For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 3, 2002

2600 Magazine Won't Seek Supreme Court Review in DVD Case

Activists Vow to Continue Digital Copyright Fight

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced today that online and print publisher 2600 Magazine will not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of a court order prohibiting publishing or linking to the DeCSS computer program. This decision ends the publication's two-and-a-half year legal battle over DeCSS, which permits DVD owners to use players that the entertainment industry has not approved.

"We took several steps forward with this case, forcing the courts to recognize that freedom of speech was at stake," explained EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Later cases will provide a better foundation for the Supreme Court to act on the problems created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)."

Kathleen Sullivan, the Dean of Stanford Law School, argued the case on behalf of 2600 Magazine.

In December 1999, eight major motion picture studios sued 2600 Magazine for publishing an article containing the DeCSS computer software and linking to DeCSS. Norwegian teenager Jon Johansen developed and published the software to great public interest, especially in the Linux community. The New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Village Voice, and several other mainstream news outlets reported on and linked to DeCSS' publication in addition to 2600 Magazine's coverage.

Johansen created DeCSS in an effort to develop an open source software player that would allow people to play their lawfully purchased DVDs on computers running the Linux operating system. But since people may also use the DeCSS program as one step in infringing the copyrights of DVD movies, both the New York District Court and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals interpreted the DMCA as banning 2600 Magazine from publishing or linking to DeCSS.

"This case served as a wake-up call to the Internet community," said 2600 Magazine publisher Emmanuel Goldstein. "We have a stronger, more united community now, and we will support future cases."

"EFF and 2600 Magazine will strive to ensure that the public need not sacrifice its side of the copyright bargain to Hollywood's fears of piracy," said EFF Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross. Gross added that EFF is considering other DMCA challenges and recently issued a three-year report card detailing the law's faults.

In a related victory for DeCSS proponents, a California Court of Appeals held that the preliminary injunction violated the First Amendment rights of Andrew Bunner, a DeCSS republisher in California. The California DVD case is currently pending before the California Supreme Court.


For this release:

2nd Circuit decision on 2600 Magazine appeal:

EFF three-year DMCA report card:

California DVD case information:

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 and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to websites in the world at


Cindy Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x108 (office), +1 415 823-2148 (cell)

Robin Gross
Intellectual Property Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x112 (office), +1 415 637-5310 (cell)