San Jose, California - Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov will
appear in a California federal court this Thursday, August 23, for
an arraignment on charges of trafficking in a copyright
circumvention device. For programming a software application that
appears to be legal in Moscow where he wrote it, Sklyarov -- who is
out of custody on $50,000 bail -- faces a potential prison term of
five years and a $500,000 fine.
The arraignment is scheduled for 9:30 AM Pacific time 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,
Nonviolent protests are scheduled outside the hearing in San
Jose, and later in the week in Moscow (Russia), Cambridge
(England), London (England), Minneapolis, Boston, San Francisco,
Los Angeles, and Black Rock City, Nevada.
Dmitry Skylarov issued the following statement thanking the
activists who have taken up his cause:
To everyone who spent their time helping me:
During the three weeks I spent in jail I learned that many
people were protesting against my arrest. I also learned that Adobe
withdrew its support of my arrest after meeting with EFF. But I was
not able to see that or to read letters and articles about my
After being released from jail on August 6, I was really
surprised and impressed by the scale of the action and the number
of people involved in the protests. I'm not an IT superman. I'm
just a programmer, like many others. It was unexpected by me that
so many people would support a guy from another country that nobody
heard about before.
Your support means a lot to me and my family and makes a
difference for all.
This experience is going to change me in a profound way that I
cannot even appreciate fully as yet. Thank you very much.
Coincidentally, the same afternoon nearby in San Jose, a
California state appellate court will hear oral arguments regarding
whether dozens of Internet publishers can be ordered to "stop the
presses" pending the outcome of a California trade secrets
In January 2000, as part of a trade secrets case brought by the
motion picture industry, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge
William Elfving ordered that Andrew Bunner and numerous other
defendants halt Internet publication of the source code for DeCSS
pending the outcome of a trial. DeCSS is free software that allows
people to play DVDs without technological restrictions, such as
platform limitations and region codes, that are preferred by movie
Bunner, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and
the First Amendment Project, is appealing this prior restraint on
his free speech rights. The case is In Re: DVD Copy Control Assoc.,
Inc. v. Bunner, case no. H021153. Oral arguments will begin at 1:30
PM before California's Sixth Appellate Court, located at 333 West
Santa Clara Street, Suite 1060, San Jose, CA 95113.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
organization working to protect rights in the digital world.
Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry
and government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in
the information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world: http://www.eff.org/
The First Amendment Project (FAP) is a nonprofit, public interest
law firm established in 1991 to protect, defend, and further the
rights to participate in and know about government activities and
speak freely about public issues: http://thefirstamendment.org/
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