New York, California come to opposing conclusions

A New York federal appeals court Wednesday ruled in favor of the major film studios, ordering a Web site operator to remove a program called DeCSS, which allows hackers to crack the encryption code embedded in most DVDs.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in its ruling against the Web site “2600: The Hacker Quarterly,” came to exactly the opposite conclusion as a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal.

The California jurists earlier this month declared computer programs such as DeCSS to be “pure speech” protected by the First Amendment. That ruling lifted a preliminary injunction against Web site operator Andrew Bunner, who is now free to post DeCSS while a lawsuit against him by the major studios goes to trial.

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