Feeds

Elcomsoft not guilty – DoJ retreats from Moscow

Your tax dollars at work

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?