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[dvd-discuss] DVD Jon wins appeal
- To: dvd-discuss(at)eon.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] DVD Jon wins appeal
- From: "James S. Tyre" <jstyre(at)jstyre.com>
- Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 08:33:42 -0800
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)eon.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)eon.law.harvard.edu
Jon, if you're still reading this list, congratulations!
DVD-Jon wins new legal victory
Norway's most famous computer whiz got an early Christmas present on
Monday. An appeals court in Oslo upheld Jon Lech Johansen's earlier
acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations.
A verdict in the case, which has caught international attention, wasn't
expected until early January. But the appeals court (Borgarting
lagmannsrett) apparently didn't see any need to wait with its decision.
A panel of judges Monday cast aside the appeal that prosecutors had filed
to a lower court decision handed down in January. That means the lower
court's decision will stand, at least until another eventual appeal takes
the case to Norway's supreme court.
The lower court had ruled that Johansen, now 20, did nothing illegal when
he helped crack DVD copy protection codes in 1999 and then publicized how
he did it. The prosecution had sought a suspended jail term, confiscation
of his computer equipment and a fine of NOK 20,000 (less than USD 3,000).
Prosecutors had put Johansen back on trial earlier this month for his role
in creating a software solution that removes copy protection from DVD
films. He was dubbed "DVD-Jon" after he helped crack the copy protection
code as a teenager and then published it on the Internet.
He became an instant hero to those who finally could watch DVD films on
their computers instead of being forced to buy expensive DVD players, but
he incurred the fury of some of the biggest players in the entertainment
industry. It all turned into a classic "David and Goliath" situation, with
Johansen ultimately facing prosecution by Norway's white-collar crime unit
In January, Johansen won. An Oslo court cleared him of all charges that his
role in creating the so-called "DeCSS" program was a violation of copyright
and an invitation to wide-scale piracy.
Prosecutors appealed the verdict, only to be knocked down once again by the
The new ruling was made by a panel of three professional judges backed up
by four lay judges, two of whom had technical expertise relevant to the case.
Aftenposten English Web Desk
James S. Tyre mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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