1) About the cops...
Did the arresting officers say or do anything that blatantly hinted that they were doing this because of pressure from the MPAA or the United States government? What kinds of questions did they ask during the interrogation? Were they looking for other
The MPAA filed charges and the police was forced to investigate. There was a debate program on TV [ Redaksjon 21 ] where judging from the district attorney's comments, she meant that there was no doubt that I was guilty [ and this was before they had actually started investigating ]. She also compared me with an old case where a guy had sold "pirate-cards" for decoding paytv channels, and had earned tens of thousands of dollars. Luckily the biggest inet/computer guru [ Gisle Hannemyhr ] was there too, and the district attorney and the MPAA's lawyer were left biting the dust. Just one thing: if the police actually had any competence, they wouldn't have brought charges against me, because they would have known that they're plain lies. During the interrogation they asked all kinds of questions. Every detail, no matter if it was important or not, was to be included. IMHO, the only reason they seised my computers was in order to try to track down the two other members of MoRE.
2) Support in Norway?
Have you found any support from people (aside from family) in Norway? Has the public reaction to the arrest been favorable (i.e. in support of you) or negative?
The public reaction has been in support of me. Almost the entire norwegian press supports us. The norwegian computer community, "led" by Gisle Hannemyhr, also supports us. Several norwegian computer companies have sent their support [ and told horror stories about the police' computer competence ] and offered me jobs. Last Friday I accepted WAPFactory's offer. WAPFactory works with WAP and interactive/digital tv. They recently bought wap.com for 0,5 million USD
Now you know about all the hassle that has resulted from your posting DeCSS, the arrest, the press attention etc.. If you could go back and change your mind about posting it, would you?
All the press attention has been quite a strain. There have been times where I disconnected my phone just to get some peace. I can't remember doing much homework last week. I do not regret posting DeCSS. It's very important that we stand up against these multibillion corporate interests who seek to dominate with their proprietary standards. It's in consumers interest to be able to make a free choice from whome or where to buy products. Last, but not least, I've never really "fought one" for Linux. I guess this is my way of getting back at Gates for those GPFs ;-)
4) Programming background
by jstepka Where did your original programming experience come from? I'm speaking in terms of your ability to reverse engineer the encryption and apply the key in a useful manner.
Well, first of all, the reverse engineering was done by our german member who wrote the decryption code. My programming days started when I was 11-12 years old. Started off with basic and then moved on to c, c++ and assembler. I've learnt a lot by working with others over the Internet. Greetings go out to all my friends in "you know which coding channels" ;-)
I think that the charges you are facing is rather ridiculous, but I have to wonder: Why Windows? If the motive of you and the group you worked with was to have a DVD player for Linux, why release this program that works only under Windows?
While this was being worked on, Linux did not have UDF [ the filesystem used on dvds ] support. It was thus natural to implement it under Windows in order to test if it actually worked. [ Yes, I've used Windows, nobody's perfect
6) Is there a legal defense fund? Can I contribute?
by Anonymous Coward
It seems like the MPAA has just about unlimited amounts of cash, and I'm guessing you don't. Do you have somebody taking care of funding your defense (i.e., the EFF), or can I send some money to a legal defense fund for you?
The EFF is currently putting together a team of lawyers. It's hard (very hard) to get pro-bono lawyers in Norway, and whether they'll be picking up the bill themselves, or setting up a fund, has yet not been decided. Sorry for not being able to give any more specific info at this time. EFN [ Electronic Frontier Norway - "the norwegian EFF" ] have also been discussing whether or not they should set up a fund.
In discussing this topic with "regualr people" (those folks who don't live and breath tech) I've found general support for the people and very little for the MPA(A).
What, IYHO, is the general reception you have felt about this issue? Have you been able to explain your position and have it understood? What are some of the stranger assumptions you have come up against?
It seems as if we've got strong support from the whole public, with a few exceptions. While many ordinary people do not understand the technical aspects of the case, they do understand that this is a "corporate interests vs. consumers"-fight. The biggest problem has been trying to explain non-tech people that encryption does not prevent copying.
8) A question of laws in your country.
Are "Shrink wrap" agreements enforcable in your country, and are you as a 16 year old subject to contract law? In the us, 16 year olds cannot enter into a contract, I'm wondering if it's the same with you.
Shrink wrap agreements are enforcable only if they are in accordance with norwegian law. You have to be 18 years old to sign [ agree to ] a contract in Norway. Your right to reverse engineer can not be taken away by contract. License agreements during software installation, however, would not hold up in Norwegian court (AFAIK). Not like this is a problem anyway, just decompile the installation package and there you have the files.
9)What Should We Do?
As is a (thankfully) usual reaction to such a blatant injustice, the Slashdot community (and many others) have been scrambling to figure out ways to help you and others prosecuted in the name of this whole DeCSS fiasco.
As one (if not the) most persecuted individual as a result of DeCSS, what do you think the rest of the supporting world should do to help you out? What should the people who want to help do, besides the obvious posting of the DeCSS source and the general badmouthing of the MPAA?
As many as possible should write their local newspapers [ + other media ] and inform them about this injustice. It's also important to get every computer professional to understand that this is a case of freedom of speech. If the MPAA wins this one, I think DeCSS will become the first computer program in the history to be declared illegal. Banning a combination of assembly instructions... Imagine that!