

BBC.com; Paul Rubens; August 19, 2002. Slashdot discussion: DVD Region Encoding on Verge of Collapse?

Hollywood fixed the DVD market so films could only be played in the region they were purchased. But viewers got round it with "cheat codes" and now the system is on the verge of collapse.

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-Court Enters Entertainment Area
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Feb 2002]

New York Times; Associated Press; February 20, 2002. The California Supreme court lifts the injunction against Andrew Bunner, whose WWW site posted the DeCSS code, and agreed to hear the case on the matter. This is not a DMCA case; rather, he is being sued under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, so the burdens of proof and the relative merit given to things like free speech are different.
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-Court's DVD ruling hailed as free-speech victory
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 2nd Nov 2001]

SFGate Tech; Benny Evangelista; November 2, 2001
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-Court: DVD-cracking code is free speech
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Nov 2001]

ZDNEt News; John Borland; November 1, 2001. "A California court has dealt a potentially serious setback to the movie industry's attempt to rid the online world of software that can help break through copy protections on DVDs." A usual ZDNet screw-up - the CSS does nothing to stop copy protection; rather, it just makes it hard to see a US-sourced DVD on a European (for example) coded DVD player.
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-DeCSS arguments invoke free speech
[8 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 31st May 2001]

The Register; Thomas C. Greene; May 31, 2001.
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-DeCSS Filings Index
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 31st May 2001]

From the Berkman Center WWW site
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-DeCSS Injunction Reversed in CA Case
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Nov 2001]

Slashdot.org; November 1, 2001. Rulings, links, commentary. A key point is the indication that the ruling is based on the notion of code as (protected) speech, which may have longer term implications for the DMCA
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-Dishing Up Scrambled Signals: Free Speech vs IP Rights in Tussle Over Code That Protects DVDs ...
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Feb 2002]

ABA Journal; Greg Henderson; February 7, 2002. Full title: "Dishing Up Scrambled Signals: Free Speech vs. IP Rights in Tussle Over Code That Protects DVDs From Hackers" - a good summary of the elements.
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-DVD CCA Panic
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Aug 2001]

Afterdawn.com; "Ketola"; January 26, 2000. A brief discussion of the fact that the DeCSS code was written into the then-open court record, the so-called "Hoy Exhibit B" - thus, making the code public! John J. Hoy is an officer of the DVD/CSS organizations
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-DVD Copyright Case Grinds Through Courts
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Jan 2002]

New York Times; Amy Harmon; January 21, 2002. Changing of the guard; new lawyers in the 2600/DeCSS case - the EFF running out of money for the defense.
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-DVD descrambler encoded in 'illegal' prime number
[11 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 8.00] [Added: 11th Sep 2001]

The Register; Thomas C. Greene; March 13, 2001 - with links to the explanation
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-DVD hack poster vows to keep fighting
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Feb 2002]

ZDNet News; Reuters; January 30, 2002. Eric Corley vows to keep fighting.
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-DVD Lawyers Make Secret Public
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Aug 2001]

Wired.com; Declan McCullagh; January 26, 2000
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-EFF Responds In California DVD Cracking Case
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th May 2002]

NewsBytes.com; Michael Bartlett; May 22, 2002. "The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the First Amendment Project today asked the California Supreme Court to uphold a lower court's decision to permit publication of the source code for DeCSS technology, which circumvents digital copy protection systems." Slashdot discussion: DeCSS' Continuing Saga
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-Final Judgment, DeCSS case
[12 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 7.00] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

Case: Universal City Studios, et al. v. Reimerdes, et al., 00 Civ 0277 (LAK). August 17, 2000.
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-Judges ask new questions in DVD-copying case
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 15th May 2001]

From USA Today; May 14, 2001; Steven Bonisteel. A discussion of the 2600 v MPAA DeCSS appeal, particularly going into some of the legal arguments and their effects upon the judges' request for clarification of several questions on the nature of free speech before ruling.
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-Ogle Does CSS and DVD Menus
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd Jun 2001]

Slashdot; June 22, 2001. Discussion of new DVD player software developed for Linux using the DeCSS code - not in the US, of course. With links to sites and commentary from Slashdot (/.) community
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-Pavlovich Jurisdictional Challenge Denied
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 8th Aug 2001]

Slashdot; August 8, 2001. "The Sixth District Court of Appeals has denied Matt Pavlovich's challenge to being sued in California for the fact of posting DeCSS on an internet web site. ...The Court apparently believes that 'open source' is shorthand for 'pirate ring,' as evidenced by their description...." With links to the ruling and, of course, community commentrary.
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-Report from the 2600 Appeal Hearing
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

Slashdot; May 2, 2001. "Yesterday in a toast courtroom in lower Manhattan, Stanford Law dean Kathleen Sullivan faced off against lawyers for the world's biggest movie companies and a lawyer for the U.S. Justice department with oral arguments in the appeal of the 2600 case." A detailed description, followed by community commentary.
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-Rockets Fly Over DVD Encryption Case Jurisdiction
[9 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 6th Sep 2002]

Law.com; September 6, 2002

The California Supreme Court seemed skeptical Thursday of arguments that an Indiana college student was immune from California law for posting computer code on the Web that unscrambles DVD encryption technology.

At least three justices appeared to warm to arguments that Matthew Pavlovich -- a former Purdue University student and Web master -- knew code on his Web site divulged trade secrets and violated copyrights affecting the motion picture and high-tech industries in California.

The case -- Pavlovich v. Superior Court, County of Santa Clara, S100809 -- is being closely watched because of the continuing uncertainty about state jurisdiction over the Internet. The court is grappling with whether California's long-arm statute can be applied when the Web is the medium for possible infringement.

In Thursday's argument, Pavlovich's attorney Allonn Levy argued that the trade secrets and copyright holder, DVD Copy Control Association Inc., could not sue in California because his client passively posted information and did not have substantial contact with California or expressly aim to harm industry here.

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-Seven line prorgam beats DVD's crypto
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

The Register; Tony Smith; August 3, 200. A discussion of the MIT IAP course's product - a short perl script to 'deCSS' a DVD
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-Slashdot: MPAA vs. 2600 Transcript
[10 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

Slashdot; May 10, 2001. Transcript of the latest hearing, with links also to the supplemental questions.
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-Software Is Free Speech
[16 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 9th Dec 2001]

New York Times Magazine; Siva Vaidhyanathan; December 9, 2001. From The Year in Ideas; a discussion of DeCSS by a recent author on the subject of copyright and its changes
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-The DVD Rebellion
[14 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th Jun 2001]

Technology Review; Simson Garfinkel; July/Augst 2001. A discussion of the DeCSS controversy.
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-The MPAA's Brief In Response To The Questions
[12 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 31st May 2001]

At politechbot.com; with additional links
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-U.S.: DVD Decoder is Terrorware
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

here's a nice analogy - U.S.: DVD Decoder is Terrorware, from Wired;
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-Victory for DVD Code Cracking
[12 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 8.00] [Added: 1st Nov 2001]

Wired.com; Farhad Manjoo; November 1, 2001
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-Why 2600 Magazine Is Not Going All The Way To The Supreme Court With Its Digital Music Copyright Cha
[11 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 11th Jul 2002]

Findlaw's Writ; Laura Hodes; July 11, 2002. Stupid title - DMCA stands for something else. A history of the 2600 litigation, and the current strategy
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-World's first DeCSS executable prime number
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 11th Sep 2001]

The Register; Thomas C. Greene; September 11, 2001 - with links to the explanation
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