[free-sklyarov] About Roger Parloff's article at www.inside.com

Julian T. J. Midgley free-sklyarov at effector.xenoclast.org
Sun Aug 5 17:11:44 PDT 2001

On Sun, 5 Aug 2001, Jay Allen wrote:

> At 06:23 PM 8/5/2001 -0500, James S. Huggins \(Free Sklyarov\) wrote:
> >You might try this url
> >http://www.geocities.com/asdf20000825/free_dmitry_roger_parloff.htm
>  From the aritcle:
> >Now let's visit Planet Earth. Dmitry Sklyarov works for ElcomSoft Co.
> >Ltd., a Moscow-based company that sells, among other things, the Advanced
> >eBook Processor. That product converts e-books formatted for viewing
> >through the Adobe eBook Reader into ordinary, unsecured PDF files. Once in
> >that form, the file is in the free and clear, and can be distributed by
> >anyone to anyone throughout the globe via numerous file-sharing programs
> >like Gnutella, KaZaA, iMesh or Freenet, not to mention by e-mail
> >attachment, or by Aimster-style instant-messaging attachment, or by
> >posting on evanescent pirate Web sites, and probably via several other
> >mechanisms that were invented so recently that you and I haven't heard of
> >them yet.
> >The point is: it only takes a single unprotected copy to have the material
> >spread. The cat is then out of the bag and any attempt to bring a
> >copyright infringement charge against the individual who originally
> >uploaded it becomes laughably futile, even assuming it were possible to
> >identify that individual, which it usually isn't.
> Geez, with that logic, we may want to outlaw vision and speech as
> circumvention devices as well.  I'm mean, all I have to do is load up
> Dragon Naturally Speaking and dictate the contents of the eBook.  Or, if
> I'm really into pain, I could simply type it up in Emacs.  Fscking
> ridiculous...

And this also plays beautifully into our hands in that, for all practical
purposes, every eBook is effectively an 'unprotected copy', in spite of
Adobe's claims to the contrary, given that the copyright protection
mechanism is trivially broken and could as easily have been broken by a
black hat as it was by Elcomsoft.  The day to day activities of the warez
community are testament to this- practically every mechanism software
companies have employed to prevent the illegal copying and distribution of
their software has been broken by the warez guys, often before the public
release of the product.  And the warez community have suffered very little
prosecution, since they are generally quite hard to trace, as the guy
admits in the article above.

It follows that the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA will do next
to nothing to prevent the spread of illegal copies of copyrighted works
amongst the underground; which leaves us with their only practical effects
being the discouragement of research, free speech and the creation
of interoperable software programs.  In particular, by discouraging people
from pointing out flaws in copyright protection mechanisms, the DMCA
practically guarantees that the only copyright protection mechanisms that
exist will be crap ones that present no difficulties whatever to the black


Julian T. J. Midgley                    http://www.xenoclast.org
Cambridge, England.                       PGP Key ID: 0xBCC7863F
UK Free Dmitry Protest:              http://uk.freesklyarov.org/

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