FC: DVD hackers -- and web publishers -- hit with lawsuit

From Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Date Tue, 28 Dec 1999 14:28:18 -0500

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I am on vacation this week -- in part in NYC, though I shall escape the
Times Square rush by midday Thursday -- so I'm not writing about this case.
But it is one of the most important ones to come along in a while.

It raises the very interesting question of what kind of information a
reporter or web publisher can legally distribute. The DVD trade association
plaintiffs even say *linking* to supposedly reverse-engineered info should
be illegal: "Defendants knew or should have known when they posted or
'linked' to the DeCSS program that they were misusing confidential,
proprietary nformation..."

The DVD association and motion picture industry says their lawsuit is
necessary for their business to succeed: "the wholesale copying and
distribution of copyrighted motion pictures destroys the motion picture
industry's ability to protect its intellectual property and destroys the
market for the computer and consumer electronics industries?' DVD-based

Journalists should pay attention. In a previous article on the controversy
(http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,32449,00.html), I linked to one
of the mirror sites at issue. deja.com was sued in this case for linking
*automatically* to the site -- perhaps news organizations will be sued for
linking *intentionally* to the same place.

Excellent collection of links:

Text of complaint:

Wired article from this morning:

Slashdot thread:

Some sites that were listed as defendants:


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