Universal City Studios V Reimerdes

Universal City Studios vs. Reimerdes
111 F. Supp. 2d 294 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)

Shawn Reimerdes was one of the three editors for 2600.com. He was accused of copyright infringement by Universal City Studios in 2000. The website published the decryption software to crack the copyright license of digital versatile disk (DVD) and used it unofficially. DVDs are in a protected format. By embedding the Content Scramble System algorithm, the software code that runs in the background, users are prevented from making illegal copies of DVDs. Shawn Reimerdes posted a code on his site to decrypt the Content Scramble System algorithm, thereby encouraging users to engage in unauthorized copying of DVDs and violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Reimerdes was served a preliminary injunction to stop posting this code and to remove any previously posted information. However, the other editor, Eric Corley, wanted to test the court order so he removed the content but in turn posted links to other sites hosting such decrypting software. This was considered ‘electronic civil disobedience’ which cannot be protected under first-amendment rights.

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