DeCSS


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DeCSS

(DEcrypt CSS) Software that breaks the CSS copy protection system used on DVD movies and decrypts the encrypted data. It allows DVDs to be copied to a PC, which can then be viewed from the hard disk, uploaded to someone else or burned onto a DVD-R or DVD-RW.

Hacked By a 15-Year Old
The software was engineered through a hacker network known as MoRE (Masters of Reverse Engineering) that obtained some of the CSS code. It was completed by 15-year-old Jon Lech Johansen, a Norwegian student, ostensibly to play DVDs on his Linux machine. However, Johansen released the final version over the Internet in late 1999, causing considerable dismay to the DVD movie industry. Other "DVD ripping" programs, such as DVD Decrypter, were later created by different parties. See CSS.
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Thousands of developers posted Pigdog's DeCSS on their websites as flak to confuse law enforcement officials and entertainment industry executives, since they felt these people were clueless about the nature of software technology.
GARBUS: Now, with respect to a DVD that's been decrypted by DeCSS, have you ever seen one?
That ruling is currently being appealed by the DVD Copy Control Assn., but unless the studios win that one, there's still a risk of DeCSS growing again on the Internet.
Nor is DeCSS a prerequisite for making illegal copies.
sued under state laws governing trade secrets, claiming DeCSS revealed the "digital keys" used to scramble DVD movies.
Banning the publication of the DeCSS course code, they therefore assert, is tantamount to banning any other form of speech, which is prohibited by the First Amendment.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's illegal to distribute any service or device that circumvents encryption used to control access to copyrighted material, and there's little question that that's what DeCSS does.
One of the most contentious issues at trial is just how much of a threat DeCSS presents.
Through a hired-gun Norwegian law firm, the movie industry pressed officials in Norway to arrest 16-year-old John Johansen and his father on charges of breaking a "security arrangement." Johansen was among the first to post DeCSS and his dad hosted the Web pages.
Eric Corley, operator of the 2600.com Web site that posted links to DeCSS -- the software program that defeats copyright protection codes built into DVD software -- the normally loquacious head of the MPAA answered "I don't know" 62 times in response to questions regarding piracy of DVDs using DeCSS.
The earlier injunction barred Eric Corley and his company, 2600 Enterprises Inc., from posting a software code designed to crack DVD-movie copy protection on their Web site and from knowingly linking their Web site to any other site on which the software, called DeCSS, is posted.