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Norway Won't Appeal 'DVD Jon'

5 Jan, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Norwegian authorities have decided not to contest last month's ruling by an Oslo appeals court that cleared 20-year-old Jon Johansen of DVD piracy charges.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the DVD Copy Control Association filed data-theft charges against Johansen in 2000, alleging that he had accessed a movie DVD using a computer that was not licensed with DVDCCA protection software.

In January 2003, a three-judge Oslo city court panel acquitted Johansen of the charges, but the decision was appealed shortly thereafter by prosecutors. In March, the appeals court agreed to hear the case.

“The prosecution of Johansen for ‘breaking into' DVDs that he already owned was wrong from the beginning,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation legal director Cindy Cohn. “We hope this decision will serve as a model for protecting consumer rights elsewhere.”

The MPAA, which estimates that the U.S. motion picture industry loses in excess of $3 billion annually in potential worldwide revenue due to piracy, was unavailable for comment.

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