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.



Cindy Cohn
   Legal Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

Gwen Hinze
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

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