Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government News Your Rights Online

Jon Johansen Trial Continues 164

Posted by michael
from the grinding-grinding dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Norwegian prosecution has been allowed to change the indictment in their case against "DVD-Jon" Johansen. There is an English language article on Friday's trial proceedings now available." VG.nett is also covering the trial.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Jon Johansen Trial Continues

Comments Filter:
  • by Guiri (522079) on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:58AM (#4880945) Homepage
    Too see how things have changed ;) here are some DVD ripping under Linux guides.. http://dvdripping-guid.berlios.de [berlios.de]
  • Hang him. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday December 13, 2002 @11:59AM (#4880955) Homepage Journal

    Jon Johansen is an evil h4x0r that in one fell swoop allowed socialist Linux and *BSD hippies to watch DVDs on their computers.
    If there is any justice, he will be hung from a tall tree in the morning.

    Yours truly,

    Jack Valenti
  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi&yahoo,com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:04PM (#4880992) Homepage Journal
    Not only can we have secret trials, but we can change the charges around until we get the outcome we want! Now we can be the subject of surviellience with out a warrant, arrested for a classified reason, not get to see a lawyer or contact anyone, held for an indefinite amount of time, be termed as a 'enemy combatant' with no constitutional rights, be tried by a secret military tribunal, and if the charges don't stick, we can change them mid-trial.

    I sure feel safer with the deck stacked.

    Yes. I realize this is off-topic. Soon it won't be.

    • by anonymous loser (58627) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:17PM (#4881097)
      Prosecution: You're being charged with murder.
      Jon: Murder? With my computer?
      Prosecution: Uh, did we say murder? We meant assault.
      Jon: All I did was write a program!
      Prosecution: Internet Fraud! Exactly what we meant to say.
      Jon: How is viewing a DVD on linux fraud?
      Prosecution: What's linux?
      Jon: A free operating system.
      Prosecution: No such thing! We're charging you with Theft and "Intent to View DVDs on Stolen System"!
    • First of all, the trial isn't secret. I've been attending all of it since Monday. The change to the indictment was done with the defender's agreement (he said he thought it was very weird that Økokrim wanted to charge Jon for having gained access to the lock itself. Locks aren't protected by any law.) If the defender had disagreed, the trial would have been restarted, but the amount of extra time that would have taken, combined with the stupidity of the change made the defender think it wasn't worth it (or so he said.)
    • You realize that this trial is taking place in Norway right? It doesnt seem like that much of a stretch (since IANAL) to assume that Norwegian precedent have 0 (zero) effect on the US legal system.

      I still thnk you're right about Ascrofts intentions but this wont strengthen his positions at all.
    • This is pretty standard courtroom stuff in the U.S., though - the prosecution can pretty much bring new charges, and ask to dismiss existing ones, any time they can talk a grand jury into making the new indictment. The only difference is that you'd essentially have to start a new trial, but all of the evidence from the old one would still be a matter of record. There is nothing unfair about this.

      For those who are saying that they got the testimony, and then changed the charges: it's not like you get immunity for anything you say on the stand, right? If I am on trial for theft, and I happen to own up to a murder, you can bet that I'll be on trial for murder pretty soon too. If you broke the law in more ways than one (not that I can tell whether he did or not), don't admit it in court if you can avoid it. In the U.S., invoke the 5th Amendment.

      The only issue would be if the law itself was changed following testimony; there would then be an ex post facto issue (although who knows how that works in Norway) that would seem to make the trial unfair. But just adding new charges because the defendent admitted to supposedly illegal behavior in open court is not unethical; the defendant and his counsel should know what the law is and have some idea of how to steer clear of other potential dangerous admissions during their defense on the first charge.

      I wish Jon all the best - I think he should be considered innocent. But it doesn't help to make it seem like there's some vast legal conspiracy against him; the events so far have been accepted elements of justice systems worldwide for centuries.

  • by cioxx (456323) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:05PM (#4880999) Homepage
    Seriously. There aren't any major developments to warrant a story on the front page every 12 hours.

    Give it a rest, and mention it at least every other 2 weeks. There isn't any room for discussion left. Everything has been said 300 times before.

    Mod away!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You call changing the charges after a trial has started, minor? Maybe you'll think differently when it happens to you.
    • by KjetilK (186133) <kjetil@@@kjernsmo...net> on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:58PM (#4881978) Homepage Journal
      Uhm, they are playing Calvin Ball in court, actually, I would say that is news...
      • by rsborg (111459)
        Uhm, they are playing Calvin Ball in court, actually, I would say that is news...

        For those who are a bit confused about the rules [geocities.com] of Calvin Ball...

        Its only absolute rule is you can't play it the same way twice.

      • Could he get off by singing the "I'm very sorry" song? [geocities.com]. Join in with the counterpoint, everyone!

        • Heres the very sorry song. Won't you help and sing along?
          • Bum Bum Bum
        • I blew it!
          • He's sorry!
        • I knew it!
          • So sorry!
        • I'm very very sorry that I took your precious flagggg!
          • Just don't do it anymore you scurvy scalawaggggg!

        Ack! No, I forgot, the one rule about Calvinball is that you can't play it the same way twice. Damn those cunning Norwegian prosecutors, they think of everything.

      • Uhm, they are playing Calvin Ball in court, actually, I would say that is news...

        So anytime now we might read that the Prosecutor "lept suddenly onto a table, donned a mask, and screamed something about a 'bonus wicket' before proceding to race around the courtroom"?

        -CAH

        I wonder what would happen if an impromptu game of Calvinball broke out here on /. ?
  • by nickclarke (606395) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:06PM (#4881010)
    ...before it gets slashdotted:

    Prosecution changes charges against "DVD-Jon"

    The prosecution in the trial of Jon Lech Johansen, known as "DVD-Jon" due to his connection with a computer program to decrypt DVD copy protection codes, presented amended charges in court on Friday.

    The changes largely reflect Økokrim - Norway's special force for economic crime - wanting to include charges that Johansen also cracked code that revealed a repository of protection keys. According to the prosecution, this made it possible for the decryption program DeCSS to work on a wide range of films.

    Johansen's defense counsel, Halvor Manshaus, opposed this new development, saying he felt it changed the very nature of the indictment, which the prosecution is not allowed to do while the trial is in progress.

    Prosecutor Inger Marie Sunde argues that the changes only make the original indictment more precise, and so do not represent new charges.

    After consideration Manshaus withdrew his objection to the changes, not waiting for a ruling from the judge.

    "I have objections to how this is done - that changes come now, so late in the trial. I have now formal objections against the changes themselves, rather that we now, after the presentation of evidence is over, get this change - which in my opinion comes without sufficient supporting evidence," Manshaus said.

    "Such a formal objection would mean that we would have to present new evidence and this would in practice lead to a deferment of the trial and we have no interest in that," Manshaus said.

    Throughout the proceeding Manshaus has been extremely brief, trying to get the prosecution to concentrate on what he feels are the actual charges and presenting his counter-arguments far more quickly.

    The trial was originally scheduled to conclude with closing arguments on Friday. This will now take place on Monday, primarily to allow the defense to adjust arguments to reflect the newly worded indictment. Judgment will not fall until after New Year.

    This was the third time the charges against Johansen change. This spring Økokrim amended the indictment to complicity with cracking DVD codes, which means that they do not have to prove that Johansen acted alone. Just before the start of the trial Johansen's defense counsel had the wording of the charges slightly adjusted.

    The trial this week has been dominated by the prosecution's painstaking attempts to argue that Johansen deliberately contributed to the removal of copy protection of DVD films leading to their free distribution on the Internet.

    DVDs have a reserve of 408 encrypted keys, where at least one must correspond to a key in the DVD-player in order to access the data. According to Johansen himself, the original DeCSS contained only one key, but this was later expanded thanks to the efforts of friends on the Internet.

    Johansen's defense argues that he and his friends only cracked the code in order to play films legally purchased on a computer using the Linux operating system.

    Much of Friday morning's trial time was spent documenting online conversations between Johansen and his friends.

    DeCSS, was published in 1999 and widely associated with Johansen via reports in the media. Specialist circles have debated Johansen's level of involvement with the actual codebreaking. Johansen also made the program freely available for download via the Internet.
    • Get Slashdotted? Aftenposten is a newspaper, not some arbitary site run off someone's DSL line. Tell you what, it most likely has more readers than Slashdot does.
      • There are 4.x million people in Norway. I think Slashdot have more readers than Aftenposten.
      • I don't think so. Dagbladet just announced that they had 1.5 million unique visits a month.

        However, I agree, the Aftenpoften server can take this hit easily, this post should be modded "Redundant" now that that fact is evident.

        • by Joey7F (307495)
          Not all of Dagbladet's unique visitors are Norwegian ;) Like me...

          Jeg les Dagbladet hver dag og jeg er ikke fra Norge og jeg er ikke Norsk.

          --Joey
          • Your Norwegian is quite good. Impressive! I'm amazed that someone not living in Norway bothers to learn Norwegian :-)

            (By the way, we don't use caps in words describing nationality, like "English", "French" etc. Instead, we spell it with small caps, ie. "engelsk", "fransk" and "norsk".)
            • True, I forgot :)

              I am "bothering" to learn Norwegian because of three things:

              1. The language itself is cool
              2. Norwegian Girls
              3. Norwegian Scenery

              I visited Norway about three years ago and was very impressed. Since then, I have been learning Norwegian because I would like to spend a semester studying there.

              I know that you all speak English (very well, I might add) but if you visit for any length of time, it is only polite to make an attempt to snakke litt norsk.

              I have also heard there is no greater compliment to a person of another country than a foreigner attempting to speak their language :)

              --Joey
              • I have also heard there is no greater compliment to a person of another country than a foreigner attempting to speak their language :)

                True, and we're all enormously flattered when someone takes the trouble to learn a relatively useless and obscure language like ours :)
          • How is that funny? I actually do read Dagbladet.no almost every day.

            --Joey
    • by 4of12 (97621) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:29PM (#4881176) Homepage Journal

      I mean, if the prosecution has been fiddling and adjusting the charges this much it pretty much says either that

      1. they don't feel they have precisely focussed their case,
      2. they didn't understand the technology and are constantly learning more about it
      but in either event, their competence is called into question at the very least, or else the motivation for bringing up the charges was not done under the same rigorous way that Norwegian citizens could hope to expect.

      I hope the jury gets the same sense of shoddiness in the prosecutions case that I'm getting.

      • wanting to include charges that Johansen also cracked code that revealed a repository of protection keys

        So, they are extending the charges, not just changing them. Probably because something surfaced during the trial.

        --
        Do you know where you're drumming from?
      • Just thought I should point out that this isn't a Jury trial. In Norway, one doesn't have the right to a jury trial. Nonetheless, your point is valid, and even more relevent, since a judge is much more likely to notice this than an untrained jury.
        • This is a low-level court where there are three judges: one administrator who has the formal law education, and two lay judges - in this case they have been selected for their knowledge about the subject of the trial. Any appeal would be treated in a court with a jury, where size of the jury can vary, IIRC. Serious crimes are tried directly in the jury court and bypass the lower court altogether.

          How do I know? I have served as a lay judge at this level three times.
    • I just tried this...
      1. Insert DVD into Apple standard DVD drive
      2. Click on DVD icon in Finder
      3. Select "copy" from the edit menu
      4. Click in /Users/davesag/Movies/
      5. Select "paste" from the edit menu
      Lo and behold the whole DVD copies as a 1.7 gb disk image. I can then use the standard DVD player software to play this disk image.

      How is that done without DeCSS or some equivalent. It worked with 3 DVDs chosen at random from my collection.

      There are any number of apps that will convert that disk image to a quicktime or MPEG4 file. Why are they picking on Jon?

  • Uhh...Umm...Ano... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CrazyDuke (529195)
    You can change the charges in mid trial? Smells like BS. I can't quite place why. But it smells fowl.
    • by chas.capwell (541893) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:18PM (#4881100)
      You can change the charges in mid trial? Smells like BS. I can't quite place why. But it smells fowl.

      Um, maybe because the trial isn't held in the U.S.? Just because something can't be done in the U.S. legal system doesn't mean it can't be done in another country.

      While I find the idea of being able to change charges in mid-stream a little. . .slimy, it's their court of law. What I do find chilling is that it seems the burden of proving that the change shouldn't be done is on the defense, rather than having the prosecution provide the burden of proof that the change should be done. Any /.ers for Norway care to comment?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:10PM (#4881546)
        I'm, in Norway, and for that reason I'm posting anonymously, I don't want those moronic idiots coming after me if they don't loose.

        Anyway, you can change details in the indictment, but only details to make it more precise. The defence can protest, in case you would have to start the whole trial all over. First, the defence objected strongly, but then, they probably just went "WTF, whatever, either the judges have allready got the clue, that the prosecutor is a dirty, rotten corrumpted maniac, which she has made abundantly clear during this trial, in which case it doesn't matter, or they haven't grasped it yet, and then there's the appeal, so lets just get it over with."

      • by k98sven (324383)
        While I find the idea of being able to change
        charges in mid-stream a little. . .slimy, it's their court of law.
        What I do find chilling is that it seems the burden of proving that the change shouldn't be done is on the defense, rather than having the prosecution provide
        the burden of proof that the change should be done. Any /.ers for Norway care to comment?


        No, the burden of proof is indeed on the procecution's side. However, the proof may scrutinized by the defense. If the defense objects, the court will rule on the issue.

        In this case, the defense must have felt that the court would rule in favor of the prosecution, and/or that it wasn't worth fighting over.

        Note that the Norwegian legal system is not like the anglo-saxon tradition, where a defense and prosecution fight eachother over two different versions of events,
        it's more like the german tradition where the defense and prosecution work from two different viewpoints towards finding a single truth.
    • You can change the charges in mid trial? Smells like BS. I can't quite place why. But it smells fowl.

      I think the prosecution lawyer is just chicken!

      But let's wait and see how well Jon ducks these new charges.
    • But it smells fowl.
      I'm not being picky about your choice of words, it's just the picture this conjured up.
      A large mess of unprocessed poultry. Now that's foul fowl!
  • by szquirrel (140575) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:09PM (#4881045) Homepage
    From the article:

    Throughout the proceeding [defense counsel] Manshaus has been extremely brief, trying to get the prosecution to concentrate on what he feels are the actual charges and presenting his counter-arguments far more quickly.

    What, has he got a hot date? What's the rush here? I hope in his haste he's not missing anything that could exonerate his client.

    I guess lawyers in Norway aren't paid by the hour.
    • by Guppie (28783) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:20PM (#4881114) Homepage
      Actually, he was trying to cut down on the Signal/Noise factor in the courtroom. The prosecutor grilled Johansen for hours about "The hacker OS" Linux, what IRC chats he had with the group cracking deCSS, if he had pirated software at home, and so on and so on -not at all realated to the charge.

      Manshaus was short and to the point, trying to convey that the court is about one simple thing: Is descrambling your DVD a computer break-in or not? All the hacker-hype from the prosecutor is only there to confuse the judges, by his reasoning.
      • Yes, of course all the hacker-hype is there to confuse the judges. If the persecutor manages to convince the judge(s) that, if they let Jon go, they'll be all over the newspapers as soft on hackers and terrorists, they're not going to let Jon go even if they think he's innocent. It worked with Kaplan and 2600. Hopefully, judges in Norway will be a bit smarter.

        • they'll be all over the newspapers as soft on hackers and terrorists

          Ehh.. The Norwegian newspapers have shown more sympathy for Jon than they have for the prosecution. Besides, "terrorist" doesn't produce quite the same knee-jerk reaction in Norway.
        • If the persecutor manages

          I don't know if that was intentional - but that is in fact the way she's coming across in the courtroom. The facts of the case are indisputed, she's been trying to show that what Jon did is illegal. So far it has been shown to be largely irrelevant - nomad gave the reverse-engineered CSS source to dod, too. I suppose that in the final argument on Monday the persecutor will try to show that whoever buys a CD agrees to play it only on licensed players. Unfortunately, no such agreement has been found anywhere except in the collective mind of Økokrim.

          I think Trond Øgrim is on to something when he writes that the DVDCCA lied to the MPAA about what CSS could do, and are trying to cover up by making Jon the fall guy.

          Rather than admitting that the crypto locking was about as secure as two pieces of cellophane stuck together with chewing gum, they blame the fiendishly clever hackers ....

  • Thursday December 12, @03:57PM
    http://www.vg.no/spesial/bakgrunn/?id=698
    Friday December 13, @08:53AM
    http://www.vg.no/spesial/bakgrunn/?id=698

    So yeah, written up differently, but I think still a repeat if you use the same links for different slashdot stories, that both made the front page!

    Thank goodness I give my money to the local zoo instead of a slashdot subscription, cuz the zoo monkeys do a better job with my money.
  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:19PM (#4881110) Homepage


    Here [harvard.edu] is a short event log of how things happened.

    What the Norvegian prosecutor is doing is claiming that Jon broke the protection on the DVD keyblock. He didn't.
    In fact it was a real professional cryptographer Frank Stevenson [cmu.edu] that demonstrated how to (a) defeat CSS without a key and (b) how to recover all the keys from the keyblock.

    And yet the brave Norvegian prosecutor is going after a kid ... His ancestors must be turning wildly in their graves ..

    • "....And yet the brave Norvegian prosecutor is going after a kid ... His ancestors must be turning wildly in their graves .."

      ... uhm, Inger Marie Sunde is a she.
    • What the Norvegian prosecutor is doing is claiming that Jon broke the protection on the DVD keyblock. He didn't.

      No it's not (I've attended all of the trial, I should know.) The prosecutor is trying to claim that Jon distributed the source and the binary code the for the program that enabled him and others to unritghtfully gain access to the _disc_keys_ and the movie data. Frank Stevenson demonstrated how to find the disc keys without a player key.

    • There's a nice synopsis about Jon's lies and the "truth" behind DeCSS here [debian.org]. Not what you're talking about, but a very nice corollary.
      • Actually, the prosecutor's case rests more or less solely on this post. Jon has posted a very interesting message to the mailing list of Electronic Frontier Norway (at my request) that quite clearly shows this is badly out of context.
      • A different viewpoint [harvard.edu]


        I read through a lot of the list and several things struck me. Overall,
        I see the list as lending a lot of credibility to Johansen's case. I
        don't see it casting doubt as to this.

        Overall, I think the livid-dev mailing list shows Johansen was trying
        to contribute to Linux (and FreeBSD) and shared code with Derek Fawcus
        as a liason to bring this about. He clearly believed _before_ he was
        arrested that his actions were consistent with the DMCA and measured
        them carefully.
      • >>So, you heard about Jon Johansen, the Creator of DeCSS?

        I was on the livid list immediately after the Declan article came out. It was obvious to everyone at the time that the article was horribly wrong. And yet that is the version that most people heard... BTW. If you haven't read the article then you are too ignorant on the topic to even be talking about decss.

        >>So, DeCSS was a clear break of GPL!

        Jon said pretty clearly that he got the code from MoRE. As for breaking the GPL, give me a break. A lot of adults don't understand the GPL so I can't fault a 15 year old kid for being confused about it.

        People were asking him to release the code and he referred them to an adult because he was afraid of getting arrested. I can't fault a kid for doing that either.

        Basically everyone is blaming Jon as a result of that stupid article. He got arrested because of the article. He gets cut down on slashdot for not writing the code that the article said he wrote. I say blame Declan don't blame Jon.

      • after all he has a very bad attitude.


        Oh come on! He is 15 years old! I bet there isn't a single /. poster who did not have a bad attitude at that age. Ditto with his comments about Linux and his use of the GPL. Has no-one here ever made an ill considered post?


        One of the nice things about a lack of maturity is that it is often outgrown. We should keep this in mind before branding this fellow a "liar".

    • What the Norvegian prosecutor is doing is claiming that Jon broke the protection on the DVD keyblock.
      Almost. He is charged as an accessory to this, not as the main offender. That Frank Stevenson guy must have cojones the size of grapegruits. He met in court as a witness this Thursday.
  • by surprise_audit (575743) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:23PM (#4881127)
    Can someone give me a quick rundown of what happened here?

    The way I remember it, Jon was arrested in Norway because the MPAA told the Norwegians he was being a bad boy. Was that a DMCA thing or before that? If it's a DMCA thing, why the fuck is he being tried in Norway, with Norwegian attornies and Judge, for breaking a US law outside the borders of the US?

    Jon didn't even give anyone the finger by showing up in the US to deliver a talk about DeCSS, unlike Skylarov and his piece of code.

    If the Norwegians caved in because the MPAA threatened them, here's how the conversation should have gone:

    MPAA: we want you to prosecute Jon for breaking CSS.
    Norway: Fuck off!
    MPAA: we'll embargo DVD shipments to Norway!
    Norway: Fuck off! We've got diplomats and tourist all over the world that can ship us DVDs.
    MPAA:But they won't work in your region coded players!
    Norway: Fuck off! We've got Jon-boy and DeCSS...

    • Except, that Norway is a member [wipo.org] of WIPO [wipo.int] which says that its members must respect the copyright laws of other nations.
      • But the DMCA isn't a copyright law. It's about providing information (irrespective of copyrights) which can potentially be used to violate copyrights. It's as if it were illegal to write manuals for photocopy machines (except photocopy machines aren't digital, and therefore aren't magical and dangerous in the eyes of the powers-that-be).
    • Norway's legal definition of illegal hacking has long been "to break a protection" to gain access. it seems to me this is what the prosecution is going after. And Jon Johansen seems to be vulnerable to two such breaches:
      - Breach of protection by getting authentication codes out of Xing DVD player
      - Breach of protection by distributing an unauthorized program that breaches the DVD protection codes

      My personal opinion:
      - He might very well be found guilty.
      - This makes Økokrim look stupid. I have little respect for them. They should use their resources on real computer crimes.
    • I can well imagine the MPAA telling Norway that Jon was up to something fishy. However the rest of your account is rather improbable. I suppose the normal legal process ran its course. The Norwegian prosecutors' office examined the MPAA claim against Norwegian law, and found that they might have a case. On the strength of that they decided to prosecute. Many other countries would (rightly) have done the same, except perhaps the US (not trying to be a USA basher here, but the US is notoriously lax in bringing suit against their own citizens or companies when asked to by foreign countries, even when those citizens or companies turn out to be in violation of US law).

      Jon is being tried for breaking Norwegian law, not US ones. It'll be a shame if he is convicted, but it isn't a shame because he is just a kid, and it will not be the fault of the DMCA, or other silly US laws, or the MPAA, or whatever. It will be Norwegian law at fault here.
      • Ah, I get it now - Jon's being hammered for trying to watch DVD's he owned on a computer he owned running an OS he downloaded.

        So, next question - didn't Jon also download the original CSS code-breaking program? Couple of guys in Belgium or Germany or somewhere wrote it, if I recall. Maybe they could get him on illegal munitions trafficking too. Oh wait, that's the USA's crazy law, classifying encryption products as munitions. Nevermind... :)

        I don't imagine anyone's caught those dudes yet? No, of course not - they're hackers that go by pseudonyms so nobody can find them and they're probably waaay more dangerous than a teenage boy...

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:36PM (#4881227) Homepage


    From:
    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/FrankStevenson/ analysis.html [cmu.edu]

    CSS was designed with a 40 bit keylength to comply with US government export regulation, and as such it easily compromised through brute force attacks ( such are the intentions of export control ).
    Moreover the 40 bits have not been put to good use, as the ciphers succumb to attacks with much lower computational work than which is permitted in the export control rules.
    Whether CSS is a serious cryptographic cipher is debatable. It has been clearly been demonstrated that its strength does not match the keylength. If the cipher was intended to get security by remaining secret, this is yet another testament to the fact that security through obscurity is an unworkable principle.

    • Yes, you are correct. A friend of mine who worked for Intel on CSS said the encryption is so weak they had to hide the algorithm itself from decompilers and such.
    • You are correct. The CSS cipher is vulnerable to an attack similar to the one against the GSM phone "A4" cipher. You guess the initial state of all of the shift registers except the largest one, then from the cipher output you deduce the initial contents of the largest shift regster. IIRC, this means that the CSS cipher is as hard to crack as a 16-bit key cipher without flaws. (In the case of A4, you need to guess 40-bits of the key nd check the others, and the checking requires some slightly more complicated linearalgebra due to the non-standard register clocking, so it ends up being equivalent to about 44-bit key strength, assuming you use some advanced sparse matrix inversion techniques devloped in Russia.)

      With DVDs, the disc master key is encrypted with itself and stored on the disc, which makes the guess and check step in key recovery much easier. Once you have the disc master key, you can start cracking the 400-some player keys, with some of the computation parallelizable across all of the player keys you're trying to crack.

  • CSS vs. CSS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by k-hell (458178) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:04PM (#4881500)
    In danger of maybe repeating earlier posts, I thought I'd add a link to Håkon Wium Lie's (CTO in Opera Software and the guy behind Cascading Style Sheets) view [opera.com] on the current DVD trial case. He sees clear analogies between the movie business' wish to decide how the content of a DVD should be played, and the wishes of Microsoft and the likes who among other things want to use proprietary and possibly encrypted formats on the Web.
  • by dmoen (88623) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:31PM (#4881757) Homepage
    This is really a technical question.

    The article says: The trial this week has been dominated by the prosecution's painstaking attempts to argue that Johansen deliberately contributed to the removal of copy protection of DVD films leading to their free distribution on the Internet.

    But as far as I know, you don't need to decrypt a DVD in order to pirate it. You can just copy the encrypted data, optionally post it on the internet for your friends to copy, then burn the encrypted data onto a blank DVD. Isn't that right?

    If that's true, then the prosecution case is considerably weakened. You only need deCSS if you want to convert the video to another, more convenient format.

    Doug Moen

    • Isn't that right?

      Yes, in fact DeCSS is a crap way to pirate DVD's.

      If that's true, then the prosecution case is considerably weakened.

      You have confused "law" and "justice"; there is no connection between the two.

      TWW

    • this is assuming that you can get hold of the encrypted data. i'm no expert in this field, but you'll need a dvd drive that can read the raw data...i don't think that's easy to come by. but i could be way wrong on this
    • by Zone-MR (631588) <slashdot@zoneDEBIAN-mr.net minus distro> on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:23PM (#4882183) Homepage
      As far as I know it isnt that easy. CSS is actually cleverer than you think.

      From what I understand, CSS makes use of codes embedded in a factory-written part of the DVD media. Standard DVD burner and media combinations do not support this marking of a disk as CSS-scrambled. Of course making a perfect replica of a DVD would mean that decrypting it isnt neccessary, but standard DVD-writers just don't support this.

      If you want to create your own encrypted DVDs, you can buy special [more expensive] 'Authoring' media, (as opposed to the 'General Purpose' DVD-R media which is the consumer standard). AFAIK though, the data written to the disk must be encrypted with keys matching those embedded on the fabricated part of the disk.
      • > If you want to create your own encrypted DVDs, you can buy special [more expensive] 'Authoring'
        > media, (as opposed to the 'General Purpose' DVD-R media which is the consumer standard).

        There is another difference between "Authoring" and "Consumer" as well. It has a different
        surface coating and is written with a slightly different laser frequency. So you can write a
        logically 100% correct DVD with decryption key area, but it won't play in "consumer" players
        for physical reasons. Much like CD-RWs don't play in old CD players.
      • CSS is actually cleverer than you think.

        Clever enough to keep hundreds of Chinese Kiosks from selling pirated DVD's in the streets?

        • "Clever enough to keep hundreds of Chinese Kiosks from selling pirated DVD's in the streets?"

          No, not at all. If you followed the thread through you would see that it was in response to a question about weather or not DVDs can be copied without decryption.

          Of course CSS turned out to be useless, but that was thanks to DeCSS. I find it higly amusing how the movie industry hires the best subcontractors who claim to have developed an 'unbreakable' technology. They threw millions at securing DVD. And all it took was one person skilled and knowledeble enough to outwitt them.
    • And how many people are willing to transfer several gigabytes of movie over the net?

      Net based movie piracy only became practical once DVD encryption was cracked, as they could then be recoded using DivX which made transfer feasable.

      Remember you could pirate CDs before MP3, just that nobody did.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:58PM (#4882486)
    The thing that has struck me as absurd about the whole DRM mess, and its DVD-specific issues, is that the proponents of such laws, who undoubtedly think of themselves as capitalists, are acting in a markedly anticapitalist fashion. The end result in this case is a young man being tried for breaking through an informal anticompetitive arrangement between the MPAA on one hand and Microsoft and Apple on the other.

    The same is true of region coding: it is a method of creating artificial scarcity, i.e. of anticompetitive market manipulation.

    And this, in the end, is what most of the wrangling decried on Slashdot is about -- companies that were formerly highly competitive using their success to suppress competition that might lead to their downfall. Unfortunately, so accustomed are "capitalists" to admiring gigantic corporations that they can, without blinking, swallow the notion that anticompetitive behavior is a form of competition. It is indeed, but only in a political sense, not a market sense, and market competition is what capitalism is about.
  • by porkface (562081)
    Why is this trial not being recognized by any of the major news outlets? It's of fairly great significance to big media as well as people involved with new technology, and yet I can't find mention of it on TV or even at the greatest depths of any of the major news agency websites. I can see why Disney might want to keep it quiet, but as for the rest of the world, I'm at a loss for understanding on this one.
  • by panurge (573432) on Friday December 13, 2002 @05:28PM (#4883550)
    In the 1970s. Some unfortunate hippy got arrested with a couple of grams of cannabis and the police decided to make an example of this one. So the prosecutor went on and on about the end of civilisation, stoned maniacs raping chickens and biting the heads off sheep, anything that would conceal from the press and the public that some unfortunate middle class kid was being made a scapegoat. Then the judge would hand down some remarks about the need to stop this sort of thing, set an example, and send the hippy to prison for ten years or so, while a few of the police continued to collect the weekly brown envelopes from the dealers.

    And we all know how successful it was, don't we. Drugs were stamped out completely. The CIA and the Marines eliminated all drugs from Asia and South America, and the State of Florida obtained its entire GSP from tourism and orange juice.It was just as successful as Prohibition.

    Yes, I know this is a rant. I'm pissed off because moronic Norwegian prosecutors are sending, as usual, the wrong message to the kids. Adults are stupid, technically crass, and misuse their power. And they suck up to the people with lots of cash.
    Just the message to send the next generation.

  • How can Jon be in trouble in a country that has a Crown Prince Haakon?

    (Boo, sorry, couldn't resist.)
  • We are getting updates on the Jon trial but some of it is in Norwegian. Therefore here is a crash course in the viking language from a student (so Native vikings feel free to correct/add to):

    Jeg frykser av meg rump venting for billeten - I am freezing my ass off waiting for a ticket!

    Dra til helvete, Jack Valenti - fuck you, Jack Valenti

    Faen dette folk fra MPAA er Rasshølene - Damn these movie execs are assholes

    Slashdot har skriv om det allerede - Slashdot already posted this *keep this especially handy!

    Ha det bra (Have a good one),

    --Joey

You are in a maze of UUCP connections, all alike.

Working...