"Round one of the fight over DeCSS is over, but the matter
is far from settled. The defendants are warming up for an appeal
that may decide the issues of whether computer code can be
considered free speech and whether outlawing reverse engineering on
the Web should be possible."
"It came as no surprise that a federal judge granted a permanent
injunction yesterday against Eric Corley and 2600, his hacker
magazine. The ruling, which prohibits posting the DeCSS code that
decrypts DVDs, ends the suit in favor of the plaintiffs, the Motion
Picture Association of America. What did come as a surprise was
that Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern
District of New York also enjoined the defendant from linking to
Websites that offer DeCSS or otherwise trafficking in the code, and
broadened the ruling to enjoin those acting in concert with
"[The ruling] does chill linking and, in the long run, it chills
the Internet," commented Meg Smith, a fellow at Harvard Law
School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which filed an
amicus brief on behalf of the defense. "Certainly linking will
become a key issue for an appeal now," said Wendy Seltzer, also a
fellow at the Berkman Center."
"While piracy was the reason the filmmaking giants gave for the
suit, the trial also raises issues of free speech and fair use,
uncharted territory in the digital age. "The court's ruling is a
victory for consumers and for legitimate technology," said Jack
Valenti, MPAA chair and CEO."
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