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Around October of 1999 several programs utilizing the DeCSS decryption algorithm found their way onto the Internet DeCSS and its various clones that soon popped up on mainstream software sites such as CNets Downloadcom a company partially owned by the Microsoft Corporation It quickly became one of the more popular downloads available The programs based on DeCSS claimed to be able to break the CSS encryption used on most commercial DVDs digital videoversatile disc and then copy the roughly 5 gigabytes of information to a computers hard drive in just a few hours DeCSSs popularity grew and soon it caught the attention of the Motion Picture Association of America MPAA the group that currently licenses virtually all commercially available DVDs and whose member companies include giants like Warner Brothers Sony MGM and Disney On January 25 15 year-old Norwegian teen Jon Johansen was arrested by American authorities at their Scandinavian home at the request of th e MPAA The MPAA claimed that through his co-creation DeCSS he had violated international copyright laws Johansen and his father were released the following morning and since then have become ardent spokesmen for the political issues raised by this case Shortly after the arrest of Johansen 2600com a website devoted to the impacts of the information age on the world began making the several hundred lines of DeCSS source code available to the public A cease and desist order was shortly sent by the MPAAs legal team ordering that 2600 no longer make this code available 2600 complied but then asked that its audience provide mirrors of the code on their own servers and websites I still proudly have my own mirrors up which still occupy the 99th and 100th links on 2600s controversial site 2600 has since received a court injunction baring them from providing hyperlinks to these mirrors but a text-based archive of the addresses is still only one link off of the main site minus
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