[free-sklyarov] Stray thoughts and slogans...

Mark K. Bilbo mkbilbo at cdcla.com
Mon Jul 23 09:24:10 PDT 2001

Just some thoughts.

While the focus is the DMCA, I still think Adobe should be protested and
boycotted. They wanted laws such as this and should be "punished" by the
marketplace for advocating subverting copyright. Also for abusing our legal
system. While the DMCA may have made this possible, it's not always right to
do something just because you *can.

Adobe has already signalled (in the NY Times story) that they're going to
take the line of "it's out of our hands." Now that they've set all this into
motion, they're going to step aside and play innocent bystander. Such
behavior should not be rewarded by purchasing their products. Even
corporations have responsibilities to be good citizens. Yet in the NY Times
story, they pretty much *said this was the action they chose to pursue
because they didn't think they could win a civil lawsuit.

Certainly the FBI should have behaved more resonsiblely. I've read the
entire complaint and can't find ANYTHING that says "Sklyarov was selling
product X in the US." You'd think if they actually found a carton of product
and orders, they'd have SAID so. Even if they did later find such, they
arrested Sklyarov based on him having written a program in Russia that was
being sold by a Russian company. They make much in the complaint about the
Elcomsoft website. But having a website in another country that is
accessible in the US means "trafficking?" Apparently US law has been
extended to any nation that the Internet reaches???

The most chilling part of the complaint is that Sklyarov's speech is cited.
That's disturbing.

I question whether there was any actual evidence Sklyarov was actually
"trafficking" anything at all on US soil. The DMCA is a bad law but what
strikes me as being even worse is that the FBI doesn't even seem to be
*trying* to claim Sklyarov was breaing the DMCA while he was HERE. Page
after page talks about the Elcomsoft website. But even with that site being
accessible here, the company is NOT here.

The product was being sold through some US companies but wouldn't that make
THEM liable to DMCA? How did the FBI get to charging Dmitry in the first

And interestingly enough, it occurred to me that wouldn't this precedent
mean that since Russian law requires allowing backup copies that Adobe
software would be illegal under their law? I wonder if there is an Adobe
office in Russia. Sounds to me like the Russians would be justified at least
as much as we are for arresting Adobe programmers or executives for breaking
*their laws.

What a mess.

In the mean time, I couldn't help but imagine a poster of:

FBI (tm)


Adobe 1st Amendment
Now shipping!


Adobe DoJ

and if I could figure out how to shorten it:

New IT worker benefits:
Free meals, uniforms, and barred office spaces,
5 year contracts available...

Well, it's 9:20 Pacific. The East Coast folks and maybe even the Central
Time folks may already be at it. Raise a ruckus! Well, in an orderly and
professional manner. <g>

Free Dmitry!


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