Court rules DeCSS posting on Web is protected speech

    Date05 Nov 2001
    CategoryCryptography
    3037
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    A California appeals court Friday issued a potentially far-reaching decision in a case involving the online publication of DVD-copying software. The Court of Appeal in the Sixth Appellate District of California reversed a lower court's decision to impose a temporary injunction . . . A California appeals court Friday issued a potentially far-reaching decision in a case involving the online publication of DVD-copying software. The Court of Appeal in the Sixth Appellate District of California reversed a lower court's decision to impose a temporary injunction against defendant Andrew Bunner's posting of the source code for DeCSS on his Web site.

    The court said the temporary injunction was a "prior restraint" violation of Bunner's First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

    DeCSS is a computer program designed to defeat an encryption-based copy protection system known as the Content Scramble System, or CSS, which is employed to encrypt and protect the copyrighted motion pictures contained on digital versatile discs, or DVDs.

    In January 2000, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge imposed a preliminary injunction that ordered Bunner and numerous other defendants to cease Internet publication of the source code for DeCSS.

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