EFF: Grand Jury Charges Russian Company and Programmer

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Tue Aug 28 23:18:20 EDT 2001

--- begin forwarded text

Status:  U
Date:         Tue, 28 Aug 2001 21:36:55 -0400
Reply-To: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
Sender: Law & Policy of Computer Communications
From: Seth Finkelstein <sethf at MIT.EDU>
Subject:      EFF: Grand Jury Charges Russian Company and Programmer

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2001


Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director, cindy at eff.org,
   +1 415 436-9333 x108 (office),
   +1 415 823-2148 (cell)

Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations,
   press at eff.org, +1 415 436-9333 x111 (office),
   +1 415 794-6064 (cell)

Grand Jury Charges Russian Company and Programmer

Adds Conspiracy to Circumvention Trafficking Charge

San Jose, California - A United States grand jury this
afternoon indicted Russian company Elcomsoft along with
previously jailed programmer Dmitry Sklyarov on charges
of trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in a copyright
circumvention device.

Since the grand jury handed down a five-count indictment,
Sklyarov -- who is out of custody on $50,000 bail -- could
face a prison term of up to twenty-five years and a US
$2,250,000 fine. As a corporation, Elcomsoft faces a
potential US $2,500,000 fine.

"We have been hearing from many people about lawful
uses of Elcomsoft's computer program," explained Cindy
Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation Legal Director.
"It's outrageous that the unconstitutional Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) could put this young man
away for much of the rest of his life."

"We were hoping that the government would see the wisdom
and justice in not pursuing a case against Sklyarov,"
said his attorney, Joseph M. Burton of Duane Morris in
San Francisco. "Even if one were to ignore the serious
legal questions involving the DMCA, this case hardly
cries out for criminal prosecution. Sklyarov's and
Elcomsoft's actions are not conduct that Congress
intended to criminalize. We will vigorously contest these

Sklyarov and his attorneys will appear at an arraignment
scheduled for 9:30 AM Pacific time this Thursday,
August 30, with US Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg
presiding, in courtroom 4, 5th floor of the Federal
District Court for the Northern District of California,
San Jose Branch, 280 South 1st Street, in San Jose,

Well-dressed observers plan to attend the arraignment
and nonviolent protests are scheduled in Moscow (Russia),
London (England), Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles,
and Black Rock City, Nevada.

Directions and map to San Jose Federal Building:

Background on the Sklyarov case:

Calendar of protests related to the Sklyarov case:

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--- end forwarded text

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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