The first indictment under the DMCA could imprison Sklyarov for 25 years.
August 28, 2001 10:26 PM   Subscribe

The first indictment under the DMCA could imprison Sklyarov for 25 years. Adobe and the US's plan to put the fear of the DMCA into the hearts of billions is going according to plan.
posted by skallas (10 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

he who has the money has the power.
posted by jcterminal at 10:38 PM on August 28, 2001

The DCMA was passed by our repersentatives in Congress. If we don't like, we get it repealed or changed or thrown out.

Sound optimistic? Well, it's all we got.
posted by dewelch at 10:53 PM on August 28, 2001

What a shame that the first potential test case of DMCA is against a man who would just as soon return to the other side of the world to be with his family (and who can really blame him). This means he will almost certainly take a plea bargain, and those can't be appealed.

Don't get me wrong, I find the charges absurd! But I still would like to see charges brought against someone who is willing to fight a Bad Law to the Supremes if necessary.
posted by ilsa at 11:00 PM on August 28, 2001

It's times like this that I wish the Duma would pass a law making it a crime to make a device that circumvents common sense, then invite every US congresscritter who voted for the DMCA to speak at a conference in Moscow.
posted by holgate at 11:06 PM on August 28, 2001

It's kind of funny, in a pathetic "movie, software, and music studios bought this law and are going to kill people over it" way, that Sklyarov's boss is giving the same talk this week, unhindered in Amsterdam.
posted by mathowie at 11:38 PM on August 28, 2001

It's utterly pathetic. Is the US system so corrupt that any big business can buy a few congressmen and senators and get any law they like passed? I hope I'm exaggerating, but I fear that I'm not.

We have our own problem in the UK with inept digital age laws (RIP) but at least I don't feel they were passed purely to kot-tow to business.
posted by salmacis at 12:26 AM on August 29, 2001

Salmacis: It's not directly corrupt, so much as there's just very little access to Congress for ordinary people, and when ordinary people's interests conflict with "obvious" economic interests of the business community, they get creamed. I sincerely doubt that there is more than a single-digit list of Congressmen (if that) who have any understanding or interest in the concept of how trademark and copyright law are circumscribing our culture, handing over economic control of that culture to the corporate interests just as ordinary people get access to publishing tools like the internet. In short, most Congressmen as it is come from the business or law communities, and both parties are very anxious on a regular basis to demonstrate their pro-business credentials, so they're already primed to pass anything the business community wants. It's an uphill battle.

Now, all hope is not lost. I strongly suspect that the Federal courts will be taking a very dim view of this prosecution. Sklyarov may well be acquitted. Beyond that, he will have avenues of appeal, and that will expose this dumb law to judicial review. Eventually the Supreme Court may have an opportunity to overturn it outright, as has happened with the Communications Decency Act and as may occur this fall with the Children Online Protection Act (which is on the 2001-02 docket).
posted by dhartung at 12:38 AM on August 29, 2001

This article outlines the merits of the case well. The history behind it is also articulated well:

' The Afghan Islamic extremist wannabee, FBI Special Agent O'Connell, fresh from a two legged human rights refresher course in Shanghai and Houston, filed an Affidavit in support of a complaint made against Dimitry by the Cuban owned Adobe Systems Inc. He has been accused of violating two sections of the N. Korean backed Digital Millennium Copyright Act.'

According to its conclusion, basically there isn't just one reason why this case should be thrown out, but loads.
posted by Atom Heart Mother at 1:07 AM on August 29, 2001

Atom, That is a good article. It would be ironic if Dmitry went down as the leading star in getting the DMCA reversed.
posted by Wet Wednesday at 2:12 AM on August 29, 2001

This makes me want to cry.
posted by jammer at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2001

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