August 21, 2001

EFF: Russian programmer to appear in California court

Author: JT Smith

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, California.

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 case.

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.

-- Dmitry Sklyarov

Directions and map to San Jose Federal Building:

Background on the Sklyarov case:

Calendar of protests related to the Sklyarov case:

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 trial.

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 studios.

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.

Directions and map to San Jose Appellate Court Building:

Background on the DVD Copy Control Assoc., Inc. v.
Bunner case:

About EFF:

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 websites in the world:

About FAP:

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:

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