December 08, 2002

Jon Johansen and DeCSS

I've just mentioned the criminal (pun intended) Jon Johansen's trial is next week (December 9 - 13). For people interested in background on DeCSS, the best account of the origin of DeCSS is his trial testimony

(I feel for that anonymous German programmer)

Q. Who wrote DeCSS?
A. I and two other people wrote DeCSS.
Q. Mr. Johansen, what did you do next towards making DeCSS?
A. We agreed that the person who I met would reverse engineer a DVD player in order to obtain the CSS algorithm and keys.
Q. Who was this person that you met on the Internet?
A. A person from Germany. I don't know his identity.
Q. Okay. What happened next?
A. About three days later when I was on line again, he messaged me and told me that he had found the CSS algorithm. He also sent the algorithm to me with the CSS authentication source which are written by Eric [ed: this is a mishearing of Derek] Fawcus earlier. He also sent me information on where inside the player he had found the algorithm, and he also sent me a single player key.
Q. Thank you very much. Now, you testified on direct that a German person, I think, had reverse-engineered the Xing DVD player, is that correct?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. And that person goes by the nick Ham?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. And it's Ham who wrote the source code that performed the authentication function in DeCSS, is that correct?
A. No, that is not correct. He did not write the authentication code. He wrote the decryption code.
Q. He wrote the encryption code?
A. Decryption code.
Q. Decryption.
A. Yes.
Q. Ham is a member of Masters of Reverse Engineering or MORE?
A. That's correct.
Q. And are you also a member of MORE?
A. Yes.
Q. There are other members in Germany and Holland, is that correct?
A. Well, the third member is in the Netherlands.
Q. And it was Ham's reverse engineering of the Xing DVD player that revealed the CSS encryption algorithm, am I right?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. Reverse engineering by Ham took place in or about September 1999?
A. Yes, I believe it was late in September of 1999.
Q. And you testified that it was this revelation of the CSS encryption algorithm and not any weakness in the CSS cipher that allowed MORE to create DeCSS, is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. You obtained the decryption portions of the DeCSS source code from Ham, correct?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. You then compiled the source code and created the executable?
A. Well, in the form I received it, it was not compatible.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca , legal | on December 08, 2002 01:28 AM (Infothought permalink)

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