Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory

DVD Descrambling Code Not a Trade Secret

DVD CCA Surrenders in Bunner DVD Descrambling Case

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 22, 2004

San Jose, California - In a surprising retreat today, the consortium of entertainment and technology companies known as DVD CCA is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit against Andrew Bunner, a republisher of a computer program created to allow movie lovers to play their DVDs on computers running the Linux operating system.

DVD CCA effectively gave up a multi-year effort to have the republication of the program, called DeCSS, declared a violation of trade secret laws.

"DeCSS has been available on hundreds if not thousands of websites for 4 years now," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "We're pleased that the DVD CCA has finally stopped attempting to deny the obvious: DeCSS is not a secret."

The California Supreme Court last year ruled that one could apply preliminary restraint on publication of a computer program only in very narrow circumstances. DVD CCA sued Bunner along with hundreds of people, including some T-shirt manufacturers.

Links:

Contact:

Cindy Cohn
   Legal Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   cindy@eff.org

Gwen Hinze
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   gwen@eff.org

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/