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Movie studios sue four over DeCSS distribution

Defendants alleged to have promoted piracy

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The movie industry's battle against the DeCSS continued this week with the launch of two lawsuits against website owners providing the DVD decryption utility online.

In New York, eight major film studios, including Paramount, Warner Bros, Columbia and 20th Century Fox, together alleged two webmasters, Shawn Reimerdes and Eric Corley, and the owner of the company that hosts their pages, Roman Kazan, were responsible for encouraging the piracy of copyright material by offering DeCSS and by suggesting downloaders use it to trade DVD files over the Internet. "Yes, you can trade DVD files over the Internet. You can break the encryption on any DVD," the suit alleges one of the defendants said on his site.

In Connecticut, the Motion Picture Association of America has initiated legal action against one Jeraimee Hughes, alleging similar incitement to illegally copy and distribute DVD content. The two actions come after a massed effort to force some 72 websites and individuals to cease offering DeCSS for downloading. A hearing at which the movie industry planned to ask for a temporary restraining order to be placed on a number of these sites was postponed earlier this week. ®

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