Norway Teenage Cyber-Piracy Trial Ends

A landmark trial of a teenager in Norway over Hollywood charges of video piracy ended on Monday with prosecutors urging a suspended 90-day jail term.

Jon Johansen, known in Norway as "DVD Jon," is charged with having unlocked a code and distributed a computer program enabling unauthorized copying of DVD movies, angering Hollywood studios who fear mass piracy and loss of vast revenues.

"The thief who breaks into his own flat is not committing any crime," Johansen's lawyer, Halvor Manshaus, told the Oslo court in his closing argument of the case -- seen as a battle between cyber Davids and corporate Goliaths.

Johansen, 19, has become a symbol for hackers worldwide who say making software like his is an act of intellectual freedom rather than theft. Johansen made the so-called DeCSS program when he was 15.

Following five days of hearings, prosecutor Inger Marie Sunde spent much of her closing argument saying that Johansen, participating in what she called gang crime, was a key player in developing the DeCSS program.

"I think this case is about gang crime. It is beyond any doubt that there was a rivalry" in developing the program, she said. Sunde called for a suspended 90 day sentence for Johansen under allegations that could bring a maximum two years' prison.

The judge, helped by two experts, is expected to make a ruling -- the first of its kind in Norway -- early next year

News source: Newshub

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