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CNET News.com/AP: Judge backs movie industry in DVD cracking case

Aug 17, 2000, 19:41 (29 Talkback[s])

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"A federal judge today ruled in favor of the motion picture industry in its battle to protect DVDs from being copied on computers. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said it was "a matter of First Amendment concern."

"Kaplan rejected as baseless the argument by defense lawyers in a trial last month who said computer code is a free expression of speech entitled to maximum constitutional protection, and that computer code essentially is exempt from government regulation."

"Computer code is not purely expressive any more than the assassination of a political figure is purely a political statement," he said. He added: "Code causes computers to perform desired functions. Its expressive element no more immunizes its functional aspects from regulation than the expressive motives of an assassin immunize the assassin's action."

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