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Jon Johansen Indicted by the MPA(A) 797

Jon Lech Johansen (jlj) writes "The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway raided my home today and seized my Linux box, FreeBSD/Win2k box and Nokia cellphone. Not only I, but also my father has been indicted, since he owns the domain (webhotel) where my homepage(s) have been located. They also took me in for questioning which lasted 6-7 hours. It's 2 am CET now (I just got back), I haven't eaten, and someone's definitely going to pay for this. I have shut down my old e-mail account, and I'm now using - More information coming tomorrow, once I've talked to my lawyer. Did someone whisper countersuit?" Jon Johansen is the young man from Norway who reverse-engineered DeCSS.
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Jon Johansen indicted by the MPA(A)

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  • i've been reading a lot about what's goin on in the US about the DeCSS, but what's being done in other countries such as norway in the courts adn whatnot?
  • what does prosecuting him do for these people? Do they really think that what he did is going to cause any serious problems? If anything, it allowed others to expand DVD into realms that would not have been possible otherwise (basically b/c of stupidity on the parts of companies not supporting Linux/BSD). I really am beginning to wonder about the future of the world if they are going to persecute people for doing really ingenious things.

    I personally believe that they are more mad that he cracked it, and because of it being easy to crack the other keys they are embarassed ;)
  • Can someone else see the similarities here? Operation Sundevil? Hacker Crackdown? Possibly even First Post?
  • OK, this situation really sucks, but I have a question about the Norwegian legal system here (actually, two):

    First of all, what exactly does this mean? What inherent rights do people in .no have? Are you actually guilty now, or is there a trial, or what?

    Secondly, economic and environmental crimes? Why does the same organization do both?

  • I saw it stated many times in previous news items that reverse engineering was legal in Norway.

    The power of these large corporate entities has been grossly underestimated.
  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:16PM (#1340310) Homepage Journal
    Just a technical detail:

    He has been indicted by his government. Criminal charges are generally filed by governments, civil charges may be filed by anyone. Of course, the government is undoubtedly acting at the prompting of the DVD CCA or some similar organization.

    So while the government may call DVD CCA people as expert witnesses and consult with them on the case, it is ultimately the government's case. This means a government prosecutor, not a DVD CCA lawyer.

    Of course, I might have it totally wrong, as I'm not a legal expert in Norway (or anywhere else, fo r that matter), but I'm pretty sure that's how it works in most western countries.
  • So no matter where you are in the world, big brother will still be knocking on your door? But why is this a surprise? I mean, come on, everyone here in the states has been getting lawsuits for having it on their servers; its no surprise that the guy who actually CREATED DeCSS would be investigated. He'll probably be arrested, as well, and most likely get the same thing everyone else is getting, if not more. But seriously folks, think about this: I know a lot of you have 4.7 GB to spare, but how many people really carry around a DVD-R? And they think we're gonna be making copies of our DVD's up the wazoo? Right.....
  • When will this all end i wonder. The Big fat music and Video companies are stamoing down on small individuals who have donw nothing more than try and help people play "Their" movies on linux systems. Does this seem a little unfair? Where does it all end? DeCSS reverse engineering hardly sounds like world wide forgery to me. Does the fact i have a cdrw mean i a duplicating cds and l33t warez for all my friends, no it doesn't i use mine for acchives of my scans and brother bans music. Welcome to a bastardised 1984 where it is not the goverment in control but the media and their fat rich lawers. I did like the few hackers who treid to submit T-Shirts today to a judge with the DeCSS code on it. -my opinion is my own not yours
  • I know here in the US we have a number of organizations that try to protect the individual against abuses of power, but who helps in these cases (open source and right to reverse engineer, etc.) and what about outside the US? With the growth of profile for the open source movement this is going to happen a lot more before it gets better. Large companies often would rather lobby, legislate and litigate then change a flawed technology (like the one in this case or scanners for cell phones) or bussiness plan.

    Is there a list of organizations that can be supported, promoted, and/or contacted for these issues?
  • 'Cause you're one of those evil 'hax0rz' that's out to take all capitalism out of the software and hardware industries. I don't know the laws of Norway enough to offer any advice, other than saying good luck in court. Try to get a court date during which the moon is in Aquarius. People tend to be more understanding and open minded during those times.

  • This sucks, but is to be expected. DVD isn't just a USA thing, AFIAK, but has to have cooperation worldwide for the zone deal to have happened.

    The question is, will we have the right to use what we have rightfully bought? That's all he did, after all, helped users access data that they PAID for. This will stop, once people get fed up with corporations screwing them over.

    ok, end rant now. But i had to say something..


    bash: ispell: command not found
  • by Fizgig ( 16368 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:19PM (#1340321)
    Didn't he repeat over and over that he was not the one who did the reverse engineering (those people rightly stayed silent) but just was the first to publically distribute it? Or am I thinking of someone else?
  • by Octal ( 310 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:19PM (#1340322) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry if I'm being a wet blanket here, but do we even know this is real? It's not that hard to fake an e-mail, and as has been proven before, the /. posters are not the most vigilent bunch of people on the planet.
  • In practically every news story we've seen on this, prior to this one, I've seen comments to the effect that Norway's legal climate made him 'untouchable.'

    What changed? I guess the better question would be: "What legal provisions does Norway offer to protect reverse engineering, and why is he now in trouble?"
    1. Sir Isaac Newton, for 'cracking' mechanics and thereby enabling anvils to fall on poor innocent cartoon animals. Hasn't he ever heard of animal rights?
    2. Aristotle, for 'cracking' the secret of floating and thereby enabling sh*t to float.
    3. Anyone who has ever made any progress in human history, since we know progress has never led to any good
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:22PM (#1340326)
    What can we do to help? Please list. I can help out with money. What's his address? Does anybody know the gov't in Norway's email address who did this to him? I want to write them a letter or two. I want to sue that gov't on an international level as well. Kent
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:24PM (#1340334)
    on the livid archives you will notice that he said that he did not do the reverse engineering.
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:25PM (#1340340)
    Calm down, now. Here's what we can do:

    Mirror [] the source. Nobody's knocked on my door yet, and I've made a dozen offers for people to mirror from my site. The RIAA does not read slashdot. =)
    Join the EFF [] and pay attention to the action alerts.
    Alert the press! Get our side out there! They think we're pirates - this isn't about piracy, it's about interoperability.
    Start a legal defense fund for *all* DeCSS victims.

    That being said, here's why they're doing it: Scare tactic. They want to "get tough" on the "pirates" and scare people into submission. Ain't gonna happen - don't let them. Fight back - we're talking about something central to the open source community: the right to reverse-engineer to promote interoperability and open standards. This just reeks of proprietary do-it-our-way-or-the-highway. Fight back! I know alot of us aren't political enough - but consider donating a few bucks and also mirroring the source. Post to slashdot. Sign up to become a DOE for the case. But do something - get involved.. or we may wind up with another kevin mitnick [] - en masse.

    This is a full-fledged war now against the open source movement: they're trying to stop reverse-engineering and black-box everything. They can justify and rationalize all they want - but it's really about them trying to gain/maintain their monopoly on distribution. It's high-time we kicked our ass into gear and get people like Ralph Nader on board. This is about consumer rights - something any average joe on the street should understand. WRITE TO THE PRESS NOW. Give a counter-point, make it so your mom can understand the key points.

  • If you live in Canada, the fact that you purchase CD-Rs does (according to the government) mean that you are going to be duplicating commercial music CDs. There was at least one Slashdot article on this. We have a CD levy here because of this.
  • It is not clear whether he is going to hire legal help, but it might be easier for him to make that desision if some sympathetic supporters made an offer. Would this be an cause for the EFF to be involved in? If so, I would be willing to kick in a bit, perhaps through an EFF trust fund.

    If the EFF is not interested, perhaps another reputable rights organisation would be willing to set up a legal defense fund? To me, the key is knowing that the money is being used for its intended purpose. I don't just want to send an envelope full of cash to some foreign country and hope it arrives!

    Sorry I am asking questions and not answering them, but I would like to help, and I am sure others feel the same way.
  • by Peter Eckersley ( 66542 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:28PM (#1340351) Homepage
    Alas, common sense like this just doesn't come into it.

    A very huge and powerful industry has just realised that somebody has swept the control of their product right out from under their feet.

    As soon as they release a DVD copy of something, people who want it at high quality, for free, can get it.

    Our arguments about the obsolesence of this kind of Intellectual Property, and the fact that they're still going to be making more money than they were from video, don't really matter. What's at stake here is vast amounts of power and money, and big corporate machines don't react well (or rationaly) to losing it.

    I would expect that the Norweigan Government came under vast amounts of pressure to take this action.

    Well - for those that doubted it - the war is on now. Without without intending to sound absurdely melodramatic, the stakes are what kind of future this planet is going to have...
  • Yeah, that was my first thought. Telling people not to attempt to contact him at his old address? I hope emmett checked this story before posting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:32PM (#1340362)
    This is the thing I've had nightmares about all my teenage life. As a teen who mucks around with security and encryption, I've always feared the day I get a knock on my door from the government asking if they could please steal my computer.

    My heart goes out to this poor kid and his family for the abuse they're no doubt suffering. I hope we, as a community, can speak out against these injustices and stop them from happening again.

    What can we learn from this, if you think you might be raided some day?:

    1. Use an encrypted file system. Don't give the spooks any more information than they possibly can get.

    2. Don't let them touch a fucking thing until you've spoken to a lawyer. I have a feeling it's very illegal for them to remove things from your home until you've had a lawyer look over the warrant.

    3. Don't let them frighten you. Intimidation is their most powerful ally. I know I'd be shitting my pants if I were called in for questioning. Just remember, if you live in a reasonably free country, you're not going to lose anything by keeping your mouth shut, but you have a lot to lose by talking.

    Whatever you do, *don't* let these government bastards take away your rights. Just because you're suspected of a crime doesn't mean you have no freedom.

    And I call on every Slashdot reader to do something about this. Write letters, make phone calls, give money.

    It's kind of funny, so soon after Kevin Mitnick was freed, that we have another martyr on our hands. This is one instance when I hope the hacker (and cracker) community will rise up and speak out for freedom.

    Remember the writings of Jefferson and the other American founding fathers, and live by them.

  • or 3. send them to the trashbin.
    Get your head out of the sand. The sad truth here is that no one really cares. Only the technical people in the world are fighting this. and the mpaa has enough lawyers to fight us off with ease. We're pretty fucked here. I think the best tactic would be to find some illegal action caused by the mpaa and bring the ball back into play on OUR terms. That and get some MAINSTREAM media coverage. Not just a bunch of geeks who code the stuff and a bunch of 14 year old computer nerds spouting "first post".
  • My first guess is that Jon Johansen is probably not in as serious of trouble as he would be if he were an adult or if it was in the US, since from what I have heard, minors aren't routinely tried as adults in Europe. Does anyone know for sure?

    As far as "someone's going to pay" I think there is a pretty simple solution -- round up the MPAA & associates' expert witnesses who made connections between DeCSS and copying DVDs and throw them in jail for perjury. Since DeCSS is of absolutely no use in making a copy of a DVD, anyone who said otherwise in court (and knew they were blowing smoke up the courts ass) can be put away.

  • by OctaneZ ( 73357 ) <ben-slashdot2@um ... g minus language> on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:38PM (#1340379) Journal
    General Norwegian Laws: gn/norway.html

    The relevant Articles of the constitution:
    Article 96

    No one may be convicted except according to law, or be punished except after a court judgment. Interrogation by torture must not take place.

    Article 99

    No one may be taken into custody except in the cases determined by law and in the manner prescribed by law. For unwarranted arrest, or illegal detention, the officer concerned is accountable to the person imprisoned.
    The Government is not entitled to employ military force against citizens of the State, except in accordance with the forms prescribed by law, unless any assembly disturbs the public peace and does not immediately disperse after the Articles of the Statute Book relating to riots have been read out clearly three times by the civil authority.

    Article 102

    Search of private homes shall not be made except in criminal cases.

  • Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you've actually comitted a crime anymore. So long as A Big Corporation doesn't like something that you've done, you are as good as guilty at least in the eyes of those who can make your life a living hell.

    And instead of realizing that the existing laws are in place simply as a convenience to large corporations used to make an example of those who really piss of those corporations, government agencies just overzealously enforce violations when they are told to do so by the corporations.

    And what's the moral of the story? It's accountancy that makes the world go round, round, round, round. The simple fact is that these companies have too much power. And, indeed they are crybabies. Remember the kids that used to hit and not share their toys in kindergarten? Now they're all grown up, and they're the board members of the DVD CCA.
  • Thanks for the link to the source. Now nicely mirrored on my site.
  • It's called terrorism through litigation. Basically they're going to try to scare everybody by slapping lawsuits on everything and everyone in sight.

    Absoloutely disgusting is what it is.....

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:45PM (#1340396) Homepage
    I'm saying nothing at all with regard to the deCSS thang.

    I'm addressing the prevailing attitude that's being displayed: that things should be nailed down to the bloody floor to stop y'all from stealing it. And that if you don't use a big enough nail, then it's your own fault if it gets stolen.

    Sure as hell says a lot about the state of our society when the victim is blamed for being victimized.


  • by PG13 ( 3024 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:45PM (#1340398)
    No, DeCSS makes it no easier to pirate. Right now I can go out rent a DVD download the *encrypted* image to my harddrive. Write the encrypted DVD to my DVD writer. Voila! I have an exact copy of the original DVD which, by virtue of being an exact copy, is playable by the same hardware as the original.

    What they hope to gain, by scaring people into not mucking with DVD, is to retain their monopolistic control of DVD decoder technologies.
  • Oh man, do we have to see this happen *every* decade? The only difference between this one and the last one is that the police might get suspicious if you took your hard drive out by now.

    Other than that it looks like no one else has learned anything apart from the usual "Computer crime is bad. Hackers should be punished. Computer crime is anything computer-related that I don't understand but someone says is bad. Big corporations are there to protect me..." Of course, we hackers know the difference. But that hasn't changed, either.

    Yo, NSA and MPA(A)! I can watch DVDs on my computer, break your patented triple-XOR encryption in my head, and therefore decrypt your 31337 secret K0deZ. Better send someone here to shut me up real quick and steal my stuff without cause, 'cause you know I'm an evil HaX0r commie pinko, and I deserve whatever I get, no matter how illegal it is for you to do it! :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • I'm afraid I don't buy this story. It seems rather odd that _AFTER_ talking to his lawyer, he would even be mentioning anything about counter suits or anything like that (most lawyers tell you to keep your fool mouth shut, and for good reason). Of course, he has recently "changed" his e-mail address. Bah.

    Can we have something like independent verification? Things like this are too serious to screw up on here, let's see some evidence.

    Also, looks like mainstream media is actually capable of looking at both sides.. See this very pro-DeCSS article at Interesting how they [] have no mention of this...

  • Good thinking, but I really doubt that would work. Usually you pay for the rights to use the standards, while agreeing to quite a few restrictions on that use. For instance, keeping the information secret. Otherwise, you're correct, Red Hat could create an open source version and EVERYONE would have access to it. Including those who would have paid, such as Xing and Apple. Which would make no sense for the DVD Consortium.
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:48PM (#1340407) Homepage Journal
    Not for Jon (in the short run) but for the OpenDVD movement (in the long run).

    The best scenario I can see is:

    • Jon gets tried
    • Jon gets aquitted because reverse engineering is legal.
    • US trials note that the code was reverse engineered legally in Norway, therefor the "trade secret" is not a secret anymore.
    • US trials get dropped.
    • RedHat or somebody starts shipping a distro with DVD playback.

    At which point I'll think about getting a DVD drive and some DVD movies. However, it won't be a done deal: I want the MPAA to apoligize to all of us.
  • by kevin805 ( 84623 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:48PM (#1340408) Homepage
    Sorry, just driving me nuts, everyone saying Jon Johansen "reverse engineered DeCSS". DeCSS was the outcome of reverse engineering CSS, the Content Scrambling System. Using terminology correctly helps to make you look like you know what you're talking about.
  • Hong Kong.

    Oh wait... scratch that.

    This would have been funny a year ago.

    Minty Toothbrush


    If an infinite number of monkeys typed at an infinte number of
  • I thought exactly the same thing. We need a confirmation update on the front page...
  • Do we know this is for real and not someone trying to hoax slashdot? (Not that I wouldn't necessarily be pro- a prank like this that would bring peoples' attention to the stupidity of the DVD industry...) I can't really get the .no registrar to do what I want it to as far as finding out who actually owns and so on...


  • I think comparing reverse engineering of a DVD encryption algorithm to the theory of gravity and so forth is stretching it a bit, don't you?

    I'm all for patting oneself on the back, but still... :P

  • This certainly sounds bogus to me. Convenient that he's using a new Email address, thereby making him unverifiable. And, Oh yeah, First thing I do when I'm done getting grilled by The Man for 6-7 hours? I Email Slashdot.
  • So there are ALOT of people who have become filthy rich off of computer hardware software and so forth (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen etc...) and, as rich people are want to do they tend to, or at least express an interest in philanthropy.

    Well here is a way to help out! It's one thing to sue Joe Schmuck for DeCSS. Even with the EFF defending him it is easy to paint him as an evil hacker/pirate and an enemy of social order/capitalism.

    On the other hand if one of these big rich men were to do the same thing (supported by their own high price lawyers no doubt) it would be much more difficult to so libel them. Clearly, given there large net worth, they aren't doing this just to steal a few bucks worth of DVD's.

    If anyone knows a local billionaire who is feeling genorous give him a call.
  • ... if you read any closer, you'll see that the licensing agreement would threaten said licencee (such as RH) with fines in excess of US$10M for anything done to 'weaken' the 'security' or 'openness', i.e. open sourcing it.
  • by raka ( 17481 )
    >I'm saying nothing at all with regard to the deCSS thang.
    Good, 'cause your comment seem irrelevant too
    it. They tried to prevent people "stealing"
    something they didn't own (I.e. the ability
    to decode DVDs), and they failed. They
    wanted to hold on to it by mere force
    of possession, and failed. That *is* their
    own bloody fault.

    As for any comment about things outside the
    DVD realm, I'm not sure what you are talking

  • You know a way I can keep my dvds and still burn them?
    Sure, just use DeCSS to copy them onto your hard drive then...
  • by llywrch ( 9023 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:57PM (#1340441) Homepage Journal
    First, hearing what has happened to Jon Johansen sickens me. I always thought that the Scandinavian countries were wiser about the Internet than the US is -- look at how Sweden, Norway, & Finland have been at the forefront at defending the rights of their citizens against the manuevers of the ``Church" of Scientology to silence them.

    On the other hand, everything that Signal 11 quotes here is the right route to go: it is exactly what a brave band of Netizens have been doing to fight the criminal organization I mentioned. The suits & their hirling lawyers want to keep people from knowing the truth, from sharing both the truth & the facts with other people.

    Hiding information does not make it go away, but the act ensures that the good guys can't use it to benefit humanity.


    P.S. Okay, I admit I'm stupid to state this, but here's my first post to /. from my new Linux box. Worked out how to make PPP & PAP work despite Red Hat's crummy documentation. And I am proud of this achievement!
  • by mzito ( 5482 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:05PM (#1340449) Homepage

    I find it very interesting that some sort of serious legal authority is getting involved in this situation - I was under the impression that in the U.S. it was a civil suit. Is it a civil case in Norway also? Who are these people? Can someone fill that in?

    This was a wake-up call for me. I was supportive of the EFF and everyone else involved in the suit in California, but I figured it would be one of those things where the case went to court, the judge laid the smack-down (so to speak) on the plaintiff, and we all went on our merry way. But the fact that an indictment was returned against this gentleman shows that not only is the DVD CCA intent on making a serious effort to put a stop to legal and legitimate reverse engineering but that there is a severe possibility that WE MIGHT LOSE.

    I went and read the response by the DVD CCA- their argument is since the code has the master key in it, it MUST have been obtained illegally. This is a circular argument. But if they are able to convince a judge that this is true, this could signal an end to the idea of black-box reverse engineering.

    How can we prevent this from happening? I'm starting by putting a copy of the DeCSS code up on my personal web server: [] This is the only code I have - if someone wants to email me something more complete, I'll put that up. Email me at

    Everyone should put this code on their site. If enough people put this code on a website somewhere, the DVD CCA can't sue/arrest/harrass everyone. It's an old, hokey protest tactic, but it works.

    Next, contact anyone and everyone in power. Call newspapers, politicians, and tell anyone and everyone who will listen. If they won't listen, tell them multiple times. Be polite, but be firm.

    Write letters to the editor. Here, the idea is to make sure that everyone is aware of the issue, and more importantly, is aware of our side of the issue. Make sure that if someone reads an article that supports the DVD CCA, they have already read or heard something from someone sympathetic to our cause.

    Donate money to the EFF, and any legal defense fund that is created for this gentleman. It doesn't have to be a lot, but anything you can give can help insure that we get a victory in the courts.

    Anyone interested in putting together a little fund to run an ad in a major US newspaper like the NY times with the DeCSS code in it? That's more of a farfetched idea than most of the others in this post, but its a beautiful idea nonetheless.

    Basically, the only things we can do are practice social disobedience (even in such a minor form as keeping our own public copies of the decss code), support those who are fighting the legal battles in the courts, and educate, educate, educate. Even if we lose some court battles, if the public in general is aware of the issues at stake, that gives us an advantage for future confrontations with companies trying to stop legitimate reverse engineering. Which there will certainly be.

    Email me at

    Matthew J Zito, CCNA

  • I've got my mirror up !
    Anonymous ftp to

    Furthermore, I'm currently discussing with the LUG@GT (Linux Users Group at Georgia Tech), and I have an appointment to consult with legal counsel about our LUG organizing a legal defense fund. I have no idea what needs to be done on our part, only that SOMETHING has to be done, so if anybody can offer advice, it would be most appreciated.
  • Yet another reason why we need to boycott DVD technology and, probably, anything that one of the MPAA's associates puts out, until this lawsuit settles. Let's not give these jerks the ammunition they need to prosecute the case (our money.)

    TOYWAR []!!
  • You had a windows 2000 box seized ? Urk... assuming you're not a registered beta tester, there's yet another hokey charge they can pin on you.
  • by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:13PM (#1340467)
    Don't let them touch a thing until you've spoken to a lawyer. I have a feeling it's very illegal for them to remove things from your home until you've had a lawyer look over the warrant.

    You may not have a choice. If whoever has the search warrant is sufficiently interested in you, they will show up with official-looking policement with official-looking guns, and if you try to interfere with the service of a search warrant they will slap you in jail for obstruction of process or something. And think about it, if they think you're enough of a threat that they want to steal your computer, they think you're enough of a threat that they'll throw your butt in jail if you give them half an excuse. Sometimes just being present at the time counts as an excuse.

    So yes, have a lawyer present if circumstances permit, but don't try to interfere with the seizure. On the other hand, record everything that happens, and insist on an inventory of items taken. Make your own if you have to (and can). Get whoever's in charge to sign the inventory, or note that s/he refused to do so.

    One tip from the sixties: If you find yourself in a situation like this, try to get someone to serve as a witness. Not everyone is going to want to be involved, but if you can find someone who is willing to just stand and observe, then be deposed later (they don't even necessarily have to go to court), you can have someone back up your statement that they took your stereo and CD collection on the ground that one of your music CDs might have data hidden on it.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I speak as a resident of the US, based on my experiences and limited understanding of the laws here. Norwegian law (or other countries' laws, if it comes down to it) may necessitate a different course of action. And especially in cases like this, consult an attorney.
  • Pirating unreleased software (no matter who makes it) is illegal. He does not garner any sympathy from me, nor make me want to contribute to his defense.

    Um, the beta releases of MS Windows 2000 have been out since last August or so. Where do you get off claiming he pirated it from his statement that he runs it? Most likely, it is a perfectly legal beta copy. And who the hell moderated this up? Insightful??

    A couple of people need a major reality check, here.
  • Who says it was pirated? Win2k has been in beta for a while now; many people have perfectly legitimate copies of it. I of course don't know the details of Jon's situation, but you can't just assume that it's been pirated just because it's not available to the general public yet.
  • by JamesSharman ( 91225 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:17PM (#1340478)

    Well, things are starting to get a bit out of hand. Before I mumble on about real issues I would like to ask a question. What is the best way to protect your personal possessions from theft, 1) Buy good locks for your doors and windows, or 2) Leave the door open and sue anyone who steals anything.

    This is no longer about Jon Johansen, or the cracking of DeCSS, this is about Abuse of privilege. In any country the legal system is paid for by the people and is there to protect the people and other legal entities (including corporations). The legal system is not there to replace adequate safe guards, do we complain when prisoners start law suits at the publics expense because they got the wrong kind of peanut butter? Do we complain when able-bodied people call an ambulance to take them for a checkup? The answer to this is yes (I hope) because it's abuse of the system. In the same way we should protest that entities like the MPAA think they can throw their weight around at the public's expense due to little more then their own failings, yes I know they pay for their own lawyers but the courts etc. all come from the taxpayer.

    The issues surrounding the right to access legal acquired information etc. have been covered in other posts, but I would like to bring to people's attention another abuse of the CSS system. The CSS system is there to protect against piracy and to enforce the region coding system. I am angered by the abuse of the region coding system, a DVD disk costs about twice as much in the UK as it does in the US, and quite often does not have as many added extras (interviews, clips etc..). The region coding system forces us to buy often inferior products at always exaggerated prices. Naturally a booming market in imported DVD's and 'chipped' players sprung up but the MPAA lobbied the British government into a large scale crackdown of the 'Grey imports'. Once again taxpayer money wasted in support of big business screwing over the overage joe.

    For these reasons I will continue to host a mirror at [] and urge other mirror owners to email me and pass on their URLs to aid in the construction of a larger list of mirrors. The MPAA and it's members need to learn three lessons, 1) Attempting to control legal use of a legally purchased product is futile, 2) They cannot continue to abuse privilege, 3) There is no putting of the baby back into the womb once it has been born.

  • Voila! I have an exact copy of the original DVD

    Wrong. You have a decrypted DVD copy. Sure, you could do that, but you just paid $52.95 for the DVD disc you wrote to. Lets see.. With rental it just cost you almost $60 to pirate a movie you could purchase legally for $20. I'm not even going to touch equipment depreciation on the $700 drive, which could drive it significantly higher. Congrats! You just saved yourself -$40! ;-)

    Seriously and with all barbarism aside, while copying a disc like that is technically feasable, no one with more than a few brain cells would ever do it. Technical feasability != economic feasability. The only form of DVD piracy that is economically feasable is to buy a professional DVD copier from the boys at Pioneer and use it to turn out thousands of copies for sale. CSS isn't applicable in this case, because you don't need to decrypt the disc to copy it, only to play it. The DVD CCA just doesn't want to give up the huge 'licensing' fees it charges this early in the game.
  • I will not let my software decompile and erase while you discuss this indictment on slashdot!
  • by Mark J Tilford ( 186 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:22PM (#1340491)
    Something's been bothering me:

    Many people have been advocating the strategy of downloading a copy, and putting up a mirror site. But I haven't seen anybody discussing authentication.

    I think the MPAA could do the following:

    Take the DeCSS code, and change a few characters. (I recall the source had several big arrays. Modify a few digits in there and nobody would notice.) Make a bunch of different pseudo-DeCSS programs.

    Next, an MPAA shill makes a mirror site with one of the fakes, and then posts to slashdot (New mirror here!) giving the address of the fake code. Some more slashdotters happen to grab that code, and set up their own mirror sites, unwittingly spreading the errors. At the same time, the MPAA continues their attack on any server that gets the correct code.

    The MPAA repeats the above several times so that there is as much bad code as good. Yes, the DeCSS code is still available, but it's impossible to find in the midst of all the fake stuff.

    (If you set up a mirror site, ask yourself where you got your copy, and if you tried to verify its accuracy.) Have there been any copies signed by someone who checked the source?

    Again, in all the discussion, I haven't seen these points brought up anywhere, so I'd like to see what others think of the same subject.

  • by Ian Schmidt ( 6899 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:23PM (#1340492)
    ...and these were on sale BEFORE DECSS EXISTED!

    Someone really needs to make sure EFF and the other defense lawyers know about that - there's a giant REAL piracy operation going on and MPAA is paying no attention to it.
  • The software may not have been 'unreleased.' There are a lot of beta testers out there. I don't know for sure if this gentleman is one of them, but it's something to consider.

    I'm sorry. What I meant to say was 'please excuse me.'
    what came out of my mouth was 'Move or I'll kill you!'
  • Yes, but Canada seems to have a stronger stance regarding the rights of content purchasers.. The rights of the consumer to copy that disc are well documented. In the US, its all legal grey. Sure, they're not attacking people who make archival copies of their CDs, or encode them to mp3, but that may very well change tomorrow with the tip of some judges gavel.
  • Even if he ultimately wins, and after a few years of protracted struggle gets his computers back, he will have been inconvenienced massively by this action, and any compensation granted will be insignificant. The reasoning goes, such a spectacle will serve to deter others who might mock the authority of the copyright barons.

    If you knew you could end up losing your computers, all your files and possibly your freedom, would you publically release something like DeCSS? Probably not, unless you've a yen for martyrdom.
  • by Baggio ( 8432 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:37PM (#1340511)
    It is him... I've talked to Jon on several other occations, and that was another email address that he had. He had it posted on his much older web site for a while as I recall. Anyway, I hope things turn out for the best for him.
    Time flies like an arrow;
  • by cs ( 15509 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:38PM (#1340512) Homepage
    > what does prosecuting him do for these people?

    If they win, it affirms their "firm stance" against hackers. It provides an appearance of vigilence in protecting their "trade secret". It promulgates the atmosphere of fear that any reverse enginieer will endure.

    One of the things that really disturbs me about all this (and not just this, this has been bugging me about the corporate world for quite a while) is that many people seem to view their jobs as "check you conscience at the door". I've had several people remark to me (in the course of doing something for work) "my job is X", where X often maps very closely to "maximise the profits for the company regardless of method". How many software engineers loathe software patents but churn them out as part of their job? Like situations exist in many places. I though "I was just following orders" was a discredited idea these days. How many companies feel their duty to the stockholders vis a vis sheer profit is the guiding light of their actions? Trademark lore _requires_ trademark owners to pursue any potential infringement with the evils of legal threat lest they lose their trademark. Like provisions exist for trade secrets (hence the DVD CCA's need to display vigilence, however misguided). These provisions are _actively_ bad for polite cooperation and free flow of information and technology.

    It depresses the hell out of me.
  • Rob Malda indicted by the MPA(A)
    Posted by jailbait on 05:31 PM January 25th, 2000
    from the AC-you-bastard! dept.
    Rob Malda's lawyer writes "Rob Malda has been indicted by the MPAA because they found the DeCSS source code in a comment of an AC in one of the discussion threads. More information to come.
    ( Read More... | 150 of 500 comments )

    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • Wonder whether the next wave of web-site cracks will read "FREE JON"...
  • From the whois query on at

    % Rights restricted by copyright. See

    Domain Information

    Domain Name................:
    Organization Handle........: MMA14O-NORID
    Registrar Handle...........: REG1-NORID
    Legal-c Handle.............: PJ21P-NORID
    Tech-c Handle..............: DNH1P-NORID
    Zone-c Handle..............: DNH1P-NORID
    Bill-c Handle..............:
    Nameserver Handle..........: NS636H-NORID
    Nameserver Handle..........: NS97H-NORID

    NORID Handle...............: MMA14O-NORID
    Organization Name..........: Micro Media ADB
    Organization Number........: 0
    Post Address...............: Postboks 13
    Postal Code................: N-3283
    Postal Area................: Steinsholt
    Country....................: Norway
    Phone Number...............: +47 33 12 91 22
    Fax Number.................: +47 33 12 95 52
    Email Address..............:


    This sure doesn't seem like his dad to me. It also is a post office box address. Can someone in Norway confirm the authenticiy of this? Hell, I haven't even seen a post that the NAIPEEC is a real organization. And if this not fake, I apologize for being too skeptical.

  • Printing large quantities of counterfeit currency in order to destabilise a country's economy (as Iran and the USSR were said to have done) is considered "economic terrorism". From that, it would be possible for a lawyer to make a link to making counterfeit DVDs, and then to cracking protection.
  • If the MPAA wanted to prosecute Johansen, would it have a case for extraditing him to face trial in the US?
  • Read the source:

    Not only doesn't their system use the fully-allowed number of bits worth of entropy, but their encryption algorithm was home-grown and (as time has shown) dumb. This defense might be valid if they had used a proper (well-known and well-tested) encryption system.

    Anyway -- who says 40 bits is the export limit? Netscape allows 56, and it's much easier to send contraband via HTTPS than via DVDs.

    - Tom 7
  • From their court filings: "Nobody has approached the Association for a licence for a Linux player, which would be granted if it were" (or that message anyway)
  • by jsm ( 5728 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:52PM (#1340534) Homepage
    This may be what the protesters were talking about when they said the WTO could supercede national sovereignty.

    Does anyone know how exactly how these events could have transpired, i.e. how law enforcement agents could have been wielded against Jon based on what he did? What did he do that was illegal, or what are the police claiming? Are they answering to a higher power, that is in turn answering to corporate interests, through the WTO or something similar? (I mean officially, we all know they do it under the table anyway....) What is the power/legal structure invoked here?

  • by Roundeye ( 16278 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:52PM (#1340535) Homepage
    I have finally had enough of this shit. I just donated $300 (a benefactor membership, and an additional $50 donation) to the EFF in support of their efforts against the numerous threats to liberty -- including many that are aimed primarily against the Free Software movement. It is not that I can afford to spend that kind of money, but I cannot afford to be inactive -- if the EFF does not receive support, the things about which we are complaining will become a permanent reality. The corporations are out to screw us to the fscking wall as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, without regard for fair play. This is how Big Business is done, and we are ill-prepared to defend ourselves. Safeguarding future profits is worth the manipulations, deceit, and legal maneuvering that will continue throughout the forseeable future.

    Anyone who seriously considers the events of the past year understands that the monopolies in place for content distribution are outmoded. Five years from now the distribution systems of the 20th century will have been almost wholly replaced. Information is not physical and has different distribution properties. The monopolies were established primarily because creation and distribution of the physical medium requires infrastructure and capital. Remove the physical medium and the market must change.

    Anyway, enough banter. Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the EFF after sending my donation. I urge each of you to consider contributing or volunteering your time to the EFF (why not at least visit their page []?)

    To whom it may concern:

    I just completed registration for a $250 benefactor membership and donated an additional $50 to EFF. I thought I would share with you the reasons for my support of your cause.

    In recent years the EFF has been visibly in support of electronic privacy and a person's right to freedom from censorship online; and against short-sighted legislation, prosecution, and abuses of the trademark, patent, and copyright systems. There have been numerous occasions where the presence of the EFF, and its cooperation with EPIC, the FSF, the ACLU, and other entities safeguarding our rights both online and offline, has indeed made a difference.

    During many of those times I felt myself either too poor, or too busy to contribute to your efforts -- choosing instead to hope that others would contribute, and hiding behind their efforts. It is not that I am no longer constrained (if anything I am more busy than ever before), but I have stood on the sidelines far too long, and it is now time that I give money, if I cannot afford more of my time to help.

    The threats to our liberty are greater than ever. The DMCA legislation is a catastrophe; the DeCSS lawsuit is a well-funded Blitzkrieg by the corporate stormtroopers of the MPAA. The RIAA is clearly out of control. Various states and governments are trampling our online rights faster than we can realize that we have them. The manuevering by the American government regarding cryptographic export controls, while deft, is an insult to those of us who understand the word "liberty".

    In order to mount a defense against the threats posed by the greedy, power-hungry, ignorant, and immoral you need resources. I hope my meager contribution will be of aid in this fight.

    I thank you all so much for your efforts.


    A wonderful media spoofer who shows how the media, individuals, and even police departments can be fooled or pushed into doing things through outrage...

    ``In May of 1994, Kim Yung Soo (a.k.a. Joey Skaggs), President of Kea So Joo, Inc. sent 1,500 letters to dog shelters around America soliciting all their unwanted dogs for $.10 a pound.......''

    You can guess what the reaction was. The rest of the story is there, along with other spoofs and hoaxes by him.. They're very good.

    This is just another case of the same thing.. The police being coerced by lots of outraged people calls, in this case its from lawyers representing the MPAA CCA, in that case, by the ``concerned public''.
  • Hmm, I apologize for not even taking the time to see if the NAIPEEC exists. It does, although I still am not convinced that this is a true story. Still, I apologize for my ignorance and poor research.

  • I (obviously) couldn't be sure, but I'd be 99.8% sure it wasn't legitimate. There are *very few* personal/home beta testers of W2K, as opposed to corporate.
  • anyone interested in putting together a little fund to run an ad in a major US newspaper like the NY times with the DeCSS code in it?

    Yeah... Even if it is as pathetic as a full column 'Classified'. I'll get in touch with someone in media and pick their brain. They owe me a few for the week-long loan of my cluster. A B/W half page in the back of USAToday should be in the reach of a few conspirators.
  • Okay, the translation here is difficult at best, but I believe it'll give you the gist of the article, and verify the validity of his claims.

    [Økokrim]-raid at [hacker] []

    Hope this helps!
    BTW, I used the translation page at Translation Experts Ltd []

    ________________________________________________ _____________
  • If this is for real, Jon probably has a good case before the European Court for Human Rights []. For starters, it appears his incarceration would violate Article 10 of the ECHR, which provides for freedom of expression (even though its "exceptions" are wide enough to drive a train through).
  • by lunatik17 ( 91135 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:29PM (#1340588) Homepage
    It's not the content they're scared about. It the players. Think about it:

    They are enforcing a tying arrangement between the content of DVDs and the players by licensing. Tying is generally considered illegal under antitrust laws; this was one of the allegations against MS: tying IE to Windows. Anyway, they charge huge amounts of money for these licenses, so not only are they (illegally) enforcing their monopoly, they are lining their pockets in the process! This is why they are threatened by DeCSS. If players became freely available, they would lose their iron grip on the market. This is why they are abusing the court system to scare off potential codevelopers of LiViD and other free players.

  • You're right.. I was over-generalizing, based on the Windows program DeCSS, which is generating the stink. (I have yet to even see mention of the Linux CSS-auth in the legal docs,) The css-auth package does do it in two steps. DeCSS does not.
  • Bruce Perens and Chris DiBona were both at the restraining order hearing in San Jose. Many community leaders have devoted web resources to publicizing the case. I don't see any reason to criticize them.


  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a celluar designer who knows some of the hooks the various governments put into cell phones, perhaps taking his away does him and his case a big favor.

    BTW.. If I was saying or doing anything that might piss off somebody I sure as hell wouldn't want any kind of cell phone (or for that mater most electronics) around.

    It is shocking how much our toys leak... Ever wonder how they count radio listeners in autos... Clue.. think IF and mixer.

    Consider 2 way pagers... how much effort do you think it would be to add to your engine computer? all 3 year old cars identify your location and serial number starting ... now! I think some of the current engine computers could preform this function as an idle task in their software without requiring much if any extra hardware. All it would require today is immunity from laws suits if a transmit/receive caused the brakes to fail or the engine to stall.

    Consider the new push for active marketing. As you move around your web browsing cell phone will report your postion to retail outlets close by. its lunch time and that burger joint offers you a private coupon not to walk on by

    your boss traces you going to an interview over lunch by registering to follow your cell phone and fires you when you return

    This feature is no more than 1 year away!

  • If you really want to get rid of all your MPAA stuff, find a local chapter of Geeks with Guns and a good outdoor range.

    If you're in the Pacific Northwest, email me. I'd like to try a carbine out on some DVD equiptment...

    TOYWAR []!!
  • by EvlG ( 24576 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:40PM (#1340604)
    Ever since DeCSS was first posted about on /. and linked from the oodles of comments, many a /.er has used the oft-quoted mantra: "the cat's out of the bag" or "the horse has escaped the barn" or other such sentiment. They seem to think that just because the "secret"[1] is out, it's all irrelevant. Wrong.

    The whole DeCSS issue is an important one that will shape computer politics in the decades to come. The issues at hand, specifically the right of the consumer to reverse engineer products he owns, especially to further interoperability, is a very serious one.

    The problem with the /. mentality is that, once the "secret" is out, the issue becomes all the more relevant. Suddenly there are criminal indictments, lawsuits, and hefty fines being thrown around.

    The fact is, DeCSS can be used to make copies of DVDs. This is a serious concern with the movie industry, and they intend to do something about it. The very day that work on DeCSS was started, someone should have been considering the legal implications of the project.

    Folks, this issue isn't going to go away until the final verdict is rendered. The MPAA and DVD CCA will try and go all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to; simply saying "cats ut of the bag!" and posting a link isn't doing anything to solve the problem. If nothing else, it is making it worse by possibly implicating yourself in the whole mess.

    What can be done? Donate to the EFF to fund the defense. Raise awareness with intelligent conversation and advocacy. However, I believe the most important lesson that we can glean from all this concerns legal issues. The time has passed when we could code first, ask forgiveness later. There's big money and big prison time at stake. Perhaps it's time we sit back and think, if I'm going to hack away at a program/piece of hardware/whatever, 1) is this legal 2) is this ethical and 3) what can I do to ensure that the project STAYS legal and ethical?

    This fiasco is a perfect example. The very moment the DVD CCA learned of DeCSS, their lawyers went to work. Can the same be said of ours? Playing catch-up and react is just what they want us to do. It's time we take the initiative.

    [1] You'll note secret is in quotations. That is because the issue of CSS being a trade secret is still in debate.
  • by Azog ( 20907 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:41PM (#1340605) Homepage
    I asked this before over in Katz' latest column, but didn't get much in responses.

    I'm surprised that the idea of data haven isn't seriously being considered by open source and free speech advocates. The basic concept is straight out of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, although the idea has been around longer then that.

    Someone, in a free country with good laws and a good legal system (i.e. not the US), supported by hackers and privacy supporters all over the world, should set up some servers. These could host reverse engineered open-source programs, CVS repositories, cryptography software, text documents, and other free speech related stuff.

    Programs like DeCSS could be hosted there, immune to search and seizure, and out of reach of lawsuits that are only started to bully and threaten.

    We need something like this now! It will be essential if reverse-engineering does become illegal in more places, affecting software like Samba and hundreds of other useful programs.

    Questions I would really like answered:
    - Is there something stupid about this idea that I don't realize?
    - Does something like this exist already?
    - If so, can I support it?
    - What would be a good country to do this in?
    - What would it take to start one?

  • by lazyr ( 35677 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:43PM (#1340607) Homepage
    I have heard it twice this morning on the primary radio-station (p1) of "Norwegian National Broadcast" (NRK). They said he has been accused of breaking both the criminal law and copyright laws (I think that's how it translates.) So I guess it's correct.
  • That was a good action, sincere letter, and decent sentiment. I feel that it doesn't matter if this seizure of Mr. Johansen's equipment is a hoax---enough facts are in.

    I'm matching your donation.

  • by lazyr ( 35677 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:57PM (#1340619) Homepage

    Economic Criminal Departement (ECD) has razzia at hacker's home.

    ECD has charged and confiscated (stuff) in the home of a 16 year old computer-hacker in Larvik, after he cracked and published the protection code of the american film industry.

    On the background of a charge from the american film industry's branch organization MPA, ECD yesterday ransacked the home of the 16-year old in Larvik. The Attorney of State Inger Marie Sunde in Økokrim, confirms to Aftenposten that they yesterday got the court of interregation's court-order for doing this, in order to secure evidence in the case.

    The background is a charge the ECD now has taken against the 16-year old. The charge is based on two possible deeds punishable by law. They have to do with that he autumn last year helped crack the protection the american film industry uses to stop piracy of films on so-called DVD-reckords. This is according to Sunde covered in the law of crimes, and can be punished by fines or inprisonment in up to two years.

    (more coming up)
  • by Frac ( 27516 )
    Nope. DVDs are easily manufacturable in Hong Kong and mainland China now. In fact, someone made Star Wars trilogies into DVDs from their LaserDisc counterpart (which is still much higher quality than VCDs)
  • by Pascal Q. Porcupine ( 4467 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @08:59PM (#1340623) Homepage
    If you want to throw some monkey wrenches into the MPAA's finding of DeCSS source, try mirroring this [] instead. Something I hacked up in about half an hour. Have fun. :)
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [].
  • This is not intended as flaimbait but, I just don't understand what the big deal is... so they want money for licensing their product. What makes this any different from CD players? Don't the makers of CD players have to license the technology from Sony/Phillips or whoever? The fee might be a lot more but, what's the difference?

    Maybe I'm totally misinformed and don't really understand what's going on but, I don't see the problem here.

    They don't want to support DVD players on LINUX. Where does it say that they have to? I agree that their decision to not do it is a tremendously stupid thing but, what law says that you have to be intelligent?

    If they ignore us, they lose in the long run. I wish they wouldn't but, just like I have the right to use LINUX (and the right to not be forced to use it), they have the right to support it and to not support it if they so choose.

    Just my $0.02

    If you beleive I'm mistaken, please let me know by responding with a decent answer to my question (flames &> /dev/null &).


  • ..the people who can help. and in this case, that's everyone. This is at the bottom of the deck, but i'll make a go anyway...
    I feel that there are too many people who unfortunately dont know enough to give a damn. I don't have many resources..but i want to help. I've looked at many online resources to try to get a better grasp of what's issues are a stake for the present and the future. There are technical issues that the average joe(tm) doesn't want to understand. Give us MORE information on what we can do. We're pumped already! Post flyers. Talk about it at your LUG meetings . Inform the public.

    Freedom of the press was intended to inform the people of the things that matter the most. Changes in their lives. If you are in ANY form of media, and you are reading this, ask yourself this. If you enjoy the thought of improving people lives by reporting the issues impartially and without prejudice, will you sit idly by as people who now control mainstream media outlets report the "news" that they think is important to hear for the best interests of business? Or do the people have a right to press and free speech that lets the public decide for itself what is the fact of the matter?

    Mer|in: I wonder who owns "Court TV"?

    Linux users groups are non-profit organizations. Public access television?

    Alot of people still don't know what's going on. Make your voice heard. When people get curious, they'll start diggin and asking questions.

    I'm ranting.....
    This is very important. The media war is getting ugly.
    Be proactive. Because like it or not....there are too many issues to list that are at stake that we will be fighting for in the years to come.

    Suggestions? Comments?
  • As I understand it, one of the key points in the DVD encryption scheme is a (more or less) unwritable, unreadable section of the disc which contains part of the information needed to decrypt the disc. The other part is contained within the DVD player itself. (Each DVD player manufacturer licenses a key to include in its firmware. This info + the special sector = the info you need to be able to decrypt)

    This part of the copy-protection scheme is (as far as I can tell) similar to the way Sony (tries to) keep people from pirating Playstation games. Every PSX unit's firmware is programmed to only play games with the correct localization code and the correct format - and the localization code is written in a way that commercially available CD burners and the like can't duplicate. That doesn't mean that a person can't chip their playstation (bypass the security on the end-user unit), but it does make it very difficult for people without some -serious- equipment to pirate games to run on normal units.

    If DeCSS is outlawed, only outlaws will have DeCSS.
  • by lazyr ( 35677 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @09:18PM (#1340645) Homepage
    Father also charged:

    The 16-year-old has in addition published a computer program on the internet, that allows others to break the copy protection, and make copies of movies and other works of art, that are made and sold digitally.

    The program is published on the homepage of his fathers company. Therefore he also is included in the part of the charge concerning assistance to illegal publishing. This is a deed that is covered by the law of artworks, with a possible punishment of up to three years of prison, according to Sunde. And she continues:

    "We take seriously to this kind of lawbreaks. It's a big problem for those who produce works of art to protect their economic intrests when the works are distributed electronically. Therefore it is important to keep the demands of punishment made for works of art of the types movies and tv-programs."

    On the same time it is important to strike at the hero-worshipping the persons who are behind such deeds are treated to by the hacker-community. And even if the center person in this case is only 16 years, it seems he is fully aware about what he's done, says Sunde.

    The 16-year old have earlier gone out in the media, after he, together with two other hackers, cracked the protection code and put it on the internet in the shape of a link to the program DeCSS. This program contains the receipe for breaking the code.

    The representative of the american film producers in Norway, lawyer Espen Tøndel, confirms to Aftenposten that he on behalf of his client has laid forth the charges of the 16-year old and his father.

    "We will establish that even in a digital world it is punishable to break into another mans establishment. The most serious consequense in this is that the persons who did it is responsible for withdrawing large income. In Europe only, the audiovisual industry yearly lose 8 billion kroner. With the internet evolving into the biggest distribution system in the world, this is an even more serious problem," says Tøndel.

    "We had not expected this to happen so long after the case was known and the program made available. But there are powerful forces behind," said the father of the charged to Aftenposten late last night. The man was then beeing interrogated by the norwegian department of economic crime.

    "The police has taken my son away for interrogation at the local police station. They have taken two of his computers, but I don't know if they'll get anything out of them."

  • by lazyr ( 35677 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @09:57PM (#1340684) Homepage
    The Econcomic Crime Departement apprehended and charged computer genius.

    16-year old beeing interrogated until midnight.

    After a charge from american filmcompanies, ECD yesterday took action against the computer-celebrity Jon Johansen (16) from Steinsholt in Vestfold.

    The youths home was ransacked, and the police confiscated two computers, and both the 16-year old and his father was interrogated until midnight.

    Both he and his father is charged with breaking the "punish-law" (law of crimes, I guess) and the law of artworks, with two and three years imprisonment, respectively, as possible punishments. The reason for this charge is Jon Johansen's contribution in the development of DeCSS, a program allowing copying of DVD-films.

    Father and Son charged.

    - We have charged Jon and Per Johansen on behalf of MPA and DVD CCA, affirms lawyer Espen Tøndel at the lawyer firm Simonsen Musæus. MPA (Motion Picture Assosiation) consists of the gigants Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Centry Fox, Universal Studio and Warner Bros. That is, the seven biggest movie companies in the USA. DVD CCA (Copyright Control Assosiation) controls and protects the copyright of DVD-products.

    In other words, there are powerful forces now attacking the norwegian 16-year old. But Tøndel denies that Jon is made scapegoat to make an example.

    - No, it is important to make the point that it is illegal to intrude into these systems and films, says Tøndel.

    In almost 8 hours has Jon Johansen been in interrogation. He had to leave his mobile phone, all passwords on his computer, and a number of CD-reckords. But he isn't frightened by the serious charges.

    _Not Copyprotected_

    - The charge is wrong. The codes on DVD-discs are not copy-protected, but a protection against playing them. We have made it possible to play DVD-films on our computers, he claimed to VG tonight.

    - The film companies will try to control who can play what movies on DVD-players they have approved, with their codes and zones. That wish, we do not respect. This is about freedom of speech, says young Johansen.

    So far, they are the only ones charged, after MPA last week won a demand in american court, that all links on the Internet refering to DeCSS had to be removed. But he does not regret standing forth with full name after the news about DeCSS got out.

    - Somebody has got to fight this battle, he laughs, and prepares for a long night. A full rapport of ECD's actions will be written and put out on the net site From there it will be spread around the world during the night and early morning hours.

    _Raised Eyebrows_

    Jon Johansen became a computer celebrity in november last year when it became known that he together with two friends in the group MoRE cracked the codes that were to protect the new DVD-movies against copying. The news made big waves in the international computer community - and in the american film industry.

    Jon, then 15 years old, was contacted by the lawyer-firm Simonsen Musæus, who told him that Internett-links to DeCSS had to be removed. Simultaneously, the MPA mobilized in the american court system. Their demands of removal of links was first denied. But last week their demands were met in both California and New York.

    (C) Copyright VG
  • Even though the article appears to be bogus, it's plausable and that's what makes it so damn scary.

    In any event, it's hopefully encouraged more people to get involved and donate to the EFF, write their representatives, etc to help make a meaningful difference.
  • ... but everyone is in an uproar of what can we do, what can we do. A good percentage of the population realizes whole-hartedly what to do, spread the source as well as the word. We don't have to do anything so radically new. If the government goes too far, we can take things that we are doing already further. We can protest more, have more petitions written, do "more damagage" as the RIAA would have it.

    To everyone who has posted the source, you have done a great thing. If you haven't in one way or another done so, do it now. Put it on, on a page cache on google. Message boards whenever you can (tastefully). Gopher sites! (sic) Buy that really cool t-shirt from!

    back once again I'm the renegade masta'


  • by kaphka ( 50736 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @10:34PM (#1340720)
    A coppied DVD is NOT broken. The encryption only effects playback.
    Er, well, technically that's right. You could copy a DVD without copying the protected area, and you would end up with a perfectly valid encrypted copy that can't be played on any DVD player. (Because the keys are missing.)
    The entire point of the encryption is to keep you from playing DVDs with different country codes.
    Region coding has nothing to do with CSS. The "region code" is just a single byte on the disc, it's entirely up to the players to enforce it.

    CSS is there to prevent digital copying of a DVD. Nothing can stop you from copying the encrypted data, of course, but you can't copy the keys, and without the keys, the disc is unreadable. A DVD drive will only let you into the protected area if you provide it with a valid player key, which (in theory) would only be found in licensed, MPAA-approved DVD players.

    DeCSS provides access to unencrypted movie data without enforcing the copy protection, which is why the MPAA is pissed off. I really wish that Slashdot readers would understand that DeCSS does in fact make it possible to copy DVDs, so we could stop arguing about it, and instead focus on the valid reasons why the MPAA and company are wrong.
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @11:38PM (#1340759)
    Observation on "Our Side vs The World":

    - No. of provisional wins: ~ 2 (M$/DoJ, CDA)

    - No. of effective wins: 0

    - No. of heavyweight cases against: 10000000000

    - Big money supports which side: against

    - Politics supports which side: against

    Conclusion: There is absolutely no cause for celebration, no precedent for success, and numerous reasons for pessimism.

    Why then do so many posters here seem to think that appealing to the law and/or government is going to deliver to us the world we want? This looks like extraordinary wishful thinking to me.

    Fighting a planetful of power politics, business greed, visionary blindness and establishment inertia is about as likely to succeed as ploughing your way through an iceberg a thousand times your size.

    Don't bother. Route around the problem. There are more ways than one, and some good ones are bound to emerge if we put our thinking caps on.
  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2000 @04:58AM (#1340942)
    "In almost 8 hours has Jon Johansen been in interrogation. He had to leave his mobile phone, all passwords on his computer, and a number of CD-reckords. But he isn't frightened by the serious charges."

    In the US I believe a suspect is not required to say ONE word without a lawyer present. Is this also true in Norway? I think it is an outrage that the government can conduct a raid, ransack your house, and take a 16 year old minor for "questioning" for 8 HOURS on behest of some faceless multi-billion dollar corporation. He shouldn't have had to say ONE word without a lawyer. Everybody pull out and read your ACLU cards... - the Java Mozilla []

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.