Feeds

Boycott Adobe campaign launches

Follows arrest of security expert

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Protestors, angry about the arrest of a Russian programmer who made a speech the shortcomings of encryption methods used by Adobe, have set up a site calling for a boycott of the software firm.

The Boycott Adobe site highlights the case of Dmitry Sklyarov, who was arrested by the FBI and charged with distributing software that violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Sklyarov, of Russian software firm ElcomSoft, is the author of a $99 program called Advanced eBook Processor, which removes restrictions on reading and printing from encrypted PDF files. He was arrested on Monday after making a presentation entitled "eBook Security: Theory and Practice" at Defcon, the annual hacker's convention in Las Vegas.

The people behind the Boycott Adobe site, which is backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, say that Sklyarov's only crime was to "point out major security flaws in Adobe PDF and eBook software".

Adobe has resorted "to criminal prosecution rather than fixing broken security that hurts Adobe's customers, who have paid good money only to find out their intellectual property is protected by fourth rate security".

They are calling on people to sell shares in Adobe, to rate protest notes to its and their congressman about the handling of the affair and to defer planned upgrades to Adobe software.

Sklyarov's case has aroused particular interest because it is one of the first United States criminal prosecutions under the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The affidavit in the case states that Advanced eBook Processor would allow anyone to read an eBook on any computer without paying the fee to the bookseller. ElcomSoft denies it is involved in facilitating copyright piracy and said its program only increases a purchaser's control of legitimately purchased eBooks.

The Advanced eBook Processor software may make it easier to infringe copyrights, since eBooks, once translated into open formats like PDF, may be distributed in illegitimate ways. On the other hand the program allows people to print, back up, and store electronic books which when used non-commercially may constitute fair use under US copyright law, and Sklyarov's defence rests on this point.

Robin Gross, attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), explained, "The U.S. government for the first time is prosecuting a programmer for building a tool that may be used for many purposes, including those that legitimate purchasers need in order to exercise their fair use rights."

Behind this academic argument lies Sklyarov himself who is languishing in a foreign jail awaiting trial on a charges which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000. ®

External Links

Boycott Abode
ElcomSoft
Cryptome Coverage of Sklyarov Case
Press Release from U.S. Department of Justice
eBook security: theory and practice presentation

Related Stories

eBook security debunker arrested by Feds
WinXP product activation cracked: totally, horribly, fatally
Adobe's legal attack dogs savage open source Killustrator

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.