Norway to MPAA: Drop Dead


That's the subtext of a ruling by Norwegian court that found nothing wrong with writing a piece of software to play DVDs on Linux boxes.

The Motion Picture Association of America had argued the only possible use of the decryption utility was to pirate DVDs. The judge found no evidence that piracy was the intent.

The decision sets up a kind of fair use safe harbor, at least in Norway, for non-MPAA approved software. It also keeps alive the distinction between private, non-commercial use of legally acquired products and criminal theft. The big content guys have been hammering hard at that distinction in court cases and in legislation literally across the globe.

Let's see if US courts can grok the difference.