December 18, 2001

RMS: Americans not safe from the DMCA

Author: JT Smith

"Dmitry Sklyarov is safe from the DMCA, but Americans are not. We must
not lose the impetus that his case provided."
From:    Richard Stallman 
Subject: [DMITRY-BOSTON] Continuing the fight
Date:    Fri, 14 Dec 2001 23:36:46 -0700 (MST)

Dmitry Sklyarov is safe from the DMCA, but Americans are not.  We must
not lose the impetus that his case provided.

The dropping of charges against Sklyarov is a good thing, but we must
not think of it as our victory, because we did not win it.  Rather, it
is largesse from powers that feel completely triumphant.  They believe
that their successes in court, together with the example presented by
Sklyarov's treatment so far, make their dominion so strong that
nothing can challenge it.

It is up to us to change this state of affairs.  In general, we should
focus on Adobe and the other corporations that paid for and use the
DMCA, not on the FBI and DOJ which are merely their servants.  The
DMCA is a weapon; those who choose to use it against the public should
be held morally responsible for their decision to do so.

Sklyarov must have large legal expenses, and expenses for his
unintended stay in the US.  These represent an injury that was done to
him by Adobe.  We should demand that Adobe compensate him for this
injury, and promise they will never do to anyone else what they did to
him.  Until they do, we should picket their offices and urge the
public to refuse to do business with them.

In cities where there is an active group of protestors but no
important Adobe presence, we can picket publishing companies that
issue Adobe ebooks.  Or other companies that in some way menace us
with the DMCA, such as movie companies or record companies.  Or
legislators such as Barney Frank who supported the DMCA.

It might be useful for someone to find a schedule of Pat Schroeder's
public appearances--or ask the public to be on the lookout for them.
She gave a speech in the Boston area in October, a campaign appearance
for a candidate, and I was mailed a letter about it; unfortunately I
was travelling and did not see the letter until too late.  If her
friends find that her support brings a protest, she may find herself a
less valued acquaintance.
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