Film Studios Bring Claim Against DVD Hackers

Eight major motion picture companies late last week filed injunction complaints in U.S. District Court against three alleged hackers to prevent them from publishing an unauthorized DVD (digital versatile disk) de-encryption program on their Web sites.

The complaints were filed in the Southern District of New York and the District of Connecticut on behalf of plaintiffs Universal Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Tristar Pictures Inc., Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., Time Warner Entertainment Co. L.P., Disney Enterprises Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., according to a statement issued last Friday by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The film studios named two defendants in New York, Shawn Reimerdes and Eric Corley, also known as Emmanuel Goldstein, while Jeraimee Hughes is the sole defendant in the claim filed in Connecticut, the MPAA statement said.

The de-encryption software, called DeCSS, reportedly originates in Norway, and was first published on the Web in October last year. [See "DVD Encryption Hacked," Nov. 4, 1999.]DeCSS can be used to de-encrypt content, such as movies, on DVD disks protected by an encryption system called CSS (content scrambling system) that is used to prevent illegal copying of DVD disks.

More information about the case can be found on the MPAA's Web site at http://www.mpaa.org/.

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More about Columbia PicturesColumbia Pictures IndustriesMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer StudiosMotion Picture Association of AmericaParamount PicturesTime WarnerTriStar PicturesTwentieth Century FoxUniversal Studios

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