A Year Ago: Hollywood tries to block DVD decoder

First published: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 15:59:01 GMT

Seven major studios went back to court to stop Eric Corley from posting his program that allows users to copy DVD disks on other sites

The major Hollywood studios filed a motion in New York federal court seeking to block a controversial Web site from posting links to other Web sites where users can download a program that decodes encrypted material on digital video disks.

The seven major Hollywood studios, through its trade group, the Motion Picture Association of America, have been waging a legal battle against Eric Corley and his company, 2600 Enterprises, to keep him from posting a software program on his Internet site that enables people to copy DVD movies. The studios are worried that rampant copying of DVD movies will undermine the home-entertainment market, one of Hollywood's biggest revenue sources.

On January 20, US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an injunction against Corley and two other Web sites prohibiting them from posting the software that allows people to decode encrypted DVDs. But the MPAA says Corley has been "manoeuvering around" that injunction by posting links to more than 300 other Web sites that still carry the downloadable program, thus undermining the court's order.

Martin Garbus, an attorney for Corley, said he hadn't yet read the petition and therefore couldn't comment. The decryption program, known as DeCSS, is banned under the anti-circumnavigation provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, says the MPAA.

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