Feeds

Elcomsoft not guilty – DoJ retreats from Moscow

Your tax dollars at work

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The Russian software company which has found itself on trial in an American court was acquitted on all counts of circumventing the DMCA today.

Elcomsoft's woes began in August last year, when programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was charged under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's circumvention 1201 clauses (one small part of which is under review by the Librarian of Congress) while visiting Las Vegas for a technical conference. Skylarov was imprisoned for his part in creating an Adobe eBook reader that permitted fair-use of copyright material, and imprisoned pending trial.

Facing a public backlash, Adobe urged prosecutors not to pursue the case, and Sklyarov was freed last December in a deal where he agreed to testify in the case against his employer. The US Department of Justice picked up the reins.

At the trial the prosecution compared Elcomsoft to Enron and tried to implicate Sklyarov with US computer hacker networks. An outraged prosecution attorney asked if Dmity had considered breaking the US law. Sklyarov, who lives and works in Russia, quite reasonably said that at the time he couldn't care less.

During the trial, it emerged that Elcomsoft's clients include US federal law enforcement agencies, and even Adobe itself.

The Judge asked the Jury to consider if the Elcomsoft had intended the eBook reader to be used for copyright violation, and today the Jury agreed that it hadn't.

"Today's jury verdict sends a strong message to federal prosecutors who believe that tool makers should be thrown in jail just because a copyright owner doesn't like the tools they build," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann.

We'll get ya'! says the Business Software Alliance in its response to the verdict.

"The DMCA has clear criminal penalties that can and should be imposed in cases of direct or attempted theft of software and other digital content ... we would urge prosecutors to continue aggressively pursuing alleged violations of the law," it said in a shameful statement that willfully associates legal fair use with piracy. (Adobe is also a BSA member).

There's a long way to go. The DMCA was recently cited in a case that claimed price lists were trade secrets, and a successful attempt to takedown a parody site. ®

Related Stories

'I'm no hacker', Sklyarov tells US court
Jury scrutinises DMCA in ElcomSoft case
ElcomSoft rubbishes eBook security ahead of Sklyarov case
Deadline nears for DMCA exemptions
FatWallet.com fights back in WalMart DMCA action
Big chem deploys DMCA to takedown parody site

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.