Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Dmitry Sklyarov: Some Followup Articles

Aug 01, 2001, 22:59 (8 Talkback[s])

Upside: The verdict: Is Adobe a software thug?:

"Members of our jury overwhelmingly felt that Adobe acted thuggishly and ran roughshod over free speech, finding the company guilty by a margin wider than 80 percent on both counts. Jurors were passionate in their indictment of the company, calling its actions antithetical to basic liberal ideals and human rights, commercially stupid and generally un-American. They threatened to unload their Adobe stock, stop buying the company's products and urge others to follow their example.

They also objected vociferously to the idea that Sklyarov's computer cracking was a crime and that his prosecution was a move to protect vital intellectual property rights.

"Last I heard, free speech gives the right to sell ingredients for explosives, to describe techniques on manufacturing drugs or bombs, and folks have the right to blow up their own safe if they want," wrote Juror Tunesmith. "It's actually selling the drugs, robbing the bank, selling the stolen goods that is illegal - and Elcomsoft [Sklyarov's company] doesn't sell pirated ebooks."

NewsForge: Free Sklyarov advocates: More public pressure needed:

"...The focus for most of the protesters is two-fold -- the more immediate goal of getting Sklyarov released from jail and the repeal or wholesale change of the DMCA. Holman, a programmer/computer security expert from San Francisco, would be happy with the first goal, for now. "I want to get Dmitry out of jail so I can retire from activism," he says. "Sadly, this is only the first of many battles in our war against the DMCA, but the rest of the army of supporters can take it from here, I need a break!"

Michael "proclus" Love, who's GNU-Darwin distribution project site has run "Free Dmitry" links and information, says he's not sure what else can be done on the site.

"I have to admit that I'm somewhat at a loss, as far as Dmitry is concerned," Love says. " I have been trying to decide if there is anything more that the Distribution can do for him. We will keep the Free Dmitry banners up until he goes home, and I want to continue our news coverage. The incarceration of Dmitry is an outrage, and people who visit our news links should be able to clearly see why we are outraged."

Slashdot's Jon Katz: Earth to Media: This kid is still in jail:

"The popular media's coverage of the Dmitri Sklyarov case is a scandal. 26-year-old programmer and encryption gadfly Sklyarov has been languishing in jail for almost two weeks now, and the popular media has paid almost no attention to his truly outrageous arrest. It's a case that has the ugliest implications not only for the press (online and off) but for open discussion of technology, and especially for the First Amendment, now clearly being undermined in the name of copyright protection by the DMCA. This is the opposite of whatcopyright law was meant to do.

When reporters were threatened with law enforcement pressure and jail during the Watergate and Pentagon Papers cases, whole forests were felled in the pre-digital age with stories, books, even movies about courageous reporters fighting for the First Amendment against government oppression. Not a single reporter was jailed in those cases, not even for an hour, even though many broke federal and other laws in gathering the information they reported.

You won't see any discussion of Dmitri Sklyarov on Washington talk shows, the evening news, or the cover of the weekly newsmagazines. But he is stuck in jail.

The Minnesota Daily:

"The DMCA should be repealed because it will hinder the industry it is trying to protect by preventing people from exposing security flaws that were missed in the professional development stage. ElcomSoft was to pay Skylarov regardless of whether or not he could write software circumventing the security flaw, so he was clearly not intent on making personal gains from the technology. The Justice Department should not be holding Sklyarov responsible for the company's decisions, not to mention the fact that he was visiting the United States to discuss possible solutions to the security flaw. Differing international laws must also be considered in the case before Sklyarov is tried under U.S. law. All of these circumstances would set a horrible precedent for the DMCA, and the prosecuting attorney should drop his investigation and the suit.

All of this comes down to publishing books in a digital medium, an enterprise that hasn't even been embraced by the public. With this in mind, as well as the problems with the DMCA itself and the questionable jurisdiction that holds Sklyarov here, this case should not be the precedent setter for the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and U.S. authorities should release Dmitry Sklyarov immediately."

The Standard/Yahoo!: The Digital-Music Politico:

"Boucher says he believed from the beginning that the language of the DMCA was flawed and tried back in 1998 to narrow its scope of crime to instances where the sole intent was to infringe copyright.

In spite of certain opposition from the entertainment industry, Boucher is ready to get back in the trenches with his draft legislation, and he thinks he has a real chance to amend the DMCA, given the current focus on the Sklyarov case. "Everyone agrees that we should protect copyrights, but a law that effectively cedes total control of copyrighted material to the copyright owners goes beyond what is necessary to ensure fair compensation to the owner of the copyright," he says.

It's an ambitious plan, and Boucher isn't sure when he'll introduce the new proposed legislation, tentatively called the Digital Music Bill, though he thinks it most likely will be in the fall. Still, he doesn't rule out moving faster. "It could come as soon as this month. It could come later this week," he says. "We're still looking at timing."

Reuters: Artists, scientists protest U.S. copyright arrest:

"Artists joined software programmers and free speech advocates on Monday in protesting the arrest of a Russian man on charges of violating a controversial new copyright law.

About 100 people gathered under cloudy skies carrying a large ``Free Dmitry'' banner, placards proclaiming ``Reading is a Right, not a Feature,'' and chanting slogans.

The group walked two blocks from a civic plaza across from the public library and City Hall to the federal building where the U.S. Attorney's office is building its case against Dmitry Sklyarov."

Related Stories (on Dmitry Sklyarov):
New York Times: Jail Time in the Digital Age(Jul 30, 2001)
Linux Journal: Hacking Vegas at Black Hat and DEF CON: One Geek's Experience (Jul 29, 2001)
Sklyarov Case: EFF Rejoins Protests After Meeting with US Attorney's Office(Jul 27, 2001)
PCWorld: Russian Programmer Remains Behind Bars(Jul 26, 2001)
Adobe, Electronic Frontier Foundation Call for Release of Russian Programmer(Jul 24, 2001)
LinuxPlanet: comment: The Digital Millennium Rape Act(Jul 23, 2001)
Linux Journal: Free Dmitry Sklyarov!(Jul 22, 2001)
LWN: Alan Cox Resigns from ALS Committee, "Maddog" Hall Disagrees(Jul 20, 2001)
Wired.com: Hacker Arrest Stirs Protest(Jul 19, 2001)

Related Stories (DMCA-related items):
EFF/Edward Felten Launch Case Challenging the DMCA(Jun 06, 2001)
Two Items on DeCSS: 2600 Answers the Court's "11 Questions," Peter Junger on the DMCA(May 31, 2001)
WIRED: U.S.: DVD Decoder is Terrorware (May 02, 2001)
Community Column: Corporatism verses Digital Freedom: An Open Letter to Senator Hatch(Mar 09, 2001)
TechLaw Journal: Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia on the DMCA and Fair Use Doctrine(Mar 08, 2001)
Wired: Copyright or Copy Wrong?(Feb 16, 2001)
EFF.org: 46 Law Professors Say DMCA Unconstitutional(Jan 29, 2001)
Cryptome.org: Friend of Court Brief: DeCSS is a copyrightable literary work; DMCA cited to prove it(Jan 25, 2001)
The Register: Senator Hatch's Napster Epiphany(Oct 24, 2000)
The Register: Cracker education site folds on DMCA threat(Jul 18, 2000)
Wired: DMCA Has Its Day(May 19, 2000)
Arne Flones -- The Digital Millenium Copyright Act: A Corporate Bully Bludgeon(Jan 25, 2000)
Linux Journal: Copyright Strikes Back(Nov 23, 1999)