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Friday, January 23, 2004
DVD Copy Control Association drops DVD copying case

The DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) has dropped its case against a man it accused of misappropriating trade secrets by posting copies of the DeCSS program, which defeated the DVD security technology known as CSS.

The DVD CCA asked the California Superior Court to dismiss its complaint, citing an "evolving legal strategy," thus ending a four-year legal battle. Intellectual property experts had worried that a victory by the DVD CCA would outlaw practices, such as reverse engineering, that are vital to technological innovation and competition.

The DVD CCA is considering further action to protect its CSS copy protection system from unauthorized use, according to a statement from the group.

The decision follows a similar legal victory by Jon Lech Johansen, creator of DeCSS, the software program that defeated the CSS encryption. Johansen claimed he originally created the program so that DVDs could be played on computers using the Linux operating system.

The DVD CCA said in its statement that the legal actions have been successful in maintaining CSS as the standard protection system for DVDs, and in establishing that publishing the CSS code is not protected by the US Constitution's First Amendment.

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