Feeds

DVD Jon wins again

Acquitted for second time

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

An appeals court in Oslo today upheld Jon Lech Johansen's earlier acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations, the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten reports.

Johansen, 20, was alleged to have broken the law by writing and publishing a DVD descrambling program, DeCSS, so that he could watch films he owned on a Linux PC. It earned him the nickname DVD Jon.

The case began three years ago when he was charged by the Norwegian Economic Crime Unit and had to appear in court. The Norwegian prosecutors were acting largely on the behest of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). They sought a suspended jail term and a fine of NOK 20,000 (about €3,000).

In January this year, a lower court had ruled that Johansen had done nothing illegal when he helped to crack the DVD copy protection code back in 1999 and then explained on his website how he had done it. The prosecutors appealed the verdict.

Today's verdict wasn't expected until early January. But the appeals court (Borgarting Lagmannsrett) didn't see any need to wait with its decision. That means the lower court's decision will stand. A supreme court case is still possible, but very unlikely.

The MPAA says it is disappointed with the Norwegian court's decision not to convict Jon Johansen: "The actions of serial hackers such as Mr Johansen are damaging to honest consumers everywhere. While the ruling does not affect laws outside of Norway, we believe this decision encourages circumvention of copyright that threatens consumer choice and employment in the film and television industries.

"It remains to be seen if the Norwegian Supreme Court will have the opportunity to decide whether the prosecution's interpretation of the law was correct, the Motion Picture Associaton says. "If the present decision is the courts' final word on the matter, we hope that Norwegian legislature will move quickly to implement the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Copyright Treaty to correct this apparent weakness in Norwegian law." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.