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NY Times: Judge May Be Hollywood's Friend in Fight Over DVD Code

Feb 11, 2000, 16:27 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carl S. Kaplan)

"After losing the first round in an important legal fight over DVD technology, lawyers for three men who have become targets of Hollywood's ire are preparing for a full-blown trial. But they concede that they face an uphill fight in the courtroom of Judge Lewis A. Kaplan...."

"Judge Kaplan, to put it mildly, did not endorse the view that DeCSS was strictly a way to play back movies. At one point during the hearing, he asked sarcastically: "What do you think people are going to do with DeCSS, put it on floppy disks and use it to fertilize the garden?"

"But then the judge moved beyond this dispute and clinched the argument. He said that even assuming that the DeCSS code was intended and usable solely to permit the playing and not the copying of DVDs, playing the decrypted DVDs on unauthorized machines violated a federal law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law was passed in 1998 to protect the interests of copyright holders distributing digital works."

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