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Jon Johansen Indicted by Norwegian Authorities

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the free-jon dept.

News 331

phlawed writes: "This story (norwegian) states that the authorities responsible for investigating economic crime in Norway today (after 2 years of "investigation") charged JLJ for violating a law regarding computer "break-ins", commonly known as the "hacker paragraph". This is for distributing the DeCSS sourcecode. The analysis so far (by media) is that the authorities not necessarily thinks JLJ is guilty, but due to unclear wording in the relevant law they seem to think that the courts should have a look at it... It is worth noting that JLJ has *not* been charged for violating any law regarding IP, piracy or such." I've only found one story in English, which is quite vague. Hopefully the above poster is correct in summarizing the situation.

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331 comments

First Post (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816298)

Bitches.

Get it in ya!

Re:First Post (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816314)

Are you a jew? I am curious since the jews are the biggest peddlers of pornographic filth and perverted literature in the world.

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816354)

I like roasted jew-hater balls with my cranberry sauce. It's just so spicy!

Re:First Post (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816375)

This is typical zionist ravings. Notice how the average jew is sexually deviant as well as mentally unstable. The world would be a much better place without all these dirty kikes running around.

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816461)

Damn straight! Us Catholics would love to see all you jew-haters go straight to hell! And take your mother with you- she smells and gives an awful blowjob.

About the blowjob (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816606)

You'd know, you dirty popefucker.

Re:First Post (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816355)

That's true. Watch the credits of any porn film and it'll read like the Tel Aviv phone book.

Re:First Post (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816618)

d00d! Excellent first post! As a reward, I have added you to my "friends" list.

Enjoy.

Damnit (-1, Offtopic)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816299)

The world is comming to and end... You can't do anything anymore.

I am moving to the moon.

FASP! (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816303)

Holocaust revisionists are fools! Six million more would have been nice. Oh yeah, first anti-semitic post.

How can this happen? (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816312)

Who the hell is Jon Johanssen, and why is he fucking that man in the ass?!?!?!?

Re:How can this happen? (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816323)

What man? You mean this dirty kike [goatse.cx] ? Yeah, jews are all dirty sexual deviants.

Re:How can this happen? (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816369)

I thought he lived in Wisconsin.

DeCSS (-1, Troll)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816324)

Everyone who spread DeCSS around must be a crook, right?
After all, it's not like DVDs don't work on anything other than a winblows PC is it?
Doh.

Re:DeCSS (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816351)

wow, man, as a slashdot user i'd never thought of this angle before.

your comment was insightful and interesting, as well as introducing me to a new viewpoint on the DeCSS debate. i especially like your use of the word "winblows" and plan to use it in conversation from now on. thank you from the bottom of my heart.

oh well, back to snorting PCP.

Re:DeCSS (-1, Offtopic)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816367)

Wow, a response from a troll.
Now I truly feel honoured.

The English story is correctly translated. (4, Informative)

bodin (2097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816327)

The norwegian version here [aftenposten.no] is identical to the English one.

The motivation is that Jan has broken the crypto. "When you buy the disc, you buy the rights to play the movie, not to copy it".

They just don't get it. You have to be able to decode the data to play it.

It has NOTHING to do with copying.

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816349)

I've finally figured out what Gov't reminds me off.

Imagine working at a HUGE international company, and your dept. provides technical support. Now, out of these 200 people providing technical support, 198 of them are none technical and 2 of them read /.

The past is due to repeat itself, they fear what they don't understand, and they don't want to understand.

Salem.

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (1)

Flower (31351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816445)

Now, out of these 200 people providing technical support, 198 of them are none technical and 2 of them read /.

Someone hasn't read most of the comments in the -1 sewer I see.

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (1, Redundant)

kisak (524062) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816356)

Here is the same story translated to english [aftenposten.no] .

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (2, Funny)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816450)

Guns don't kill people. Kids who play videogames kill people!

You're missing the big picture (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816516)

No, backstabbing jews and niggers kill people!

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (3, Informative)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816570)

Guns don't kill people, the Government does :)

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (1)

yggdrazil (261592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816511)

Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people

People without guns don't kill that many people by far, which leads to a much lower crime and murder rate in society as a whole.

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (5, Informative)

Hater's Leaving, The (322238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816399)

Add to that the fact that it wasn't even Jon (not Jan) that broke the crypto, he merely hosted the source code files. The actual reverse engineer who wrote the original code was allegendly German, and as far as I know to this day remains anonymous (though pseudonyms, and the name of the cracker group they belonged to are known).

I was thinking that maybe I could pack up my "Got DeCSS" T-shirts for posterity just last week, but hell no. The world is still full of shite and nonsense, and _we_ are still a tiny minority.

THL.

Re:The English story is correctly translated. (5, Informative)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816560)

[note: this is not going to be a popular opinion, but, please, think before slapping]

It has NOTHING to do with copying.
Originally, you are correct. DeCSS was built to decode discs without using one of the proprietary (and unavailable) players.

BUT, unfortunately, it has opened the door to DVD copyright infringement ("piracy"), like it or not.

You don't have to go far to find DeCSS being used in "shady" ways:
http://www.dvd-copy.com/ [dvd-copy.com]
http://www.dvdcopycentral.com/ [dvdcopycentral.com]
http://www.howtocopydvds.com/ [howtocopydvds.com]
http://www.dvdcopypro.com/ [dvdcopypro.com]
.. I could go on.

While it shouldn't be inherently illegal to decode and copy discs for legitimate purposes, that's not how DeCSS is being used, the majority of the time. It sucks, but it's true.

To many people, it has EVERYTHING to do with copying (or decoding and re-encoding to other media, distributing, etc).

This is great (3, Funny)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816332)

Now that we have these super-encompassing, yet vague laws regarding computers, data, and the Internet, the authorities have to go and arrest (you'd figure after 2 years of investigations they would have a good idea if he was guilty or not!) people just to "try out the ideas in court"!

"Hey you, come over here. I've been watching your for 2 hours, and I'm not sure if picking your nose is illegal, but let's see if the courts think that is obscene" (yeah, bad analogy)

Re:This is great (2, Informative)

KenRH (265139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816396)

He has not been arrested, under Norwegian law you go free until such time as the court has found you guilty, unless there can be shown a risk for him destroying evidence, repeat offence or trying to run away.

Re:This is great (4, Insightful)

M_Talon (135587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816415)

"Hey you, come over here. I've been watching your for 2 hours, and I'm not sure if picking your nose is illegal, but let's see if the courts think that is obscene" (yeah, bad analogy)

I don't think that's a bad analogy. That's just about what's happening with the copyright vs. fair use issues in America and apparently the world. The real problem is that too many times the person under indictment doesn't have the same financial (and thus legal) power to prove the law is flawed as say a mega corporation who has near endless resources to "prove" the law is correct.

To extend your analogy, you've been arrested because nose-picking is obscene, but AOL-Time Warner helped put that law into place and they can spend $15 million on lawyers and lobbying to make sure the law is proved right. You can't afford that much, so you're already fighting on a non-level field. Most likely, you'll settle for a small fine or sentence, and now the law has been "proven" to work...even though no good argument against it has been presented in court.

And that, my fellow /.ers, is the real obscenity.

Re:This is great (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816442)

All the lawyers are jews, so the only thing the courts do is prove the ZIONIST viewpoint. It is meaningless.

Re:This is great (3, Insightful)

ymgve (457563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816458)

a better analogy:

"Hey you, come over here. I've been watching your for 2 hours, and I'm not sure if picking your nose is illegal, but since it's illegal in Bigcountryia and they feel offended by it, you'll be charged with obscenity. Come now..."

Re:This is great (1)

bbqBrain (107591) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816612)

In the absence of precedent, however, this is required. In addition, this sometimes slow, arduous process results in a law being ruled unconstitutional (in the US, anyway--I don't pretend to know much of the Norwegian justice system). Anyway, the important thing to remember is that untested laws are in a nascent sort of state--sure, they've made it through the legislative approval process, but until a judge has enforced a law, it isn't as "permanent" or binding (I'm not expressing this well; please excuse me :-) ) as a tried-and-true law that has been enforced in multiple cases.

Chances are, there is very little legal precedent established with this "hacker paragraph." Therefore, this could be a very important case as far as the preservation (or dismissal) of Norway's reverse engineering, fair use, etc., rights. Let's hope Norwegian authorities aren't easily swayed by crates of free DVD's. :-)

VG Nett has the same story (2, Informative)

hajejan (549838) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816337)

It might be worth noting that VG Nett has the same story here [www.vg.no] .

I'm not a troll... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816338)

but I'd just like to see something fairly interesting on here once in a while. Who cares about this story / guy?

Re:I'm not a troll... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816405)

The problem is that this site relies on the editors and readers to submit stories. If they don't find any good stories, then they submit 2nd rate ones.

If you have no news, you have to put something there, or you'd have /. not change for a couple of days sometimes.

Also, there is a group of people on /. who are privacy/legal/freedom freaks (I use that term affectionately). They _do_ care about this type of story.

Question- what kind of stuff would you like to see?

As for this story, as I stated above, the governments of this world are really ratcheting up the vice-grips of content protection. At this rate, it will be illegal for you to even watch a DVD you bought because you are decoding the damn thing! (Ok, that's a bit over the top.)

The whole case is pretty vague (5, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816353)

.. and even though IANAL, I think the whole thing is pretty weak. He seems to be charged with paragraphs mostly used for cracking computers.

The norwegian article states that the same laws were used to prosecute people cracking TV-coding so that they could watch TV-signals without paying. The norwegian supreme court concluded that those paragraphs could not be used to punish this incident.

The weakest part to me seems to be the prosecutors words on buying a DVD:
"When you buy a DVD, you buy the right to view it, but not to copy it".
This is blatantly false, as people in Norway also have fair use rights to their purchases.

I was actually a bit shocked to see that he was prosecuted. I would understand it under the DMCA, but Norway does not have these kind of laws.

Re:The whole case is pretty vague (4, Interesting)

ymgve (457563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816422)

The real reason that they're prosecuting him is that Økokrim (The department responsible for investigating computer crimes here in Norway) and their state prosecutor Inger Marie Sunde are dreaming about a police state where they have absolute control. A week or so ago, she said she wanted to outlaw the use of anonymous email. Normally, one would just ignore such a person, but her high position makes her really dangerous if she ever manage to pass the laws she want to.

Re:The whole case is pretty vague (1, Interesting)

KeyserDK (301544) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816470)

It looks very odd indeed, maybe they are covering up their mistakes by charging him.

2 years investigation costs alot of money, and if they dont charge him it might not look that good.

Another motive could be political, i.e. they arent satisfied with the current law. It does seems rather useless in most cases.

Lets not forget that they dont write anything about norwegian laws ala. 'fair use' in the US. They might not have the right to copy a dvd, and only view it. Depends on the norwegian laws.

In denmark it's legal to copy for your own use. So it wouldn't be a problem. I think they law the used to charge him is quite rare(one of those new computer laws that are different for each country) besides that it looks as an extremely vague case, allthough as the guy above IANAL.

Re:The whole case is pretty vague (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816495)

The paragraph with which he is charged does not specify computers only, but any data or computer. Any protection on data which is broken for the purpose of gaining un-approved (uberettighet) access to the data might cover the usage of DeCSS, although not necessarily the development or distribution of DeCSS, imho.

It is my understanding that the court ruled against the attempt to prosecute pirating of TV signals because the signal is not specifically data.

Ahhh the journalistic credibility! (3, Funny)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816358)

Hopefully the above poster is correct in summarizing the situation.

I love /.! :)

MOD UP! (+1, sad but true) nt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816385)

nt

Re:Ahhh the journalistic credibility! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816402)

Yea, I heard that FreeBSD is coming out on CDs for the first time as well. Sheeez.

Re:Ahhh the journalistic credibility! (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816518)

I donno, saying "I hope it is right" has a lot more credibility then just reading off the teleprompter and sitting above the logo. Real news agencies get stuff wrong too, in fact they almost always get technical stories wrong, but they almost never warn you ahead of time that they are a bunch of cluebags...

Just another... (0, Redundant)

cez (539085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816370)

excuse to use vague laws in the hopes that the person under the cracklight...err spotlight would crack. If it happened in the us him, his isp, family, friends and local grocer would be test subjects for the fbis newest violations of the civil liberties.

What the hell.. (2, Funny)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816379)

I've got fifty karma, let's play devil's advocate and see how many people I can get torqued at me.

When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it on players approved by the people who made the disc. As much as everyone hates to admit it, there is nothing illegal about this. You can buy a DVD without owning a player, and if you do you can't sue about not being able to watch it. Likewise, you can't write a program that lets you watch it on something the makers don't want you to watch it on. Because if they knew you were doing that, they wouldn't sell you the movie.

We have no 'rights' to view any movie, really. If we did, theaters couldn't make a profit off of tickets, and DVDs would only be priced high enough to cover costs.

If you want to watch a movie, get a real DVD player. Don't complain because you can't do it on your Linux box. Don't write software that does something illegal. Just like you shouldn't sell de-scrambler kits for cable TV. Same thing, only software.

Re:What the hell.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816421)


Yes you do have a right to view it on players unapproved by the content owner.

It's called 'fair use'. Absent an explicit contract, that's the law. Not even the MPAA is making the argument you are.

The MPAA has attempted to bypass fair use with CSS and the DMCA. The issue is whether the DMCA can be upheld over fair use rights, not whether fair use rights exist.

Re:What the hell.. (1)

Hater's Leaving, The (322238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816575)

The biggest problem is the following scenario:
- The libertarian holds up the new law and says "this contradicts the good old law".
- The guys with funny wigs (who are still wondering whether they should upgrade from an AM to an FM radio) say "you're right - we must change the old law".
- We all say "Ooops".

There's nothing carved in stone that says that the older law is the less changable one.

THL.

Re:What the hell.. (4, Insightful)

smileyy (11535) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816430)

When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it on players approved by the people who made the disc.

Under the DMCA this is true. The question is whether this will hold up under existing copyright laws.

Your cable descrambler analogy is invalid, as in that case, the "pirate" has not paid for the content. In the DVD case, the user *has* paid for the content, and, (wholly IMO) has a right to use that content for personal use in whatever way they see fit.

When you buy a VHS-tape..... (1)

gaijin_ (134592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816443)

When you buy a VHS-tape they can punish you for *building* your own VCR and playing it, just as they can't punish you for building your own DVD-player to play your DVD's.

This is about building a DVD player.

Re:What the hell.. (2)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816455)

"When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it on players approved by the people who made the disc. As much as everyone hates to admit it, there is nothing illegal about this. You can buy a DVD without owning a player, and if you do you can't sue about not being able to watch it."

All true

"Likewise, you can't write a program that lets you watch it on something the makers don't want you to watch it on."

Here's the problem. In fact, you can write a program for that purpose. Reverse-engineering is allowed for the purposes of interoperability (at least at the moment in the USA). And I have the right to do whatever I want with that disc as long as I do not violate the copyright -- which means I cannot distribute, publicly broadcast/show the content, etc. Watching it on a linux player in my home, ripping it and converting it to Divx or a VCD, taping it onto VHS, none of these activities are illegal, because they do not violate the copyright.

Re:What the hell.. (3, Interesting)

klaun (236494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816464)

We have no 'rights' to view any movie, really. If we did, theaters couldn't make a profit off of tickets, and DVDs would only be priced high enough to cover costs.

The problem with this line of argument is that when you go to a theatre, it doesn't look like you are buying anything. The transaction doesn't make you believe that you are buying the theatre or the spool of film. When you buy a DVD the transaction does look like you are purchasing something, not like you are entering into a contract, or licensing agreement. There has been strong legal precedent that if a transaction looks like you are buying something then you are.

Elsewhere the poster said: When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it on players approved by the people who made the disc. As much as everyone hates to admit it, there is nothing illegal about this. You can buy a DVD without owning a player, and if you do you can't sue about not being able to watch it.

How did you get to be the arbiter of this? I'm sorry but the courts disagree. If it looks like a purchase then it is. Basically, you are saying that DVD purchase is a privelege of "club members" and that you get to be part of the club by purchasing an approved DVD player. Most states have laws governing how such clubs operate that as far as I know are being ignored by DVD player manufacturers and retailers.

P.S. I have moderator points, but I replied to this post rather than mod-ing it down, so all you people that bitch about that should mod me up!

Re:What the hell.. (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816491)

I have moderator points, but I replied to this post rather than mod-ing it down, so all you people that bitch about that should mod me up!

I'm glad you did what you did. The post, as it clearly states, is a devil's advocate positions. It outlines what the DVD consortium's position is, and provides a framework for discussion of why that position is not tenable.

Re:What the hell.. (5, Insightful)

pmc (40532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816486)

I'm bored, so I'll bite. I'll stop at your first error.

When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it...

When you purchase a DVD then you can do anything you want with it - except distribute copies of it. Manufacturers may try to contrain your use to uses that they approve of, but none of these are enforcable.

Your argument falls to bits after this cornerstone is removed.

3/10 - Must Try Harder.

Here's why you're wrong (5, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816501)

When you purchase a DVD, you are paying for the ability to play it on players approved by the people who made the disc.

Nowhere on the packaging does it say this. There isn't any indication, prior to the sale, that the usage of the DVD is so unusually restricted.

Just as when I purchase a book, I am not just paying for the ability to read it by the light of some particular manufacturer's lamp.

When you buy something, you're paying for what you expect. Sometimes when you buy something, there is a detailed contract that actually spells it out explicitly. In the case of most "consumer" things, it is not explicitly spelled out, and it's just common sense.

Also, keep in mind that when DIVX was still around, people who promoted DVDs said that one of the advantages of DVD over DIVX was that DVD was a real standard. Calling something a standard has huge implications about what you can do with it. Now that DIVX is dead, they're trying to take back what they said? Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want the larger marketshare and competitive advantages that come with adhering to a standard, then you accept that your product will be used in a manner where it interoperates with other parties that you have no relationship with. You can't have standards and monopolies at the same time. It is too late for MPAA or DVDCCA or whoever it is, to redefine what the customer's expectations are. That would be fraud.

Re:Here's why you're wrong (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816529)

True, I can't remember being presented with a license agreement, and the FBI warning only comes up AFTER i've hacked it for 3 years to get it to play in my toast.

Stupid toaster.

Re:Here's why you're wrong (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816619)

You've gotten your toaster to play DVDs? Cool. I've been experimenting with the same thing, but it just keeps melting the stupid discs! Any tips?

Re:What the hell.. (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816544)

I'm not torqued at you; I agree with your argument, even if you meant it in jest.

Entertainment companies sell movies on DVD so that people may watch them at home on DVD players produced by consumer electronics companies.

If the DVD format is not suitable for you, don't buy it.

Re:What the hell.. (1)

eris_crow (234864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816589)

OK, I'll bite.

The reason your argument fails is that we are not, as you claim, buying the right to play the DVD on approved players. We are in fact buying the DVD itself and, just like a book, we may use it in any way that does not infringe copyright. I.e. we may not distribute pure or modified copies to others, nor make such copies available in any way, and we may not put it on public performance for a fee. We can copy it for our own use, show it to our friends, modify it (did you ever write notes in a book?), draw on it with crayons, put Tinky-Winky stickers on it, and play it.

And we may play it on any device we have since (here's the kicker) there is no license agreement prohibiting us from doing otherwise. We've purchased that disc, and it's ours. For this very reason I expect that in the future we will see media formats be licensed much like software.

Re:What the hell.. (1)

rongage (237813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816602)

Um, I hate to disagree with you, but...

When you purchase a product, ANY product, you are purchasing the right to do with that product as you wish within the confines of the law. This means that you are free to take your DVD and use it for skeet practice, glue it to the rear bumper of your car, or play it in any device that can interpret it. There is no license, there is no condition of sale, and I really doubt that the clerks at Best Buy really care what you are going to do with it after you hand them your credit card. Since there is no specific law outlawing the playing of DVD's on "unlicensed players", there is nothing directly to stop you from doing so.

Your analogy about rights to view a movie don't hold. You aren't purchasing a product when you go to a theatre, you are purchasing a service.

I have a real DVD player - built into my laptop. It refuses to work under Windows. It works flawlessly under Linux. And yes, I have a set-top box too. It doesn't work that well on airplanes though...

BTW: this is NOT like cable descramblers. Cable descramblers exist for the sole purpose of theft of service. Since I paid for the DVD, there is no theft.

The wording of the law in question... (4, Interesting)

yggdrazil (261592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816380)

A quick translation of the law in question: "To break a protection mechanism or otherwise getting unauthorized access to data which is stored or transmitted electronically or by other technical means, and cause damage by gaining or using such unwarranted knowledge." (Copied from story [aftenposten.no] in Aftenposten in Norwegian.)

Aftenposten also has a story [aftenposten.no] in English.

This is the exact same paragraph which is used to convict hackers in Norway.

He might very well get convicted, I'm sad to say. He did break a protection mechanism, or distribute a means to break a protection mechanism. Although that mechanism was severely flawed.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (2)

well_jung (462688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816466)

A quick translation of the law in question: "To break a protection mechanism or otherwise getting unauthorized access to data which is stored or transmitted electronically or by other technical means, and cause damage by gaining or using such unwarranted knowledge."

But what about the ", and cause damage by gaining or using such unwarrented knowledge" bit? It's not illegal to break in, it's illegal to break in and cause damage. At least, that's how I read it.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (1)

Ioldanach (88584) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816555)

But what about the ", and cause damage by gaining or using such unwarrented knowledge" bit? It's not illegal to break in, it's illegal to break in and cause damage. At least, that's how I read it.

Sure, but its easy for a company to say, "and since he distributed this, our profits were impacted due to fewer dvd player sales and fewer dvd sales since people could now copy dvd's." And yes, I know DeCSS is irrelevant for dvd copying, and allowing more users access to view dvd's can do nothing but increase dvd's usefulness. A judge, however, might be convinced otherwise.

Not only that... (3, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816593)

But what about the ", and cause damage by gaining or using such unwarrented knowledge" bit? It's not illegal to break in, it's illegal to break in and cause damage.

Not only that, but unwarranted knowledge is the kicker - it says that you can't break in to something you don't have the rights to

Since you've already purchased the DVD, you have the rights to view it.

The previous posts about this being applied to TV descramblers makes sense - you don't have the right to view the scambled signal, because you haven't subscribed.. but since you can already legally view (you have "warranted knowledge") the disc, the whole thing goes out the window.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (1)

gaijin_ (134592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816469)

But he did have authorized access to the data on the DVD's he has. He probably already had accessed it before the DeCSS was made.

You don't punish a data security responible in a company for breaking through their firewall. But you would punish someone else who did the same.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (3, Interesting)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816498)

I'm Norwegian too, and I think actually the law is pretty clear, and I really can't understand how they can indict him after this wording.

The encryption isn't protected, the movie is. So, if he hadn't bought the movie but grabbed without having bought it, he would have broken the law. But he didn't do that. The movie was his. He bought it. He has the right to access it, according to the law.

Even Jon Bing, a law professor and a huge authority in Norway, and well, I guess I should refrain from any characterizations of him, even said that he thought JLJ didn't break the law.

I don't think they can win this case.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (3, Insightful)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816535)

But the access was authorized. He bought the DVD. There is no law I am aware of that says you can't minutley examine your own possessions.

Re:The wording of the law in question... (2)

ukryule (186826) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816543)

From the law you describe, the courts would have to prove that he got "unauthorized access to data ... and cause damage by gaining or using such ...".

If he bought the DVDs that he used to break the encoding, then does he have the right to access the data? If so he hasn't gained 'unauthorized access' so hasn't broken the law.

And even if he doesn't have the right to break the encryption on his own DVD, they still have to prove he caused damage because of the unencrypted data. The law is protecting the data on the disks he decrypted, not the encryption. Thus, I would have thought he is pretty safe.

Oh, and by the way, I guess the Slashdot interview with him [slashdot.org] may be of interest again.

Authorized? (3, Interesting)

friartux (89443) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816564)


I suspect someone's going to have a field day talking about the word "authorized" in that law.

Obviously access is authorized, otherwise no one could play the movie on *anything*.

And who gets to "authorize" the access? Does Norway permit companies to write their own little bits of legislation defining "authorization"? And to "authorize" helping themselves to more money by creating more middleware (pay for the disc with the movie, pay for the decoder, pay for the displayer, pay for a chair to park your ass in while you watch it)? Is building your own furniture now illegal, too? :)

Alternatively, are those who write versions of "login" equally culpable under this misbegotten law? After all, it permits access to systems and data, and might conceivably be misused to gain "unauthorized" access.

Hopefully Afterposten will continue with English translations on this story...

The root of the problem is Right Here(tm) (-1, Troll)

freebsd guy (543937) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816382)

"I have watched kids testifying before Congress. It is clear that they are completely unaware of the seriousness of their acts. There is obviously a cultural gap. The act of breaking into a computer system has to have the same social stigma as breaking into a neighbor's house. It should not matter that the neighbor's door is unlocked. The press must learn that misguided use of a computer is no more amazing than drunk driving of an automobile."

At first glance, one might attribute that statement to a computer-illiterate senator [senate.gov] or to an incompetent journalist [zdnet.com] . You may be surprised, then, to find that this quote was from Ken Thompson [acm.org] in 1995. Yes, one of our own - a creator of the UNIX system and the command line we use every single day - condemned the antisocial activities of malicious computer users [tuxedo.org] . Which leads me to ask: why aren't we listening, and where is our moral compass?

A few years ago, it was all the media's fault: the media gave much attention to antisocial criminals [kevinmitnick.com] who happened to use computers. Nowadays, computer crime is rarely front-page news, especially in light of the recent terrorist attacks caused by the usual suspects [ajc.org] . So what kind of notoriety, then, are these criminally insane geeks [rockymountainnews.com] seeking? The fact of the matter is that the open source community here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] is not only tolerating illicit behavior; it is encouraging it [slashdot.org] . We are partially responsible for every Brian West [slashdot.org] , Eric Corley [2600.com] , Dmitri Skylarov, Ted Felten, Randal Schwartz, [slashdot.org] , and DrinkOrDie member. We are harboring criminals because we are glorifying their acts and lauding them for "civil disobedience." [grandtimes.com] We are not unlike the Arabs who cheered [geocities.com] as they watched the Twin Towers collapse on their (banned) TV sets. And like those ungrateful Arabs, we owe our prosperity to the American government [house.gov] and the capitalist society that so many users here seem to despise. We have become our own enemy.

We, as a community, need to stop tolerating this behavior. Instead of encouraging people like Jon Johansen by sending money to the EFF to help them keep these ingrates' lilly white asses out of jail, we need to send a strong message that computer crime is not consistent with our ethical standards. We need to lead by example - log off of Gnutella, start paying for software (even Windows), stop cracking your DVDs and eBooks "for fun," and start acting like an upstanding citizen. It is only then that the powers that be [whitehouse.gov] will start taking us seriously and repeal the DMCA/SSSCA/PATRIOT legislation, and start giving us our rights back. It is crystal clear that we will not get our rights back a moment before we get out of the business of producing criminals, and the first step is to stop empathizing with them.

freebsd guy

You're missing the entire point (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816404)

Look, just kill all the jews, niggers, spics, slants and brown peoples. That'll solve 99% of the world's problems right away.

Re:You're missing the entire point (-1, Troll)

evilpaul13 (181626) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816412)

Oh look, the troll came out from under his bridge!

Re:You're missing the entire point (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816477)

Actually, if we just killed you, we would get rid of 87% of the world's problems. The other 13% are the MPAA and RIAA.

Do you just have a really tiny dick or are you just stupid?

Re:You're missing the entire point (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816577)

You, sir, belong in the ovens along with the jews themselves.

Re:The root of the problem is Right Here(tm) (-1, Offtopic)

Hater's Leaving, The (322238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816476)

Yet again the "+1 Troll" is sorely missed!

THL.

Re:The root of the problem is Right Here(tm) (2)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816502)

"We are partially responsible for every Brian West [slashdot.org], Eric Corley [2600.com], Dmitri Skylarov, Ted Felten, Randal Schwartz, [slashdot.org], and DrinkOrDie member."

I shall take that as a compliment. Thank you for your kind words.

Re:The root of the problem is Right Here(tm) (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816526)

What you're saying is that the only way we are going to keep our rights is by shutting up, sitting down and silently hoping that if we don't make any noises, the government will reward us by not putting us in jail. Yeah, that sounds like a bright idea.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance?

Clueless authorities (1, Interesting)

hasse (30390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816389)

The national norwegian authorities for economic crime, that have indicted Jon Johansen, are genrally known to be clueless when it comes to technology. Their latest move in this regard was to reccomend outlawing anonymous email.

When it comes to Jon Johansen, he was initially quoted saying that he only made the gui for DeCSS and that the program itself was made by som german in his group. Only later did he claim to be the author of the entire program.

He was hired for his "skillz" by some startup norwegian dotcom, but was soon sacked.

Re:Clueless authorities (2)

arcade (16638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816487)

Bullshit, he has never claimed to be the author of the entire program.

Taste of our own medicine (tongue in cheek) (3, Interesting)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816390)

Hey, if the Norwegian authorities determine that it is indeed illegal to distribute the DeCSS source code, does that mean that the Norwegian authorities will call the FBI to have US citizens arrested, detained and then extradited to stand trial in Norway?

I mean, after all, isn't that what the FBI does now? When a foreign national breaks a US law but is not currently in the country, we have foreign law enforcement authorities extradite them to the US to stand trial. The US government has been doing this for years--imagine if the Norwegian government began to do that same? The country would be devoid of DVD-owning Linux users. :-(

Re:Taste of our own medicine (tongue in cheek) (5, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816446)

It's not the same. He has been indicted in Norway, because they claim he has broken Norwegian law. Besides, there is no extradition treaty between Norway and the US, and Norwegian courts are in general careful about extraditing anyone to the US due to a general scepticism of the US court system.

From norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (5, Informative)

bob@dB.org (89920) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816391)

My translation of the Dagbladet (norwegian newspaper) article. Spelling and gramatical errors are mine, factual errors are those of Dagbladet and the norwegian Police.

The 18 year only Jon Lech Johansen has been indicted for breaking the "computer trespasing" paragraph of the norwegian criminal code.

Thursday January 10, 2002 14:02, updated 14:53.

This is confirmed to NTB by attorney Inger Marie Sunde. Johansen has since January 2000 been charged by the norwegian financial crimes unit (Økokrim) after being reported by the american movie- and entertainment organization Movie Picture Association (MPA).

The background is that Johansen in 1999 participated in creating a program, DeCSS, that make it possible to play back DVD movie under the Linux operating system, and made it available on the internet. The program can also be used to decrypt the content of DVD-disks and makes it possible to copy the movie.

Johansen is indicted for participating in breaking the protection system Content Scrambling System (CSS), that protects the content of DVD-disks from copying.

Johansen is indicted based on the criminal code paragraph 145, parts two and tree Sunde informs the NTB.

From the inditement:

"- For by breaking a protection scheme, of by similar activities unjustly having gained access to data stored of transmitted by electronic or other technical means and by having caused damage by gaining or using such unjustly obtained knowledge."

The charged offense carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison.

Re:From norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816418)

I think you missed some critical anti-semitic comments in the original article. Norway is full of Aryans and is known to be active in the fight against zionist domination.

Surely it's irrelevant now? (5, Informative)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816426)

DeCSS isn't a trade secret any longer, according to this [kuro5hin.org] kuro5hin story from November, and also according to the story linked to from the Norwegian site... According to the EFF even the DVD CCA have stopped attempting to limit [eff.org] its distribution.

Also, according to this [shmoo.com] , the DVD CCA claimed at least once that reverse engineering the CSS code was 'in principal lawful', and that the illegal part of it was from the fact that the reverse engineering was done from a piece of software which required you to click through a contract that said you agreed not to do so.

All of which makes me wonder why the Norwegians have decided to make a fuss about it now. Just when I thought we'd finally heard the last of CSS lawsuits.

Added to which, I have no idea about the Norwegian law but surely the kid was a minor at the time? He's only 18 now! Maybe it's different in Norway but most countries seem to relax laws somewhat for children...?

Re:Surely it's irrelevant now? (3, Informative)

GauteL (29207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816580)

I know why "the Norwegians" have decided to make a fuss about it.

It all comes down to parts of the prosecution and government in Norway, trying to be soooo concious about their "international responsibility".

The Norwegian prosecutors have blindly followed the US without questioning if this is actually is even remotely illegal in Norway. Trying a case "just to see if it is illegal" is just BS.

Electronic "shrink wrap"-contracts isn't even VALID in Norway. Not in the least, so this argument cannot even be used.

The courts should just dismiss this case, and give a warning to the prosecutors that the next time they try a case without a clear notion that something illegal has happened, they would be in contempt (is that spelled correctly?) of the court.

Eat it michael (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816437)

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Let's all give up and open our wallets (2, Funny)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816456)

Better yet, just have everyone's pay check automatically deduct 30% and send it to RIAA/MPAA. Since everyone is a crook including every executive at RIAA/MPAA, we should all just give in.

I might be wrong but... (2, Interesting)

leroy152 (260029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816462)

are they indicting him just to get a judge to make a ruling about the law? Isn't the adgenda of prosecutor to put criminals away and not to try potentially innocent (they're not even sure) with an intrusive court case just to find out a judges interpretation of an ambigious law.

Next thing ye know, they'll have prosecutors setting up people just to see if a new law can be applied, wait for a conviciton, then if the innocent can be bothered with an appeal, add in a statement such as "Oh, it was kinda entrapment, it just didn't seem relevant to tell the court at the trial *shrug*, but at least we know how the law should be interpreted!".

Then again, I might be completely wrong, and if that's the case then ... mookle.

Cheers,

leroy.

MPAA's Logic of CSS (5, Interesting)

Catiline (186878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816471)

I'm not associated with the MPAA, but after some thought on this I came up with the only reasonable explanation for their behavior.

They (of course) don't want to ever lose control of their works. Their ideal world would be one with no public domain at all, no fair use, and every time you sang "Happy Birthday" you made a mircopayment.

So here's what they do. First they need to get total control of their current works, so they create a "copy control scheme"- yes, CSS. But wait, CSS doesn't stop copying- pirates can copy a DVD and the CSS layer (with the right equipment; almost certainly possible with the same used by the studios to make the DVDs to start with, or such with small modifications). So CSS won't effectivly stop copying, just "unauthorized" access.

Step two in this nefarious scheme is to make it illegal to break this protection scheme (vis a vis the DMCA). And now, the perpetrators rest assured that (barring any bumps) they can now gain income on their works forever. Why? Because I can't try to de-CSS (or if you prefer DeCSS) a DVD movie (even one that has passed into public domain) without doing something illegal. So whoever CSS'd the movie in the first place becomes the only legal distributor, even though the content may (technically) be in the public domain.

Yes, even I recognize this as being overtly paranoid, but I challenge you to come up with a better alternative explanation of recent events.

Thank you Captain Obvious!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816533)

Really! This guy is very insightful. I've never heard this on before!

Re:MPAA's Logic of CSS (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816590)

Not 100% sure about this, but I belive thet DVDs dont have to be encrypted at all.

Could someone explain how... (2)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816474)

...he is being charged with this here and now?

According to this article [aftenposten.no] he was charged around Jan 2000?

What happened?

Re:Could someone explain how... (2)

arcade (16638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816532)

No, in Jan 2000 all his computers and stuff was confiscated as evidence, he was questioned and so forth. He was not charged with anything - but he was placed 'under investigation'.

The investigation took two fucking years.

Europe: Stop acting so damned superior. (1, Funny)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816493)

Well, given that he was indicted by Norwegian authorities, at least now the European Slashdotters can stop acting so damned superior and complaining about America running this whole mess, because now we know that your leaders are sleazy coporate puppets, just like ours.

Of course, were I Norwegian I would be burning up the phone lines with calls to said leaders right now, but I don't live there, so knock yourselves out.

Re:Europe: Stop acting so damned superior. (2, Insightful)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816573)

Yeah, we europeans are all alike. All europeans where Nazis during WWII, and you americans kicked all of our collective asses. Alone. The american way.

The swedish minister of commerce referred to Norway as 'The last soviet state' last year. This was obviously not true, and a really stupid thing to say, but the point is that there is a large gap between the politics of different european countries.

Re:Europe: Stop acting so damned superior. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816588)

Well, our problem isn't the law, our problem is that there is a small number of people who doesn't get it, and the attorney who did this is one of them.

She's an extremist, people are holding off on reporting computer crimes because of her, because they don't want to lend any legitimacy to her work. I certainly wouldn't report a l33t h4X0r breaking into my computer to the police.

But that is not to say that we haven't got a lot of trouble, but that it is still possible to get through to some people and make an impact.

There are a few clued people working for the government too, for example Norway's anti-spam law is a very good piece of work.

Americans: Stop acting so damn superior (1)

el_nino (4271) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816595)

Since you damn (North, South, what's the difference?) Americans in Argentina can't keep your economy functioning, all of you (no matter if you live in Argentina or the US or wherever) should stop acting so superior and blah blah blah.

Repeat after me: Europe is not one country.

Of course, the EU will probably create it's own EU-wide DMCA soon bought to you by the usual suspects, but that's neither here nor there.

Two Things (5, Interesting)

xonker (29382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816512)

One: is there a fund for Jon that we can contribute to?

Two: I wonder if the MPAA or movie studios could be sued for false advertising? If you notice, all advertisements for DVDs like "Shrek" or whatever scream "own this DVD NOW!" Yet, the studios emphatically deny that customers actually own the DVD or the right to do anything with it other than play it on an officially sanctioned player. If you "own" the DVD doesn't that imply the right to play it in any way you want, or can do with it as you will? Obviously, you don't own the rights to the content, so re-distribution is out -- but I'd think ownership should require the right to decode the content for personal use.

Class action suit, anyone?

That damn media... (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816574)

You're right, it is false advertising. Unfortunately, the media doesn't really give a rat's ass about false advertising, and it's virtually impossible to punish them for it.

micheal jackass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2816534)

Hopefully the above poster is correct in summarizing the situation.

HA! Like you'd do a better job anyway, jackass!

Jon Johansen's own words on DeCSS code (5, Informative)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#2816571)

As Jon Johansen put it himself in an old interview:

http://www.linuxworld.com/linuxworld/lw-2000-01/lw -01-dvd-interview.html [linuxworld.com]

Jon Johansen: I'm 16 now, I was 15 when it happened ... and the encryption code wasn't in fact written by me, but written by the German member. There seems to be a bit of confusion about that part.

LinuxWorld: The other two people that you had worked with to make the player are remaining anonymous -- is that right?

Jon Johansen: Yes, that is correct.

...

LinuxWorld: Do you know why they want to remain anonymous?

Jon Johansen: They are both a lot older than me, and they are employed. So I guess they just didn't want the publicity, and they were perhaps afraid of getting fired.

He's a wonderfully plain-spoken person. My other favorite Jon Johansen quote is from when he was responding to reporter Declan McCullagh, and Declan was arrogantly giving Jon a hard time for not immediate returning Declan's request for comment:

Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 21:26:23 +0100

From: Jon Johansen (Micro Media ADB)
Subject: [Livid-dev] Wired article on legal threats

I assume you've read a great deal of articles on the subject? If you have, you might have noticed that I'm only 15 years old; which means I go to school. Norway is GMT+01. You should be able to figure out the time difference, and when I would be available for comment :)

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]
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