MPAA’s Valenti Applauds New York Appeals Court Ruling Upholding Lower Court Decision in Motion Picture Industry DeCSS Case

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 29, 2001) – In a major victory for copyright protection in the digital age, the Federal Appeals Court in New York affirmed last year's trial court decision in favor of the motion picture industry against distribution of DeCSS, a computer program designed to break the CSS copy protection encryption used on most motion pictures on DVD. Motion picture distributors sought to bar defendants Eric Corley and his company from posting DeCSS on his website and then from linking to other websites where it was posted, based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected an appeal by Corley from the decision of U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of New York that upheld the constitutionality of the DMCA and held that Corley’s posting of and linking to DeCSS was in direct violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of that statute.

"The decision of the Second Circuit confirms the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It makes very clear that anyone who makes available material which circumvents encryption of creative works violates the law. In prose there is no ambiguity. The court has claimed the debate over copyright and freed it of false claims," said Jack Valenti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America.

In 1998 Congress passed and President Clinton signed the DMCA to allow the creators of copyrighted material to protect their works from digital piracy. Under the DMCA, it is illegal for anyone to traffic in a device designed to circumvent the encryption that protects copyrighted material.

Additional information on this case may be found on the MPAA web site at