Were in a bar. you ask me for a light. I sell you a book of matches for a dollar. I tell you that you can only use it on your brand of cigarettes, because they pay me to allow you to use the matches.
still with me?
now, the matches you bought cannot be shared. if you do, i'll take you to court, and make you give them back. that let's say you figured out how to make your own matches, by looking at the match I let you use (you don't own it, i sold you a license to use it.). I now will take that match away from you, and you are now forbidden from taking, writing, or drawing (even on a t-shirt) your matches.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not made up. This is a metaphor of the DeCSS case going on in the United States between the MPAA and 2600. following is an e-mail I recieved, forwarded from my host (a good friend), based on some files I had on my website.
Date: April 6, 2000
RE: Illegal Provision of DeCSS/Circumvention Device
(site edited because Johan would kill to know who I am)
MPA File#: 7-931-183
Dear William *******:
The Motion Picture Association is authorized to act on behalf of the following copyright owners:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Paramount Pictures Corporation
TriStar Pictures, Inc.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
United Artists Pictures, Inc.
United Artists Corporation
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Warner Bros., a Division of
Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.
We have knowledge that the above-referenced Internet site is providing a circumvention device commonly known as DeCSS. DeCSS is a software utility that decrypts or unscrambles the contents of DVDs (consisting of copyrighted motion pictures) or otherwise circumvents the protection afforded by the Contents Scramble System (CSS) and permits the copying of the DVD contents and/or any portion thereof. As such, DeCSS is an unlawful circumvention device within the meaning of 17 U.S.C. $1201(a)(2),(3). Providing or offering DeCSS to the public on your system or network violates the provisions of $1201(a)(2) which prohibits the "manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking" in an unlawful circumvention device. This conduct may also violate the laws of other countries, international and/or treaty obligations.
On January 20, 2000, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the Internet posting or other provision of DeCSS, having found that DeCSS was a prohibited circumvention device within the meaning of õ1201(a)(2) and that the offering, providing or trafficking of DeCSS on the Internet violated õ1201(a)(2). That court thus enjoined:
Posting on any Internet web site, or in any other way manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking in DeCSS, and (b) posting on any Internet web site, or in any other way manufacturing, importing or offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that: (i) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing, or circumvention the protection afforded by, CSS, or any other technological measure that effectively controls access to plaintiffs' copyrighted works or effectively protects the plaintiffs' rights to control whether an end user can reproduce, manufacture, adapt, publicly perform and/or distribute unauthorized copies of their copyrighted works or portions thereof...
The Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California also recently granted a Preliminary Injunction against the Internet posting of DeCSS.
If you are bound by an injunction, maintaining the DeCSS utility on your system or network violates the above injunction[s] and risks court sanctions for contempt.
Even if you are not bound by this injunction, we submit the legal rationale of these opinions would apply to the activities complained of herein. Thus we still request you comply with this request.
We hereby demand that you:
1) take appropriate steps to cause immediate removal of DeCSS from the above identified URL, along with such other actions as may be necessary or appropriate to suspend this illegal activity;
2) provide appropriate notice to the subscriber or account holder responsible for the presence of DeCSS on your system or network, advising him/her of the contents of this notice and directing that person to contact the undersigned immediately at the e-mail address provided above;
3) advise us of the name and physical address of the person operating this site; and
4) maintain, and take whatever steps are necessary to prevent the destruction of, all records, including electronic records, in your possession or control respecting this URL, account holder or subscriber.
By copy of this letter, the owner of the above-referenced URL and/or email account is hereby directed to cease and desist from the conduct complained of herein.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Your immediate response is requested.
The information in this notification is accurate, and we declare, under penalty of perjury, that the Motion Picture Association is authorized to act on behalf of the owner[s] of exclusive rights described above.
Should you have any questions, please contact us at the above listed address.
The Motion Picture Association
Welcome to the future. You cannot use anything unless it's used in their approved way, and with their approved equipment. 'Tis a sad day in the free world. Doesn't this constitute as a threat?
Join in the fight. Your country might be next. I urge you to visit http://www.2600.com and read what you can. listen to the recent depositions. Hear for yourself the injustice brought upon by a clearly biased Judge. You will be shocked at the miscarriage of Justice.