As expected, the Motion Picture Association of America has begun to
threaten people all over the world in the wake of their victory in
the 2600 lawsuit.
This time, not only are sites that mirror DeCSS being targeted, but
also those that merely have LINKS to other sites with DeCSS. The
MPAA points to the anti-linking ruling in the 2600 decision and
apparently intends to pursue people who type a single line of HTML -
if it points somewhere they don't want it to point.
If you're surprised by this, then you haven't been paying attention. This
is precisely what Judge Kaplan's ill-advised ruling guaranteed. There will be
more threats, more intimidation tactics, and a whole lot more victims.
Expect more lawsuits from more corporations as they continue to crack
down on free expression and free speech.
So far the only people who cannot post or link to DeCSS are the people
of 2600. But they will use our case to shut down anyone else who
attempts to do this.
There are two ways to stop this. One is for everyone to comply. The
other is for DeCSS to show up EVERYWHERE - on a much more massive
scale than ever before. The MPAA would be spending so much in the way
of time and resources that they might even have to stop judging movies.
Obviously, we prefer the second option but we're not going to tell people
which they should do. This could carry serious consequences, even more
serious than what we've already gone through. But not doing anything to
stop this madness will carry even more far-reaching consequences. Which
way to go on this is a decision that has to be made on an individual
The MPAA is also sending threatening letters to ISPs, schools, and
workplaces of those people who have the DeCSS code or links to it on
their site. In many cases, this is enough to have access cut off to
the individual since such letters carry a lot of weight, especially
for those who want to stay out of the spotlight.
On several occasions, letters have been sent to people who haven't posted
or linked to DeCSS in months.
Here is the letter that is being sent to individuals via e-mail:
MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC.
15503 VENTURA BOULEVARD
ENCINO, CALIFORNIA 91436
Date: August 29, 2000
______, __ _____
RE: Illegal Provision of DeCSS/Circumvention Device
MPAA File#: _-___-___
Dear _______ ___________:
The Motion Picture Association of America is authorized to act on behalf of the following copyright owners:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
TriStar Pictures, Inc.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
United Artists Pictures, Inc.
United Artists Corporation
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Warner Bros., a Division of
Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.
We have knowledge that the above-referenced Internet site is providing a circumvention device commonly known as DeCSS.
DeCSS is a software utility that decrypts or unscrambles the contents of DVDs (consisting of copyrighted motion pictures) or otherwise circumvents the protection afforded by the Contents Scramble System (CSS) and permits the copying of the DVD contents and/or any portion thereof. As such, DeCSS is an unlawful circumvention device within the meaning of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §1201(a)(2),(3).
Providing or offering DeCSS to the public on your system or network violates the provisions of §1201(a)(2) which prohibits the "manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking" in an unlawful circumvention device. (17 U.S.C. §1201 et seq. hereafter is referred to as the "DMCA").
On August 17, 2000, a federal district court in the Southern District of New York confirmed that offering, providing, or trafficking in DeCSS, or any other device designed to circumvent CSS, violates the DMCA. The district court granted a permanent injunction against (1) posting on any Internet site, or in any other way manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking in DeCSS or any other technology primarily designed to circumvent CSS, and (2) linking any Internet web site, either directly or through a series of links, to any other Internet web site containing DeCSS.
The district court's ruling makes clear that by providing DeCSS, the above- referenced Internet site violates the DMCA. We therefore demand that you:
1) take appropriate steps to cause immediate removal of DeCSS from the above identified URL, along with such other actions as may be necessary or appropriate to suspend this illegal activity;
2) provide appropriate notice to the subscriber or account holder responsible for the presence of DeCSS on your system or network, advising him/her of the contents of this notice and directing that person to contact the undersigned immediately at the e-mail address provided above;
3) advise us of the name and physical address of the person operating this site; and
4) maintain, and take whatever steps are necessary to prevent the destruction of, all records, including electronic records, in your possession or control respecting this URL, account holder or subscriber.
Failure to comply with these measures will subject you to liability pursuant to the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101 et seq.
By copy of this letter, the owner of the above-referenced URL and/or email account is hereby directed to cease and desist from the conduct complained of herein.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Your immediate response is requested.
The information in this notification is accurate, and we declare, under penalty of perjury, that the Motion Picture Association is authorized to act on behalf of the owner[s] of exclusive rights described above.
Should you have any questions, please contact us at the above listed address.
The Motion Picture Association of America
DeCSS (Domestic) 08/29/00