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FC: Justice Department intervenes in DeCSS suit to back Hollywood
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 12:33:49 -0500


   White House Sides With Studios
   by Declan McCullagh (declan () wired com)
   8:55 a.m. Feb. 23, 2001 PST
   WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is siding with Hollywood in a
   federal lawsuit against a DVD-descrambling utility.
   In a 100 KB brief filed this week before a federal appeals court, the
   Justice Department asked to intervene in the case brought under the
   Digital Millennium Copyright Act, saying "this lawsuit is really about
   computer hackers and the tools of digital piracy."
   The Second Circuit Court of Appeals should uphold a lower court's
   decision banning the hacker-zine 2600 Magazine from distributing or
   linking to the DeCSS utility in a case brought by eight movie studios
   in January 2000, the DOJ argues. 2600 has appealed the ruling.
   "Under the First Amendment, defendants had every right to use their
   website to advocate against the DMCA. They also had the right to
   associate on the Internet with others who support the use of
   circumvention technology by linking to websites that decry," says the
   brief, signed by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White. "But by purposefully
   linking to websites that post DeCSS for downloading, defendants'
   actions exceeded advocacy and crossed the line into unlawful action."
   On Wednesday, the appeals court granted the DOJ's request to intervene
   in the lawsuit, which means government lawyers will be allowed to
   defend the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
   (DMCA) in court. 2600 has claimed that it did not violate the DMCA and
   the law violates the First Amendment because it limits programmers'
   free speech rights.


The brief:

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