DeCSS' DVD descrambler ruled legal

    Date01 Nov 2001
    CategoryCryptography
    4934
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The Copy Control Association (CCA), which was granted a preliminary injunction against Andrew Bunner and other Webmasters, was handed its head in a California appellate court Thursday. The trial court had granted the injunction against publishing Jon Johansen's DeCSS DVD descrambler, but Brunner appealed on First Amendment free-speech grounds.. . . The Copy Control Association (CCA), which was granted a preliminary injunction against Andrew Bunner and other Webmasters, was handed its head in a California appellate court Thursday. The trial court had granted the injunction against publishing Jon Johansen's DeCSS DVD descrambler, but Brunner appealed on First Amendment free-speech grounds.

    The CCA scoffed at the notion, claiming that the source code has a mere practical function and no expressive content.

    The court saw it differently:

    "Like the CSS decryption software, DeCSS is a writing composed of computer source code which describes an alternative method of decrypting CSS-encrypted DVDs. Regardless of who authored the program, DeCSS is a written expression of the author's ideas and information about decryption of DVDs without CSS. If the source code were compiled to create object code, we would agree that the resulting composition of zeroes and ones would not convey ideas.

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