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Re: [dvd-discuss] Skylarov indicted for trafficing and conspiracy.
On Wed, Aug 29, 2001 at 11:18:28AM -0500, Steve Stearns wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 Michael.A.Rolenz@aero.org wrote:
> > IANAL but if found innocent and Adobe withdrawing support, Adobe may have
> > its own legal problems.....swearing out a false statement that caused
> > incarceration and prosecution.
> Ah but was it false? It is true that he worked for Elcom, and it is true
> that he had a hand in writing the software. There may be some debate as
> to how much of a hand and how directly he can be held accountable for the
> actions of Elcom, but that he had some part in writing the software is not
> really in question. For Adobe to get into trouble they'd have to
> KNOWINGLY make a false statement. Very hard to proove even if it was
News reports and the Elcomsoft website reported that Adobe
managed to get Elcomsoft's ISPs to take down their site
after Adobe allegations that Elcomsoft's software
illegally infringed Adobe software. Elcomsoft strenuously
denied using any Adobe software in writing ABPR. There
was no mention of the DMCA as the grounds for the
infringement claim. There are no trade secrets involved,
either, since Adobe openly published PDF specifications,
including sample encryption methods employed verbatim
by at least one other company.
Elcomsoft ought to be able to produce the letters from
Adobe to the ISPs. Elcomsoft was not allowed a rebuttal
to the claims in the letters, but suffered great business
harm because of the false claims.
The indictment does not actually claim that Elcomsoft
infringed Adobe's copyright. Unstated is the fact that
ABPR requires a legally acquired copy of the ebook
in order to work, and works with legally acquired
copies of Adobe's software for Reader and Acrobat.
All ABPR does is allow a Reader-encrypted ebook to be
read in Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF. Such a step is
necessary if one wishes to enjoy fair use of the ebook,
for example by reading it on another PC. It is a step
that the FBI would have to take, or a librarian to
take, as provided by the DMCA.
The government is now going to have to prove that the
rights of ordinary copyright extend so far as to allow
a third party to put restrictions on fair use by the
first party of a work copyrighted by a second party.
We can see the harmful effects of the overbroad decision
Software manufacturers ought to be very concerned about
the implications of this case. It might very well
prevent them from offering filters from one proprietary
format to another, as for example Windows Media format
to Real Player format. The "effective" language of
the act is really meaningless. Here software is being
banned even if it has a legal use--simply because the
user might possibly use the copy illegally.
Basically the act is unconstitutional because such restrictions
are not in the public interest, to promote progress of science
and the useful arts.
The DMCA is a bad law for everybody and we need to
support the EFF to make sure the law is overturned.