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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

EFFector - Volume 13, Issue 1 - MPAA Continues Intimidation Campaign Against Open Source Software Community


EFFector - Volume 13, Issue 1 - MPAA Continues Intimidation Campaign Against Open Source Software Community

   EFFector       Vol. 13, No. 1       Jan. 25, 2000
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
  IN THE 149th ISSUE OF EFFECTOR (now with over 21,000 subscribers!):
     * MPAA Continues Intimidation Campaign Against Open Source Software
          + Police Raid Home of Norwegian Linux Coder
          + WHAT YOU CAN DO
          + Links to More Information
     * Administrivia
   For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

MPAA Continues Intimidation Campaign Against Open Source Software Community

  Police Raid Home of Norwegian Linux Coder
   The home of sixteen-year-old Jon Johansen, who was among the first to
   post the DeCSS program that allows users to view DVDs on computers
   using non-Windows or Macintosh operating systems, was raided yesterday
   in Larvik, Norway and his computer and cellular telephone seized by
   The police were acting at the behest of the motion picture industry as
   part of the industry's attempt to suppress discussion and distribution
   of DVD-viewing software developed outside of the industry's licensing
   regime to prevent the free availability of such software.
   Both Johansen and his father, who operated the website on which the
   teen posted the code, were questioned at length by the police and have
   been threatened with indictment for posting the code, which the motion
   picture industry dubiously claims was created illegally and promotes
   piracy. Legal analysis of Norwegian copyright and computer crime laws
   suggests the charges would not stick; the action appears intended to
   harass and frighten.
   This action is in addition to three lawsuits filed by the Motion
   Picture Association of America and the DVD Content Control Association
   and their overlapping membership, in California, New York and
   Connecticut against numerous individuals and organizations including
   coders, journalists and an ISP. EFF's legal staff, aided by some of
   the nation's top attorneys in copyright law, are vigorously defending
   those named in the suits, to support the rights of individuals to
   legally develop, post, and discuss software.
   "The motion picture industry is using its substantial resources to
   intimidate the technical community into surrendering their rights of
   free expression and fair use of information", said Tara Lemmey,
   President of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "These actions are a
   wake-up call for the open-source software community. The process of
   reverse-engineering and public posting and commenting of code that the
   MPAA is attempting to suppress is fundamental to the development of
   open source software as well as being constitutionally-protected
   EFF plans to assist the Johansen family and has already contacted
   several experts in European copyright law to involve them in the case.
   For more information and background material on the MPAA/DVDCCA
   crusade to censor free speech and innovation under the smokescreen of
   preventing piracy, visit EFF's Campaign for Audiovisual Free
   Expression ( ) or follow some of the links

   Support EFF by making a special donation. The movie industry is
   clearly trying to spread us thin and make us expend all our resources.
   They've filed three lawsuits, generated one bogus criminal
   investigation, and will almost certainly do more -- hoping to spend us
   out of the way. Please don't let that happen. EFF is the only
   organization fighting this legal battle against big money and
   corporate arrogance. We need your help! You can make a donation via
   our secure Web site (just fill in the donation section of our
   membership form, and please become a member, too!) You can also send a
   check, or even donate stock. Membership/donation form (Visa, MC,
   Contact info for postal or telephoned donations, and stock donations:
      Electronic Frontier Foundation
      attn: Kathleen Guneratne, Membership Coordinator
      1550 Bryant St., Suite 275
      San Francisco CA 94103-4832 USA
      +1 415 436 9333 x0
   PGP Key for encrypted donations via e-mail (send to
   Were working on other ways for members and supporters to get involved
   -- we'll send out another edition of EFFector and feature it on our
   website as well.
   Thanks for your help and support.

    Links to More Information
   EFF's Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression (CAFE)
   Coverage in Norwegian Press (in English):
   EFF press release regarding related NY, CT cases:
   CNN coverage of injunction granted in NY case:
   Wired News coverage of NY case:,1283,33816,00.html
   General info on the open source community and DVD:
   EFF's archives on the DVD cases:
   Full text of injunction order granted in related CA case:
   San Jose Mercury News coverage of denial of industry request for
   temporary restraining order in CA case:
   NY Times coverage of CA case being filed:
   EFFector is published by:
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation
   1550 Bryant St., Suite 725
   San Francisco CA 94103-4832 USA
   +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
   +1 415 436 9993 (fax)
   Editor: Stanton McCandlish, Communications Coordinator/Webmaster
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