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DVD INDUSTRY TAKES 2600 TO COURT
Posted 27 Dec 1999 00:00:00 UTC

update 01/02/00
Text of Juge Elfving's order denying a temporary restraining order is now available here along with scans PAGE 1, PAGE 2, PAGE 3 and PAGE 4. More documents are available from JYA's Cryptome.

update 12/29/99
On December 29, the DVD CCA's motion for a preliminary injunction was denied by Superior Court Judge William J. Elfving. We believe the massive groundswell of support that many of you demonstrated was largely responsible for this turn of events. The battle is not yet over however as we have another court date on January 14. We will keep you updated as this date draws closer. Chris DiBona was at Wednesday's hearing and gives a full account of the day's events on his webpage.

In a bizarre turn of events, a complaint has been filed against 2600 in a California court by the DVD Copy Control Association. Apparently, when we reported a recent crack in the encryption used by the DVD industry, our mirroring of the crack was enough to turn us into criminals who want to destroy the entire motion picture industry and ruin all that is good in the world.

Here we go again. Only this time, WE'RE the target.

It never ceases to amaze us how those supposedly in command of technology are hopelessly lost when it comes to real world correlation. Or maybe it's more sinister - perhaps they are counting on a court system which will buy into their corporate slant and hang the rest of us out to dry without stopping to realize that none of it makes any sense.

DVD encryption was cracked. That is a fact. And all of the legal papers in the world will not erase that fact. But the DVD industry believes they can do exactly that, through intimidation and wasting valuable court time and probably millions of dollars that will be paid by the consumer in the end. If they get their way, they will actually continue to use an encryption algorithm that has been proven inferior. Where is the logic in this?

Obviously, there is none. But this isn't about logic. It's one more example of a powerful corporate entity trying to intimidate a bunch of individuals through lawyers, guns, and money. We've seen this in the hacker world countless times before and in more than a few cases, people have had their lives shattered by this seemingly unstoppable force. That alone is reason enough for us not to cave in, no matter the cost. If we allow this action against us to stand, we will be helping to establish precedent which would all but make it illegal to reverse engineer any form of technology. In other words, figuring things out would be analogous to criminal behavior. What kind of a world would that be for anyone interested in technology? What kind of a world would that be for anyone?

We don't take this kind of thing lightly. We knew there were certain risks attached to our taking a stand on the DVD issue. That in itself seems incredible to us as we had nothing to do with the actual cracking of the encryption. All we did was voice our condemnation of attempts to suppress the knowledge that had been discovered. But by keeping the knowledge alive, guilt was copied over to us in the eyes of the DVD Copy Control Association - as it was to dozens of other entities who refused to back down.

Do they believe that by shutting us down, all of the copies that have been made throughout the world will magically disappear? Of course they don't. What they do believe is that dealing us a crippling blow will ensure that we won't be around to cause trouble the next time this happens. They may very well succeed in the courts. A recent look at prosecutions and new laws seems to pave the way for just this sort of thing. But all of the scare tactics in the world will never erase the human need for knowledge and the instinctive desire to figure out things, regardless of whether or not we're "supposed to."

Naturally, any updates will be posted here. If you can't reach us, don't panic right away as we expect things to get really busy in the next few days.

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