[free-sklyarov] Computer Book Publisher Says "Free Dmitry"

don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Tue Aug 7 10:35:32 PDT 2001

Just got this from Bill Pollock and Amanda Staab at No Starch Press.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - No Starch Press, Inc.'s publisher William
Pollock calls for publishers to cast aside proprietary electronic
book formats. The letter follows:

I am the publisher and owner of No Starch Press, Inc., a
book publishing company. No Starch Press has published several
best-selling books, including STEAL THIS COMPUTER BOOK, THE BOOK

As a publisher, I believe that readers have certain important
fair-use rights that pertain to both electronic and printed
books that they should be able to exercise without asking our
permission. We control certain rights to our books that are protected
by law, and we encourage our customers' control of certain rights
as readers.

Readers of electronic books should be able to read their electronic
books just as they read their printed books - wherever and whenever
they please - and they should be able to share their electronic
books with others. They should also have the right to read their
electronic books with a Braille terminal or text-to-speech device,
and to read them on more than one computer.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was designed to protect
our rights as publishers in the electronic arena, but it fails to
preserve copyright law's historic ability to balance the interests
of publishers with those of readers. The FBI's arrest of Dmitry
Sklyarov, a Russian citizen who helped to create the Advanced eBook
Processor for his company, Elcomsoft, was an overblown and misguided
test of the DMCA. While I am certainly opposed to the illegal copying
and sale of books, I think the government should spend more time
prosecuting the real offenders: The people and companies who make
and sell illegal copies of books, not the software tool developers.

We do not publish our books in proprietary eBook formats because
these formats limit the reader's experience and put unnecessary
restraints on information. We have, however, released several of our
titles under various copyleft-type licenses, and will continue to do
so. The eBook format is flawed because it denies some basic rights
to readers that they automatically have when they buy a printed book.

As an industry we have a problem to solve regarding the electronic
delivery of books, and I am eager to find a solution that works for
everyone involved, including publishers, authors, and readers. By
punishing Dmitry, our government is making it clear that they are
not interested in readers' rights.

I encourage publishers not to use proprietary electronic book
formats. We have a responsibility as publishers to continue to
maintain and defend the rights of readers to read and enjoy their
books whenever and wherever they choose, and that responsibility
must not be taken lightly.

William Pollock, Publisher
No Starch Press, Inc.

Founded in San Francisco in 1994, No Starch Press (www.nostarch.com)
publishes computer books that make a difference on topics like Open
Source, Web development, robotics, and computer security.

Media Contact: Amanda Staab, 415/863-9900, amanda at nostarch.com,
555 De Haro Street, Suite 250, San Francisco, CA 94107

----- End forwarded message -----

Don Marti      What do we want?  Free Dmitry!  When do we want it?  Now! 
http://zgp.org/~dmarti                      Free Dmitry: http://eff.org/
dmarti at zgp.org      Free the web, burn all GIFs: http://burnallgifs.org/        

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