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Petition protests arrest of Norwegian DeCSS author Jon Johansen

Jan 27, 2000, 19:33 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dwight Johnson)

By Dwight Johnson

The Norwegian Linux Web site Linuxguiden has launched a petition protesting the treatment received by 16-year-old Norwegian hacker Jon Johansen, who was arrested on Monday, January 24, and charged with copyright and criminal violations.

Over 6,000 have already signed the petition, which is prefaced by a letter of protest written by Linuxguiden Editor, Gaute Lindkvist.

Johansen is a co-founder of MoRE (Masters of Reverse Engineering) and participated in writing the controversial open-source application DeCSS, which decrypts the DVD video format and makes it possible to play DVD movies on the Linux platform. No other DVD player for Linux exists. Johansen posted the code for DeCSS on his father's Web site. Johansen's father was also charged in the police bust, in which two PCs and related materials were confiscated.

The arrest is related to the federal lawsuits filed by the Motion Picture Association of America which seek to prevent dissemination of the DeCSS code over the Internet.

Johansen and his father face up to three years in prison if convicted.

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