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"DVD-Jon" Demands Compensation 450

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sure-seems-like-he-deserves-something dept.
orzetto writes "Jon Lech Johansen, known as DVD-Jon, and aquitted in a trial in Norway, after being accused of infringement for making a GUI for DeCSS, is now demanding that Norwegian Oekokrim pay for all the time and money he has lost to the trial, claiming 150,000 NOK (about 17,500 euros)."
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"DVD-Jon" Demands Compensation

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  • Rob (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
    The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all
    And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
    It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

    Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin
    I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
    I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
    There probably was a problem with your sendmail or somethin
    Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot
  • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Omega1045 (584264) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:22PM (#8100519)
    That is about $22,000. I would want my money back, too.
    • Re:FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:25PM (#8100580) Journal
      That is about $22,000. I would want my money back, too

      Is that really all it cost him to defend himself or is that just all he's asking for in return? Did he manage to get some lawyers to take the case pro-bono (or partially pro-bono) to get the publicity or are lawyers just cheaper in Norway?

      $22,000 is a nice chunk of change but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what this probably would have cost him in the United States....

      Anyone have any more info on this?

      • Re:FYI (Score:5, Informative)

        by dabadab (126782) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:31PM (#8100683)
        As this was a criminal case, he got a free defender from the Norvegian state.
        • Re:FYI (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shakrai (717556) *
          As this was a criminal case, he got a free defender from the Norvegian state.

          Are the free lawyers actually any good in Norway? Speaking as someone with experience in being charged with a crime I didn't commit, I had the choice of going with the public defender (who, to quote from a movie whose name I can't remember, "Will personally escort you to the electric chair") or coughing up the $150/hr to get a real lawyer I coughed up the money.

          Eight months and $12,000 later I was cleared of the charges. I'm ou

          • Re:FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bluekanoodle (672900) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:48PM (#8100912)
            "Are the free lawyers actually any good in Norway?" He got off, didn't he?
          • Re:FYI (Score:3, Informative)

            by EinarH (583836)
            As far as I know the free lawyers are decent. Of course there is always someone who should not have become lawyers but overall most of them are good.

            In criminal cases the state normally pays all the cost on behalf of the client. You can pick your own lawyer and usually you will get the lawyer you picked if the lawyer is available. Most of the folks charged with murder pick one of the "top guys". They normaly charge a bit more than what the state pays as a standard fee so you have to pay the extras by your

          • Re:FYI (Score:5, Informative)

            by dabadab (126782) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:02PM (#8101059)
            Well, the Norwegian system is different: basically all lawyers are "public defenders", so you can have a pretty well-known lawyer as your defender for free (as in paid indirectly by your taxes :-) )
          • Re:FYI (Score:5, Informative)

            by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:08PM (#8101133) Homepage Journal
            Yes, usually they are good. Norway doesn't have a system of public defenders employed by the government, but a system where lawyers are remunerated on an hourly basis (with some limits) and where most lawyers will accept cases as public defenders. There are occasionally cases where lawyers are unwilling to accept cases at the government rates, but it's rare.

            If you are uncomfortable with the lawyer allocated for your defense you are always legally entitled to choose your own lawyer, and in most such cases the lawyer you choose can then be paid by the government at the fixed hourly rate.

            This system also cover civil lawsuits if your salary and savings are below certain levels. In many cases you can get the government to cover your lawyers fees as a plaintiff in civil cases as well, provided the case meets certain criteria and your salary and savings are below the threshold.

            Personally, I once got a publicly allocated defender as I was being drafted (Norway has compulsory military service) and refused to accept their denial of my application to be exempted.

            The case never went to trial (I got it thrown out of court :)), but the lawyer I was allocated was actually one of the most prominent lawyers in Norway, with 30 years experience in similar cases. He took time to read all the documents, talked to me on the phone, had a very relaxed meeting with me in his office, not worrying about how much time we spent. I'm sure not everyone has as pleasant experience with their publicly allocated defenders as I had, but in general I think the system works fairly well.

            (ObDisclaimer: IANAL)

          • Re:FYI (Score:3, Informative)

            by JGski (537049)
            > Are the free lawyers actually any good in Norway?

            Well, in his case he faced Double Jeopardy (illegal in the US... at the moment, who knows with more Patriot Acts in the future) and still was cleared, twice. Either his public lawyer was pretty gosh darn good or the prosecution's case was spectactularly bad even with the laws that were on the books.

      • by Joey7F (307495)
        NOTHING, absolutely nothing, is cheaper in Norway :-P

        --Joey
      • Re:FYI (Score:2, Informative)

        by m0rphin3 (461197)
        Lawyers are much cheaper in Norway.

        Plus he got one appointed by the state, so they're footing the bill. You don't have to pay for your own defence.

        If it had been a "private" (IANAL) lawsuit, like his neighbor suing him for playing loud music or whatever, he's just a kid with a minimal income so Norwegian law would grant him a free defence.
        Not 'pro bono', the state would pay for his lawyer, so even poor people can get high-profile attorneys.

        What he's asking for is just some compensation for lost income, t
        • If it had been a "private" (IANAL) lawsuit, like his neighbor suing him for playing loud music or whatever, he's just a kid with a minimal income so Norwegian law would grant him a free defence

          So you are entitled to a free defense even in a civil lawsuit? That's pretty cool and interesting. I did not know that.

          I still question if I would have gone with the Public Defender if I was him. Perhaps they are actually worth something in Norway. Personally, if I'm on trial for my life (and if you are fighting

          • I'm not sure but I think that in Norway (just like in Sweden), the "public defenders" are actually private, professional attorneys appointed by the court to take cases, on a rotating basis. Thus the US concept of "fresh-out-of-law-school crappy lawyers" wouldn't really be a problem.
      • Re:FYI (Score:4, Informative)

        by IdleTime (561841) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:00PM (#8101033) Journal
        He could actually pick and choose laywers and no matter who he chooses, the state will pay an already agreed upon per hour fee for the lawyer.

        Norway has a pretty good system to ensure that you as a civilian can get a fair and decent trial despite your lack of money. I.e no big corp can push you over in the judical system. The law is trying to be fair in that area.
    • My theory is that he simply wants the money and wants it now. I'd much rather ask for $22k and have the other company settle immediately than the alternative. If he asks for $150 the court will say it didn't really cost him that much and lower the amount to $75k. Subtract the $50K of lawyer fees it would take him to SUE THEM for the money and he's left with $25k. It's in everyone's interest to ask for a more reasonable amount and just settle out of court.

      Jamon
    • That is about $22,000. I would want my money back, too.

      ...that Slashdot managed to list the sum in two different currencies, and neither was USD?

      Anyway, it's not lawyer fees, but mainly
      a) earnings loss
      b) court costs
      c) some very small compensation

      Compared to the US, there is hardly any compensation for having to go through a court case. Or hell, even being innocently jailed. Noone has ever gotten more than $1M even if they've done 21 years ( = "life" in Norway) and been acquitted later.

      Kjella
  • He deserves it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Albertosaurus (696135)
    They wasted enough of his time and money.
  • Microsoft (Score:5, Funny)

    by BenBenBen (249969) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:23PM (#8100532)
    Maybe they'll follow Seattle's example [theregister.co.uk] and pay him off with a free DVD and a masterclass on DVD authoring.

    I hope the okokrim sues the MPAA for getting them into his mess in the first place...
    • Re:Microsoft (Score:2, Interesting)

      by schatten (163083)
      If Jon wins this case, then that will give him the upper hand on getting more money from the MPAA at a later date. Going for small chunks of change, the ~$22K USD, in this case, would provide him with a stronger legal ground.

      Good luck Jon, you deserve the dollars for your wasted time!
    • "I hope the okokrim sues the MPAA for getting them into his mess in the first place..."

      You are smoking exactly what?
      MPAA could not get the Okokrim into this trouble as the MPAA has no authority over the Norwegian police. It was the Okokrim's decision to pursue this case - geez, it would be a major scandal if it turned out that some foreign organization has a say in what the police does.

      • Re:Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

        MPAA could not get the Okokrim into this trouble as the MPAA has no authority over the Norwegian police. It was the Okokrim's decision to pursue this case - geez, it would be a major scandal if it turned out that some foreign organization has a say in what the police does.

        Right, I'm sure this esteemed organization woke up one day and said "You know what is threatening our great nation? DVD decryption."

        Somehow I don't think so. I'm not claiming corruption, but I've a feeling someone gave them the idea th

  • by nubbie (454788) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:23PM (#8100547) Homepage
    ... DVD-Jon also requests a copy of LORD:ROTH special edition DVD! ;)
    • by cK-Gunslinger (443452) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:49PM (#8100931) Journal

      LORD:ROTH ??

      Lord of Real Dirigibles: Return of the Helium ?
      Lord of Research & Development: Return of the Hemoglobin ?
      Lord of Racing Day: Return of the Hemi ?
      Lord of Rubarb Dessert: Return of the Heartburn ?

      • I don't know where all you acronym gessing slashdot posters come from, but if you don't thing "Legend of the Red Dragon" when you see LORD, then you really need to catch up on your geek history.

        /me returns to daydreaming about a time when he could read the output of 'ls -l' without a pager.

  • Give it a shot.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dave1212 (652688) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:23PM (#8100553) Homepage
    Fair enough, the bills are quite expensive, does he get a piece of the DeCSS shirts on ThinkGeek? (only half joking)

    If nothing else, he might raise more public interest and get donations that way.
  • You win, don't pay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swoebser (148435) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:24PM (#8100556)
    I think it's common sense that if you're a defendant and found not guilty that you shouldn't have to pay. Frankly, I'm surprised something like this doesn't exist already. Perhaps if the plaintiff had to pay ALL court costs if he/she lost there would be fewer nonsensical lawsuits.

    IANAL, that's just my two cents.
    • by |<amikaze (155975) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:29PM (#8100635)
      It would also prevent the little guy from going up against a large corporation. When a large corporation has 20 lawyers working on a case, they can claim exhorbant amounts of money wasted on the court case, and make the guy who has been wronged pay for the whole thing.

      • by swoebser (148435)
        I don't think it would completely prevent your average joe from suing a large corporation. Remeber, you'd only have to pay if you didn't win the case. You would, however, have to be 100% sure you'd win or you'd be hosed. I'm guessing there aren't a lot of people out there who would be willing to take that kind of risk agaist a gaggle of high power lawers.
      • I believe while the original poster didn't mention it, he meant for criminal trials.
        • by |<amikaze (155975)
          In that case, the government is the prosecutor. This brings another awful argument to the table. This would encourage lawyers to charge absolutely rediculous amounts. If a person was guilty and admitted it, then they would go for the cheapest law firm, since they'd have to pay for it. However, if a person figured they could get out of the charges, they'd hire the most expensive lawyer possible and the government could be out of millions of dollars because of a small legal loophole.

          How would you feel kn
      • by Asic Eng (193332) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:30PM (#8101423)
        It would also prevent the little guy from going up against a large corporation.

        In some cases it would - then again the current system allows the big guy to sue the little guy until he gives up because he runs out of money. So both systems will fail some of the little guys at some point. To evaluate them you'd have to compare how they compare on average. I think the current US system looks very bad there - employing over half of the worlds lawyers just has to be a ridiculous amount of overhead.

      • I think there should always be different standards for individuals and corporations. For instance, if Bono saw you selling illegally produced copies of "Achtung Baby" and he called you names and took the CDs, and you took him to court for theft, I think a judge would throw the case out. At least, Judge Judy would ;) But if someone took the RIAA to court for the same thing, they (the RIAA) should get penalized to the full extent of the law.

        So if it's "Individual vs. Corp," then Ind. pays own fees if he los

    • There would also be a lot fewer people suing corporations and governments. Could YOU afford to pay the legal bills Microsoft will incur after you sue them?

    • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:30PM (#8100654) Journal
      I think it's common sense that if you're a defendant and found not guilty that you shouldn't have to pay. Frankly, I'm surprised something like this doesn't exist already. Perhaps if the plaintiff had to pay ALL court costs if he/she lost there would be fewer nonsensical lawsuits.

      That's a good idea until you think about the poor retired woman living on a fixed income who got screwed over by a large corporation (insert favorite evil corp here: Microsoft or SCO anyone?) and wants to get some justice. If she loses (and don't say you always win in Court if you are right -- most of the time it comes down to who has a better lawyer) she'd wind up getting stuck with the fees to pay for (insert evil corp here)'s legal dream team, would could be anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the dream team and the case.

      It might be an idea for criminal cases -- having the Government pay you if you are cleared of the charges, but then, do we really want our tax dollars going to pay the millions of dollars of legal fees racked up by the likes of OJ Simpson just because he was found not-guility?

      • by thayner (130464)
        Makes sense again if you say that the most you have to pay if you lose is the amount you spent on your own lawyers (and using what your lawyer would have charged for an hourly rate if you were paying on contingency). So the poor retired woman who was only able to spend five thousand on her case would only need to cough up another 5k even if the opposing lawyers cost a half million.
      • by Crashmarik (635988) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:32PM (#8101449)
        The little guy doesn't get justice the lawyers get a windfall.

        Don't kid yourself, Elderly couple sues walmart because an overstuffed shopping bag broke, psychic sues MRI center for causing loss of psychic abilities, crook sues home owner for injuring him during the course of a burglary. The lawyers win, everyone else gets screwed in ways too numerous to measure.

        There is a desperate need for tort reform. There is an even more desperate need to make certain lawyers do not wield total control of the legal process.
    • > Perhaps if the plaintiff had to pay ALL court costs if he/she
      > lost there would be fewer nonsensical lawsuits.

      There would also be a lot fewer "ordinary people" who would be willing to take the risk of standing up to giant corporations when said corporations were doing something wrong.
    • by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:32PM (#8100697) Homepage Journal
      Loser-pays is common in Europe, and there are groups pushing it in the US.

      There is an obvious downside to it: it tends to discourage access to the courts by people who can't afford to lose. Mike Rowe would never have been able to afford Microsoft's court costs, and if he's not 100% convinced he'll win (not just right: win) he'd be in debt forever.

      It's not infeasible; it's so common in England that it's sometimes called the English rule. But it would involve a substantial change to American jurisprudence.
      • There is an obvious downside to it: it tends to discourage access to the courts by people who can't afford to lose

        Yeah; the obvious downside being that you usually don't sue unless you have a just cause and the evidence to back it up.

    • IANAL, but I've taken a half-year module on law. At least where I am, it is up to the judge's discretion to award costs to the winner, but this applies only to non-criminal cases. I believe DVD-Jon's case was a criminal case and defendant's costs cannot be recovered... except maybe with an unlawful arrest suit or something.
    • I think it's common sense that if you're a defendant and found not guilty that you shouldn't have to pay.

      I guess that's more about the whole lotta trouble he was put up for, which probably took him a lot of time spent on court, trials, interviews etc.

    • That's not the way the law works. You pay your own legal fees in a lawsuit unless the judge determines that the lawsuit was frivolous. Yes, it sucks, but it's not clear that the alternatives are any better.

      If it worries you, you can take out insurance to cover such unexpected legal costs. Many Europeans do.
    • by Asprin (545477)

      The idea is called "Loser Pays" and it has been proposed many times as a solution to frivolous litigation. MANY states have considered bills in the legislature that propose implementing some sort of "Loser Pays" system, but it has stiff opposition because lawyers don't like tort reform limiting their income, especially if they are also individually liable for damages as some plans propose.

      Google should help you find out all it.

      BTW, politically, such proposals almost always come from the Republicans an
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:24PM (#8100557)
    "Jon, we will compensate you in remaindered copies of 'Little Nicky', 'Crossroads', and 'Ishtar' in DVD."
  • Add this guy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by syphax (189065) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:24PM (#8100568) Journal
    ... to the Pantheon of Geeks.
  • Fair is fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by axis-techno-geek (70545) <.ac.okhsog. .ta. .bor.> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:25PM (#8100576) Homepage
    Heck he should sue the MPAA for damages too, if they can pressure prosocution they should also foot the blame.

    ...oh sorry that "liberty and justice for all" has been replaced with "liberty and justice for all those who can afford it".

    • ...oh sorry that "liberty and justice for all" has been replaced with "liberty and justice for all those who can afford it".

      You are aware that "liberty and justice for all" is an American phrase (though I grant the concept is universal) and that this took place in Norway, right?

      • You're right. Thanks for catching that one. We've amended it now, so it should be accurate. For your review:

        "liberty and justice for all*

        * Except for those living in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, the Virgin Islands, Guantanamo Bay, China, Syria, any temporarily designated 'Free Speech Zones' and, of course, Norway."

        Better?
  • This went on for quite a while, i'm surprised that the number isnt much higher (like in the 75k range).
    • by arcade (16638)
      Because this is Norway. We generally don't sue for insane amounts - and such demands would be flat out denied by the court.

      I'll be quite surprised if he actually gets as much as he has demanded. Especially since this has led to him getting a quite good job.
  • Counter-suit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MasterC (70492) <cmlburnett@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:26PM (#8100597) Homepage
    Someone sues me and wastes my time (the more important part) and money then you betcha I'd sue back. Although it sounds Jon is just demanding and not suing.

    I hope this isn't considered a surprise...to anyone.
  • by Mistah Blue (519779) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:27PM (#8100604)

    I hope he prevails. Perhaps it will give other prosecutors pause, to think out their case. If you have a weak case and know you are going to have to pay all cases, you might decide to forego prosecution and use your resources on cases which aren't weak. This benefits the society as a whole.

  • Civil vs Criminal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JasonUCF (601670)
    IANALBIPOOSWIAB (I am not a lawyer but I play one on slashdot when I am bored) --

    In da US they call thems dere sorts of stuff 'Wrongful Prosecution'. I wonder how they would handle this in Norvay. I mean, as I understood it when it was escalated to the higher court it was a civil-type charge. Wrongful Pros cases in the US historically deal with criminal prosecutions. yes yes, I know nothing of norvegian law, yes yes i'll stfu, sorry...

  • Isnt this what countersuits are for in the first place ? I mean this on is a little different beign sortof a Criminal case, but since it was the strongarm of the MPwhatever. Couldnt he sue them ?
  • claiming 150,000 NOK (about 17,500 euros)

    Sounds like just enough to pay your RIAA extortion.

  • Good for him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thedillybar (677116) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:31PM (#8100670)
    I like the idea of a counter-suit. News like this should help prevent companies such as DirecTV from indiscriminately suing people because there's a small chance that they're guilty.

    If people continue to fight these lawsuits and counter-sue, rather than just settle, then these companies will be discouraged from these rages in the future because it will end up costing them more in dollars & negative PR than it's worth.

  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:31PM (#8100672) Homepage Journal
    The Oekokrim trials were clearly about establishing precedent for Norway on an important matter, not about punishing him directly. Living in a litigious society, I can tell you only one group seems to come out the consistent winner when everybody feels the need for compensation when they've been offended in some manner.

    He didn't have to pay lawyer's fees, and from the sounds of it outside of having something like this looming over his head for years it's probably been a boon to him overall (he won't have to worry about finding work, for one thing.) It's probably a better time to count blessings than demand renumeration.

    • I don't agree. If the trial was about establishing precedent, then I believe he would clearly be entitled to compensation. Norway has a strong tradition for compensating people in cases where the government prosecutor pursued a case based on incomplete evidence or seemingly based on other considerations than the merits of the case.

      If the court action has been a benefit to him over all he will be unlikely to get much, as that would be taken into account, but if he believe he can meet the criteria then he s

    • A bunch of corrupt, greedy bastards have been trying to screw him over for years, and he's supposed to count his blessings?

      What the hell are you doing on slashdot? I've got news for you buddy, here we STICK it to THE MAN....ALL DAY LONG.
    • The Oekokrim trials were clearly about establishing precedent for Norway on an important matter, not about punishing him directly.

      Maybe that was the part of the case the was important to you, but this case was most definately about punishing him directly. If he lost, that's what would have happened.

      I'm sure it all seems like it just this abstract case about precedent to you, but your career was not at stake. If someone decided to try and use you to "set an example" in a totally B.S. manner, I bet yo
      • yes, and... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tuxette (731067) * <tuxette@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:04PM (#8101092) Homepage Journal
        ...also remember that this case was a "prestige" case for Inger Marie Sunde. The self-proclaimed computer crime expert who doesn't know what an algorithm is put a lot on the line for this case, personally and professionally, didn't take her first loss well, and has thankfully realized that she would lose an eventual appeal.

        Her case was based primarily on poor or non-existing evidence and character assasination (among other things, she likened Johansen to gang-bangers). She wasted Johansen's time, the judges' and jury's time, and taxpayer money. So yes, Johansen is in the right to seek compensation from Okokrim.

  • *Sigh* (Score:2, Funny)

    by 10101001011 (744876)
    It is really sad to see this happening to society. We have gone from struggling to provide print media for those in struggling third-world countries and yet we have these "union-esque" groups who are just going sue happy (RIAA, SCO, MPAA etc...).

    It seems to me that our civilization (North American/European and East Asian) has reached a plateau where we could very easily stop trying to fight amongst ourselves, back off and lend a helping hand to all those countires that are just trying to punch through in
  • It's a shame we live in such a litigious global society these days. Back in the day, rescuing your honour was all that you wanted. But then, back in the day, you didn't get sued for stupid shit all the time. Isn't it a bit obvious that people who copy DVDs are breaking the law, not the people who supply the means to do it?

    Anyway he might make more money writing a few exclusives in the press than going through more legal procedure. People must understand : the lawyers make the real money, not the plaintiff

  • He was lucky he got saved by his own court sys, because I doubt that would've happen in the US. If he sues they will just counter sue.
    • Is that possible in your jurisdiction?

      In Scandinavia (and I expect that holds for the rest of europe as well), you're elegible for compensation for wrongfull arrests and/or accusation from the police. They have no ways of countersuing.
  • I just had to bitch about something in the article. "It's a modest claim by international standards, amounting to around USD 20,000."

    That doesn't matter at all. Does the 150,000NOK have the same purchasing power in Norway as 20,000USD has in the states? If not, the comparison is completely worthless.

    If it costs 4CAD for a carton of large eggs here and 24XXX for the same in some fictional country, but the exchange rate is 1XXX for every 2CAD, then they certainly don't have the same purchasing power, do they?
    • 150,000 NOK in Norway have definitely less purchasing power than their countervalue in dollars in the US or any EU country; AFAIK the only country more expensive than Norway is Iceland, and maybe (some areas of) Japan.
      I think this is mostly about principles than money, 150000 is not really a bunch. My 54-sq. meters flat (here in Norway) is worth 840,000 NOK, and I got quite a deal at buying that. Iceberg salad is 20-30 NOK for about half a kilo. A half liter of beer at a pub can range between 40 and 70 NOK
    • No, the purchasing power (cost of living) in Norway is not the same. My sister is living in Stravanger, Norway, and she often complains about the costs of average stuff.... cost of movies, cost of clothes, costs in general. The difference is that their health care costs are almost all subsidized by the government, as well as low cost education services.

      From this tourist site [hotelnear.com], a half-litre (1.05 pint) beer costs 40KR, or $5.86 US.

      Nice, then I found this site [worldstudent.com] for British students, albeit the rates are a f
    • by Jhan (542783) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:24PM (#8101338) Homepage

      That doesn't matter at all. Does the 150,000NOK have the same purchasing power in Norway as 20,000USD has in the states? If not, the comparison is completely worthless.

      Unfortunately, prices in Norway are extremely high, mostly because of all that oil money causing inflation. This more than offsets the current weakness of the USD.

      The reason that the amount is so low is quite another; in Norway damages are strictly based on the actual money lost (well, and to a lesser amount things like emotional damage). If you asked for american-style amounts ("I'm suing for $300.000.000!"), you would be laughed out of court.

      Jon used a public defender, so his costs weren't that high.

  • Does he take PayPal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stuffduff (681819)
    Hell, I'd give a couple of bucks!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:48PM (#8100907)
    ...hackers sue the prosecutors!
  • Me too! (Score:5, Funny)

    by headqtrs (467875) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:54PM (#8100976)
    I was forced to read all those damn articles about DVD-Jon. I want to be compensated for this.
  • DVD X-Copy. http://www.web-deals.net/dvdxcopy.htm
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jon Johansen is not the hero for open source software as he likes to describe himself lately.

    The truth is, he is a liar, a defender of closed source software, ignorant to the GPL and a guy who simply wanted to copy DVDs. His lies lead most of us to believe that he is a good guy and got him even free a legal team paid by EFF.

    Read more about DVD-Jon:
    http://www.chscene.ch/ccc/decss/decsstruth.txt [chscene.ch]
  • Why the submitter didn't just put that in the synopsis is beyond me.
  • Lets see.... Hmmm...

    150,000 NOK (about 17,500 euros) or about $17 US dollars, I think.

    Kidding... its actually $22k which I think is quite low. For all the time he spent on this he should be asking for at least 1m NOK (150k USD, 116 EUR).

  • freedom vs. free$ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:04PM (#8101083) Homepage Journal
    The failed prosecution of DVD Jon demonstrates that Norway, at least, protects the rights of its citizens from corporate/government collusion to persecute. He might be due $20K, a decent return for a Norwegian 20 year old's part-time college job as inexpert witness in his own defense. But Jon's damages from their unmerited actions fall less on his wallet than on his spirit. The real damage was the threats to his liberty, arrest, denigration, disgrace and professional disenfranchisement. These years of undeserved defensive living can not be restored, and have no price.

    In the US, there is a distinction between civil and criminal violations of law, and their remedies. While the vagaries of US history, and lawyerly perversions of principles of "justice" often assign "punitive damages" to perpetrators and award them to victims, criminal penalties are assigned to those who damage intangibles: public trust, individual liberty, principles of Justice itself. In DVD Jon's case, there is a great deal of that kind of damage, to Jon, and to his compatriots, and ripples to us, in other countries.

    The remedy includes holding those behind these prosecutions liable for their actions in wrongfully prosecuting him. Moreover, if this kind of wrongful prosecution is found to be systemic, the judge ought to assign changes in the system. Otherwise the perpetrators will be free to attack Liberty without repercussions, and the rising tide of corporate attacks on human rights will pervade Norway. Combine corporate financial superiority with their liability immunity advantage, and it looks pretty bad for the humans. Unless Norwegians see themselves in DVD Jon's shoes, and get their country back on track.

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

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