[free-sklyarov] Re: Continuing the fight

Xcott Craver sacraver at EE.Princeton.EDU
Sun Dec 16 00:31:36 PST 2001

On Sun, 16 Dec 2001, Seth Finkelstein wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 14, 2001 at 11:36:46PM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > 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.

	Hmm.  While I don't want to jump to conclusions about who made
this happen, I'd like to suggest that the free-Dmitry response was very
effective.  It took people by surprise (myself included:  I was at a
conference, retired to my hotel room, turned on the TV and the first thing
I saw was all you guys on CNN.  It was a real Mr.-Pibb-spitting moment.)

	In fact, to answer the question "gee, what do we do now?"  I'd
like to suggest we take a step back and analyze what the activists did,
how they did it, so we can use that wisdom for the next time something
like this happens.


> 	Indeed. I concur, but from a slightly different analysis.
> Arguably, this isn't even "largesse". The dismissing of charges is
> based on Sklyarov's agreement to "cooperate with the United States in
> its ongoing prosecution ...". It seems that overall, Adobe and DMCA
> advocates will get the best of both worlds.

	I'd like to suggest a different POV:  since Dmitry's going
to testify for Elcomsoft anyways, I don't see how helpful his cooperation
really is.  Rather, I think this agreement is just face-saving on the
part of the gov't.  Rather than just dropping the charges, they're
dismissing it in exchange for some token assistance that will amount to
Dmitry stating what he'd say anyways:  that he wrote the program, and that
it does circumvent an access-control mechanism.


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