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Wednesday, 24 December 2003

DeCSS LEGAL SAYS NORWEGIAN COURT

Reuters reports that an Oslo appeal court has found that Jon Johansen, the youthful Norwegian writer of the DeCSS computer program that unlocks the anti-copying protection on DVDs, has not broken any laws. Johansen, who claimed that his code was to enable Linux-users to play DVDs, also disseminated it over the internet. Additionally, the court found that there was no copyright infringement where consumers made back up copies of DVDs (and by analogy CDs) that they owned in case the originals were scratched for example. The claimant now has two weeks to appeal to the Norwegian Supreme Court.

The IPKat welcomes the decision in as far as it opens the way for DeCSS to be used to decode technological protection measures where the reason for wanted to copy the DVD is legitimate e.g. the creation of back-up copies of DVDs. However, he does not condone the use of DeCSS by those who just want to copy DVDs to avoid paying for the copyright work themselves.

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