Programmer Pleads Not Guilty To Violating Digital Copyright Act - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Programmer Pleads Not Guilty To Violating Digital Copyright Act

Russian programmer and his employer are arraigned on charges of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

A Russian programmer and his employer were arraigned Thursday on charges of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Dmitry Sklyarov and Alexander Katalov pleaded not guilty in the case, the first criminal prosecution under the controversial law.

Sklyarov, 26, is the author of a program that strips the encryption from Adobe's Acrobat eBook Reader, allowing users to copy and print digital books. The program was sold by Katalov's Moscow company, ElcomSoft, via a Web site, and advertised as a legal way for users to back up and use their legitimately purchased E-books. But the federal government saw it differently. The FBI arrested Sklyarov after he gave a talk about the software at a July 16 convention in Las Vegas. The government says Sklyarov and ElcomSoft have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 law that makes it illegal to create or distribute programs which circumvent security encryption.

During Thursday's hearing in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., the two were formally arraigned and charged, and another hearing was set for Tuesday to schedule a trial date. If convicted of the charges, Sklyarov could receive a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, and fines of up to $2.25 million. Katalov, as president of ElcomSoft, faces a $500,000 fine.

The case has generated protests, with critics saying that charging a foreign-based programmer for writing a program that's legal in his country sets a chilling precedent. "If you're a programmer and you work for a company, what are the circumstances under which you can or should be held criminally liable for activity you conduct within the course of your employment?" Sklyarov's lawyer Joseph Burton asked reporters after the hearing. "I think it's scary."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Commentary
Why 2021 May Turn Out to be a Great Year for Tech Startups
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  2/24/2021
News
How GIS Data Can Help Fix Vaccine Distribution
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/17/2021
Slideshows
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll