Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory

DeCSS Case to be Reviewed by Appellate Court

Free Speech on Trial in DVD Fair Use Case

For Immediate Release -- Apr. 26, 2001


Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
+1 415-505-7621

New York - In a case involving free speech rights and fair use of DVDs, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the appeal of 2600 Magazine in Universal v. Remeirdes at 10:00 a.m. on May 1, 2001. The hearing will be held in Courtroom 506 of the United States Courthouse at 40 Centre Street (at Foley Square) in Manhattan, New York City.

Dean Kathleen Sullivan of Stanford Law School will argue the case on behalf of the magazine. 2600 Magazine will hold a short press conference immediately after the hearing in Foley Square Plaza, directly across from the courthouse.

The case arises from 2600 Magazine's publication of and linking to a computer program called DeCSS in November, 1999 as part of its news coverage about DVD decryption software. DeCSS decrypts movies on DVDs that have been encrypted by a computer program called CSS. Decryption of DVD movies is necessary in order to make fair use of the movies as well as to play DVD movies on computers running the Linux operating system, among other uses.

Universal Studios, along with other members of the Motion Picture Association of America, filed suit against the magazine in January 2000 seeking an order that the magazine no longer publish the program.

The Studios object to the publication of DeCSS because they claim that it can be used as part of a process to infringe copyrights on DVD movies.

In the case, formally titled Universal v. Remeirdes, et. al., the District Court granted a preliminary injunction against publication of DeCSS on January 20, 2000. By August 2000, after an abbreviated trial, the Court prohibited 2600 Magazine from even linking to DeCSS.

2600 has appealed the trial court's ruling.


More information about this case is available on the EFF website at:

The EFF/2600 Appeal Brief (filed Mar. 19, 2001) is available at:

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, privacy, and openness in the information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:

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