Finnish appeal court decision: breaking CSS illegal

Due to recent very unclear, confusing and freedom hating legislation prepared by corrupt and incompetent people and an appeal court decision from a couple of days back, it’s now criminal to break the not very functional CSS copy protection used on most commercial DVD-Video discs. Watching DVDs using GNU/Linux systems is thus not something well behaved Finnish citizens should spend their time doing.

For now, there aren’t really any proper sources in English, but for those willing to do some guesswork, Google’s translation tool can help, see Tietokone (translation), Digitoday (translation), Turre Legal’s blog with the court decision as an enclosed PDF (translation).

EDIT: There’s now a human made translation of Turre Legal’s blog entry and I’m trying to get the story published on Slashdot.

EDIT2: I got the story on the front page of Slashdot.

EDIT3: there’s now a proper post in English on Turre Legal’s own blog.

My attempt to sum this up is as follows: the verdict is contrary to what a district court thought of the same case last year when two local electronic rights activists were declared not guilty after having framed themselves by spreading information on how to break CSS. Back then it was to the activists’ benefit has CSS been badly broken and inneffective ever since DeCSS came out.

Lawyer Mikko Välimäki of the law firm Turre legal, which represents the activists, expresses surprise over the appeal court’s explanation which includes implications along the lines of Linux users not being able to watch dvds without knowingly downloading cracking software.

DeCSS code sample
(image from Wikimedia commons)

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