DeCSS Central

This site contains links and local copies of all relevant information about DVD, CSS, DeCSS, LiVid, the DVD CCA and MPAA and the various lawsuits surrounding DeCSS.
You will quickly notice that there are almost no graphics and no fancy layout here - this is all about content, not marketing.
A longer introduction and a disclaimer can be found here.

Note: This page is no longer being maintained. In fact, it is becoming rapidly outdated and is preserved mainly for historical reasons. No new events have been considered.
It certainly means I can put a closure to this website. It's about time.

Final Update

(Jan 23, 2004) DVD CCA has dropped its case. Does that mean I can travel to California again without fear for arrest?

Last Updates

I have received a .zip allegedly containing the source code of the decss program, it's in the download section.
I have also received via anonymous remailer a programm called css cat. It uses libdvdcss to copy the mpeg stream from a DVD to someplace else. I have not had a chance to check this program out, so try at your own risk.

The California Appeals Court has, for now, struck down the injunction and reversed the lower court's ruling on free speech reasons.

The US Anti-Trust Division has publish a report including a list of members in the DVD CCA cartel. (thanks to cryptome for the plain-text excerpt)

A smoking gun - read this WIPO document (.pdf format) for some interesting information straight from the horse's mouth - a Time Warner analyst and a DVD CCA lawyer. It clearly refutes most of the claims made by judge Kaplan and the MPAA and tells a quite different story.
Cryptome has created an HTML version of the document.

If you are interested in not supporting the CSS crazyness, but still want to watch DVDs, maybe this list of (CSS) Free DVDs will be useful to you.


CSS stands for Content Scrambling System, a (very weak) encryption used for movie DVDs.
DeCSS is a small piece of software that breaks the CSS encryption and allows the reading of encrypted DVDs.
For better understanding, this chapter also contains a lot of background information about how CSS works and how it was defeated.
more about DeCSS


LiVid is an open-source project to bring video and DVD playback to Linux. For various reasons, it required the breaking of the CSS "encryption", and DeCSS was in fact partly developed as part of the LiVid project.
more about LiVid

DVD CCA and their lawsuit(s)

The DVD CCA is a trade organization with the sole purpose of licensing CSS. On December 27th, 1999 DVD CCA sued over 500 people in at least 11 nations for making DeCSS available for download, or for linking to a site that does so, claiming "misappropriation of trade secrets".
On December 29th, 1999 their request for a temporary restraint order (TRO) was turned down. On January 18th, 2000, a preliminary injunction was granted until the case is resolved.
MPAA has joined DVD CCA on January 17th, 2000 in a New York lawsuit that might well put the Digital Millenium Act to the test.
more about DVD CCA and their lawsuit(s)

DeArt Contest

Illegal Art? You can get your dose right at the DeArt Contest.

What Might Be Going On

Possible reasons and explanations for the DVD CCA and MPAA over-reactions. Notice: The content of this page is speculative. I don't claim that it's true, I just claim that it's possible.
paranoid speculations.

Press Sightings

Recently, quite a lot has been written about DeCSS and related topics. With over 150 articles, this is the - to my knowledge - most complete collection of links to news articles about DeCSS and the lawsuits.
read the press sightings list

Personal Comments

The final page contains my personal comments about various items. In the above parts I try to be impartial, stating only facts and items I believe I can prove if necessary. This chapter, however, is purely opinion.
see my personal comments

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