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[dvd-discuss] Jon Johansen on trial again over DeCSS


   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
   code-breaking program.

   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
   Norwegian reporters.

   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  sethf@sethf.com  http://sethf.com
DMCA win! http://sethf.com/pipermail/infothought/2003-October/000002.html
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/