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RE: [dvd-discuss] Matt Pavlovich WINS in Cal. Supreme Court

On Tue, 26 Nov 2002, Richard Hartman wrote:

> Whether he can be compelled or not is moot, since (if I read
> that ruling correctly) he already _has_ said as much.  Once
> you have spoken, you no longer have that 5th amendment protection,
> right?
> [blockquote]
> At the time LiVid posted DeCSS, Pavlovich knew that DeCSS "was derived from CSS algorithms" and that reverse engineering these algorithms was probably illegal.
> [/blockquote]
> Now, as far as I am concerned reverse engineering is
> _not_ probably illegal, but I am speaking about Pavlovich's
> actions under the circumstances as he believed them to be.
> He believed it to be illegal, but went ahead anyway.  This
> shows intent.

Intent to do what?  If I am under the mistaken impression that as a
customer, it is illegal for me to remove my matteress tag - but I go ahead
and do it anyway, what specific law have I shown intent to violate?

Obvious answer:  One that doesn't exist.  (or more accurately, doesn't
apply to me).

You could say that the individual had little respect for their
understanding of the law, or maybe even a tendency towards lawlessness.
These may be reflect upon a persons character, but they are not crimes.

If the revese engineering was legal (which all known evidence suggests),
what Pavlovich believed he was doing has no bearing on the matter.

It's the corralary to the old addage:  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Being of the mistaken impression that you are violating a law does not
make you any less innocent.   Either a crime has been commited or it
hasn't.  (IMHO)

> ... of course, at that point the defense should characterize
> this as a form of protest, which might be protection . . .
> Nonetheless, the situation -- as he himself believed it
> to be -- was one where he was intentionally furthering
> an illegal act. (Which was really all I was saying ...)

But if he was wrong about the situation, how would his intent matter?

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