Feeds

Prosecutors appeal DVD Jon innocent verdict

Possible 'double jeopardy' retrial looms

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Norwegian prosecutors are appealing the court ruling that cleared teenager Jon Lech Johansen of criminal charges for creating a utility for playing back DVDs on his own computer.

Norway's special division for white-collar crimes, Økokrim, has decided to appeal the acquittal of the 19 year-old on charges of "piracy and distribution of the DVD code-breaking program", Web site Nettavisen via Norwegian daily Aftenposten reports.

The legal move means that Johansen once again faces criminal charges for helping to write and publish the DeCSS DVD descrambling program, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (which has campaigned vigorously on the issue) notes.

Johansen used DeCSS to watch his own DVDs on his Linux computer, which copy protection measures on DVDs prevented.

This outrageous behaviour provoked a raid on his home three year ago, after which he was charged by the Norwegian Economic Crime Unit for obscure offences against Norwegian Criminal Code 145(2) which carry a sentence of up to two years in jail.

The case went to trial earlier this month after which a lower court ruled unanimously that Johansen did not violate Norwegian law.

Judge Irene Sogn ruled that there was "no evidence" that either Johansen or others had used the decryption code (DeCSS) illegally. The good judge also dismissed prosecution arguments that Johansen intended to aid and abet DVD piracy.

We thought the ruling meant it was legal to use DeCSS code to watch legally obtained DVD films, at least in Norway (whose citizens don't have the DMCA to worry about). It seems we spoke to soon.

Johansen's attorney Halvor Manshaus, of the law firm Schjødt AS, expected prosecutors to appeal the case.

"This is not unexpected, as the prosecution has flagged this as a case of principle interest," Manshaus said.

"The appeals court, Borgarting lagmannsrett, may decide not to grant the appeal, as there is a screening principle for criminal cases. If the appeal is granted, this means that there will be full proceedings before the appeal court on all aspects of the case, i.e. both factual evidence and legal arguments," he adds.

Manshaus however remains confident that his client will prevail in the end. ®

Related Stories

DVD Jon is free - official
DVD hacker Johansen indicted in Norway
2600 withdraws Supreme Court appeal in DeCSS case
'DeCSS' DVD descrambler ruled legal
Greece, Denmark (and no-one else) make EC copyright deadline

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.