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News.com Links to DeCSS Program

CmdrTaco posted about 12 years ago | from the whats-the-dilly-yo dept.

The Courts 289

zorglubxx writes "In less than a week News.com has published 2 articles ([Oct 3] and [Oct 7]) talking about copyright law and the DMCA where they LINK to DeCSS. Not source but compiled Windows version called DeCSS.exe. News.com know that 2600 lost their fight for linking to DeCSS so I wonder why they are doing this. Trying to make a point? Civil disobedience? An honest mistake?" Update: 10/08 02:51 GMT by T : An anonymous reader writes "In the time between when I read the first and second referenced articles, the links were updated to point the DeCSS gallery rather than DeCSS.exe"

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fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402488)

fp blarg!

Laws only work (4, Insightful)

pyman (610707) | about 12 years ago | (#4402489)

if people want to keep them...

Re:Laws only work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402669)

Seems like the overzealous mods are jumping the gun on what's a relevant part of the conversation (no matter how simplistic) and what's just another pointless 'FP'...

It may not contribute a lot, but how about someone modding the parent back into the positive scores?

lmfao (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402490)

lmfao

Re:lmfao (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402532)

lmfao? laughing my fat ass off? Neal, is that you?

Frost piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402491)

But the real question is who gets the last post?

Eh? Who looks at that?

Hmm (5, Funny)

LPetrazickis (557952) | about 12 years ago | (#4402492)

MPAA is probably tired of suing people by now.

I wish.:(

Slashdot Survey: #@ +1; Important @# (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402662)


The most important November campaign issue is:

_ bin Laden (Dead or Alive, remember this one W)

_ Iraq

_ finding Dick Cheney

_ Bush's Halloween costume

_ The economy

_ The "war on everything"

_ Impeaching Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402495)

First Post!!!!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402496)

blah

you all (-1)

macksav (602217) | about 12 years ago | (#4402497)

suck. eat the shit out of my asshole, faggots. also, news.com sucks, even though i've never been to that site. taco sucks, cowboy squeal sucks, michael sucks corpse cock.

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402498)

owned?

In related news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402500)

Slashdot [slashdot.org] links to News.com article that links to DeCSS.

Re:In related news... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 12 years ago | (#4402697)

I see you foresaw:

" Ha! That guy is posting questionable links by linking to Slashdot which linked to News.com that linked to DeCSS. *slashdot nerd looking up personal data to post as a reply with a funny/absurd comment* "

... by posting anonymously. ;-)

Re:In related news... (5, Funny)

freuddot (162409) | about 12 years ago | (#4402702)

Slashdot also links to the DeCSS executable DeCSS.exe [jult.net]

In related news... (2, Funny)

Sn4xx0r (613157) | about 12 years ago | (#4402720)

Anonymous Coward [slashdot.org] links to Slashdot.org article that links to News.com article that links to DeCSS.

Sorry... couldn't resist :p

Re:In related news... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402751)

And in other related news, Slashdot links to a Slashdot article that links to a News.com article that **head explodes**...

And to add insult to injury.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402845)

.. Slashdot is employing illegal and nefarious deep linking to really ram the point home!!

Mistake? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402504)

yes...honest? What are the odds?

hrm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402510)

hrm

Monkey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402513)

Moo

It's floating round in the P2P space.. (1)

caluml (551744) | about 12 years ago | (#4402514)

I just did a quick search on Gnutella for DeCSS, and a few matches came back.

Now that's a classic example of what P2P is good for - distributing "illicit" files.

Arrogance? (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | about 12 years ago | (#4402516)

"We're a big site and can do anything we want!"

(No, they did NOT say that)

Re:Arrogance? Ignorance! (1)

nick-less (307628) | about 12 years ago | (#4402551)


"We're a big site and can do anything we want!"


As long no one biggers than we are cares about...

Exploiting Different Standards? (5, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | about 12 years ago | (#4402517)

Could it be that news.com is simply pointing out the obvious double standard given to "hacker" sites like 2600.com and "reputable news sites" like news.com?

Seriously, if CNN.com would have originally linked to DeCSS do you think it would have gotten sued? (I know, pretend for a moment that it wasn't part of the AOLTimeWarner conglomerate though, and you'll get my point.)

Hopefully, a court case WILL come of this, and maybe we'll get a Judge with a clue that realizes the DMCA restricts your First Amendment rights.

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (5, Insightful)

neuroticia (557805) | about 12 years ago | (#4402578)

More likely News.com will be notified that they are in violation of the DMCA, and asked to cease and desist. Upon recieving notification, the author of the article that linked to DeCSS will be fired and blacklisted. (Or whoever created the link. The author might have nothing to do with it being a link.)

I really believe that if the Most Important Person in the World(tm) himself, ie: the head of the RIAA, were to post a link to DeCSS, the rest of the RIAA would go after him like a herd of rabid bunnies on crack.

That said... Yes. News.com is a more 'valid' publication in the eyes of many than 2600 ever will be, and thus harder to go after for posting legitimate news... But "harder" doesn't mean "impossible". Remember, the RIAA is well-funded by all the CDs they overprice, and all the artists they rip off.

-Sara

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (5, Funny)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | about 12 years ago | (#4402596)

yes but news.com.com.com is well-funded by all the extra .com's! I think it's an even fight.

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (3, Interesting)

neuroticia (557805) | about 12 years ago | (#4402677)

An even fight where one party is backed by a law (even one as shifty as the DMCA) and the other is backed by...?

A financially-even fight is a losing fight if one party is backed by legislation. It's dubious that News.com would want to fight that fight, unless they're seeking to overthrow the DMCA. The "Freedom of speech" argument wouldn't really fly here, as they could have just as easily made that link into one that leads to a page DESCRIBING DeCSS. (I would have actually found that more appropriate. I clicked on the link in my needing-caffiene stupor, and was quite surprised to find out that I had just downloaded the software. Imagine my mother following the link. ;)

Either way, it's a bit inappropriate for a mainstream publication to provide a direct link to software and not specifically state that it is a direct link to software, and not just a link to a page describing software. Particularly when the software performs an illegal activity. Imagine the panic that someone could feel when they're reading the article, click the link, and are confronted with the fact that they just downloaded something that the article clearly identifies as illegal, and (like most computer users) cannot figure out how to remove it from their system. ;)

-Sara

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (0)

CrazyJoel (146417) | about 12 years ago | (#4402708)

" An even fight where one party is backed by a law (even one as shifty as the DMCA) and the other is backed by...? "

PROFIT!

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402840)

Eh? Your post doesn't appear to make any sense?

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402628)

Sara,

For future reference please note that in articles about Napster and copyprotected CD's the RIAA is the enemy. In articles about DeCSS the MPAA is the enemy.

Thanks.

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (4, Insightful)

monkeydo (173558) | about 12 years ago | (#4402591)

Seriously, if CNN.com would have originally linked to DeCSS do you think it would have gotten sued?

Of course not. CNN would have taken down the link when they got the cease and desist letter. Their lawyers would have told them, "Sure you can fight it, but does that link actually have any value?"

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (5, Informative)

ravi_n (175591) | about 12 years ago | (#4402618)

cnn.com did link to DeCSS at one point. When people noticed, and pointed out how hypocritical this was the link was taken down, of course.

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402670)

the best part: ......."about a November 2001 decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 3-0 that it was illegal to distribute a DVD-unlocking program called DeCSS.exe." the last word being a link to the program ;)

wtf.... can't they figure it out :)

14th Amendment? (4, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | about 12 years ago | (#4402732)

Hopefully, a court case WILL come of this, and maybe we'll get a Judge with a clue that realizes the DMCA restricts your First Amendment rights.

Perhaps 2600.com could file suit under the 'equal protection under the law' clause. Technically, this sort of double standard is unconstitutional:


No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [emphesis mine]


Now, a literal reading might allow the federal government to be unfair, while requiring fairness from state governments, but I cannot imagine even our frighteningly corrupt supreme court interpreting the clause in such a fashion.

Re:Exploiting Different Standards? (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | about 12 years ago | (#4402885)

Seriously, if CNN.com would have originally linked to DeCSS do you think it would have gotten sued?

You bet they'd get sued. CBS, ABC, NBC, et al get served on a regular basis, sometimes for being unwitting, others for a clear display of corporate disobedience. 60 Minutes, a CBS program, has been the target of many such. Sadly, they've toned down their desire to lock horns (probably advice from their legal department to the producer, i.e. "The show is getting expensive to defend, stop revealing damning things about people and businesses.")

Regarding the original post:

Trying to make a point? Civil disobedience? An honest mistake?"

Yes, Declan makes clear his position:

he copyright clause, which gives Congress the power to create copyright laws for a limited time, and the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from curtailing speech or expression.

The Appeals Court didn't pay sufficient attention. This time, let's hope the justices do.

I don't think a clue-by-four could make his position anymore clear.

Free Jon Johansen! (4, Informative)

RPoet (20693) | about 12 years ago | (#4402520)

Here in Norway, DeCSS co-author Jon Johansen has become somewhat of an icon in the fight for rights in the digital age. There's an interview with him here [linuxworld.com] , in which he speaks about how he got involved with DeCSS, and the whole thing about the controversion trial. Also, the EFF [eff.org] has supported him tremendously with legal assistance. Their official Jon Johansen page is here [eff.org] .

3 reasons (3, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 12 years ago | (#4402523)

Because News.com.com has more resources/clout than 2600?
Because the author didn't know better?
Because the author loves freedom? (and will soon be unemployed)

Re:3 reasons (5, Interesting)

neuroticia (557805) | about 12 years ago | (#4402616)

I doubt that News.com encourages their writers to break laws, even stupid ones like the DMCA. No company wants a writer who is a liability.

I think it's most likely that the author didn't know better. I mean- hey. How many people can keep up with what is and is not a permissable link? You'd think that an author writing about something like that would know, but... Stranger things have happened.

Another possibility is that Author emails article in to work, article is handed off to low-level drudge HTML markup person who enters it into the system and link-ifies anything that looks like it could be a link. Sees "DeCSS.exe" and thinks "Oh. what's that?" does a search for it on Google, finds a link, and enters the link.

I mean... Most authors can't even handle their own proofreading. Who says they create their own links?

-Sara

Nope (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402682)

Being that the author, Declan McCallugh, has extensively covered the 2600 and similar cases, I would say that he did know what he was doing.

As for the actual reason, I'll leave that for others to speculate.

Re:3 reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402819)

We know what News.com.com thinks, but what about that infamous site news.com.com.com?

Unemployed? (2)

famazza (398147) | about 12 years ago | (#4402843)

  • (...)
  • Because the author loves freedom? (and will soon be unemployed) (...)

Look around. What do you see? An author that loves freedom, and wants to tell the truth to readers no matter what he needs to do, even if he needs to break the law.

Of course he won't be soon unemployed, if something happen news.com will cover his case exclusively and will push this to the media as hard it can. Then, after all the spreading around this subject, they will use this slogan: "The truth, whatever it takes..."

Realists have the world in his hands. Optimists own the world.

Probably an exercise of first amedment rights? (5, Interesting)

haplo21112 (184264) | about 12 years ago | (#4402528)

It is civil disobience, via exercise of the 1st amendment people. Its one publisher supporting another. If every new organization does the same whats gonna happen...I doubt everyone one of them is going to court.
AT least I hope thats what their link is all about. I suppose we shall see if it disappears later or not.
Hey does /. become an acessory because they link to a story that links to DECSS?

Re:Probably an exercise of first amedment rights? (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 12 years ago | (#4402593)

Once they have established precedence in one case, I believe that the following court trials will become more ceremonial than trial-like since the evidence would be overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecutor.

Re:Probably an exercise of first amedment rights? (2)

Tassach (137772) | about 12 years ago | (#4402696)

Precedence only holds in courts with the same geographical scope. Precedent in a state court only applies to other courts in that state. US Circuit court precedents only apply to other courts in that circuit. Only the Supreme court sets precedents that affect every US Court.

However, just because a particular precedent doesn't apply to a particualar court, that doesn't preclude the judge from taking it into consideration when making a ruling.

Re:Probably an exercise of first amedment rights? (2)

evilpenguin (18720) | about 12 years ago | (#4402857)

Okay, IANAL (big surprise), but I thought there was a principle in american law, something about "competent jurisdiction," which means that all US courts are bound to recognize decisions of all other "competent" courts. In other words, lawyers in a case may cite case law from other jurisdictions. A judge is ALWAYS free to make his/her own decision, even if the Supreme Court has set a precedent in the other direction. It is just that a state or district judge who does so should fully expect to be reversed by a higher judge citing the higher court's precedent.

It is easy for any judge to create new law. It is much, much harder to make it stick.

My impression (once again, IANAL) is that there are no hard and fast rules about precedent. Merely tradition. So, in your example, a judge handling a criminal case in New York state is much more likely to give credence to a predent from their Federal Circuit Court than from another Federal Circuit Court, but they are not obligated to do so. In fact, a judge might believe that other court's judgement was right, and their own circuit court's judgement was wrong, and could, in that case decide based on the other court's decision and expect the whole mess to be resolved by a higher court. Furthermore, I would think our New York state court judge would give a case from ANY federal court more credence than a decision from another state court, but there is nothing to say our judge could not consider another state court decision, especially if that state court says something about an issue that New York statute and case law says nothing about.

Once again, IANAL. So I'm really just flapping my gums. But that's the impression I have about law in these here parts. Any lawyers out there to set me straight?

Re:Probably an exercise of first amedment rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402926)

I think it's more likely a rookie reporter with an overworked editor excercising his twenty-first amendment [house.gov] rights.

Linking? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402533)

What about knowingly linking to a site that links to DeCSS? Is /. trying to make a point?

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402538)

Are we supposed to read the articles, look for the links in the articles, or just comment on the blurb?
(now that the sarcastic questions are done on to the real comment)

I think the link could be one of two things, the links auto-generate on phrases in the article as a sort of cross reference thing, or the just don't care. My vote is aotomatic link generation in a posted story.

Rhetorical question or what? (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | about 12 years ago | (#4402542)

This falls under the "How the hell could we know the answer?" category.

But given the statement "But when Linux programmers wrote the DeCSS.exe utility to play DVDs on their computers.." with a link to something clearly labelled as a Windows app and the absence of any reference to 2600 or linking, I'd confidently guess that it never occurred to the writer or editor that there could be anything illegal about such a link.

Somebody time it! (2, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | about 12 years ago | (#4402602)

I give it 2 hours until they carefully de-link that DeCSS, max.

Re:Somebody time it! (1)

l1_wulf (602905) | about 12 years ago | (#4402836)

Are you saying 2 hours only because those news.com articles are gonna be ./-ed drawing much attention or are did you miss the fact that this is the second article from them with this link? ([Oct 3 [com.com] ] and [Oct 7 [com.com] ])

This should be interesting to see if news.com decides to keep the links in. As monkeydo said earlier:

Their lawyers would have told them, "Sure you can fight it, but does that link actually have any value?"
Should the heat get turned on news.com what reason would they have to keep the links in these stories? None. CNN has nothing to gain by keeping the links. In fact, the only value they could possibly get is an increase of visitors, maybe a few people (relatively speaking) decide to visit their websitemore often or whatever all due to the attention given these two articles based specifically on the fact that they are linking directly to a DeCSS executible and not on the merits of the actual story. ./ has done its part in sending what will probably amount to a noticible increase in visitors to news.com for a day or two.

Re:Somebody time it! (2)

OrangeSpyderMan (589635) | about 12 years ago | (#4402892)

Should the heat get turned on news.com what reason would they have to keep the links in these stories?

Bucket loads of free publicity, I'd say.

Re:Rhetorical question or what? (2)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 12 years ago | (#4402676)

I've read a number of items on Politech -- the writer's mailing list -- dealing with the DMCA and DeCSS lawsuits, so I'd guess that he's at least somewhat aware that this is a thorny issue. On the other hand, journalism has traditionally been about 'Damn the torpedos; full speed ahead' in our country (something that's easy to forget when mainstream journalism has become as neutered and insipid as it is today).

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't have been such a bad idea on his part to actually link a Linux version instead of or in addition to the Windows one to make the point a little clearer.

Too-much-rap-at-night dept. (5, Funny)

moc.tfosorcimgllib (602636) | about 12 years ago | (#4402546)

From the "whats-the-dilly-yo dept."???

Someone get Taco coffee, quick.

Note Bene (5, Insightful)

Jsprat23 (148634) | about 12 years ago | (#4402549)

Note that both articles are written by Declan McCullagh, and may not have been passed by legal. If they were passed by the legal department, then they probably think they can win in court based on something along the lines of news.com.com being a news site and not a hacker site. This would further emphasize the double standard already mentioned in a previous post.

Re:Note Bene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402951)

It's Nota Bene [udel.edu] .

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402555)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Did HE link to decss too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402863)

It is NOT illegal to link to DeCSS (5, Informative)

bwt (68845) | about 12 years ago | (#4402562)


Sometimes I wonder if, for all the extensive coverage of the 2600 trial, if people have any clue what exactly happened.

2600 and 2600 only are not allowed to link to DeCSS, not because of the DMCA directly, but because of the judicial injunction. It is a punishment for the specific defendent. The appeals court explicitly noted that the 2600 linking ban could withstand scrutiny only because it was specific to the defendent and occured after a trial.

Re:It is NOT illegal to link to DeCSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402617)

Correct; 2600 was initially sued for hosting the file. The linking ban was applied only to 2600 after they removed the file and linked to it.

One Idea (4, Interesting)

LawGeek (104616) | about 12 years ago | (#4402586)

Not having read the DeCSS case, I've got one theory as to why News.com is linking. I believe that their news reporting purpose probably means that they are much safer from copyright related claims than was 2600 magazine.

The whole "guilty by linking" idea relies upon CONTRIBUTORY copyright infringement, which involves at least some sort of encouragement by the entitity/person hosting the link for people to use the linked-to software to infringe copyrights. 2600 has a hard time convincing anyone that they're on the right side of that equation because they're a magazine dedicated to hacking, and because of the particulars of the way in which they were liking to DeCSS-hosting sites.

When the press is involved, First Amendment concerns get very heavy -- heavy enough to outweigh copyright law. More importantly, though, is the thought that contributory infringement (a judge-made doctrine, mind you) probably was not intended to apply to situations like news reporting agencies referring to sites for the purpose of reporting news. If News.com had to worry about things like that, technology reporting would be heavily chilled.

Then again, it could just be a News.com oversight. --- Checkout Greplaw [harvard.edu]

Re:One Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402759)

but 2600 being a news outlet/magazine, they were conveying the link AS a piece of new technology bit. once they got threatened, it became slightly different, enforcing their right to link to that file. but i definately see what you mean

Any bets how long... (2, Interesting)

AB3A (192265) | about 12 years ago | (#4402592)

...it will take before they retract the link?

Seriously, I think this was just something that got past certain editors. It goes to prove that editors don't ALWAYS understand what their writers put out.

I'd like to think an organization such as Ziff Davis would take the lead and fight this battle; but somehow, I doubt they really care about this issue one way or the other.

My guess is that an editor didn't. And now that we've caught them, I wonder what they'll do.

Re:Any bets how long... (2)

Winterblink (575267) | about 12 years ago | (#4402631)

Seriously, I think this was just something that got past certain editors. It goes to prove that editors don't ALWAYS understand what their writers put out.

It's CNet. If there was any kind of quality control the homepage would be half blank. My bet is though that the link won't be removed until someone officially starts legal action against them.

Re:Any bets how long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402748)

That's only because Declan will refuse to remove the link himself and the one web developer they can afford to keep on staff is on vacation. :)

Nonsense (5, Interesting)

drhairston (611491) | about 12 years ago | (#4402594)

The MPAA will not sue news.com for linking to DeCSS. Their new pet law is still wet behind the ears, and they will not 'sic' it on anything but defenseless targets. 2600 was a perfect target because their profile is such that they could be hauled into a New York court accused of nearly any crime and convicted solely on appearance and reputation. The MPAA has not sued the "DeCSS Gallery" hosted at Carnegie Mellon because they fear sic'ing their new pet on Academia or the Press until it has grown up a bit and sharpened its teeth.

Once the DMCA stands up to the U.S. Supreme Court, news.com may be a suitable target. But not yet.

Sources and otther DeCSS Goodies (4, Informative)

haplo21112 (184264) | about 12 years ago | (#4402621)

http://jult.net/dvd/
Chop a few words off the end and go browsing...have fun....:>

innocent? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402622)

if this binary is so innocent, why has the author used PEShield ?

-= PE-SHiELD v0.2 -- (C) Copyright 1998 by ANAKiN [DaVinci] =-

$ od -A x -vs DeCSS.exe
0001d0 PESHiELD

maybe its not as innocent as it looks?

Re:innocent? (1)

merz (550238) | about 12 years ago | (#4402691)

What is PEShield?

Re:innocent? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402731)

an executable packer, this one is designed specifically to make it really hard for people using disassemblers and debuggers to figure out what the executable actually does.

soooo......whats he tryin' to hide ?

Re:innocent? (5, Informative)

Arker (91948) | about 12 years ago | (#4402915)

I don't know why it's PEShielded, that is odd. But if you're worried you can just use the source [jult.net] instead.

This reminds of when... (4, Funny)

UrGeek (577204) | about 12 years ago | (#4402625)

...the Fed was busting Abbie Hoffman for wearing a shirt made from an American flag when at the same time, Raquel Welch was dancing in Vega in an outfit that matched it.

Double standards, indeed.

Hate to say it, but the law needs to catch up... (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | about 12 years ago | (#4402637)

The reality is that internet based journalism relies on linking as part of its very character. And there are no analogs in the "established" media from which judges can extend precedent. Right now judges are floundering, as judges generally are not real eager to set precedent. So linking will keep occurring, and judges will keep saying it's illegal until some good caselaw develops consistent with the 1st amendment and new realities.

Remember, TV news had trouble too.

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402645)

Now there's a journalist who values his freedom. Good for him he'll probably soon have all the freedom he needs to find a new job.

and we should care because....? (2)

autopr0n (534291) | about 12 years ago | (#4402649)

They'll probably remove the link if they get a letter from the MPAA.

Really, who cares? This artical is like chilish taunting "HE DID IT, HOW COME HE CAN DO IT WHEN I CAN'T!!!"

Re:and we should care because....? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402760)

Perhaps that *is* childish, it's also a pretty damn good point.
How come they can do it, and 2600 can't?

News.com is within it's rights (5, Insightful)

ageitgey (216346) | about 12 years ago | (#4402661)

There is no law in the US against linking to DeCSS. News.com is a news organization and is reporting the news as they see fit. If the DVD-CCA decides to bring suit against News.com and got a judgement forcing them to to stop linking, then they would have to remove the links.

But it is unlikely that the DVD-CCA would try something like that. They already have enough bad press in the tech sector, the last thing they need is bad press in mainstream news channels.

This is the same reason slashdot doesn't get raided by some government agency everytime a poster puts a link to DeCSS in a comment. There is no "don't link DeCSS law" and there is no legal ruling (yet...) preventing slashdot from posting DeCSS links in discussions.

Big Spending Democrats? Think Again. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402673)

You know the feeling you get when your darned checkbook just won't seem to balance. Multiply by a few zillions, and you have some idea of the way Washington is running things these days. It's not just a nightmare; it's that old familiar nightmare we thought we had shaken off years ago: A ballooning federal deficit and its evil twin, a widening trade gap, threaten the U.S. dollar, our financial markets, and our monetary policy. For the first time since 1997, our budget this year will show a deficit probably in excess of $160 billion, in sharp contrast with a $127 billion surplus last year. This dizzying swing-$287 billion-is the largest on record.

Why the big change? The drop in tax revenue this year, of over $130 billion, is the sharpest in 56 years, much of it due to layoffs, pay cuts, pay freezes, fewer exercised stock options, and a fall in capital gains. What's more, the reduction of tax rates for upper-income households enacted last year means that when the economy does finally pick up steam, Washington won't see a commensurate pickup in tax revenue.

The projected 10-year federal budget surplus had already shrunk by nearly 95 percent, from $5.6 trillion to $336 billion. But even that number is wildly overoptimistic. It doesn't include the costs of a prescription drug program for seniors, estimated to cost at least $300 billion over the next decade. It also doesn't include appropriate costs for military and homeland defense spending. And it assumes that discretionary spending will rise at the rate of inflation, a pipe dream. If government spending continues to increase at its current rate of 8.5 percent, we will add an additional $2.9 trillion in debt over the next decade.

Spree. Think it won't happen? Just look at discretionary spending this year. It's up by almost 14 percent, the biggest government spending spree in a generation. In fact, for the first time in over 30 years, annually appropriated programs controlled by Congress and the president have grown faster than formula-driven entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Only a third of the entire $91 billion increase in annually appropriated funds has been spent on homeland security and national defense; the rest goes for everything from highway construction to farm subsidies.

Government spending has gotten so bad that we have had to dip into Social Security and Medicare tax revenues to finance it-a habit we had broken for four years straight. Now instead of setting aside money for the certain cost of meeting the dramatic increases in retirement and healthcare costs we face in the next decade, we're using it to fund current expenses.

Congress has not even passed the annual budget resolution, which traditionally sets caps for the 13 spending bills, giving pork-happy lawmakers the chance to spend billions on ad hoc additions to politically popular spending programs that typically accompany an election year.

Still more reckless is the double extravaganza perpetrated by the Senate on spending controls. Gone are discretionary spending caps. Gone is the stipulation that, short of commensurate spending and taxing offsets, there had to be a 60-vote majority for spending increases or tax cuts. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has failed to persuade the Senate solons to retain these essential pieces of self-discipline. The budget rules have been on the books since 1990 and helped push down discretionary spending from 10 percent of gross domestic product back then to 6.5 percent by 1998. Given the dissolute nature of this Congress, a return to fiscal discipline is as likely as seeing pigs fly-even allowing for those hefty federal subsidies for pig farmers.

Both parties are playing fast and loose with the numbers. Despite the partisan attacks on the Bush tax cuts, only a small minority of Democrats argue for delaying or rolling them back. And the Democrats aren't even pretending to scale back their own spending programs. Ditto the Republicans and their spending plans. The president himself has made only token gestures toward restraining out-of-control spending.

Neither party seems to have the political will to force the budget back into long-term balance, making the fiscal outlook for the next decade really grim. Instead, what we see is a competition between Democrats and Republicans over who can appropriate the most in their fervid hope to win the handful of tight races for Senate and House seats that might give one or the other control over the Congress.

The timing for all this, of course, couldn't be worse. Our fiscal outlook is deteriorating at the very moment we must begin preparing for rising claims on Social Security and Medicare funds by an aging baby boom generation. The consensus on the need for budget discipline was built painstakingly over two decades. It is more than passing sad that it evaporated in less than a year, and sadder still that we are unlikely to see its return for a long time to come.

Whoa.... (-1, Offtopic)

Tsali (594389) | about 12 years ago | (#4402684)

haiku

Well, what do you know?
The link isn't slashdotted
to oblivion!

/haiku

Numbers. (5, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | about 12 years ago | (#4402688)

Binaries are no fun.

I won't be happy until they air commercials on the TV of Illegal Prime Numbers [utm.edu]

I hear if you use a lossy compression algorithm the number shrinks down to 42.

To my knowledge... (1, Redundant)

Kindaian (577374) | about 12 years ago | (#4402703)

That isn't civil disobidience, because only 2600 group where indicted to comply with the court rule... news.com wasn't defendent in the case...

Cheers...

Wow! A LINK! (1)

nenolod (546272) | about 12 years ago | (#4402714)

So? You can find DeCSS over all sorts of servers in europe, even a Google Search [google.com] will create some interesting results. Infact the first few links, are a collection of links to where you can download DeCSS: First Link [pigdog.org] , Second Link [cmu.edu] and Third Link [lemuria.org] . I just hate it when people make a big deal out of something so pointless.

Arg, news.com.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402729)

What's with the extra .com?!

Totally Irresponsible (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 12 years ago | (#4402734)

This is totally irresponsible of a major news site to link to the DeCSS code. After years of hard work, the content producers had almost finished the task of putting that genie back in its bottle.

Its simple: if there are no links to DeCSS, then there is no way to reach it. DeCSS would effectively cease to exist in this universe. (It might still technically exist, like a physical object that falls within the event horizon of a black hole, but that distinction is only of interest to philosophers). Some would argue that you could reach DeCSS via non-hyperlink text URLs. Give me a break - that's comparing apples and oranges. It doesn't count as a valid way to pierce the event horizon.

Now, by placing this valid hyperlink, they've created a huge leak in the carefully constructed containment barrier. We might be back almost to square one.

Not a mistake (4, Interesting)

Betelgeuse (35904) | about 12 years ago | (#4402765)

An honest mistake?

I think it's pretty clear that there is one thing this is not: a mistake. Even if they only did this once, I don't see how it could be a mistake. I mean, when was the last time you saw a news story from a legitimate news outlet that linked DIRECTLY to an executable file?

News.com is, perhaps, setting up for a court battle ('cause they want to challenge the DMCA) or this guy is trying to make some sort of point.

For those thinking the author didn't know... (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 12 years ago | (#4402770)

"Jaszi is talking about a November 2001 decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 3-0 that it was illegal to distribute a DVD-unlocking program called DeCSS.exe."

The "DeCSS.exe" was a hyperlink to a DeCSS W32 executable file.

Gee, think he knew...? ;)

In other news... (2, Funny)

sklib (26440) | about 12 years ago | (#4402776)

news.com gets sued for deep-linking straight to DeCSS.exe.

Mistake? No. Human nature? Yes. (3, Insightful)

nuxx (10153) | about 12 years ago | (#4402777)

I'm willing to bet that the reason news.com linked to a copy of DeCSS is because one would commonly expect that it would be all right to do so. Most laws are based on common sense and common morality. The DMCA goes against these tenants and tries to get one to do things that go against human nature and reasonable expectation of sharing of information.

News.com just did what makes sense. The DMCA doesn't.

Wired has also linked DeCSS in the past (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402795)

While it was a hot topic too (May 2, 2001).
http://wired.com/news/print/0,1294,43485,00.html [wired.com]

Trying to squelch the media is much harder than squelching 2600, they can make their case known to the general public at large.

-Insani Kamil

Has anybody asked? (2)

tdye (308813) | about 12 years ago | (#4402822)

Has anybody asked Declan yet if he's smoking rock? Maybe he's positioning news.com for a swing at the DMCA...

DeCSS (1)

physman (460332) | about 12 years ago | (#4402844)

what is teh point in creating copywrite laws, if congress wants to pick then all over again.

the American way, designed to make your life as difficut and frought as possible!!!

'bout time. (1)

airrage (514164) | about 12 years ago | (#4402850)

I love it when a site grows a couple of large, hanging-fruits, and decides to take these lilly-livered, low-down, bookworm losers, picked last in kickball, thurgood marshall wanna-be's, no girlfriend, need a punch in the mouth idiots to task...(suit filed, subpoena recieved). Okay, I'll shut up now.

Complete Ignorance (1)

nanodroid (116613) | about 12 years ago | (#4402851)

It's due to a dripping wet sack of corporate ignorance. Nothing else.

Someone will get yelled at and nothing will come of this, unfortunately. Greasy corporate goons will continue to tailgate people on the highways in their wasteful SUVs. Poor hackers will take the subway.

Civile disobedience ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402860)

If any site would do that, you'd expect /. to be it... but nooooh.

Wow, DeCSS. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4402866)

Too bad DeCSS doesn't even work on newer DVDs. Look for DeCSS Plus instead.

windows?? (2, Troll)

zoombat (513570) | about 12 years ago | (#4402882)

Does anyone else find it peculiar that they have a windows (.exe) file linked, but describes it as a program "Linux programmers wrote... to play DVDs on their computers"? What's the deal? Just a non-tech reporter mixing things up? (Sure, once you have the source you can compile it any way you want, but...)

How this is related to the Napster lawsuit... (3, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | about 12 years ago | (#4402893)

This is like the Napster lawsuit. Napster would be alive and thriving today had it been started by Microsoft or AOL rather than by a college student. No court would ever have held that a major corporation was responsible for copyright violations of its customers/users.

News.com is in no real danger because they are part of the "establishment." If sued, they will go to court, wave the flag, use variations of the same arguments that 2600 did, and, unlike 2600, prevail. Although it sucks, I am coming to believe that the judicial branch has been bought off just like the other branches of government -- or have been stocked with appointees that value the interests of major corporations with much higher regard than the rights of individuals and small businesses. Just look at the 180 degree turn the Justice Department did with regards to the Microsoft lawsuit when the Bush administration came into office.

And in other, more interesting, news... (2)

dalutong (260603) | about 12 years ago | (#4402912)

/. user points to where the source [jult.net] is (and hopes the site stays up for a little bit at least...)

Obvious Ploy (2, Funny)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 12 years ago | (#4402921)

Civil Disobedience? As stated above it's not illegal to link to DeCSS for anyone but 2600 (by way of court injunction.

Freedom fighter? Maybe, but links to DeCSS are all over the place as more than one informative /.'er as noted above.

How about:

1. Post link to DeCSS.

2. Wait for /. to notice.

3. Smile gleefully during /. effect.

4. Profit!!!! (from advertising revenue)

You think?

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