DVD cracking is free speech


A California appeals court has dealt a major setback against Hollywood.
The appeals court released a decision Thursday overturning an earlier order that barred hundreds of people from publishing the code for a software program called "DeCSS" online. Posting the code is just like publishing other types of controversial speech and is protected by the constitution, the appellate judges said.

Allegedly created by a 15-year-old Norwegian programmer named Jon Johansen, the DeCSS software was designed to let DVDs play on computers running the Linux operating system. But it wound up being a tool useful to those who want to copy movies stored on DVDs and distribute them online.

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