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Hollywood vs 2600.com in court today

DVD cracking status put to the test

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A New York court will today begin hearing the DVD copyright case between Hollywood and the Hacker community, in the shape of 2600.com.

Eight studios, members of the Motion Picture Assoiciation of America (MPAA), are suing 2600.com - The Hacker Quarterly for distributing, via the Net, DecSS - software which enables users to bypass encryption used in DVD disks.

The case has been brought under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a newly-minted and highly controversial US law, which forbids the use of new technology to bypass the copyrights of traditional owners.

DecSS was designed by a couple of Norwegian student in
to let people watch DVD disks on Linux-powered computers.

Lawyers for 2600.com argue that its DecSS distribution is covered by the legal notion of "fair use", which allows punter to make a copy of copyrighted material for their own uncommercial use. They also says that banning software links violate freedom of speech, guaranteed by the first amendment.

It will be interesting to see if these arguments withstand Hollywood, armed with the DMCA.

2600.com has a tough fight on its hands, but it says it will appeal, if it loses. ®

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