Plenty of battles remain in the litigation between the motion picture industry and the individuals who have developed or helped distribute the program that unscrambles DVD movies. But the movie companies may have already won the public relations war. Which is a shame, because just about everything they’ve said about these cases is misleading when it’s not just plain wrong.

The linchpin of these cases is a little program called DeCSS, which unlocks the movie industry’s encryption of movie DVDs. In late January a federal judge in New York preliminarily enjoined three defendants who operated Web sites that distributed information about copying DVDs. One day later, a judge in a California state court enjoined another group of defendants.