Thwarting the Peasants: A Guided and Rambunctious Tour Through the 2600 DeCSS Legal Files

Presented at HOPE X (2014), July 19, 2014, 4 p.m. (60 minutes)

In 2000, a whole lot of movie companies sued a whole lot of people over the coding of a routine called DeCSS, which would allow the access and playback of DVDs in Linux and any other platform that felt the burning desire to watch Hollywood movies. The full name of the court case has a name too long for this description, but by the time it was over, a whole host of individuals had dropped out, leaving 2600 Magazine and the rest fighting over the point of whether linking to infringing materials is itself infringement. The case was decided in Hollywood's favor, and passed into the realm of history. A decade later, the extensive files related to this case were slated for disposal, and Jason Scott volunteered to take possession of them. These files are now being scanned in, and contain all manner of amazing material, some highlights of which will be shown in this presentation. The case was a time capsule of an industry expecting yet another rolling over of the populace as to who truly owned the media. It didn't quite work out that way. Expect a level of excitement not usually found in court transcripts and evidence collections.


  • Jason Scott
    Jason Scott is a troublemaker. He makes up for being a troublemaker by being a really loud troublemaker. In cases where this is not warranted, he becomes a screaming ranting chair-throwing troublemaker. He runs, has made several documentaries, and is lightly amusing.