In a Massachusetts court hearing this morning, Eddy Jansson of Sweden and Matthew Skala of Canada agreed to turn over the program they created, which allows others to gain access to Cyber Patrol's proprietary list of Web sites blocked from children's computers.
They also promised not to teach anyone else how to decode the software, said Sydney Rubin, Cyber Patrol's spokeswoman. It was a no-cash settlement.
Jansson faces a $100,000 fine if he breaks the condition of the settlement, and Skala could serve jail time because such a violation in Canada is a criminal offense.
"We achieved what we wanted," Rubin said. "We protected our customers and defended our intellectual property."
Attorneys for the two alleged offenders could not immediately be reached for comment.
The settlement brought to a close a two-week ordeal for the men, who had argued that their actions amounted to "fair use," meaning that they were protected under digital copyright laws to decode Cyber Patrol's software.
But U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington disagreed, granting a temporary restraining order against the men. Within hours of the ruling, activists copied Jansson and Skala's program and began distributing it across the Internet.
Cyber Patrol's manufacturer, Microsystems Software, then sought subpoenas for three young Web operators who distributed the program, called "cphack," which allows children access to questionable Web sites that had previously been blocked.
Attorney Chris Hansen of the American Civil Liberties Union today argued on behalf of the three operators, asking the judge to lift the restraining order against his clients.
"My clients did not act in concert with the two defendants," Hansen said. "All they did was create a mirror site, copying what the defendants wrote--not anything that Cyber Patrol wrote. The order shouldn't bind them."
A decision in Hansen's matter is pending.