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Cryptome: Press Release: Department of Justice on Sklyarov/Elcom Indictment

Aug 29, 2001, 09:35 (5 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Ned Ulbricht for this link. ]

"This is the first indictment under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), enacted by Congress in 1998. The DMCA requires that the government prove a defendant offered to the public, provided, or trafficked in technology that was primarily designed to circumvent copyright protections, or was marketed for use in circumventing copyright protections. The statute provides criminal penalties where the copyright violations are perpetrated for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain. The DMCA also contains certain exemptions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions, as well as for reverse engineering and encryption research.

According to the indictment, Elcom and Mr. Sklyarov are alleged to have conspired, for commercial advantage and private financial gain, to traffic in a technology that was primarily designed and produced for the purpose of circumventing, and was marketed by the defendants for use in circumventing, the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader. The indictment alleges that prior to June 20, 2001, Mr. Sklyarov and others wrote a program called the Advanced eBook Processor ("AEBPR"), the primary purpose of which was to remove any and all limitations on an ebook purchaser's ability to copy, distribute, print, have the text read audibly by the computer, or any other limitation imposed by the publisher or distributor of the ebook.

The indictment alleges that Elcom made the AEBPR program available for purchase on the website elcomsoft.com which was hosted in Chicago, Illinois. According to the indictment, individuals wishing to purchase the AEBPR program were permitted to download a partially functional copy of the program from elcomsoft.com, and then were directed to pay approximately $99 to an online payment service RegNow, based in Issaquah, Washington. Upon making a payment via the RegNow website, Elcom provided purchasers a registration number permitting full-use of the AEBPR program."

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