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Another crack in the dam holding back a growing tide of CSS/DRM rejection
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 26 May 2007 11:52
Finland court: Breaking "ineffective" copy protection is permissible
ARS Technica
By Eric Bangeman | Published: May 25, 2007 - 01:08PM CT

The Helsinki District Court has dealt another blow to CSS, the copy-protection scheme used in commercial DVDs. In a ruling issued today, the court found that CSS is "ineffective" as a form of DRM and that the two defendants cited for violating Finnish copyright law were not guilty.

 After Finland's copyright laws were changed in late 2005 to harmonize with a 2001 EU copyright directive, a group of Finnish copyright activists put up a web site that echoed information that has been easily available on the Internet (and T-shirts) for years: how to crack and circumvent CSS. They then turned themselves into the police for violating Finland's new copyright laws.

Two of the activists were charged with illegally manufacturing and distributing a circumventing product along with providing a service to "circumvent an effective technological measure." During the court proceedings, expert witnesses testified as to the ineffectiveness of CSS as a DRM system, an argument the court found compelling. "[S]ince a Norwegian hacker succeeded in circumventing CSS protection used in DVDs in 1999, end-users have been able to get with easy tens of similar circumventing software from the Internet even free of charge," wrote the court. "Some operating systems come with this kind of software pre-installed.... CSS protection can no longer be held 'effective' as defined in law." ....More

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