Judge denies restraining orders to ban DeCSS from the web

As the battle about the DVD decryption utility DeCSS rages on, according to an article from the Associated Press, a judge last week denied an electronics industry group’s bid to temporarily halt distribution of software that removes security encryption from DVD videos. The DVD Copy Control Association is suing to prevent 72 Web site programmers from making the software available on the Internet. Without comment, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Elfving denied the group’s request for a restraining order.

The association alleges that distributing either the software or the codes is an unauthorized use of the group’s trade secrets. But many site programmers who posted the program said they were simply providing software to play DVDs on computers with Linux operating systems. “People have a legal right to play the materials that they’ve already purchased in a different format,“” said Tara Lemmey, president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that seeks to protect civil liberties and free speech on the Internet. The lawsuit, however, says protecting the DVD encryption technology is critical to the future of DVDs.

“Without such copy protection, the motion picture companies would not have allowed their copyrighted motion pictures to be available in this new digital video format,“” the lawsuit says. The case is scheduled to go to court Jan. 14.

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