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[dvd-discuss] Jon Johansen on trial again over DeCSS
- To: dvd-discuss(at)eon.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] Jon Johansen on trial again over DeCSS
- From: Seth Finkelstein <sethf(at)sethf.com>
- Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 19:01:22 -0500
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DVD Jon retrial begins today
By John Leyden
Posted: 02/12/2003 at 13:27 GMT 2 December 2003 Updated: 15:26 GMT
The retrial of DVD Jon Johansen is set to begin in Oslo today. The
hearing is taking place, despite the January acquittal of the
Norwegian 20 year-old by a lower court on charges relating to his
involvement in creating and distributing a utility for playing back
DVDs on his own computer.
An Oslo district court decided that Johansen was entitled to copy
legally-purchased DVDs using the DeCSS descrambling program, in
order to play back movies on his Linux PC. On this basis, Johansen,
was cleared of piracy and distribution of the DeCSS DVD
Norway's special division for white-collar crimes, Økokrim, acting
at the behest of Hollywood studios, appealed against this verdict.
Økokrim is appealing against the "application of the law and the
presentation of evidence" during the original trial. An appeal
hearing has been expected since the end of the original trial.
Johansen's legal team is confident of once again winning the
case. The retrial is scheduled to last eight days.
"The facts in the case are still the same. Økokrim will present
more witnesses than in the first trial and then we will do the
same," Johansen's counsel Halvor Manshaus of Schjødt AS told
The case began five years ago when Johansen, then aged 15, and two
others, from Germany and rom the Netherlands, helped develop DeCSS
to bypass the Content Scrambling System on DVD films that prevented
their playback on PCs running Linux.
The MPAA concluded the tool could be used to facilitate piracy by
defeating "security" safeguards on DVDs. It filed a complaint
against Johansen with Norway's Economic Crime Unit.
A raid on Johansen's home three year ago, led to charges by the
Norwegian Economic Crime Unit for obscure offences against
Norwegian Criminal Code 145(2) which carry a sentence of up to two
years in jail.
Last week, Johansen was back in the news when he posted source code
to a program designed to help users unlock music downloaded using
Apple's iTunes service. ®
Seth Finkelstein Consulting Programmer firstname.lastname@example.org http://sethf.com
DMCA win! http://sethf.com/pipermail/infothought/2003-October/000002.html
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/