Fight the DMCA
December 13, 2001
Dmitry Sklyarov is off the Hook, for now

Dmitry Sklyarov is off the hook, "until the conclusion of the case against Elcomsoft or for one year, whichever is longer."

See the Press Release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:
US Attorney (N. Dist. CA) Press Release -- On Dropping of Charges Against Dmitry Sklyarov (Dec. 13, 2001).

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that Dmitry Sklyarov entered into an agreement this morning with the United States and admitted his conduct in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Whyte in San Jose Federal Court.
Under the agreement, Mr. Sklyarov agreed to cooperate with the United States in its ongoing prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov's former employer, Elcomsoft Co., Ltd. Mr. Skylarov will be required to appear at trial and testify truthfully, and he will be deposed in the matter. For its part, the United States agreed to defer prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov until the conclusion of the case against Elcomsoft or for one year, whichever is longer. Mr. Sklyarov will be permitted to return to Russia in the meantime, but will be subject to the Court's supervision, including regularly reporting by telephone to the Pretrial Services Department. Mr. Sklyarov will be prohibited from violating any laws during the year, including copyright laws. The United States agreed that, if Mr. Sklyarov successfully completes the obligations in the agreement, it will dismiss the charges pending against him at the end of the year or when the case against Elcomsoft is complete.

Part of the deal is that he has to testify in the civil case against his employer, but according to the EFF Press Release, he will most likely also testify on his employer's behalf.

See the EFF Media Release:
Sklyarov Freed (Dec. 13, 2001):

U.S. Federal Court Judge Ronald Whyte today signed a court agreement permitting Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov to return to his native land after a five-month enforced stay in the U.S. The agreement should eventually clear him of all charges brought against him for distributing software that permits electronic book owners to convert the Adobe e-book format so they can make use of e-books without access restrictions.
As part of the agreement, Sklyarov will testify for the government in the case that remains against Elcomsoft, Sklyarov's employer. He will likely testify on behalf of Elcomsoft as well.
"Dmitry programmed a format converter which has many legitimate uses, including enabling the blind to hear e-books," explained EFF Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross. "The idea that he faced prison for this is outrageous."
"There was a tremendous outpouring of grassroots support for Dmitry and against the current U.S. copyright law, and EFF is proud to have been part of such a successful effort," stated EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "I'm disappointed, however, that the government has decided to string this along instead of admitting its mistake in bringing these charges against Dmitry in the first place."
Posted by Lisa at December 13, 2001 07:35 PM | TrackBack
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