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Re: [dvd-discuss] Pavlovich dvd case heading to SCOTUS

Supreme Court ends stay on DVD ruling

Paul Roberts, IDG News Service\Boston Bureau
January 03, 2003, 14:50

The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted a temporary stay in a case involving a 
DVD industry group's efforts to sue a Texas man for violating a California 
state law governing trade secrets.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lifted the stay Friday, ending the DVD Copy 
Control Association's (DVD CCA's) effort to keep a California Supreme Court 
ruling from taking effect. [See "Supreme Court stays DVD ruling," Jan 2.]

The DVD CCA had argued that Texas resident Matthew Pavlovich violated 
California's law governing trade secrets by posting a copy of the DeCSS 
(De-Content Scramble System) software on a Web site that he maintained as a 
student at Purdue University in Indiana.

Pavlovich's action was intended to harm the computer hardware industry 
involved in producing CSS-encrypted DVD players, an industry that Pavlovich 
knew was centered in California, the DVD CCA contended.

In November, however, the California Supreme Court ruled that Pavlovich 
could not be sued in California court, saying that "the mere posting of 
information on a passive Internet Web site, which is accessible from 
anywhere but is directed at no particular audience, cannot be an action 
targeted at a particular (state)."

The DVD CCA filed an application for a stay on the California ruling on 
Dec. 26. The stay was granted by O'Connor pending a response from 
Pavlovich's attorney. That response was due Thursday.

Legal experts familiar with the case saw the application for a stay as an 
effort to keep Pavlovich from posting the DeCSS software on his Web site.

Some legal experts predicted that O'Connor would continue the stay order 
while the U.S. Supreme Court waited for the DVD CCA to file a petition 
asking the Supreme Court to review the California Court's decision.

On Friday, however, O'Connor issued an order saying that she had reviewed 
the response from Pavlovich's attorneys and was vacating her earlier stay, 
essentially denying the DVD CCA further relief from the California Court's 
ruling, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Supreme Court.


James S. Tyre                               mailto:jstyre@jstyre.com
Law Offices of James S. Tyre          310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512               Culver City, CA 90230-4969
Co-founder, The Censorware Project             http://censorware.net