A coalition of film and technology companies sued 71 individuals and Web sites in a DVD piracy test case today.
The lawsuits alleged the illegal distribution online of a program that enables users to crack the security on DVD disks to make pirate copies of films.
The lawsuit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California by the DVD Copy Control Association, which was formed a year ago by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Business Software Alliance and the Electronic Industries Alliance. The coalition licenses the DVD Content Scrambling System, but last month programmers managed to crack this system using software called DeCSS.
Today action is the most serious move against DeCSS to date.
"Their unchecked illegal activities will chill future technological innovation in the motion picture, consumer electronics and computer industries and discourage other industries from making their content available to the public, as the motion picture industry has done here, in new formats," the DVD Copy Control Association alleges in the complaint.
For now at least, it is only suing those who distribute DeCSS, not people who use it to make pirate copies at home.
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