[free-sklyarov] An apology and an affirmation

Richard Stallman rms at gnu.org
Tue Dec 18 13:17:57 PST 2001

When I read Seth Finkelstein's message saying that Sklyarov had agreed
to "cooperate with the United States in its ongoing prosecution", and
showing damaging-looking statements he had agreed to make, it appeared
that he was giving the US government exactly what it wants in order to
nail ELCOM and put a nail in the coffin of our freedom.  I commented
based on that understanding of the nature of the deal.

Since then, people have told me that the situation is more
complicated; that his testimony won't necessarily help the prosecution
much, and that the deal will make it easier for ELCOM to argue its
case.  I'm glad to hear that things are not as bad as they looked.  So
I withdraw my criticism of Sklyarov for making the deal, and I
apologize if I misjudged its nature.

The truly important issue is not one programmer, one company, or one
case; it is the DMCA and our freedom.  On this issue, I stand by what
I have said.  We must put the strongest pressure on Adobe, on movie
companies that make encrypted DVDs, and on any other companies that
now or in the future use the DMCA weapon against our freedom.  We must
teach them to regret their arrogance.

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