Johansen is believed to have played some role in the creation of software used to break copy protection on DVDs. He has defended himself against charges laid against him by Norway's white-collar crime unit for four years, and the battle has taken its toll, reports Norway's Aftenposten.
While Johansen is widely reported as being the "lone gunman" behind the creation of the DeCSS de-scrambler, DVD interest sites maintain the DCC code itself was broken by an anonymous German hacker. Johansen, who was allegedly a part of a group known as the Masters of Reverse Engineering, or MoRE, simply helped in writing the program that used the existing CSS crack to de-scramble the discs.
A text file that is said to be distributed with the DeCSS software purports to be a joint statement from MoRE and another group, Drink or Die (DoD), refutes the claim that "DVD-Jon" was the master hacker behind the downfall of DVD piracy protection.
"Jon Johansen of MoRE... had NOTHING to do with the actual cracking of the DVD CSS protection. Yes, it was MoRE who did DeCSS, but the actual crack was not a team effort, MoRE didn't even exist back when the anonymous German (who is now a MoRE member) cracked it," the file reads.
DeCSS allows users to not only watch DVD's from their PC's -- including Linux PC's which were previously not able to play and de-scramble DVD content -- but also allowed them to copy the content, remove region coding and other protective measures.