Jon Johansen Found Not Guilty of DVD Piracy

Wednesday, 8 January 2003, 12:14 AM EST

The Oslo court said Jon Johansen, known in Norway as "DVD Jon," had not broken the law when he helped unlock a code and distribute a computer program enabling DVD films to be copied.

"Johansen is found not guilty," Judge Irene Sogn told the court. She said prosecutors could appeal against the unanimous verdict.

Johansen said after the ruling that he would celebrate by "watching DVD films on unlicensed players."

Prosecutors had asked for a 90-day suspended jail term for Johansen, 19, who developed the program when he was 15.

The teenager has become a symbol for hackers worldwide who say making software such as Johansen's -- called DeCSS -- is an act of intellectual freedom rather than theft.

[ Read more ]

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