What a fantastic conspiracy theory.
August 30, 2001 8:38 AM   Subscribe

What a fantastic conspiracy theory. This article basically accuses the Department of Justice of taking Dmitry Sklyarov hostage. It has convinced me, although admittedly that doesn't take a lot.
posted by Atom Heart Mother (7 comments total)
That makes a lot of sense. If they wanted to screw Elcomsoft they needed someway of getting them involved. It is a bad law and this is about the worst example of its use that there could be. We will see today whether the Government are prepared to take this all the way.
posted by kRailey at 9:11 AM on August 30, 2001

Crap, I say fry him. If the US does protect its copyright you will have the whole of S.E. Asia pirating like you would not believe. People produce this stuff, and it costs money. Piracy was bad enough before the digital age, now it is going to be epidemic.
posted by Wet Wednesday at 9:23 AM on August 30, 2001

I like the take here:

'It was easy to see how ElcomSoft could conceivably be put in the frame but the DOJ didn't have jurisdiction, whereas they did have physical jurisdiction over Dmitry but they didn't have a viable claim. However by bringing both these parties together suddenly the game was on. '

It would be good to get a lawyers opinion on the whole matter. There is definately something dubious going on.
posted by J.R. at 10:08 AM on August 30, 2001

Elcomsoft president has just responded to the charges against the company and Dmitry Sklyarov.

"I am saddened by the Justice Department's treatment of my employee and friend, Dmitry Sklyarov. This is a very unfortunate and misguided attempt to enforce the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It appears that the Justice Department is looking for its first test case under the DMCA, but they have mistakenly singled out an individual, simply for developing a program."

"My top concern is for Dmitry, his future, and that of his young family."

posted by kRailey at 10:22 AM on August 30, 2001

Both accused were in court this morning and pleaded not guilty.

Extra from e-mail, Electronic Freedom Foundation release.

'Sklyarov -- who is out of custody on US $50,000 bail --
could face a prison term of up to twenty-five years and a
US $2,250,000 fine. As a corporation, Elcomsoft faces a
potential US $2,500,000 fine.'

If you think about it behaps it does make sense that Dmitry was arrested so that the Department of Justice could get to Elcomsoft.
posted by Atom Heart Mother at 11:20 AM on August 30, 2001

No - If you read the complaint, he was arrested because he was the copyright holder on software that was being sold illegally in the US under the horrible, overly-restrictive, anti-consumer/public/American provisions of the DMCA. Have I mentioned this is a really bad law?

Adobe has admitted that they didn't think they could prevail in a civil case against Elcomsoft, which is about as close as the linked story gets to reality. I'm not sure why they didn't go after the American distributor instead of targeting Dmitry. I suppose they were thinking here is a Russian hacker that nobody cares about who is about to conveniently place himself within the jurisdiction of our hired government thugs. Let's use him to really make a point.

I'm not sure they were anticipating the backlash although they seem to have come through that relatively unharmed. I would be surprised if Dmitry/Elcomsoft didn't settle this, and I don't want to see Dmitry detained any longer, but I would love to see the DMCA fall as unconstitutional. Apparently the mere fact that it's ridiculous doesn't mean a whole lot to our elected law makers, but hopefully the other branch of government will correct that mistake.

Wet Wednesday - I see you're new to MetaFilter, and I can't tell if your post was just a Troll or not. We generally don't have much use for trolls around here, but to give you the benefit of the doubt, you might want to look at the case surrounding Dmitry a little more closely. It really doesn't have much to do with protecting copyrights. It's about extending copyrights to take away long established rights the public has reserved in return for granting a temporary monopoly on intellectual property.
posted by willnot at 5:04 PM on August 30, 2001

The initial charge against him. although it suggested that they may claim Dmitry to be the copyright holder, it didn't actually do that.

The American company didnot actually distribute the product, they accepted US payments and were therefore part of the purchase and distribution chain.

I think 'willnot', that you have fallen for what they wish you to believe, i.e. that they made a stupid mistake. I don't think that that many clever people would have done that. They were after Elcomsoft and the used Dmitry to get them, oh, and look, it worked.
posted by Atom Heart Mother at 5:49 PM on August 30, 2001

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