August 29, 2001

Grand jury charges Russian company and programmer

Author: JT Smith

San Jose, California - A United States grand jury
this
afternoon indicted Russian company Elcomsoft along
with
previously jailed programmer Dmitry Sklyarov on
charges
of trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in a
copyright
circumvention device.

Since the grand jury handed down a five-count
indictment,
Sklyarov -- who is out of custody on $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.

"We have been hearing from many people about lawful
uses of Elcomsoft's computer program," explained
Cindy
Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation Legal Director.
"It's outrageous that the unconstitutional Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) could put this young
man
away for much of the rest of his life."

"We were hoping that the government would see the
wisdom
and justice in not pursuing a case against
Sklyarov,"
said his attorney, Joseph M. Burton of Duane Morris
in
San Francisco. "Even if one were to ignore the
serious
legal questions involving the DMCA, this case hardly
cries out for criminal prosecution. Sklyarov's and
Elcomsoft's actions are not conduct that Congress
intended to criminalize. We will vigorously contest
these
charges."

Sklyarov and his attorneys will appear at an
arraignment
scheduled for 9:30 AM Pacific time this Thursday,
August 30, 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.

Well-dressed observers plan to attend the
arraignment
and nonviolent protests are scheduled in Moscow
(Russia),
London (England), Boston, San Francisco, Los
Angeles,
and Black Rock City, Nevada.

Directions and map to San Jose Federal Building:
http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/CourtInfo.nsf/6f311f8841e7da2488256405006827f0/f3b46c67b334132e88256682007f6ba9?OpenDocument

Background on the Sklyarov case:
http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/US_v_Sklyarov/

Calendar of protests related to the Sklyarov case:
http://freesklyarov.org/calendar/

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:
http://www.eff.org/

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