[free-sklyarov] DoJ Response to Sklyarov letter.

mike castleman mlc67 at columbia.edu
Wed Dec 12 23:17:22 PST 2001

So, I got a letter today from "U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal
Division". After freaking out about what they could possibly want from
me, I opened the envelope and found a response to a letter I'd written
them in early August about Dmitry. I'm reproducing it here in case
anyone else wants to read it. Though, it doesn't say anything new (or
really much of anything at all).

                           U.S. Department of Justice
                           Criminal Division
                           Washington, DC 20530-0001
                           December 5, 2001

Mr. Michael Castleman
[my address]

Dear Mr. Castleman:

Thank you for your letter to the Attorney General regarding the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the ongoing proceeding
against Dmitry Sklyarov. While Department of Justice policy precludes
discussion of pending matters, your letter also raises a number of
concerns about the DMCA generally which we can address.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was enacted by Congress in 1998 to
help protect copyrighted works in the digital age. The DMCA was
adopted to help satisfy requirements of two international treaties of
which the United States is a signatory. The statute provides both
civil and criminal sanctions for circumvention of technological
measures which are used to protect copyrighted works.

In regard to criminal prosecutions under the DMCA, it is important to
note that the law specifically requires the government to prove
elements that are not required for private civil action under the
statute. Not only must the government prove ever element beyond a
reasonable doubt, it must show a high level of intent on the part of
the defendant and that the defendant was acting for commercial or
financial gain. These provision significantly limit the circumstances
in which the DMCA can be used in the criminal arena. However, in cases
in which the facts and evidence warrant a prosecution under the DMCA
or other federal criminal laws, the Department of Justice will

It is the mission of the Department of Justice to administer and
enforce the laws of this nation in a fair and reasonable manner. While
we appreciate the concerns raised by your letter, the decision to
prosecute a particular case is reached only after a careful evaluation
of the applicable law and all the relevant facts and evidence. Thank
you for expressing your views.


[appears to be a digital image of a signature]

John Malcolm
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
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