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"DVD-Jon" Faces Retrial

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the if-you-got-no-money-honey dept.

The Courts 366

An anonymous reader submits: "Norway's special division for white-collar crimes, Økokrim, has decided to appeal the acquittal of 19-year-old Jon Lech Johansen, accused of copyright violation for helping bypass DVD code protection, web site Nettavisen reports."

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366 comments

I'm Brian Fellows! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119886)

I'm Brian Fellows!

FP W00t!

I'm Brian Fellows!

1st CmdrTaco/Rob Malda molests little boys post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119889)

I do not FAIL IT!

You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (0, Offtopic)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119896)

Weird.

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (3, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119991)

I believe there are ways around this even in the US -- the prosecution can ask to have the original trial declared a mistrial if they can show that the original trial was conducted improperly, or some such. And of course there's always the possibility of trying people for different charges relating to the same crime, as in the Federal civil rights trial of the cops in the Rodney King case after they were acquitted of State assault charges. The Norwegian deal might be something like one of these two -- the article certainly didn't give much detail. Anyone who knows more, please feel free to correct me.

The real lesson here, I think, is that The Forces Of Evil never rest in their attempts to persecute hackers for actions that should not, by any sane measure, be crimes at all. This is apparently no less true in Norway than anywhere else.

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (3, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120141)

the prosecution can ask to have the original trial declared a mistrial if they can show that the original trial was conducted improperly

Not after the verdict is in. Then, jeopardy is attached.

Jeez, don't you ever watch "Law and Order"?

While you can appeal to emotion? (2, Funny)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120147)

The real lesson here, I think, is that The Forces Of Evil never rest in their attempts to persecute hackers for actions that should not, by any sane measure, be crimes at all.

Yep, that's exactly it. We live in movie land where everything is black and white, hackers vs. Evil Corporation X, and computer operating systems look like virtual reality.

If you want to support your case, may I suggest you tone down the rhetoric a bit? "Forces of Evil" and "any sane measure" are appeals to emotion... but we want this to be objective, right? Right?

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (5, Interesting)

Isle (95215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120157)

Actually this is not the same as in the US, I know because we have the same law in Denmark. Basically any result of a lower court can be appealed to a higher court granted that the higher court wishes to take the case.

We had a case of a man who was first acquited by a city court then found guilty by a national court. But he fled to England and now can't be extradicted, because according to a brittish law, you can't be tried for same crime twice. (in america this is called double jepardy)

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120007)

Yeah, but you can own select-fire weapons there. That makes it worth it.

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (4, Interesting)

Jonathunder (105885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120027)

Yes, in Norway, as in some other European countries, prosecutors can appeal a finding of innocence.

This would not be permitted where there is protection from double jeopardy, such as afforded by the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights.

Re:You can appeal an ACQUITTAL in Norway? (4, Informative)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120133)

Nay! The accused is protected from double jeapardy on any given charge -- Double jeapardy has nothing to do with appeals.

Not sure about the legal system in Norway, but in the U.S. and Canada, appeals must be based on possible mistakes of law or mixed fact/law at the trial level. This can result in a different verdict, or in a trial de novo. The intention, however, is not usually to retry the case. Rulings regarding fact usually remain intact from the trial level, unless there has been some obvious gross error.

Seriously, what's so strange about it? If trial judges can make mistakes of law in favour of the prosecution, they wouldn't occasionally do the same in favour of the accused? And shouldn't the justice system be able to say: hold on! That piece of evidence should have been admitted (or whatever the alleged mistake was)

Firstenposten! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119900)

Let the fucker rot in jail.

See if the burly nigger lifers are impressed with his computer geekery, or just pass him around like a joint at a frat party.

This early post for ISRAEL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119901)

I love you, ISRAEL!

Hear Oh Israel, the Lord Your God Is One.

Hopefully, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120174)

the Palestinians will deal with you and your Jewish friends.

Wee! (-1, Redundant)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119902)

In Soviet Norway, Copyright violates YOU!

I guess they don't have double jeopardy ...

On second thought, I guess an "appeal" doesn't really invoke double jeopardy laws. Ah well. At least it was a good movie.

Double Jeopardy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120105)

In the US the double stuff ONLY applies to Capitol offenses!
Norway's special division for white-collar crimes, Økokrim, has decided to appeal the acquittal of 19-year-old Jon Lech Johansen, accused of copyright violation for helping bypass DVD code protection, web site Nettavisen reports."

See, they have niggers in every country!

Re:Double Jeopardy? (2, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120162)

In the US the double stuff ONLY applies to Capitol offenses!

Not true at all; double jeopardy applies to all criminal charges.

19-year-old Jon Lech (0, Funny)

automag_6 (540022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119906)

come on, with a name like that, you simply must steal software. I mean, maybe his name isn't Joe Sofware Pirate, but pretty damn close.

/. Slow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119909)

Anyone else notice /. has been /.'ed?

You know what the lawyers say... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119915)

...if at first you don't succeed: trial, trial again.

Is that even legal? (1)

Bicoid (631498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119916)

I don't know a whole hell of a lot about Norwegian law, but in the US, wouldn't that be considered Double Jeopardy?

Re:Is that even legal? (2, Informative)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119961)

no, it wouldnt.

In the US, prosecution would have to find new evidence. Also, in the US, someone could get acquitted at the state level, but re-prosecuted at the federal level. For example, the cops who beat up Rodney King were re-tried at the federal courts (and found guilty), after being let loose in CA state courts.

Re:Is that even legal? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120004)

Actually, didn't they charge the cops with a different crime in the second case? My understanding of US law was that if you are acquitted of a criminal offense at any level, the prosecution cannot appeal to a higher court to overturn that ruling.

Re:Is that even legal? (4, Interesting)

MattW (97290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120150)

The Supreme Court ruled that it does not violate the double jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment to try someone at both the state and federal level. It's hard to imagine how they managed to interpret it that way. You can read some about it here [findlaw.com]. I don't agree with the logic. The Supreme Court seems to be focused on the violation of 'laws', whereas the language in the Bill of Rights is 'for the same offense'. I'd take that to mean that you do one bad thing, you can only be put in jeopardy for it once. If you shoot two people, you've committed two crimes. But in another violation of the 5th amendment, you'll be charged with two counts of murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of a firearm with intent to cause harm, assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, conspiracy to commit murder, and so on. In fact, the Supreme Court specifically contramands such separate charges unless Congress uses "language which is clear and definite", which to me implies the creation of a judicial mandate to decide the applicability of the 5th amendment.

Re:Is that even legal? (4, Informative)

Lionel Hutts (65507) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120115)

You are completely, totally incorrect. No matter how much new evidence is found -- even if you confess on the way out of court -- once you are acquitted, you can NEVER be retried by the same sovereign.

As you say, a second sovereign -- e.g., the federal government, after a state trial -- can try you separately, whether or not you are acquited in the first trial, without violating double jeopardy, but many states' laws still would prevent them from being the second trial. In copyright cases, though, this is irrelevant, since states can't enforce copyright laws (as defined in federal law).

Yes, IAAL.

Re:Is that even legal? (5, Informative)

Dr.Zong (584494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119990)

It is not considered Double Jeopardy, it is only an appeal...

1) You cannot be tried for the *same* crime twice, however, prosecutors can amend or change the crimes in which you are being tried for ie: you are no longer tried for the murder of Joe, just maybe a nice inditement of manslaughter.

2)Double Jeopardy doesn't count on appeal. Normally the losing side can appeal if there was a trial error or they want to fight a ruling the judge made on a point in the trial (including evidence that shouldn't have been, allowing a surprise witness - a procedural error).

3) Unlike the Movie - you CAN'T be tried and convicted for killing someone (for instance) and then actually kill them. Those are actually TWO separate crimes. Makes for a good movie, but the law isn't paid attention to. That's where you just have to sue the state for negligence, or whatever fancy scheme you can get your lawyer to concoct.

Re:Is that even legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120077)

Makes for a good movie, but the law isn't paid attention to.

Hmmmm- that was a good movie? Judging by your movie taste, something tells me you were probably in line for the "Kangaroo Jack" premier this weekend...

Re:Is that even legal? (2, Funny)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120081)


3) Unlike the Movie - you CAN'T be tried and convicted for killing someone (for instance) and then actually kill them. Those are actually TWO separate crimes. Makes for a good movie, but the law isn't paid attention to.

Uhh... did you watch the movie?

-a

Re:Is that even legal? (4, Informative)

Lionel Hutts (65507) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120180)

Well, you're batting .333. I guess that's good enough for "informative."

1) You cannot be tried for the *same* crime twice, however, prosecutors can amend or change the crimes in which you are being tried for ie: you are no longer tried for the murder of Joe, just maybe a nice inditement of manslaughter.

Wrong. Since the facts needed to prove murder are sufficient to prove manslaughter, this prosecution would indeed violate double jeopardy. The second charge needn't be identical to the first.

2)Double Jeopardy doesn't count on appeal. Normally the losing side can appeal if there was a trial error or they want to fight a ruling the judge made on a point in the trial (including evidence that shouldn't have been, allowing a surprise witness - a procedural error).

Wrong again. Once jeopardy has "attached" -- the swearing of the jury, or of the first witness in a bench trial -- the prosecution cannot appeal. Again, it makes no difference how profound the alleged errors are. In a well-known case, the judge dismissed the charges because he wrongly believed the prosecution had done something unethical, which the judge didn't even have jurisdiction to do; but a retrial was barred nevertheless.

OT, but "allowing a surprise witness" would not typically be reversible error in any case.

Yes, it would be... (2, Insightful)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120050)

In the United States, if one is acquitted of a crime and there aren't any additional charges that can be filed by the state, that's all folks, no more immediate legal repercussions. However, the state can always attempt to find something else to bring against someone, like additional crimes committed on the scene.

This isn't the first time that I've heard of an acquittal being appealed, I think that there was something in Italy in the last couple of years that made news for such.

Not quite true.. (2, Informative)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120130)

I quote http://www.lectlaw.com/def/d075.htm:

"the courts have decided that since the state and federal governments are separate sovereigns and therefore successive prosecutions based on the same underlying conduct do not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause if the prosecutions are brought by separate sovereigns. See, e.g., U.S. v. Koon, 34 F.3d 1416, 1438 (9th Cir.'94)"

Which is essentially what has happened here. The case is tried at a local level and being appealed to a regional court.

Re:Is that even legal? (2, Informative)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120083)

I live in Sweden, but I guess Norweigian justice-system is about the same as here. You have something called "Tingsrätt" who is a local court (about 80 of thoose in Sweden). Both sides can appeal the judgement to a higher court called "Hovrätt" (about 4) and finally you can appeal to "Högsta Domstolen" (like the supreme court in US I guess) but they only try certain cases.

So no Double Jeopardy.

Re:Is that even legal? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120086)

IN USA a retrial of aquittal is not possible as is considered Double Jeopardy. Except where the crime is also classified as a Federal crime, and many of the crimes that were considered local or states only have been additionally classified as federal crimes. When it is a federal crime DOuble Jeopardy does not apply and the Bill of Rights goes out the window.

Remember OJ Simpson? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120179)

A year after his criminal trial, he a href="http://www.crimelibrary.com/classics4/oj/16. htm">faced a civil trial. It had a different result. This wasn't considered double jeopardy. I don't know if there is any resemblance with this Norwegian situation though.

Oh for crying out loud (2, Insightful)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119917)

He wanted to play some movies and distrobuted the software. Whats so wrong with that?
disclaimer: may be over simplified as i dont know the full situation

STEALING! (1, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120169)

He was *STEALING*. You know, *STEALING*. We're not real sure what he stole (since he bought the DVDs), or what he hurt, but he was *STEALING*. You don't approve of *STEALING*, do you?

Stealing is bad, u-kay?

Sad News Stephen Hawking dead at 55 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119919)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio. Famed cosmologist/mathematician/Hard Core Rapper Stephen Hawkins was found dead at his Cambridge home. The cause of death was a fall from a wheelchair. Even if you did not appreciate his work, there is no denying his contributions to Hard Core Gangsta Rap Culture. Truly an English icon.

As the meme turns... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120059)

I just heard the sad news on CNBC, noted McCarthur genius Stephan Wolfram was found dead in his secret lair above the garage early this morning. Authorities believe he was killed by a computer virus.

You may not have figured out Mathematica, but there is no denying his contributions to the study of abnormal psychology and pseudoscience. Truly a great kook, he will be missed.

[Stephen * | * King], $PROFESSION dead at $AGE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120155)

I just heard the sad news on $MEDIA_OUTLET, $SUPERLATIVES Stephen * was found dead in $LOCATION at his $HOME.<P>
$DETAILS<P>
I'm sure everyone in the $COMMUNITY will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy $WORK, there's no denying his contributions to $FIELD.
Truly a $NATIONALITY $SUPERLATIVE.

This template is released under the BSD license.

Martin Luther King jr, minster dead at 58 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120173)

I just heard the sad news on the radio, beloved civil rights activist Martin Luther King jr. was found dead at his grave in Atlanta this afternoon. Authorities say that he was an apparent victim of a gunshot.

Dr. King was piviotal in the civil rights movement of the 50's & 60's.

I sure everyone in the United States will miss him, even if you didn't enjoy desegregation, there's no denying his contributions to human rights.

Truly an American hero.

Memo to kokrim: (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119920)

Let it go.

Thanks.

Bizarre (0, Redundant)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119923)

Was this not tried before their analog of the US Supreme Court? Say what you will about the American legal system, but when you're acquitted or found innocent the state can't appeal it to a higher court.

Errr. Dup? (0)

LePrince (604021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119927)

If Jon reads Slashdot, he'll get the feeling that he's actually living a duplicate. I know, this story isn't, but his passing in court will certainly feel like it ;-)

US laws. (1, Insightful)

n0rm (261621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119929)

you might complain about the US copyright laws, but at least you can't have a criminal aquittal appealed.

Where is the guilt? (3, Insightful)

BlueMonk (101716) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119931)

He (the defense) says it was intended simply to allow playing of DVDs under Linux. Seems quite reasonable. How can he be faulted for this? Perhaps they would have preferred that he also build in the same security mechanisms as other DVD players, but these, of course, would be easily defeated, assuming the code is open source. I guess I don't see a lot of details in the article, or I'm missing some of it. Would the prosecution suggest that any open source DVD player is illegal?

Re:Where is the guilt? (1)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120160)


Perhaps they would have preferred that he also build in the same security mechanisms as other DVD players, but these, of course, would be easily defeated, assuming the code is open source. I guess I don't see a lot of details in the article, or I'm missing some of it. Would the prosecution suggest that any open source DVD player is illegal?

Quite possibly, yes. OSS creates a legal problem because there is often no one specific to sue and no one website to shut down. As we see on /., this is often used as justification for skirting the law.

I think that the whatever DVD player trade association there is out there would allow an OSS project to join (for the usual fee), but they would only allow selected portions of the code to be released as open source.

-a

NAZIs (-1, Flamebait)

cluge (114877) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119932)

I believe that the Norwegians sided with the NAZIs in world war II. With the latest appeal we can plainly see why. Fascism hasn't died in norway


Was, you wantz to looktz at a DVD du bought from the ministry of propoganda on a non party sanctioned OS! Vee Vill Krush You!!!

Re:NAZIs (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119999)

They didn't. They were invaded by the German army.

h shit! (2, Insightful)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119937)

As usual, big-money corporations will continue to wield their influence until they get the justice they want. They will not let this rest until they have made an example of Jon Johansen. Money will talk.

Re:h shit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120011)

As ususal, /. clusterfart idiots are whining about the same corporate conspiracy crap.

How can you still cry about this when you are proven wrong time and time again?

doo doo doo doo doo doo doooooo.. (4, Funny)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119938)

And now our categories in Double Jepardy:
  • The Norwegian judicial process
  • "DVD" player. Note that "DVD" is in quotes
  • Famous Jons in history
  • Content Monopolies of the 21st century
  • Not so fair use
  • and finally, CowboyNeal's favorite movies


Good luck contestants...

Suck it Trebek! Hahahahaha (1, Funny)

disc-chord (232893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120132)

Sean Connery: "It looks like this is my lucky day. I'll take The Rapists for $200."
Alex: "That's Therapists... not The Rapists"

Sorry, I know I know... But it had to be said.

I guess Double Jepordy exist in Norway (3, Insightful)

Sergeant Beavis (558225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119940)

I was very surprised to see that they are actually going to appeal and aquittal for this kid. You don't see this in the US since such an appeal is not allowed under the Constitution. In the US, sometimes prosecutors try charging the person with another crime that was related to the original one but that doesn't work very often. For instance, after the LA cops were aquitted of beating Rodney King, the US District Attorney's office stepped up and charged the cops with violating King's civil rights. I don't remember if they were convicted or if they settled, but the cops did do jail time. But that's just an example of how things are done here.

Re:I guess Double Jepordy exist in Norway (2, Informative)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120075)

I believe a second trial for a different crime based on the same facts in the same jurisdiction would still be considered double jeopardy. Otherwise it's trivial to sidestep the double jeopardy law - just keep retrying the person for lesser included crimes. It's actually a bit more general than that, since double jeopardy also prevents retrial when new facts are discovered, e.g., a defendant confessing to the crime to clear his conscience. (It's not double jeopardy to try him for perjury during the first trial if he never testified that he didn't commit the crime, instead remaining silent.)

What happened in LA and elsewhere is that the defendants were charged with a crime in two different jurisdictions. In the US, the state and federal governments are sovereign and each has a fair crack at any defendant. The federal government has not historically performed general police duties outside of military bases and the like (although this is starting to change, a troubling prospect to many people), but it has passed some limited laws to cover those cases where local authorities appear indifferent to Constitutional rights. That's why there were federal laws passed to protect civil rights workers in the 50s, and those same laws were used in the recent cases after, and only after, the defendants were acquitted in state courts.

Re:I guess Double Jepordy exist in Norway (1)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120154)

Your result is correct, but your cause isn't.

It is not a matter of Jurisdiction, but different laws. The constitution states(held up by the first supreme court) that Federal law is primary over all laws passed by the states. The fundamental result of this is that you can have one and only one law governing an action (I forget the fancy latin principle for this).

In practice this means that you can not be tried for the same crime at different levels of jurisdiction, because only one jurisdiction has the guiding law in the first place. What generally happens is that you are tried for DIFFERENT crimes on the two levels.

The Rodney King incident is a great example of this. The first charge against the police officers involved was done at the state level, in a state court. I beleive it was some kind of assault charge, but I really don't remember. When they where aquitted of those charges, the feds got involved and brought SEPERATE charges for DIFFERENT crimes (even though they occured during the same incident). At the federal level, I beleive that it was some kind of civil rights charge.

The point being, you can't be charged in two jurisdictions for the same crime, you either violated one and only one law for that particular crime. Anytime you see someone charged by both the state and the federal levels it is always because different charges are being brought on each level.

Its important to note that the state can do the same thing. They can try you for one crime, and failing that bring up new charges related to the same action (although a lot of legal rules apply to that, and it is pretty rarely done).

Actions since your arrest (2, Interesting)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119943)

I've read a lot about your story and from what I understand you've expressed regret over the actions that landed you in jail. I think I may have even heard you say that you think you were in the wrong.

So how do you respond to the hundreds of wannabes who rip and trade DVD movies "in your honor"?

Are those folks adding to your cause of Free Speech and Free Movie Software, and if so, do you feel you owe them anything?

Re:Actions since your arrest (1)

stray (73778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120006)

did you just mix up this story and the request for question for the mitnick interview? or is this a subtle joke i don't quite get?

This isnt a /. interview (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120070)

I've read a lot about your story and from what I understand you've expressed regret over the actions that landed you in jail. I think I may have even heard you say that you think you were in the wrong.

So how do you respond to the hundreds of wannabes who rip and trade DVD movies "in your honor"?
Are those folks adding to your cause of Free Speech and Free Movie Software, and if so, do you feel you owe them anything?

These questions sound more appropriate for the Kevin Mitnick interview... or for any interview... but I dont think this is an interview. Maybe 'DVD-Jon' is a slashdot reader, but I would think his time would be better spent researching his trial. And I really hope he is not researching his trial on slashdot. All the 'IANAL but I AFAIK all software is free' posts...

i dont know about you guys but... (2, Interesting)

jaxle (193331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119944)

it's always fun to ruin a kids future by prosecuting them for something as trivial as this.

Re:i dont know about you guys but... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120102)

First off, if you read the story you'd know they really are only seeking 3 months probation as a penalty. This isn't a high profile case.

If they have a good faith belief he broke the law, then they should be in court letting a jury and a judge decide whos right. If they allow appeals on acquittals in Norway then that's their system, let it run its course. (Criticize it all you want - ask OJ Simpson how fair the double jeapordy laws in america are)

You don't subvert the legal system because you feel sorry for the punishment the accused might face.

It's liberal thinking like this that lets two 15 year olds get off with a slap on the wrist after raping and murdering a 6 year old girl.

Defendant's rights? (4, Insightful)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119945)

How does it work in legal systems in general? Usually it seems to me that the defendant does the appealing if they are found guilty etc. It seems unfair that the government can just keep attempting to prosecute the same person over and over. What about the effect on their lives? And couldn't the defendant point to the old trial - I mean if a judge already found you not guilty is that enough to create a reasonable doubt? It's kind of scary, guess I just never thought of it before - say for example, you beat Microsoft, defending yourself in some sort of trial - if MS remains PO'd with you could they not just keep appealing forcing you to return to court again and again? Until finally you are completely broke and your life is ruined and whatever you were defending against is completely irrelevant.

It may be completely different in his country anyways...

Re:Defendant's rights? (2, Informative)

stray (73778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120034)

well, e.g. in switzerland the prosecution and the defendant are just parties in a trial, both can appeal if they don't accept the outcome, to a higher court - until they run out of higher courts that is..

Sigh (0, Flamebait)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120134)

This is in Norway. US law, US morals, US judgements do not apply here. If they feel it is fair, legal, whatever, that is their system, their law, their right. Try and rememebr that the whole world does not subscribe to American morals nor do they see them as the most superior in the world.

How appeals work, in general (4, Informative)

djembe2k (604598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120146)

Your description of the appeal process is off.

I know nothing about non-U.S. legal systems, and hopefully somebody who knows about Norwegian jurisprudence will answer, but the general principle behind appeals in legal systems is this:

The first court that tries you is the finder of fact. Unless that whole trial is thrown out (and you get a new one), the facts determined in that trial are beyond question in the process. However, the court has to apply rules to the process of the trial and to the facts that come out, in order to get an outcome. Those rules can be both formal laws and legal procedures. (In real life, the line between facts and rules gets blurred, which both sides try to use to their advantage, but that's a different topic.)

Appeals apply to these rules, not the facts. So an appeal isn't just a second chance to start over and get a different trial outcome. It is a challenge that the process in the previous trial was in violation of those rules in some very specific way. (Or, many specific ways, since most appeals are a laundry list of possible violations, hoping the appeals court will find at least one they like.)

This is true already in the U.S. when those found guilty appeal their convictions, or when either party in a civil trial appeals the outcome. This is why appeals often force the original trial to be thrown out: they clarify the application of a rule as it applies to this case, then you have to start over and apply that rule correctly this time.

There's no reason in principle that this couldn't be applied to appealing acquitals as well. In principle, if somebody is acquitted because a judge made a mistake in applying a rule about admissibility of evidence or jury instructions, it might be reasonable to say that the acquital was flawed, and is contrary to justice, and shouldn't be honored.

There's a question of rights, which is a big one. There's also a questions of "That's not how we do it in the U.S.!!!!", which, if it isn't backed up with something else, isn't much of an argument. But I'm just speaking to the principle of appeals in general terms.

IANAL, yadda.

A bit surprised (5, Informative)

halftrack (454203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119948)

As a Norwegian I'm a bit surprised that Økokrim appealed the sentence. It's normal for prosecution to appeal, but in this case it was a pretty clear acquittal. However the background for the appeal is (as the article states) not ready yet.

However my concerne now is that if the appeal goes through (I believe that - in Norway - most appeals at this level do) it will be tried in front of a jury, which means this case can be on hold for ever. In the previous instance they had trouble finding only 2 laymen who could understand the technicalities of the case.

Re:A bit surprised (1)

Sergeant Beavis (558225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119985)

So halftrack, since you're Norwegian, why don't you explain this process to us Americans. Appealing aquittals is just not done in the US because of the Double Jepordy clause in the Constitution. Can Norwegian prosecutors simply hound this kid until they get their way?

Re:A bit surprised (5, Informative)

halftrack (454203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120090)

IANANL, but this is how I believe it is.

The norwegian system is built up by three stages: Tingretten, Lagmansretten and Høyesterett (the supreme court.) In that order. The first instance - where Johansen was acquited - consisted of one professional judge and two laymen. The second instance consists of a jury with where a person must be found guilty by at least half the members (or maybe it was 2/3.) The supreme court is much like the american with 7 (I think) professional judges.

There is no such thing as double jeopardy in Norway, but you don't automatically get a re-trial based on an appeal. Between the first two stages (where the case is now) I believe it's possible to appeal simply because you disagree. This means that if you can argue your appeal well, introduce new evidence or something like that you get a re-trial. However you can only appeal to the supreme court based on wrong utilisation of the law, interpertation of the law or technical errors in which they can either order a re-trial, adjust the sentence or dismiss the case.

Now I've probably missed a great deal of points and said things that aren't correct, but this should enlighten you're view on the Norwegian courts. (Which believe it or not differ from the American.)

Re:A bit surprised (2, Informative)

snabelmann (567292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120183)

Most informative post so far :-)
The second instance consists of a jury with where a person must be found guilty by at least half the members (or maybe it was 2/3.)
It's more like 3/2 - or more accurately: 7 out of the 10 jury members need to find him guilty.
However you can only appeal to the supreme court based on wrong utilisation of the law, interpertation of the law or technical errors in which they can either order a re-trial, adjust the sentence or dismiss the case.
That's correct. The Supreme Court's Committee on Appeals review all appeals to the Supreme Court. They throw out most of the appeals they receive. I can not possibly conceive that this case will go any further than the regional courts, and I still believe Dvd-Jon will be acquitted.

Re:A bit surprised (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120035)

It's normal for prosecution to appeal So I guess they can keep appealing until they win. How much do you think the industry will pay the jurors for their guilty verdict?

Re:A bit surprised (4, Informative)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120085)

I agree. The verdict of the lower court was very well reasoned. Also, since the law will change anyway (for the worse) in less than a year, it is very, very hard to understand why they do this.

There's only one thing in the verdict that was not completely clear, and that would be the conclusion if the prosecutors had tried to prove that DeCSS had been used for unauthorized copying. They didn't try to prove that, and that was noted in the verdict. That might be one thing they will try to work on I guess.

Right now, there is no news, really, other than "yeah, we'll appeal". They have to come up with the documents by tomorrow, that is when the interesting things happen.

Another thing I can't understand that there are somebody who would want to put their career on the line for this case. The reaction after the acquittal was pretty clear among computer professionals and the press, it was a win for consumers and a big loss for Økokrim.

On one hand, I really hope they get another big loss, OTOH, it is hardly something to cheer for that we do not have a working computer crime unit. If somebody breaks into my box, I want them spanked, but I really can't report any such breakin to a police unit as corrupt as ours, as that would lend their objectionable political agenda some legitimity. I think many if not most of Norway's computer professionals feel the same.

Enough is enough! (2)

nemaispuke (624303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119951)

So the MPAA didn't win the first round, so let's try to nail him for "computer crime". So I wonder what crime he committed, and I also find it curious that the specifics of the the Norweigan Computer Crime Division will be "in their offices Monday afternoon". Does that mean they have to "manufacture" something to justify the appeal?

ARGH FUCKING FAGGOTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119957)

GOD DAMNIT am i pissed

i ws just about browsing my intestine porn divx collection when all of a fucking sudden this FUCKING SHIT happens

i have slash. open in a window in the fuckin background and all of a motherfuckin sudden afuckin linux add pops up

AND WHAT THE FUCK, DOES IT NOT ACTIVATE A VIRUS THAT DELETES MY HARD DRIVE

damnit

FUCK YOU ALL LINUX USERS BURN IN HELL MOTHERFUCKERS

hahaahahahha!

STUPID! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119973)

This is why people attack America... our government and big business' force put pressure on other goverments to do shit they normally wouldn't. Capitalism = greedy exploitation of the populace.

Phoenix

Re:STUPID! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120045)

Even though this guy got modded down for "flamebait" he's/she's right.

If it weren't for the Bushs' lust/greed for oil we wouldn't have been attacked. Why else would we be "friends" with Israel if not for the want of oil? Because we "like" them?

Sven, we cood be famoos, yah? (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119975)

Lars: Sven, we hate thees job, yah?
Sven: Yah.
Lars: Always giving trooble to the dirty accountants and such, yah?
Sven: Yah. Lars, eets very boring.
Lars: So Sven, lets go after thees kid, Jon Lech Johansen. He ees famous, does theengs with compooters.
Sven: Yah. We cood be on T.V.
Lars: Yah. Famoos.

Re:Sven, we cood be famoos, yah? (5, Interesting)

dbc (135354) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120092)

I hate to be pedantic, but as a life-long Norsky-watcher I feel I must correct your misaprehension of Norsky -- a Norsky would not say "thees", he'd say "tis" with a very hard "t" and short "i" -- a Minnesota native from Daloot or da range would more likely say "dis".

And if you don't believe me, I'll introduce you to my mother-in-law, for whom "Ja" is a four sylable word with a two octave range, and who did not understand any of the dialect jokes in "Fargo", because that *is* the way she talks.

God damn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5119979)

Fuck Jack Valenti with a razorblade dildo until he bleeds to death. That fucker and his wankstain henchmen need to go.

Where's the key? (0, Flamebait)

johnny_4_president (635478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119982)

Økokrim?!? Where's my keyboard's "Ø" key? Norwegians are far out. The tragedy is that Norwegian taxpayers are footing the bill for this seemingly endless lawsuit. A bright kid gets skewered by the courts, at the behest of greedy multinationals, and taxpayers pay for it. "the world only makes sense when you force it to" - Batman, as he's kicking Superman's ass.

Legitimate use (4, Interesting)

fafalone (633739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119988)

This case perfectly highlights a legimate use for breaking copy protection, to play your own DVDs on an OS that the copy protection doesn't like. As for distributing, I'm sure other people wish to do it as well. Time to stop outlawing things with legit use just because of the potential for illegal use. What's next, outlawing baseball bats because I can beat people to death with one? I hope this case gets more attention in the US so people can see this.

Re:Legitimate use (2, Insightful)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120177)

Pretty soon the list of things with legitimate uses outlawed because of potential illegal uses will include:

1) Guns - armed robbery, murder, etc
2) Cars - often used to leave the scene of a crime.
3) Telephones - wire fraud, scams, illegal wiretaps.
4) Clothes - commonly used by thieves, murderers, policitians, etc. Oh, sorry, strike out policitians - they're supposed to make outrageous election promises that nobody expects them to keep...

server melting.... melting.... (5, Informative)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119993)

"DVD-Jon" faces retrial Norway's special division for white-collar crimes, Økokrim, has decided to appeal the acquittal of 19-year-old Jon Lech Johansen, accused of copyright violation for helping bypass DVD code protection, web site Nettavisen reports. Johansen was acquitted on all counts of piracy and distribution of the code-breaking program. Johansen has argued that his programming work was designed to play DVDs, which he purchased, on a computer with the Linux operating system, something the copy protection would not allow. The head of Økokrim's computer crimes division said that the reasons for the appeal would be in their offices Monday afternoon. Johansen's counsel, Halvor Manshaus, said he was not surprised by Økokrim's decision. "There were signals from Økokrim quite early, that they would appeal and that they see this case as dealign with an important principle. We believe that the first verdict was extremely thorough, but that doesn't prevent them from appealing," Manshaus told Nettavisen. Aftenposten English Web Desk

Posterboy (4, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5119995)


It seems like Norwegian authorities are trying to make Johansen a cybercrime posterboy as the US did to Mitnick.

Re:Posterboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120108)

You mean in a few years he'll be writing books on DVD protection, setting up a business specialising in DRM and being inverviewed by /. ?

Is this justified? (0, Flamebait)

omicron15 (642966) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120002)

Although a knee jerk reaction is to express distaste for this decision, perhaps we should consider it in more depth. Like it or not, 'DVD Jon' and his work, DeCSS, do aid pirates.

Yes, that's not it was created and there are legit uses, but many people do use it to break the encryption scheme so they can rip and distribute movies. Is this necessarily what we want? If movie companies don't get paid for there work they'll stop making movies, blahda blahda.

Additionally, while this is not a popular idea around here, isn't it the companies right to decide that they only want their disks to play on windows systems? I don't see anyone saying that people should be allowed to hack popular windows only games to run on liniux, so why should movies be different?

Re:Is this justified? (4, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120074)

Like it or not, 'DVD Jon' and his work, DeCSS, do aid

No. Bitwise copying is for piracy; DeCSS is really, really, really, REALLY crap for piracy. It's for playback.

No matter how many times "the man" says DeCSS is for piracy, it just isn't true. DeCCS is to copying what roller skates are to theft: it is possible that you could find someone trying it but it's a useless way to go about it.

Plus, in most countries CSS itself is actually an illegal proce-fixing mechanism backed by an equally illegal cartel.

TWW

Re:Is this justified? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120080)

CD-RW/DVDxRW technology aids pirates as well, but you don't see the RIAA/MPAA going after Sony, Philips, Lite-on, and everyone else who manufacturers such hardware for aiding and abetting piracy...

Re:Is this justified? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120103)

Any movies that I have seen that were obvious pirates were on the original medium that they were released in. I've seen pirated DVD's sold openly, and guess what. You don't need to break the encryption to make a bit for bit copy of a DVD.

I didn't mention the people that transcode the VOB's to divx or some other more lossy format, but the people that do this could also do the same thing through windows.

Legally, no, it is not their right to decide what can and cannot happen unless I sign a specific contract stating to that effect. I don't sign that 'invisible' contract when I buy a DVD because simply buying a product gives a few specific rights to both parties, but those rights are typically for the consumer.

There are hacks that allow windows only games to run on linux. That hack is called "WINE" and "WINEX".

To recap.
1) You don't need DeCSS to pirate.
2) If you wanted to transcode movies, you can do it in Windows also.
3) There are no implied contracts when I purchase a DVD that the DVD itself can only be played on specific OS's / Players
4) go to http://www.codeweavers.com to read about wine, etc.

And dynamite helps mad bombers too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120113)

Although a knee jerk reaction is to express distaste for this decision, perhaps we should consider it in more depth. Like it or not, 'DVD Jon' and his work, DeCSS, do aid pirates.

And Nobel's invention... dynamite helps terrorists... and, well, demolitioninsts, miners, and countless other good things too.
Guns can be used to hunt deer... or kill people. The point is the technology isn't the problem, it is someone's use of the technology which is in error.

Re:Is this justified? (1)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120116)

I don't see anyone saying that people should be allowed to hack popular windows only games to run on liniux, so why should movies be different?

uhhhhh, havent you heard of wine before? there are most certainly people trying to get windows games to linux. oh, and you dont hack the games, you write software to properly use them...which is exactly what decss does for linux....jeez man, wine is all over slashdot. go read up!

doesn't help pirates (2)

nattt (568106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120143)

DeCSS doesn't help pirates - there were bootleg DVDs available before DeCSS was. CSS is there to stop you, the user, from doing things with your DVD that the MPAA don't want you to. Pirates just duplicate the disc, CSS and all at the pressing plant, or if they're low-tech, rip and re-encode via analogue.

xenaphobe wants to know ... (2, Interesting)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120015)


I know this is a bit xenaphobic, but what does this ruling mean to those of us in the U.S.? If it's overturned, or if the ruling stands, will it have any impact on those of us under the DMCA and the RIAA?

Re:xenaphobe wants to know ... (1, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120041)

Nothing whatsoever!

Nothing that happens in the politically correct pseudo-communist utopia of Norway has any affect on the US at all.

A higher California court already ruled it's legal to transfer DeCSS over the 'net and to use it for legal purposes.

And a Happy Mawtin Lufa King Day to ya' all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5120038)

Yo

RTFA (4, Funny)

VFVTHUNTER (66253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5120094)

from the article:

The head of Økokrim's computer crimes division said that the reasons for the appeal would be in their offices Monday afternoon.

I guess they had a meeting with the MPAA today?
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