Informal DeCSS History Timeline
SEPTEMBER 1999 - CALM BEFORE THE STORM
09/22/1999 - "dmh" announces "Drink or Die Speed Ripper" (Dod) on livid-dev. First reference
to defeated CSS.
09/23/1999 - Jon Johansen's first recorded post to livid-dev mailing list.
Johansen announces on livid-dev that a friend of his is working on a program
that does the same thing as "Dod". He also suggests that Dod will not release
source and that his friend may. First indirect reference to DeCSS. Those who
have seen Jon's site indicate that it promises Win NT and Linux versions soon.
Dod Speed Ripper 1.0 released and announced.
OCTOBER 1999 - CSS IS CRACKED
10/01/1999 - Derek Fawcus announces on livid-dev that he has received source code claiming
to be CSS decryption algorithms.
10/02/1999 - Derek Fawcus announces on livid-dev mailing list that he has confirmed that
the alleged CSS decryption code actually decrypts CSS.
Fawcus posts first rough description of "DeCSS" algorithm to livid-dev, and
confirms that the key used by the early algorithm is the same key used by the
Dod Speed Ripper program.
10/06/1999 - Jon Johansen announces the release of DeCSS 1.1b on livid-dev mailing list.
Source code for DeCSS accidentally posted to Johansen's site.
Fawcus notices that LiViD's "css-auth" source code was appropriated for DeCSS,
with function names changes and all credits removed. This situation would later
lead to discussions between Fawcus and MORE, and finally a "special license" to
use the code outside of the GPL.
10/08/1999 - Johansen posts to livid-dev in response to attacks on the motives of MORE.
Johansen claims that the css-auth code was given to MORE under a "special license".
10/11/1999 - Derek Fawcus clears the air concerning Johansen, MORE, DeCSS and "special licenses".
Important post for clarifying events; Derek essentially backs up everything Jon is
saying. Also, first mention of someone writing a functional specification of the
algorithm for purposes of clean-room implementation.
10/22/1999 - Fawcus and several others post source code for CSS decryption to livid-dev. These
10/26/1999 messages have since been purged from livid-dev archives.
10/27/1999 - Frank Stevenson posts for the first time on livid-dev, announcing that the CSS
algorithm is flawed and vulnerable to brute force attack. He posts code for defeating
CSS without a key.
10/28/1999 - Derek Fawcus posts new code and instructions on livid-dev for using the CSS-defeat
code to play DVD's using the LiViD architecture. For the first time, CSS DVD playback
is publicly possible under the Linux Operating System.
Frank Stevenson releases a new version of his Player Key Cracker.
10/30/1999 - Slashdot carries story on CSS break: "Watching DVDs in Linux HOWTO".
NOVEMBER 1999 - THE NEWS BREAKS
11/01/1999 - A "DVD on Linux HOWTO" is posted on LiViD's website at
"Wired" carries news story: "DVD Piracy: It can be done". Jon Johansen announces the
article on livid-dev mailing list.
11/04/1999 - EMedia carries article by Dana Parker, "Cease and DeCSS: DVD's Encryption Code Cracked".
Article noticed and mentioned in livid-dev:
11/05/1999 - Derek Fawcus takes his website down; his ISP has gotten complaints that he is infringing
copyright. Approximate start of DeCSS mirroring campaign.
11/07/1999 - Vidyut Luther posts "The Truth About the DVD Hack" - allegedly M.O.R.E.'s account of the
cracking of CSS - to livid-dev.
11/08/1999 - Frank Stevenson releases his "Cryptographic Analysis of Content Scrambling System" paper.
11/09/1999 - Derek Fawcus announces his disowning of any work related to CSS.
Jon Johansen announces on livid-dev that he has been contacted by attorneys from the
firm of Simonsen & Musaus, and told that if he removed DeCSS from his site and all
links to it then no other legal action would be taken.
11/10/1999 - Johansen states on livid-dev that the attorney for the MPAA will decide whether to
file charges on Friday, November 12, 1999.
11/22/1999 - Robin Gross makes an appearance on livid-dev to offer her assistance on the DeCSS
court cases, on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
11/23/1999 - Derek Fawcus has consulted with attorneys and has gotten a grasp of his situation.
He reiterates that he will have nothing to do with the CSS work, and outlines
his legal position and where he stands in relation to LiViD.
DECEMBER 1999 - THE LAWSUITS
12/02/1999 - It is announced that DVD Audio will be delayed while industry attempts to build a
12/15/1999 - Pioneer announces that rather than delay rollout of DVD Audio, they will release it
without CSS encryption and install it as a firmware upgrade at a later time.
12/27/1999 - DVD Copy Control Association (CCA) applies for temporary restraining order against the
dissemination of all CSS-related materials in Santa Clara, California. The TRO
request lists 72 defendents, only 21 of which are listed by name; the rest are simply
URL's of web pages. The request reserves the right to list up to 500 names eventually
as the names are discovered.
12/28/1999 - John Gilmore announces EFF's involvement in Santa Clara hearing.
12/29/1999 - Protest at Santa Clara court during TRO hearings.
TRO request turned down.
JANUARY 2000 - THE INJUNCTIONS AND THE REACTION
01/01/2000 - Western civilization collapses; billions resort to cannibalism to survive.
01/09/2000 - Letter from Eric Raymond regarding DeCSS situation appears on www.opendvd.org.
01/14/2000 - The Global Internet Liberty Campaign and it's more than 50 members of civil liberty groups
worldwide posts a declaration named "In Defense of Free Speech on the Internet" that states
among other things, that "DVD-CCA's lawsuit is in direct conflict with United Nations human
rights accords and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.".
01/17/2000 - MPAA files suit in NY
01/18/2000 - Back in California court again.
01/20/2000 - Preliminary injunction granted in DVD CCA case in California.
"Great International DVD Source Code Distribution Contest" concludes and announces
01/21/2000 - DMCA hearing in New York under Judge Kaplan. Preliminary injunction granted.
01/24/2000 - Jon Johansen is questioned by Norwegian authorities.
FEBRUARY 2000 - THE AFTERMATH
02/02/2000 - Judge Kaplan issues his Memorandum Opinion regarding the New York injunction hearing.
02/13/2000 - OpenLaw DVD forum is founded to discuss DeCSS-related legal strategies in an
"open source" framework; first message posted to mailing list.
MARCH 2000 - BUILDING A CASE
03/03/2000 - Robin Gross submits a list of questions to OpenLaw DVD forum.