A California state appellate court heard oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit aiming to stop publication of a program, dubbed DeCSS, that makes it possible to decrypt DVD security. The DVD Copy Control Association is arguing that the program violates trade secrets. Last year, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Elfvig granted the association's request for a preliminary injunction, causing Andrew Bunner and other defendants to halt online publication of the source code. Bunner, who is represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the First Amendment Project, filed an appeal.
At Thursday's hearing, the advocacy groups argued the court had made a mistake in issuing the injunction. "What the injunction did was it forced Andrew Bunner to edit his Web site," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Our argument is whenever you are forcing somebody to edit their Web site, the First Amendment has to be applied--and the Superior Court didn't apply it." Cohn said a ruling is expected within 90 days.