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EFF to Oppose DVD Lawsuit
(DVD CCA v. McLaughlin, Bunner, et al.)

(Dec. 28, 1999)

[E-mail addresses have been munged to thwart spammers' webspiders.]

To: Lucky Green <shamrock@cypherpunks .to>, cypherpunks@toad .com, gnu@toad .com
Subject: Re: DVD legal maneuvers (decss and the lawyers)
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 23:59:14 -0800
From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad .com>

EFF is sending two lawyers (and me) to the court in Santa Clara tomorrow AM to fight the temporary restraining order.  We're on the case, at least for the TRO and preliminary injunction.  We're looking for permanent pro bono counsel to lead the entire case.  Bay Area cypherpunks are invited to attend.  Dress like a banker if you can, come whether you did or not, and let's impress the judge with how many solid citizens come to watch how s/he handles the case.  The notice below says 8AM, but if you get there before 9:30 my guess is that you will still catch the hearing.  See the details at:


If any newly rich Linux folks want to bankroll the case, please step up.  If we don't defend our right to reverse-engineer proprietary software, document it, discuss it, build compatible clones, and distribute them -- nobody else will!  Even if you aren't rich, if you care about this issue, send in a contribution at http://www.eff.org/join/.  If you wait more than three days you'll have to take the tax deduction in the next century!

John Gilmore

> From: owner-cypherpunks@Algebra .COM
> [mailto:owner-cypherpunks@Algebra .COM]On Behalf Of Tom Vogt
> Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 02:17
> To: cypherpunks@toad .com
> Subject: decss and the lawyers

> I'm one of many people who received an e-mail today which notified us
> about a "restraint order" a lawfirm in california is seeking to stop
> distribution of decss and any related information.
> I am running one of the primary mirror sites for this information,
> including a list of other mirrors.
> while I live in germany, and thus a california court order couldn't mean
> less to me, this seems to be the second wave of legal effort that gets
> staged in order to cover up the massive blunder of the css weakness.
> me and a few others are willing to fight this, but we don't have the
> resources. is anyone here in a position to either provide himself, or
> help us get at, legal council, financial resources and other things we
> need to stand our ground?
> I do think they're just trying to harrass us at this point. for example,
> several of the items in what they want to show the court are simply
> factually wrong.
> I'm just afraid they'll succeed. in the past few hours, three of the
> mirrors on my list have already folded. I'm expecting several more to
> fall before the day is over.

If you see these things happen, call up or email the folks doing it, and tell them not to.  First, the case has no effect on them until they have been legally "served" with notice of it -- sending them an email does NOT suffice.  Second, there is no point in handing the DVD jerks a victory on a silver platter -- if you close down your web site before the court even looks at the facts of the case, EFF can beat their bogus case but still you have censored the information the jerks wanted you to censor.  Wait til a real judge orders you to do something before you feel like you need to.  These DVD lawyers are just throwing their weight around.


Date: 29 Dec 1999 04:12:39 -0000
From: Anonymous <nobody@remailer .ch>
Subject: lupus in fabula
To: cypherpunks@toad .com

While discussing DVD decryption, sources may be handy:


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