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Jon Johansen Indicted by the MPA(A)

emmett posted about 15 years ago | from the really-bad-news dept.

News 797

Jon Lech Johansen (jlj) writes "The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway raided my home today and seized my Linux box, FreeBSD/Win2k box and Nokia cellphone. Not only I, but also my father has been indicted, since he owns the mmadb.no domain (webhotel) where my homepage(s) have been located. They also took me in for questioning which lasted 6-7 hours. It's 2 am CET now (I just got back), I haven't eaten, and someone's definitely going to pay for this. I have shut down my old e-mail account, and I'm now using linuxdvd@mmadb.no - More information coming tomorrow, once I've talked to my lawyer. Did someone whisper countersuit?" Jon Johansen is the young man from Norway who reverse-engineered DeCSS.

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fight! (1)

bubbasatan (99237) | about 15 years ago | (#1340298)

Who's up for a trip to Norway?

international status (2)

V0oD0oMan (104232) | about 15 years ago | (#1340299)

i've been reading a lot about what's goin on in the US about the DeCSS, but what's being done in other countries such as norway in the courts adn whatnot?

No comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340300)

Sheesh, I figured SOMEone would have something to say about this.

I just don't understand. (2)

garcia (6573) | about 15 years ago | (#1340301)

what does prosecuting him do for these people? Do they really think that what he did is going to cause any serious problems? If anything, it allowed others to expand DVD into realms that would not have been possible otherwise (basically b/c of stupidity on the parts of companies not supporting Linux/BSD). I really am beginning to wonder about the future of the world if they are going to persecute people for doing really ingenious things.

I personally believe that they are more mad that he cracked it, and because of it being easy to crack the other keys they are embarassed ;)

We must do something! (1)

gregstoll (90319) | about 15 years ago | (#1340302)

Crap. We've got to do something to help this guy! Maybe start a legal fund? Or will the EFF protect him?

Check out Greg's Bridge Page!

Incredible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340303)

Simply incredible!!!!!

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340304)

were you bad??

-mr a.s.

Not Supprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340305)

I think this sucks, but am not supprised. So they charge him as an evil hacker trying to destroy western civilization?? - subsolar

Sundevil. (2)

djtodd (131653) | about 15 years ago | (#1340306)

Can someone else see the similarities here? Operation Sundevil? Hacker Crackdown? Possibly even First Post?

Slightly OT... (2)

PiMan (2859) | about 15 years ago | (#1340307)

OK, this situation really sucks, but I have a question about the Norwegian legal system here (actually, two):

First of all, what exactly does this mean? What inherent rights do people in .no have? Are you actually guilty now, or is there a trial, or what?

Secondly, economic and environmental crimes? Why does the same organization do both?

Interesting turn of events (2)

mhelie (83207) | about 15 years ago | (#1340308)

I saw it stated many times in previous news items that reverse engineering was legal in Norway.

The power of these large corporate entities has been grossly underestimated.

Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340309)


Moderate me down, whatever.

Not indicted by the MPA(A) (4)

crow (16139) | about 15 years ago | (#1340310)

Just a technical detail:

He has been indicted by his government. Criminal charges are generally filed by governments, civil charges may be filed by anyone. Of course, the government is undoubtedly acting at the prompting of the DVD CCA or some similar organization.

So while the government may call DVD CCA people as expert witnesses and consult with them on the case, it is ultimately the government's case. This means a government prosecutor, not a DVD CCA lawyer.

Of course, I might have it totally wrong, as I'm not a legal expert in Norway (or anywhere else, fo r that matter), but I'm pretty sure that's how it works in most western countries.

Sickens me (1)

pirodude (54707) | about 15 years ago | (#1340311)

This doesnt make sense. Why arent they breaking down the doors of xing for not encrypting their key? This guy did nothing wrong besides piss off the wrong company (group?). MPAA should stop crying cause some "31337 h4xx0r" cracked their weak encryption in the first place. It's time that they finally recgonize linux. What do they think they are gonna find on his machines anyway? Just like big brother(tm) to break down the door and take all of your stuff cause you did something that they dont like.

That sucks (1)

james_moriarty (114305) | about 15 years ago | (#1340312)

So did I hear it right you weren't given a chance to talk to your lawyers? I don't know my international law.. but in most countries that's illegal. Good luck to you. M

The MPAA is pretty far reaching (2)

Sarv (110382) | about 15 years ago | (#1340313)

So no matter where you are in the world, big brother will still be knocking on your door? But why is this a surprise? I mean, come on, everyone here in the states has been getting lawsuits for having it on their servers; its no surprise that the guy who actually CREATED DeCSS would be investigated. He'll probably be arrested, as well, and most likely get the same thing everyone else is getting, if not more. But seriously folks, think about this: I know a lot of you have 4.7 GB to spare, but how many people really carry around a DVD-R? And they think we're gonna be making copies of our DVD's up the wazoo? Right.....

too far (2)

DougBorg (133992) | about 15 years ago | (#1340314)

When will this all end i wonder. The Big fat music and Video companies are stamoing down on small individuals who have donw nothing more than try and help people play "Their" movies on linux systems. Does this seem a little unfair? Where does it all end? DeCSS reverse engineering hardly sounds like world wide forgery to me. Does the fact i have a cdrw mean i a duplicating cds and l33t warez for all my friends, no it doesn't i use mine for acchives of my scans and brother bans music. Welcome to a bastardised 1984 where it is not the goverment in control but the media and their fat rich lawers. I did like the few hackers who treid to submit T-Shirts today to a judge with the DeCSS code on it. -my opinion is my own not yours

What organizations fight this? (2)

color of static (16129) | about 15 years ago | (#1340315)

I know here in the US we have a number of organizations that try to protect the individual against abuses of power, but who helps in these cases (open source and right to reverse engineer, etc.) and what about outside the US? With the growth of profile for the open source movement this is going to happen a lot more before it gets better. Large companies often would rather lobby, legislate and litigate then change a flawed technology (like the one in this case or scanners for cell phones) or bussiness plan.

Is there a list of organizations that can be supported, promoted, and/or contacted for these issues?

Get yourself a good lawyer. (2)

Count Spatula (103735) | about 15 years ago | (#1340316)

'Cause you're one of those evil 'hax0rz' that's out to take all capitalism out of the software and hardware industries. I don't know the laws of Norway enough to offer any advice, other than saying good luck in court. Try to get a court date during which the moon is in Aquarius. People tend to be more understanding and open minded during those times.

To be expected. (2)

Elvii (428) | about 15 years ago | (#1340317)

This sucks, but is to be expected. DVD isn't just a USA thing, AFIAK, but has to have cooperation worldwide for the zone deal to have happened.

The question is, will we have the right to use what we have rightfully bought? That's all he did, after all, helped users access data that they PAID for. This will stop, once people get fed up with corporations screwing them over.

ok, end rant now. But i had to say something..


bash: ispell: command not found

Legal strategy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340318)

Clearly, this is an attempt at legal pressure tactics. I don't know the legal system in Norway, but it strikes me that the correct approach is to see that everyone involved in the allegations against him should be sent an official invitation to come testify as to why they think he should be harrassed. Is there any chance of getting some Open Source expert witnesses there to testify on his side?

Where did this come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340319)

Since when did the Noregian (spelling?) get involved in this sort of thing?
As far as I know, they have been rather benevolent in such matters.
Do I sense some outside pressure here?

We should all be very afraid.

These DSS lawsuits and legalities... (1)

TinkerBell (139723) | about 15 years ago | (#1340320)

are all kinda lame. We need to drop these silly squabbles and focus on matters that threaten our society today, matters that are truly worthy of legal action. For example, who keeps stealing my socks and returning them all crusty yellow? It doesn't matter where they are, in my drawer, in the dryer, on clotheslines, they keep on disappearing and I find them a few days later all crusty and stanky and stuff.

I'm not letting anybody leave until somebody owns up to it. I can wait all day if I have to...

Really him? (5)

Fizgig (16368) | about 15 years ago | (#1340321)

Didn't he repeat over and over that he was not the one who did the reverse engineering (those people rightly stayed silent) but just was the first to publically distribute it? Or am I thinking of someone else?

Real? (4)

Octal (310) | about 15 years ago | (#1340322)

I'm sorry if I'm being a wet blanket here, but do we even know this is real? It's not that hard to fake an e-mail, and as has been proven before, the /. posters are not the most vigilent bunch of people on the planet.

I thought it couldn't happen in Norway! (2)

Pii (1955) | about 15 years ago | (#1340323)

In practically every news story we've seen on this, prior to this one, I've seen comments to the effect that Norway's legal climate made him 'untouchable.'

What changed? I guess the better question would be: "What legal provisions does Norway offer to protect reverse engineering, and why is he now in trouble?"

Smells Like 1984 (1)

sidragon (74835) | about 15 years ago | (#1340324)


So another wonderful example of the dreaded Orwellian government. I certainly hope the political leaders of the "free world" are ready to wake up extra early tomorrow morning.

But, really, Norway isn't exactly the most socially liberal of countries. Anyone familiar with Laws laws and civil liberties? This sort of thing is prolly much more accepted there than in the States and UK.

Let us now indict... (2)

zyqqh (137965) | about 15 years ago | (#1340325)

  1. Sir Isaac Newton, for 'cracking' mechanics and thereby enabling anvils to fall on poor innocent cartoon animals. Hasn't he ever heard of animal rights?
  2. Aristotle, for 'cracking' the secret of floating and thereby enabling sh*t to float.
  3. Anyone who has ever made any progress in human history, since we know progress has never led to any good

We need to help him. (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340326)

What can we do to help? Please list. I can help out with money. What's his address? Does anybody know the gov't in Norway's email address who did this to him? I want to write them a letter or two. I want to sue that gov't on an international level as well. Kent

I never thought that things would go that far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340327)

Perhaps the open source community should attempt to lobby congress to get some sort of open specification laws. I don't see any reason why requiring companies to release specifications for their products would harm them, and many reason why it would help the consumers.

Re:We must do something! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340328)

Crap. We've got to do something to help this guy! Maybe start a legal fund? Or will the EFF protect him?
Check out Greg's Bridge Page!

While starting a legal fund or encouraging the EFF to act sound like great ideas, I'm not entirely convinced that viewing a webpage on bridge is going to help a great deal.
But I'll do what I can.

I can easily pirate with DeCSS (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 15 years ago | (#1340329)

Go rent a dvd for a few bucks, dump it to my hard drive. Encode it to mpeg, and burn on two cds. In a year or so the price of blank dvds and burners will drastically go down.

Bull, Horn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340330)


how do i email the mpaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340331)

who are the people at mpaa to email? if they get a few thousand "cut it out" letters they will either 1. become depressed, be stressed, and screw up or 2. stop suing people

Re:I can easily pirate with DeCSS (1)

garcia (6573) | about 15 years ago | (#1340332)

it is really their fault though, they are the ones that made it extremely easy to crack. Hell, they should be going after Xing and busting them for not protecting the key.

I thought it couldn't get much worse... (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 15 years ago | (#1340333)

...and then I saw this. It's a shock to me, I'm having a hard time dealing with this.

The MPAA has gone way, way too far. I am so ticked off I can hardly see straight. I'd feel better if I thought we had a chance in hell of defending ourselves against this. Before tonight, I thought we did. Now I'm not so sure.

Fuck them.

If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.

Re:Moderate this up...If you check (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340334)

on the livid archives you will notice that he said that he did not do the reverse engineering.

Free country (1)

Mikepekim (119834) | about 15 years ago | (#1340335)

Well, scratch Norway off of my list of potentially free countries to live in. Are there any countries out there that still have freedoms? :-)

Re:We must do something! (OT) (1)

gregstoll (90319) | about 15 years ago | (#1340336)

Actually, that's my sig. Sorry for any confusion! :-)

Check out Greg's Bridge Page!

Fundamentals of society... (1)

Augury (112816) | about 15 years ago | (#1340337)

Is it just me, or are other people getting sick of the dirty end of the law impinging on the rights of people?

Here we are, a world well on it's way to globalisation of pretty much everything.. a strong belief in personal and individual rights, established universal human rights laws... all these things that seem to indicate that the world wants people to be treated fairly in all cases, whether they are convicted or not..

And then we hear about things like this.. and in fact, a huge range of other examples of law enforcement directly inhibiting the 'fairness' of the systems we as a global population are trying to put in place.

It's a shame that the nature of law enforcement tends to require relatively short chains of command from go to woe, otherwise we might have a better chance of filtering out idiots that order and carry out raids like this.


lesson (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 15 years ago | (#1340338)

Don't piss off the wrong people, especially if they are a multi billion dollar corporation. They have deep pockets and high priced lawyers. Same goes for kevin mitnick, he pissed off the wrong person and paid for it.

Mine, mine, all mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340339)

"They also took me in for questioning which lasted 6-7 hours. "

What!? no rubber hoses? Seriously what did they say? "
So Mr Johansen was it your intent to destabilize the Motion Picture Ogopoly and keep us from becoming the Microsofts of the entertainment industry?

defense (4)

Signal 11 (7608) | about 15 years ago | (#1340340)

Calm down, now. Here's what we can do:

Mirror [mediaone.net] the source. Nobody's knocked on my door yet, and I've made a dozen offers for people to mirror from my site. The RIAA does not read slashdot. =)
Join the EFF [eff.org] and pay attention to the action alerts.
Alert the press! Get our side out there! They think we're pirates - this isn't about piracy, it's about interoperability.
Start a legal defense fund for *all* DeCSS victims.

That being said, here's why they're doing it: Scare tactic. They want to "get tough" on the "pirates" and scare people into submission. Ain't gonna happen - don't let them. Fight back - we're talking about something central to the open source community: the right to reverse-engineer to promote interoperability and open standards. This just reeks of proprietary do-it-our-way-or-the-highway. Fight back! I know alot of us aren't political enough - but consider donating a few bucks and also mirroring the source. Post to slashdot. Sign up to become a DOE for the case. But do something - get involved.. or we may wind up with another kevin mitnick [freekevin.com] - en masse.

This is a full-fledged war now against the open source movement: they're trying to stop reverse-engineering and black-box everything. They can justify and rationalize all they want - but it's really about them trying to gain/maintain their monopoly on distribution. It's high-time we kicked our ass into gear and get people like Ralph Nader on board. This is about consumer rights - something any average joe on the street should understand. WRITE TO THE PRESS NOW. Give a counter-point, make it so your mom can understand the key points.

want to help - what's your address/PObox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340341)

hey. just told my father that i will try to get an address where to send help - and he told me he'll send money too! please give us a mailing address and contact... thanks, george - san francisco

Easier but costlier way to solve all this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340342)

Maybe off-topic but still worthwhile:

How much does it cost exactly to join the elite group of programmers who have their own special key on DVDs, like XING and Apple and all the others? I would think RedHat or a similar Linux company would have more than enough to pay for it... and then open-source the code. And then we wouldn't have to go through all these legal battles.

Anonymous Pacifist
BEST IRC! irc.irchat.org

Say it again! (1)

panda (10044) | about 15 years ago | (#1340343)

I've said it all along and I'll say it again. IF this is how big business chooses to treat 10 million potential customers, then FUCK them!

I will NOT buy any encrypted DVD products, ever! We can just get rid of all the DeCSS code and say fine. If you guys want to play that way, we can, too.

Why should I pay for their (Hollywood's) dreck anyway? They ought to pay me for pain and suffering for being forced to watch their lousy films.

Anyway, I think big media's in for a rude awakening. The Internet does actually level the playing field (technically if not legally/socially), and they don't like it.

the world is gonna miss their geeks (1)

godEcho (115505) | about 15 years ago | (#1340344)

when the various world governments are through beating up on their poor geeks to protect big business (yes, the ones who back them) they'll realize that they have undercut their genious. who'll fuel big brother then?

Re:too far (2)

yamla (136560) | about 15 years ago | (#1340345)

If you live in Canada, the fact that you purchase CD-Rs does (according to the government) mean that you are going to be duplicating commercial music CDs. There was at least one Slashdot article on this. We have a CD levy here because of this.

A legal defense fund? (2)

glitch! (57276) | about 15 years ago | (#1340346)

It is not clear whether he is going to hire legal help, but it might be easier for him to make that desision if some sympathetic supporters made an offer. Would this be an cause for the EFF to be involved in? If so, I would be willing to kick in a bit, perhaps through an EFF trust fund.

If the EFF is not interested, perhaps another reputable rights organisation would be willing to set up a legal defense fund? To me, the key is knowing that the money is being used for its intended purpose. I don't just want to send an envelope full of cash to some foreign country and hope it arrives!

Sorry I am asking questions and not answering them, but I would like to help, and I am sure others feel the same way.

Something smells fishy (1)

Double A (34222) | about 15 years ago | (#1340347)

I honestly can't see what this will accomplish...unless there's more [sic] here than what there seems to be. I honestly don't think so, but what could possibly be the motivation for bully-tactics like this, unless they want people like us to find out about it and get scared. That's a good idea. Revolutions have *never* been started by people under oppression...

Re:defense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340348)

The RIAA does not read slashdot

But the MPAA's lawyers do, which is why they quoted several AC's recently to bolster their case.

BURN DVD's Day May 3 2000 !! (URL to follow) (1)

mAIsE (548) | about 15 years ago | (#1340349)

Rember Burn GIF's Day anyone

how aobut Burn DVD's day ?? At every Linux users group meeting all over the world !! let them hear the penguins scream !!

just like mp3s (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 15 years ago | (#1340350)

Its out of the bag now, they can't stop it. Mp3's are too widespread for them to stamp out. Millions of people probably downloaded DeCSS, the MPAA must be scared shitless.

Unfortunately, that's not the point (4)

Peter Eckersley (66542) | about 15 years ago | (#1340351)

Alas, common sense like this just doesn't come into it.

A very huge and powerful industry has just realised that somebody has swept the control of their product right out from under their feet.

As soon as they release a DVD copy of something, people who want it at high quality, for free, can get it.

Our arguments about the obsolesence of this kind of Intellectual Property, and the fact that they're still going to be making more money than they were from video, don't really matter. What's at stake here is vast amounts of power and money, and big corporate machines don't react well (or rationaly) to losing it.

I would expect that the Norweigan Government came under vast amounts of pressure to take this action.

Well - for those that doubted it - the war is on now. Without without intending to sound absurdely melodramatic, the stakes are what kind of future this planet is going to have...

Re:Real? (2)

Imperator (17614) | about 15 years ago | (#1340352)

Yeah, that was my first thought. Telling people not to attempt to contact him at his old address? I hope emmett checked this story before posting.

coutersuit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340353)

Hrm.. Perhaps whak-a-mole counter-suits would be a good idea.

Let's start by getting hin a new Linux box! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340354)

Police siezed items have a way of never being returned, even when you're never convicted of anything. Is it any wonder so many people hate the police?

I feel for you. (1)

OneMan (142505) | about 15 years ago | (#1340355)

This is something out of a movie or something, thats is insane.

Is this illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340356)

I know the Ideas and concepts behind Decss and have looked at the case with much intrest. But i have to ask-- is this illegal for him to be doing in norway. Because if it is, that is the law, and the law is simply incontrovertible fact, even for geek gods.

Re:defense (1)

garcia (6573) | about 15 years ago | (#1340357)

they're trying to stop reverse-engineering and black-box everything

of course they are... They don't like the fact that there are actually people out there working to do things their OWN way, and letting other people see this work.

Re:Fundamentals of society... (1)

Augury (112816) | about 15 years ago | (#1340358)

In fact, I've just been reminded of a Monty Python sketch which talks about a typical day in the life of Ralph Aldis Melish, who, "but for his total lack of involvement in anything illegal, the full weight of the law would have ensured that Ralph Aldis Melish would have ended up like all those who challenge the fundamentals of our society: In an iron coffin, with spikes on the inside"


Re:lesson (1)

jawad (15611) | about 15 years ago | (#1340359)

So is this what we walk away from the situation with? "Don't piss off the wrong people, especially if they are a multi bilion dollar corporation"?

The fight isn't over yet. With the (somewhat bottled) anger that so many Slashdotters display over dubious lawsuits or privacy concerns, I think there's a lot more ways to go.

Multi billion dollar companies shouldn't be pissed off for the wrong reasons, but hey, when it's justified, it's justified. I have no problem bitching about something that isn't right.

Maybe I'm a tad bit jumpy. Damn Rage Against The Machine :)

Jeez (1)

grunby (90338) | about 15 years ago | (#1340360)

How similar are the laws in Norway to here in the US? Here I'm pretty sure it's still legal to make a "backup" of media like software and music, just as long it's for personal use...It seems that the decoding of DVD was so unexpected by the bigwig video companies and the code spread out so quickly, that they needed to make a decicive move and prosecute...granted, international internet laws have to enacted, but this is ridiculus...someone taken in for writing a piece of code that does basically the same thing a 200 dollar piece of hardware does...maybe if it could be compressed with minimal loss to one twentyth the original size they might have something to worry about...but not at this infant stage... just my .23 cents...

The MPAA's relationship with the Norwegian .gov.no (1)

Andrew Dvorak (95538) | about 15 years ago | (#1340361)

Many of you may not know that the norwegian government had signed a deal with many involved with the MPAA to allow translations of American movies to be made in .no . This was about ten years back. I can find no information other than the newspaper clipping i had saved, since i am heavily into music recording, myself.

You're Damn Right Someone's Going To Pay (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340362)

This is the thing I've had nightmares about all my teenage life. As a teen who mucks around with security and encryption, I've always feared the day I get a knock on my door from the government asking if they could please steal my computer.

My heart goes out to this poor kid and his family for the abuse they're no doubt suffering. I hope we, as a community, can speak out against these injustices and stop them from happening again.

What can we learn from this, if you think you might be raided some day?:

1. Use an encrypted file system. Don't give the spooks any more information than they possibly can get.

2. Don't let them touch a fucking thing until you've spoken to a lawyer. I have a feeling it's very illegal for them to remove things from your home until you've had a lawyer look over the warrant.

3. Don't let them frighten you. Intimidation is their most powerful ally. I know I'd be shitting my pants if I were called in for questioning. Just remember, if you live in a reasonably free country, you're not going to lose anything by keeping your mouth shut, but you have a lot to lose by talking.

Whatever you do, *don't* let these government bastards take away your rights. Just because you're suspected of a crime doesn't mean you have no freedom.

And I call on every Slashdot reader to do something about this. Write letters, make phone calls, give money.

It's kind of funny, so soon after Kevin Mitnick was freed, that we have another martyr on our hands. This is one instance when I hope the hacker (and cracker) community will rise up and speak out for freedom.

Remember the writings of Jefferson and the other American founding fathers, and live by them.

But how? (1)

SkulkCU (137480) | about 15 years ago | (#1340363)

It's been asked before, but I have yet to see a clear answer. Somebody please tell us, how can we best help?

what can the people who have cashed in on their IPO do to help?
what can the poor college students do to help?

The best answer I've heard so far is "go read opendvd.org [opendvd.org] ".

Re:I thought it couldn't happen in Norway! (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | about 15 years ago | (#1340364)

Norway is cool with crypto, but they're also a member of the WIPO - that means they're about as ugly as the US when it comes to stepping on SuperMegaCorp's toes. Most governments are - it's how they encourage businesses to do business in their country.

I think the misconception you, and many slashdotters, are having is that Norway is known for it's loose crypto laws.

MPAA are international terrorists, now? (1)

Bone010101 (136969) | about 15 years ago | (#1340365)

So, more scare tactics from the MPAA. When someone infringes on the free speech of the media, the entertainment industry howls in indignation and raises a ruckus. Now they are terrorizing foreign citizens. I guess they only pay lip service to the first amendment when it suits their needs. Hypocrites. I bought the DeCSS T-Shirt from CopyLeft, and have a hardcopy of the code. This code will remain in my posession for...well...ever. And I might actually take out a personal ad in the local newspaper and put the DeCSS code there. Too bad I can't afford advertising space in Time Magazine. :) While I'm off topic and being moderated down with every word I speak, I just want to ask...where is Red Hat and VA Linux in all this? After they got their multi-billion dollar market caps, why aren't they investing in the defense of this necessary component for DVD playback? Don't they realize that a ruling against them will hurt Linux badly? Linux without DVD will be, in a couple of years, like Linux without CDs nowadays. Yet they remain silent. ESR was crowing and blathering about how we had already won the case. Yet we have the MPAA treading roughshod over the 1st Amendment. We have the MPAA terrorizing non-US citizens. We have had 2 injunctions. Yet ESR, VA Linux, and Red Hat are all mute and seemingly unwilling to help. They got their fat wallets, I guess, and screw the Open Source community.

Cell phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340366)

It's a minor point, but why did they seize his cell phone? Do they think he's running Linux on it or what? I don't get it.

Re:how do i email the mpaa? (2)

Wojtek (21973) | about 15 years ago | (#1340367)

or 3. send them to the trashbin.
Get your head out of the sand. The sad truth here is that no one really cares. Only the technical people in the world are fighting this. and the mpaa has enough lawyers to fight us off with ease. We're pretty fucked here. I think the best tactic would be to find some illegal action caused by the mpaa and bring the ball back into play on OUR terms. That and get some MAINSTREAM media coverage. Not just a bunch of geeks who code the stuff and a bunch of 14 year old computer nerds spouting "first post".

My $.02 (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | about 15 years ago | (#1340368)

If you want to watch DVD's... get one of the TV. Don't get one for your computer. Course, I may just say the hell with it and never buy one period. Nothing I want to watch anyway.

I am dismayed... (1)

Lutz (112651) | about 15 years ago | (#1340369)

... and frightened. I am using my computer every day. It is so simple to write some program. It is interesting to play with the hardware and do more with it than would be possible when using some window$ software. It is curiosity, playfulness. And you learn a great deal by doing it. Does that mean by simply writing a program or driver for a chip you've got in your computer and sharing your thoughts with some friends (social contacts, another positive side effect) you could suddenly be prosecuted?

It seems to me that somebody want's to split the world into two groups: One huge group (me included) that has to use the software (and pay for it) and a very small group that develops and distributes the software and makes the money.

Jon Johansen tried to cross the border and has a huge problem now. I don't know where the border is but fear that I already crossed it by simply running Linux and storing DeCSS on my hard drive. I would like to help Jon, but I do not know how I could...

Scare tactics as a last resort (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340370)

The DVD industry is losing this war, and they know it. Too bad that authorities can still be employed for such attempts to scare people, by whoever has enough money.

New mirror? (1)

squarooticus (5092) | about 15 years ago | (#1340371)

Can someone post a new mirror of the source code, preferably in a completely different country?
Kyle R. Rose, MIT LCS

Oh crap, not this again... (1)

Hellmongr (132101) | about 15 years ago | (#1340372)

Okay, tell me if I'm wrong but it seems society is again falling into the cracks of the system where the big guys have absolute control, and if you do anything to oppose them (intellectually, verbally, etc.) you will be persecuted. This time instead of the church and state being the ones to persecute you it is the large mega-corporations, trying to protect their greedy systems. I hope something changes so that history does not repeat itself.

Re:too far (1)

spaceorb (125782) | about 15 years ago | (#1340373)

I think it all comes from this paranoia that some teenager in a dark room somewhere will destroy the world on the part of people who don't really understand it. It's amazing how politicians and lawmakers talk about how revolutionary the Internet and computers are, while at the same time doing everything to stamp it out.

Imagine if the RC Church had burned Gutenburg at the stake for inventing the printing press. And I'm sure they would have, if they could have realized the implications such an invention would have. Todays powers don't seem to want to make that mistake.

get MPAA goons for perjury? (2)

kevin805 (84623) | about 15 years ago | (#1340374)

My first guess is that Jon Johansen is probably not in as serious of trouble as he would be if he were an adult or if it was in the US, since from what I have heard, minors aren't routinely tried as adults in Europe. Does anyone know for sure?

As far as "someone's going to pay" I think there is a pretty simple solution -- round up the MPAA & associates' expert witnesses who made connections between DeCSS and copying DVDs and throw them in jail for perjury. Since DeCSS is of absolutely no use in making a copy of a DVD, anyone who said otherwise in court (and knew they were blowing smoke up the courts ass) can be put away.


Re:Real? (1)

Double A (34222) | about 15 years ago | (#1340375)

Yeah, it doesn't really seem like something that would happen. Then again, I wasn't instrumental in reverse-engineering CSS and I don't live in Norway.

foreign policies (1)

waterhouse (80515) | about 15 years ago | (#1340376)

lets just hope they don't execute him.

THIS IS REAL: Confirmation from the press (0)

zyqqh (137965) | about 15 years ago | (#1340377)

This has made it through to Yahoo!-Norway News: http://no.news.yahoo.com/000124/4/pwx.ht ml [yahoo.com] .

Sorry, this is in Norwegian, but this will hit the fan any minute now. Expect headlines in hours.

Re:BURN DVD's Day May 3 2000 !! (URL to follow) (1)

treke (62626) | about 15 years ago | (#1340378)

Nice idea but there's a small problem.... I payed twenty to thirty bucks a piece for the dvds. You can easily convert gif to another format. You know a way I can keep my dvds and still burn them?

Norway's Laws (4)

OctaneZ (73357) | about 15 years ago | (#1340379)

General Norwegian Laws: http://www.law.emory.edu/LAW/refdesk/country/forei gn/norway.html

The relevant Articles of the constitution:
Article 96

No one may be convicted except according to law, or be punished except after a court judgment. Interrogation by torture must not take place.

Article 99

No one may be taken into custody except in the cases determined by law and in the manner prescribed by law. For unwarranted arrest, or illegal detention, the officer concerned is accountable to the person imprisoned.
The Government is not entitled to employ military force against citizens of the State, except in accordance with the forms prescribed by law, unless any assembly disturbs the public peace and does not immediately disperse after the Articles of the Statute Book relating to riots have been read out clearly three times by the civil authority.

Article 102

Search of private homes shall not be made except in criminal cases.

How do we know this is for real? (1)

laktar (22519) | about 15 years ago | (#1340380)

Has this been verified? Considering the qualifications the /. eds have for that job I don't know if we should all be panicking and becoming furious quite yet. Anybody could've sent it.

Big Brother (1)

spudwiser (124577) | about 15 years ago | (#1340381)

Despite the comment made in Geeks in Space [thesync.com] episode something or other, this really does prove that Big Brother is watching and yes, he is out to get you if you do anything that The Man dissaproves of.
How many people must the DVD CCA go through to realise that when they do an encryption, it gets broken, the "Cracker" gets arrested, and life is a general cluster *ahem* for everyone else? 3? 30? It doesn't work, the DVD CCA and all its eyes and arms need to back off and let us run our happy little ways.

Re:Sickens me (2)

Ross C. Brackett (5878) | about 15 years ago | (#1340382)

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you've actually comitted a crime anymore. So long as A Big Corporation doesn't like something that you've done, you are as good as guilty at least in the eyes of those who can make your life a living hell.

And instead of realizing that the existing laws are in place simply as a convenience to large corporations used to make an example of those who really piss of those corporations, government agencies just overzealously enforce violations when they are told to do so by the corporations.

And what's the moral of the story? It's accountancy that makes the world go round, round, round, round. The simple fact is that these companies have too much power. And, indeed they are crybabies. Remember the kids that used to hit and not share their toys in kindergarten? Now they're all grown up, and they're the board members of the DVD CCA.

Are you shitting me? (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 15 years ago | (#1340383)

Put to death for copying a windows cd? I'd love to see your sources for that.

- A.P.

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad


zpengo (99887) | about 15 years ago | (#1340384)

I smell a put-on here...why did he cancel his e-mail address and start another one? I don't know if I buy this...

Can we say HERF MPAA headquarters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340385)

Of course we can :) p.s. i dont suggest we do, but it was one initial thought that came to mind. "The most committed wins" -- Annette Benning ("The Siege")

straw that broke camel's back (2)

Smack (977) | about 15 years ago | (#1340386)

Thanks for the link to the source. Now nicely mirrored on my site.

You are going to pay for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340387)

"I haven't eaten, and someone's definitely going to pay for this."

Pay for what? Your dinner? Get real. No one is going to 'pay' for questioning you. What are you going to do, hack into their systems and put a fake web site to punish them? I seriously doubt the athorities did anything that violates the law. I only hope the same is true of your conduct.

Re:get MPAA goons for perjury? (1)

mlc (16290) | about 15 years ago | (#1340388)

Since DeCSS is of absolutely no use in making a copy of a DVD

DeCSS is quite useful if you wish to downsample a DVD to MPEG or something to that effect. The fact the DeCSS has "good" uses does not cancel the fact that it can also be used for "bad" things (bad for the MPAA, anyway). Of course, I, along with most other /.ers, think that this whole thing is insane and overblown, but our friends at the MPAA respectfully disagree -- and they have more lawyers.

Re:Slightly OT... (1)

Neil Rubin (11261) | about 15 years ago | (#1340389)

If the system in Norway is even remotely like that in the U.S., U.K., France, etc., an indictment merely indicates that some minimum standard has been met regarding the likelihood that the accused is guilty. There will surely be a series of preliminary motions and hearings, and if the charges are not thrown out, a trial.

As far as lumping together economic and environmental crimes, it seems that what they both have in common is that they are non-violent crimes with a potentially wide-ranging impact. That's just a guess on my part. Why, in the U.S., are NASA and Veteran's Affairs funded by the same appropriations bill? Just an accident of history...

crime? facts? (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 15 years ago | (#1340390)

The article mentioned that Jon had been indicted. What crime is he charged with? Does Norway have some law as asinine as the DMCA? Is reverse engineering illegal there?

Re:I just don't understand. (2)

Chas (5144) | about 15 years ago | (#1340391)

It's called terrorism through litigation. Basically they're going to try to scare everybody by slapping lawsuits on everything and everyone in sight.

Absoloutely disgusting is what it is.....

Chas - The one, the only.

please disregard above article (1)

zyqqh (137965) | about 15 years ago | (#1340392)

My apologies for my clearly not-too-hot Norwegian; apparently this article only refers to 3 US site shutdowns rather than the arrest of Jon Johansen himself.

Why I Moderated This Post Down (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340393)

Normally I don't moderate anonymous cowards down, because anything posted anonymously is suspicious to begin with. However, in this case I did so because this is not only a troll, it is a very dangerous troll. There may be some in the audience who don't know that Norway abolished the last vestiges of the death penalty in 1979 (see this page from Amnesty International [amnesty.org] ). No one has been put to death in Norway for hacking or for any other reason in over two decades, possibly longer.

I don't know what this particular anonymous coward's motivation was in posting this, but I figured it was important enough to point out to the readership at large.

But DVD's are expensive!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340394)

and GIF's are free...

That's the sound of the world's smallest violin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1340397)

Boo-Fucking-Hoo, the big bad jack-booted gov't thugs kicked in your door, stole your computer equipment, and tried to shake you down. GUESS WHAT: You're not the first person to have your rights violated by a government and/or corporation and you won't be the last. Quit your fucking whining and take it like a man. Maybe you should just be glad crooked cops didn't plant a couple of kilos of coke on you and haul you down to the nearest lockup where Bubba can give your ass all the lovin' it'll ever need.

Freedom isn't free. Never has been, never will be. How many of you slashdot readers gave a shit when ATF, FBI, & Delta Force slaughtered those religious wackos in Texas? What was their crime that necessitated a Gov't standoff? A couple hundred dollars in (alledgedly) unpaid taxes. How many people care that the IRS routinely and consistently employ illegal tactics and hold kangaroo courts to illegally force people to pay taxes and ruin people's lives & businesses? How many people cared that Bill Clinton ordered the US military to bomb an aspirin factory in Sudan so the lapdog media wouldn't discuss the fact that he's a horny pervert who lied under oath. How many people give a shit that the US media is little more than shills for the DNC? How many people care that the President, Congress, and even courts have been using the Constitution and Bill of Rights as toilet paper since day 1? How many people care that individual countries soverignty is being pre-empted by the UN and various suborganizations (WTO, World Bank, etc)

What happened to you was wrong. The only difference between you and everybody else (this crosses country borders) is that you know you got shafted. Most people don't realize that they've been bent over and fucked by their government,

Re:I can easily pirate with DeCSS (4)

PG13 (3024) | about 15 years ago | (#1340398)

No, DeCSS makes it no easier to pirate. Right now I can go out rent a DVD download the *encrypted* image to my harddrive. Write the encrypted DVD to my DVD writer. Voila! I have an exact copy of the original DVD which, by virtue of being an exact copy, is playable by the same hardware as the original.

What they hope to gain, by scaring people into not mucking with DVD, is to retain their monopolistic control of DVD decoder technologies.

Silly Stupid Ignorant Computer Crime Enforcement (2)

pb (1020) | about 15 years ago | (#1340399)

Oh man, do we have to see this happen *every* decade? The only difference between this one and the last one is that the police might get suspicious if you took your hard drive out by now.

Other than that it looks like no one else has learned anything apart from the usual "Computer crime is bad. Hackers should be punished. Computer crime is anything computer-related that I don't understand but someone says is bad. Big corporations are there to protect me..." Of course, we hackers know the difference. But that hasn't changed, either.

Yo, NSA and MPA(A)! I can watch DVDs on my computer, break your patented triple-XOR encryption in my head, and therefore decrypt your 31337 secret K0deZ. Better send someone here to shut me up real quick and steal my stuff without cause, 'cause you know I'm an evil HaX0r commie pinko, and I deserve whatever I get, no matter how illegal it is for you to do it! :)
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .
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