Madsen V. Women's Health Center Case Summary

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Jon Johansen, a resident of Norway, purchased a computer program for playing digital versatile discs (DVDs) and reverse-engineered the program to obtain the Content Scramble System (CSS) algorithm, however, the program that Johansen purchased was subject to a click-through license provision forbidding such activates. The license informed users that the program contained confidential trade secret and forbade reverse engineering of the program, however, Johansen, successfully obtained the CSS code and wrote a program called DeCSS that allowed individuals to decrypt the CSS source code that is embedded in the DVD thus allowing them to play and copy movies in an unencrypted format. October 1999, Johansen posted DeCSS on a website, that later appeared on a website maintained by Andrew Bunner.
Two months after the initial posting of DeCSS on the website maintained by Bunner, the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) brought suit under the California Uniform Trade Secret Act against Bunner and others who allegedly published DeCSS or provided links to websites publishing DeCSS. The complaint
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The court cited from the U.S. Supreme Court case Madsen v. Women’s Health Center, noting that “that the critical question is whether the injunction is content-neutral or content-based. The court answered the question by observing that while that the injunction prohibited speech by its content, the governmental purpose behind prohibiting speech was entirely unrelated to its content, thus determining that the restriction on Bunner’s speech was incidental to the governments primary purpose of protecting trade secrets., therefore as long as the injunction serves important government purposes unrelated to the content of the prohibited speech, it will remain

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