Motion Picture Studios Seek Modification of January 20 Injunction in DeCSS Case
Motion Spurred by Efforts to Evade Court's Prior Order
(New York, April 5, 2000) – In response to efforts by Eric Corley (a.k.a., "Emmanuel Goldstein") and his company, 2600 Enterprises, to maneuver around the court’s injunction against them to cease posting the DeCSS utility, the member companies of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today filed a motion to prohibit the defendants from hyperlinking to other Internet websites offering DeCSS.
On January 20, 2000, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York Court issued an injunction against Eric Corley (a.k.a., "Emmanuel Goldstein"), his company, 2600 Enterprises, its Web site and 2 other Web sites, prohibiting them from posting the DeCSS utility. The DeCSS utility allows users to illegally decrypt the copy protection program (CSS) on DVDs so that they can be copied. DeCSS is an anti-circumvention device that is prohibited under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In its petition to the court, the MPAA member companies noted that although Corley is no longer directly posting DeCSS on his Web site, www.2600.com, he is continuing to violate federal law by creating hyperlinks to other unlawful postings. Corley has exhorted visitors to his Web site to post the program as broadly as possible and to help him create hyperlinks to it. Thus, he is indirectly accomplishing what he has been enjoined from doing directly—trafficking in software that circumvents copy protection. To date, there are over 300 hyperlinks to the DeCSS utility on his web site.
A hyperlink takes a computer user from one site on the Internet to a second location on the Internet. Users can click on a hyperlink to follow a "hard-wired" path to the data he or she seeks.
"The defendant seems determined to evade the Court's order," said Jack Valenti, President and CEO of MPAA. "He is transporting individuals electronically to locations in order to facilitate the illegal copying of DVDs. His behavior is analogous to driving someone to a home so that they may burglarize the home. Consumers, creators and anyone else who cherishes their right to protect what they own should take a keen interest in this case."
Illegal copying of DVDs poses a serious threat to the motion picture industry, which already loses $2 ½ billion each year to piracy of copyrighted motion pictures. DVD piracy is even more ominous because DVDs contain digital information, meaning that copies do not lose quality with each successive generation. The 1000th copy of a DVD is as pristine as the original. Moreover, the digital information on DVDs can be widely transmitted over the Internet or stored in computer memory, especially as bandwidth grows and processor speeds increase.
Mark Litvack, MPAA Vice President and Director of Legal Affairs, Worldwide Anti-Piracy, also commented on today’s petition: "Since the court issued its preliminary injunction, defendant Corley has expanded his activities to encourage others to proliferate DeCSS. This motion is about modifying the Court's injunction to cover the hyperlinking activity in order to curtail effort’s to evade the Court's prior order."