DVD DRM Cracking Now Illegal Again In Finland

Helsinki’s appeals court has overturned a 2007 copyright ruling that allowed users to break “ineffective” DVD copy protection. Last May, a judge acquitted a pair of hacktivists who cracked the Content Scrambling System (CSS) DRM layer to play movies on their Linux machines, explaining that Finnish law only prohibited circumvention of “effective technological measures”. The appeals court, though, has disagreed, warranting CSS “effective” and, with it, the pair were convicted.

They will escape punishment, however, because several other pieces of software are available that do the same thing – most notably, DeCSS, written in 1999 by Jon Lech Johansen (aka “DVD Jon”), who was also acquitted at home in Norway. Defendent Mikko Rauhala will now try to overturn the latest judgement in Finland’s supreme court, arguing he did not break CSS in order to copy DVDs but merely to play them on his otherwise DVD-unfriendly Linux box. Techdirt and HS.