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The DeCSS litigation draws to a close

The DeCSS litigation draws to a close

The legal dispute over the DVD decoding program DeCSS, which has now been going on for years, will not end up in the US Supreme Court. The hacker magazine '2600', which offered this tool on its homepage, gives a further approach only a small chance of reaching a positive judgment.

It all started in August 2000. At that time, the editor of the 2600 magazine, Eric Corley, was banned by a New York court from distributing the DeCSS program on his website 2600.com or hyperlinks to the web - To offer sites that also offer this program. In November 2001, a New York appeals court upheld the verdict. This was set in motion by the US motion picture association of America (MPAA). He feared a drastic loss of profit due to pirated copies. The studios invoked the 'Digital Millennium Copyright Act' (DCMA) of 1998, which prohibits any 'circumvention of copy protection measures'. At that time, the New York judges upheld the film industry on the grounds that the DeCSS Code was not considered freedom of expression and was therefore not protected by the US Constitution. An end to a legal dispute is still pending. In November 2001, a Californian court ruled that the distribution of the DeCSS source code was one of the first articles of the US Constitution on freedom of expression and was therefore not a criminal offense. A judgment in this last case is still a long way off.