State prosecutors announced Monday that they won’t appeal a recent court ruling in favour of Jon Lech Johansen, the young computer whiz who was charged with copyright infringement.
After four years, DVD-Jon can finally breathe easily. At the age of 16, he was charged by state prosecutors backed by the American entertainment industry because of the computer program he created called DeCSS. The program, which he publicised on the Internet, allows owners of DVDs to view them on computers instead of DVD players. The prosecutors charged the program also opened up the DVDs to pirate copying. The Norwegian court disagreed, arguing that Lech Johansen could not be held accountable or punished for others’ use of his program.
Last month, an appeals court held up a lower court’s acquittal of all charges against him. It was long expected Økokrim, the Norwegian Economic Crime Unit would appeal the case to the country’s supreme court (Høyesterett), but prosecutors changed their minds for unknown reasons, according to Norwegian daily, Aftenposten.
Lech Johansen was still on vacation in France, but his defense lawyer Halvor Manshaus told that his client expressed relief and satisfaction when he heard the news.
“You have to remember that Jon has grown up with these charges hanging over him,” Manshaus told news bureau NTB.
“It’s been quite a burden.”