"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
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
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