Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

EFF Answers Court Queries in DVD Decryption Free Speech Case

2600 Magazine Relies On New Supreme Court Precedent

For Immediate Release -- May 30, 2001


Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
+1 415 436 9333 x108
Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford Law School Dean

New York -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation today filed its answers to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' request for additional briefing in a case concerning 2600 Magazine's right to publish DeCSS software. After Stanford Dean Kathleen Sullivan argued for the defense on the May 1st hearing; on May 8 the Court asked the parties to answer 11 additional questions that focused on EFF's First Amendment arguments.

2600 Magazine had published the software on its Website as part of its news coverage of the debate surrounding technological protection measures placed on DVDs. The movie studios obtained an injunction under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act banning the magazine from publishing or linking to the code.

"The questions show how seriously the court is considering the First Amendment issues in this case," stated Dean Sullivan.

"The Supreme Court just reaffirmed the press' right to publish truthful information that is of public interest in the recent Bartnicki v. Vopper ruling," added Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director, referring to a U.S. Supreme Court decision of May 21 that held that a member of the media could not be held liable for broadcasting an illegally taped conversation. "We are hopeful the 2nd Circuit will look closely at this case and see the parallels to 2600's intended publication."

The Movie studios have sued 2600 Magazine under a 1998 law that prevents even the publication of programs that can allow access to DVDs or other digital media. Most recently the law was used to frighten a team led by Princeton Computer Science Professor, Edward Felten, from presenting a paper describing how to break proposed watermarks on CDs at a scientific conference.

EFF's responses to the Court's questions are available at:

Exhibits to EFF's Supplemental brief:

The text of the order with the court's questions is available at:

An informal transcript of the oral argument and more information about this case are all available on the EFF website at:

For additional information see:

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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