Jon Lech Johansen (born November 18, 1983), also known as DVD Jon, is a Norwegian who was involved in the release of the DeCSS software. In 2002 he was put on trial in Norway but was found not guilty of any illegal behaviour. A second trial in 2003 resulted in him being acquitted a second time.
The prosecution was conducted by ěkokrim, a Norwegian crime unit investigating and prosecuting computer crime, after a complaint by the US DVD Copy Control Association (DVD-CCA) and the Motion Picture Association (MPA). Johansen has denied writing the decryption code in DeCSS, saying that this part of the project originated from someone in Germany. His defence was assisted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The trial opened in the Oslo district court on December 9, 2002 with Johansen pleading not-guilty to charges that had a maximum penalty of two years in prison or large fines. The defence argued that no illegal access was obtained to anyone else's information, since Johansen owned the DVDs himself. Also, they pointed out that it is legal under Norwegian law to make copies of such data for personal use. The verdict was announced on January 7, 2003 acquitting Johansen of all charges.
This being the verdict of the district court, two further levels of appeals were available to the prosecutors. ěkokrim filed an appeal on January 20, 2003 and it was reported on February 28 that the appeals court had agreed to hear the case. On March 5, the appeals court said that arguments filed by the movie industry and additional evidence merited another trial.
In November 2003, Johansen released QTFairUse, an open source program which attempts to dump the output of a QuickTime stream to a file, which could bypass the digital rights management software used to encrypt content of music from media such as those distributed by the iTunes Music Store, Apple Computer's on-line music store. Although these resulting raw data files were unplayable in their final form by most media players at the time of release, they represent the first attempt at breaking Apple's encryption.
Johansen's second DeCSS trial began in Oslo on December 2, 2003, and resulted in an acquittal on December 22, 2003. ěkokrim announced on January 5, 2004 that it would not appeal the case any further.
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