DVD Jon to sue prosecuter

Seeks compensation

Jon Lech Johansen is demanding compensation from the Norwegian white collar crime unit, following four years of legal hell during which he twice had to establish his innocence of copyright violations charges.

Aftenposten reports that Johansen is seeking NOK 150,000 ($20,000) in compensation from his prosecutors.

"What we will demand be covered is Johansen's economic losses, and court costs and what could be called compensation," said Johansen's lawyer Halvor Manshaus.

Økokrim has yet to respond to this demand.

The case stems from Johansen's involvement when only 15 years-old, in helping to develop and publish a DVD descrambling program, DeCSS, designed to make it possible for him to watch films he owned on his Linux PC.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) concluded the tool could be used to facilitate piracy by defeating "security" safeguards on DVDs. It filed a complaint against Johansen with Norway's Economic Crime Unit, Økokrim. Økokrim in turn brought a prosecution against Johansen for obscure offences against Norwegian Criminal Code 145(2) which carry a sentence of up to two years in jail.

This prosecution failed.

Last month, a Norwegian appeals court upheld Johansen's earlier acquittal on all counts of alleged copyright violations, much to the irritation of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Økokrim has decided to finally drop the case.

So Johansen, nicknamed 'DVD Jon', 20, is finally free of charges that have hung over his head since his early teens. ®

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