For Immediate Release: June 7, 2000

New York DVD Trial Goes Public

Judge Grants Press Access to Court Proceedings


Katina Bishop - EFF Communications Manager
+1 415 436 9333 x101

Robin Gross - EFF Staff Attorney

San Francisco CA -- EFF's DVD legal team successfully opposed the MPAA's request to block the public from obtaining discovery materials in litigation over DeCSS computer code. EFF, joined by several interested media, argued against the movie studio's request for a blanket secrecy order over all deposition transcripts and video taken in the case. The Court said defendants would be allowed to post all trial materials on the Internet within days.

"Yesterday's ruling marked a victory for freedom of expression and society's access to its courts," stated Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney. "The MPAA wanted this to be a secret trial. This case answers questions of significant constitutional importance. It will decide how society will be allowed to experience and manipulate creative expression for years to come -- A debate in which the public must be included."

"I believe the independent press won on every important point," said journalist Mike Godwin who presented arguments at the trial. "The blanket protective order sought by plaintiffs was denied, and the court showed an understanding of the need for the press and the public to review the evidence in this landmark case."

The motion picture industry has launched a series of legal attacks against several Web site publishers, including 2600 Magazine in New York, for posting DeCSS, software which enables people to play DVDs on unauthorized players. EFF is leading the defense in the New York case which is set for trial on July 17th, 2000.


EFF's New York DVD Legal Defense Team consists of Martin Garbus and Ed Hernstadt of Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein, and Selz; Eben Moglen of Columbia University Law; Allonn Levy of Huber Samuelson; and Robin Gross of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

EFF's work in the DVD cases is part of its Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression (CAFE), which it launched last year to address complex societal and legal issues raised by new technological measures for protecting intellectual property rights. A special fund has been established by EFF to support the costly nature of this litigation. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online via EFF's Web site.

Founded in 1990, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to Websites in the world.

For complete information on the MPAA and DVD-CCA cases, see:

EFF's Opposition to MPAA's Secrecy Order:

For more information concerning EFF's Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression, see: