[free-sklyarov] National Petition to US Attorney's Office Draft Submission

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Sun Aug 5 19:20:21 PDT 2001

Klepht writes:

> The following text is for the national petition to the US Attorney's
> Office (based on Thursday's IRC summit). It makes a specific request
> for Dmitry's release and nothing more.
> It would probably work best as a "combo pack" -- a fact sheet that
> will let people understand what they are signing, and the short
> petition statement asking for Dmitry's immediate release.
> I'll wordsmith it some more based on suggestions. Seth, I guess, is
> going to give edits and a thumbs-up-thumbs-down at some point. It'd be
> really cool to have copies of this for Monday's events, but I think
> that may be kind of soon.
> ---8<---
> To the Office of the US Attorney for Northern California:
> We, the undersigned, request that your office immediately drop
> criminal charges against Dmitry Sklyarov, a Russian programmer
> arrested for alleged violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright
> Act of 1998. We join with the original complainant, Adobe Systems,
> Inc., in the position that his continued imprisonment is unwarranted.
> We ask that Mr. Sklyarov be released without delay and allowed to
> return home to Moscow to his wife and family.
> ---8<---
> Note that I changed the word "unjustified" to "unwarranted," Seth,
> based on your suggestion.

This is simpler than something I would have written, but I'm happy to
discharge my role of approving it.

I would suggest adding, after "unwarranted.", "We believe that his
prosecution is not in the public's interest" and possibly ", and is
of grave concern [or ________] to scientists worldwide who consider
visiting the United States to share their knowledge at conferences".

(No suggestion that Adobe believes any of _these_ things; it is we who
believe them.  That's why they're in a separate sentence.)

For referential clarity: "in the position that Mr. Sklyarov's
continued imprisonment [...]" (because people who don't know that
corporations lack grammatical gender in English might read "his" as

The office is of the "U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of
California", which is different from "Northern California".

(Does anybody know whether Acting USA Shapiro has been named USA now
that USA Mueller has been confirmed as FBI director?  The petition
could actually be directed to him, in that case.)

Although I usually use a year when mentioning an Act of Congress,
that's actually more British Commonwealth practice than U.S. legal
practice; it might sound odd to an experienced U.S. lawyer like a U.S.
Attorney to say "the Foo Act of Year" rather than "the Foo Act" or "17
USC Mumble".  (Can a lawyer here agree or disagree?)

So I approve this petition and recommend the above changes.

In other news, a song ("You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon) was
dedicated to Dmitry Sklyarov at the wedding celebration I attended
this weekend.  We all danced energetically in his honor.

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | Its really terrible when FBI arrested
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/ | hacker, who visited USA with peacefull
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF) | mission -- to share his knowledge with
     http://www.freesklyarov.org/      | american nation.  (Ilya V. Vasilyev)

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