19 August 2002. Thanks to A.
Subject: Demon Internet ABUSE # 193083 From: "Roughton, Jennifer" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 17:34:00 +0100 To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> CC: email@example.com Dear sir/madam, It has been brought to our attention that your web site at: www.zpok.demon.co.uk is providing a circumvention device that decrypts or unscrambles the contents of DVDs (consisting of copyrighted motion pictures):- Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Disney Enterprises, Inc. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. Paramount Pictures Corporation TriStar Pictures, Inc. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation United Artists Pictures, Inc. United Artists Corporation Universal City Studios, Inc. Warner Bros., a Division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. thereby circumventing the protection afforded by the Content Scramble System (CSS), permitting the copying of the DVD contents and/or any portion thereof. Therefore , please either remove the material or provide proof that you have permission to use the material within the next five days. If we do not hear from you and/or you do not remove the material within the next 5 days then we will have no choice but to suspend access to your website until the matter is resolved. Yours faithfully firstname.lastname@example.org
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 Jennifer, Although you neglected to digitally sign this email, I shall assume that it is genuine - although given the ludicrous and outraegous content, I hesitate to completely dismiss the possibility that someone is spoofing your mail address in an attempt to discredit Demon. I should be grateful if you provide a PGP signature, or authentication mechanism, with your reply. >Dear sir/madam, > >It has been brought to our attention that your web site at: >www.zpok.demon.co.uk is providing a circumvention device that decrypts or >unscrambles the contents of DVDs (consisting of copyrighted motion >pictures):- > >Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. >Disney Enterprises, Inc. >Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. >Paramount Pictures Corporation >TriStar Pictures, Inc. >Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation >United Artists Pictures, Inc. >United Artists Corporation >Universal City Studios, Inc. >Warner Bros., a Division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. > >thereby circumventing the protection afforded by the Content Scramble System >(CSS), permitting the copying of the DVD contents and/or any portion >thereof. > >Therefore , please either remove the material or provide proof that you have >permission to use the material within the next five days. If we do not hear >from you and/or you do not remove the material within the next 5 days then >we will have no choice but to suspend access to your website until the >matter is resolved. > >Yours faithfully > >email@example.com I am dismayed to receive this email from Demon, an ISP I previously regarded as committed to protecting the interests of their customers. It seems that your legal department has taken to passing on any unfounded threats it may receive without any attempt to validate them - - so long as they come from expensive lawyers retained by large corporations. >It has been brought to our attention that your web site at: >www.zpok.demon.co.uk is providing a circumvention device that decrypts or >unscrambles the contents of DVDs (consisting of copyrighted motion >pictures):- The term 'circumvention', so far as I am aware, is only used in the context of the appalling American law known as the "DMCA", which the IP mafia paid to have enacted. I am not aware that US law automatically comes into force in the UK yet? Did you know that there is a specific term for making legalistic threats without foundation? In many jurisdictions, this is in itself against the law. http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/barratry http://www.lectlaw.com/def/b082.htm The program you presumably referring to is my mirror of "deCSS". This program does indeed decrypt the lame CSS "encryption" (although it can barely be dignified by that term) used by some DVD publishers. CSS is *not* designed to prevent illegal copyright infringement (the act that the IP mafia have labelled "piracy"; my copy of the OED defines piracy as "1 the practice or an act of robbery of ships at sea; 2 a similar practice or act in other forms, esp. hijacking." But I digress.) The CSS system is nothing more than a monopoly preservation device. The gentlemen who have been selling illegal DVD copies outside my local tube station for the past two years tell me that the copies are produced simply by cloning the encrypted discs - INCLUDING THE ENCRYPTION; the resulting fake copy will then play perfectly in any machine that would play the original. There is no need whatsoever to remove the encryption. In fact, the 15-year old Norweigan schoolboy who wrote the program did so in order to allow him to play his own DVDs - his own, legal property, which he had bought and paid for in the approved manner - on his own computer, using Free software. (I shall spare you a description of Free software. I assume that people working at an ISP are still aware that their entire business is based on Free software, such as Linux, BSD, Sendmail, thttpd, the TCP/IP protocol, HTTP and so on, rather than a on very very big Windows machine.) To claim, as the IP mafia have, that deCSS is mirrored around the world by evil villains churning out decrypted copies of their copyrighted property, is disengenuous to say the least. You ask me to "provide proof that you have permission to use the material". Jon Johansen, the author of the deCSS program, licensed it under the GNU General Public License (GPL); in case you are unfamiliar with this license, I have attached a copy for your perusal. The GPL was developed specificall to protect the rights users of software to copy it, re-distribute it, and even set up a business to resell it if they wish. I am especially disappointed that you have passed along this threat, as you must be perfectly well aware that their claims are utterly without merit, and that their threats are meanigless. Indeed, the last time Demon attempted to censor one of it's own users, you backed down quickly when presented with a carfeul refutation of the threats. See http://cryptome.sabotage.org/decss-demon.htm for an archive of that correspondence. Please respond to this email with an undertaking NOT to censor or restrict the material I publish on the webspace you sell me. I have already agreed to a standard Demon AUP which, of course, forbids illegal distribution of copyright material, along with incitement to violence or racial hatred, child pornography, and other material that is already illegal in this country. deCSS does *not* fall into this category. I look forward to hearing from you soon, Sincerely, Andrew Simmons -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (CYGWIN_NT-4.0) Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org iD8DBQE9YQAIkZawWPzItK8RAgmdAKCtfgIhhvS29ib1augs+7dCxAgV6gCgnjK+ DB1F8w5ZW/LxwXFQ1rOLkm0= =xGgK -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----