Remember the DVDCCA case? That's the OTHER DVD lawsuit we've been involved in thanks to the people at the DVD Copy Control Association. It's been held up in court while jurisdictional issues are resolved. Later today, a hearing will take place in a California court on whether the court can actually charge people from all around the world. One of the 500 defendants, Matthew Pavlovich, has challenged the court's jurisdiction.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued this statement regarding the hearing:
Tech-Savvy Indiana Student Snared in California Court
Court Reconsiders Due Process for Alleged Software Publisher
Debate over whether Indiana student Matthew Pavlovich
must appear in a DVD software publication case will continue
July 12 in a California court. In December 2000,
a unanimous California Supreme Court ruled that the
appellate court must reconsider its decision requiring
Pavlovich to defend himself in a California court.
The movie industry trade group DVD-CCA continues attempts
to force Pavlovich and 500 anonymous posters located all
over the world to defend themselves against alleged trade
secret misappropriation despite the hardships these
alleged web publishers would face in a legal battle fought
far from their homes.
"The importance of Constitutional restrictions on the reach
of state courts has never been more important than in the
Internet age," said Pavlovich's attorney Allonn Levy, of
the HS Law Group. "Without the proper application of these
safeguards, the Internet will become a liability minefield
for users, facing nation-wide legal exposure anytime they
publish to the Internet, dramatically chilling speech on
the Web," explained the San Jose litigator.
"The US Constitution's due process clause guarantees that
you will not be sued in Santa Clara, California, 2000 miles
away from the Indiana student dormitory where you surf the
web," stated Robin Gross, EFF staff attorney for
intellectual property and Pavlovich's co-counsel.
In December 1999, DVD-CCA sued hundreds of individuals,
including Indiana college student Matthew Pavlovich, for
allegedly publishing DeCSS software on a website that hosted
various Linux-based open-source projects.
The movie industry, represented by its trade group DVD-CCA,
filed the lawsuit in California alleging trade secret
misappropriation. The suit attempts to force Pavlovich and
500 anonymous posters located all over the world to defend
their Internet publication of the software in California.
Trial and appellate courts both denied Pavlovich's
motion for dismissal, but in a rare move last December,
the California Supreme Court unanimously granted
Pavlovich's petition for review and sent the matter back to
the appellate court for argument on why the non-California
resident with no connection to the state should remain in
The U.S. Constitution's due process clause limits a state
court's ability to assert power over out-of-state
defendants who have no connection with that state.
DeCSS is free software that allows people to play DVDs
without technological restrictions, such as region codes,
preferred by movie studios.
At a January 2000 hearing, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Judge William Elfving ordered defendants to remove postings
of DeCSS pending the case's outcome at trial. The 6th
Appellate Circuit court will hear EFF's appeal of Elfving's
ruling this fall.
The appeals court has stayed the alleged trade secret
misappropriation case pending the outcome of Pavlovich's
The California 6th Appellate Court will hear arguments
on the case on Thursday, July 12th at 9:30 a.m. at
333 W. Santa Clara St., 10th floor, in San Jose,
California. For directions see
See Pavlovich's appellate motion to dismiss for lack of
See DVD-CCA's opposition to original request for dismissal:
EFF's Archive on California DeCSS case:
Cryptome.org Archive with more legal filings: