A motion by a movie-industry group for a temporary restraining order aimed at stopping the distribution of software and information that can be used to sidestep the encryption scheme on DVDs was denied Dec. 29 by a judge in Santa Clara County, Calif. (DVD Copy Control Association v. McLaughlin, Super Ct. Calif., No. CV-786804, filed and argued 12/29/99).

The case was brought by the DVD Copy Control Association, a not-for-profit organization that licenses the content scramble systems (CSS) used for DVDs. It argued for a temporary restraining order against 72 named and anonymous individuals who, the group said, were violating trade-secret law by distributing or promoting the distribution of a program called DeCSS, which defeats the encryption technology used on DVDs. The complaint claims that the defendants were acting unlawfully either in distributing the source code for DeCSS directly or in publishing links to websites where the code could be found.