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The Register: Public interest cited in DVD descrambler appeal

Mar 26, 2001, 23:51 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas C Greene)

"This may be the most important challenge to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) yet mounted, because 2600 didn't make whole, copyrighted works available, but rather made a utility program available which, while outlawed by the DMCA on grounds that it enables evildoers to circumvent a technical access control to copyrighted work, is also an item of journalistic interest.

" The brief cites the 1989 decision in Florida Star v. B.J.F., stating that "[I]f a newspaper lawfully obtains truthful information about a matter of public significance then state officials may not constitutionally punish publication of the information, absent a need to further a state interest of the highest order."

"On the basis of that, 2600 argues that it is a news outfit (perhaps its weakest claim here), that what it published is of public significance (no argument from us), and that, surely, there can be no 'state interest of the highest order' in keeping it secret (self evident)."

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