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Sklyarov Case Exposes DMCA Contradictions

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the doublethink-tripletalk- dept.

The Courts 288

aePrime writes: "This article on the New York Times describes how the case against Dmitri Sklyarov is bringing up some contridictions within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. One is allowed to bypass security measures to backup data, but one is not allowed to write the software to bypass the security. It mentions how this first case to be prosecuted under the law may indeed cause changes to the law." A lot of bad laws have stuck around for longer than the DMCA has yet, but the more this kind of analysis is seen, the sooner sanity can be restored.

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288 comments

No mention.... (2, Interesting)

Liquid(TJ) (318258) | more than 12 years ago | (#2112877)

Of course, the NYT isn't going to mention that he rotted for two weeks without bail. The FBI and it's corprate backers know they may not win the legal battle, so they gotta try to scare the hell out of the tech crowd too...

One thing I liked about this article... (5, Insightful)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2113153)

Was that it emphasized the fact that the DMCA harms the common man moreso than the one that is technologically adapt. A good case was the guy that had a virus incident that caused his ebooks to become unregistered (he probably had to reinstall his OS). He was left only with the options of either registering the second 'installation' of the e-books on that computer, or save it for a different computer like his laptop. He wasn't technologically adapt enough to figure out how to bypass the measures himself, and thus was harmed by the control measures in the fact that he 'lost' one use of the e-book.

Once similar cases start growing in number in which the non-computer-geek common man finds their rights limited by copy protection, the case against DMCA will grow as well.

A short walk off a long pier (4, Interesting)

Ethidium (105493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114909)

This law has been around for three years now, and I don't think it's likely to dissappear in any shorter time than that. The Skylarov case is certainly going to be a landmark one, which means that it will almost certainly see the Federal Appeals Courts, and, if they grant it considerations, the supreme court. Boucher ammendment aside, I know that there are those among us who will continue to argue that outlawing the writing of code is a violation of the first amendment to the U.S. Consitution ("The Congress shall make no law . . . . abridging the freedom of Speech or of the Press . . .").

At least they finally let him out on bail. My lord he looks tired in that picture.

Re:A short walk off a long pier (1)

Decimal (154606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2141876)

At least they finally let him out on bail. My lord he looks tired in that picture.

Of course... god knows what could have happened to him in there. =/

Re:A short walk off a long pier (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2143930)

what could have happened to him in there

Bubba happened.

Snuh Psot (-1)

Bob Gortician (246811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119987)

Suck me, beautiful.

Ultimate ThinkGeek item... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2120803)

The DMCA written on toilet paper!!!

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2121306)

heh

Isn't Elcomsoft a competitor of Adobe's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2121799)

Doesn't Adobe also sell software that, among its features, has the ability to strip off the copy protection? So how would Elcomsoft be violating the DMCA and Adobe not be?

Imagine if Skylarov were from China (2, Interesting)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122410)

While reading over the stories surrounding this case for the past few days, I am reminded of the situation with the US Spy Plane earlier this year. Americans were being held in a foregin state, against their will, and for reasons which were debatable. Isn't the United States being the pot that calls the kettle black, here? Come on, what's the deal? I live in and love most things about this country, but when something like this crops up, it makes me sick to think of the people who drempt up such a convoluted thing as arresting a foreign national on disputable grounds... especially (and this is probably the biggest reason) because a large corporation is wetting its corporate pants. The hypocricy in this country, and around the world, needs to stop.

The DMCA (4, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123595)

For those of you who have been elsewhere for the past few months, you can check out the following page [eff.org] on the subject at the EFF [eff.org] . Another page [educause.edu] has a link to the act [gpo.gov] , in PDF.

Re:The DMCA (1)

topher1kenobe (2041) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114751)

Is that PDF encrypted? Anyone know where I can get a good pdf decrypter?

Re:The DMCA (2, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 12 years ago | (#2141697)

Another link of interest is the Anti-DMCA [anti-dmca.org] website. It is a good thing to share this link with friends that know nothing about this issue.

I was surprised at the number of people I know who didn't know anything on the subject, in most cases they hadn't even heard of the DMCA. You will probably find the same thing if your friends aren't /. readers.

Adobe products are pretty garbage anyway (0, Troll)

tre (172905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123621)

Free him, and don't buy Adobe Anything Version whatever. When there's free and opensource image editing programs available why even deal with Adobe, and we all know the popularity of eBooks... PDF's... wow. that's something to sue over.

Details on the DMCA? (1, Troll)

xZAQx (472674) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123623)

Hey does anyone out there have a link to the provisions/highlights of the DMCA? I'm pretty ignorant of just how 'insideous' it is

Re:Details on the DMCA? (4, Redundant)

_anomaly_ (127254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114907)

Re:Details on the DMCA? (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132063)

Yes, yes. Informative indeed.

The 'highlights' of the DMCA explained by the EFF and a website named 'tuxers'. Its the straight sotry I'm sure.

Also, if you are interested in an unbiased history of the US Civil Rights movement, take a look at the Klan's site.

Re:Details on the DMCA? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2122414)

l33t j03 gets it right once again, as always. mad propz.

Re:Details on the DMCA? Full Text (2, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2115958)

Here's the full text of the DMCA also known as H.R 2281.

DMCA [loc.gov]

Re:Details on the DMCA? (3, Informative)

Nater (15229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151203)

The part most people have a problem with is Title 17, section 1201 [cornell.edu] . That's the section that contains the circumvention and reverse engineering verbiage. Also take a look at section 1204 [cornell.edu] . That's where the criminal provisions are.

well, good (4, Funny)

p3bf (459005) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123624)

Okay, bring it on. I can take it. More DMCA.

Shouldn't we have a Code Red IV, The Voyage Home, where Skylarov travels back in time before the DMCA and can go home? A whale of a good tail.

Someone is going to do it . . . (-1, Redundant)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2125524)

In A.D. 2001
DeCSS Case was beginning
Skylyarov: What happen ?
Lawyer: Someone set up us the leagalese
Lackey: We get Digital Millennium Copyright Act !
Skylyarov: What !
Lackey: Make plea !
Skylarov: It's you!
DMCA: How are you pirate !!
DMCA: All your life sentencing are belong to us !
DMCA: You are on your way to legal collapse !
Skylarov: What you say !!
DMCA: You have no chance for jury decision make your case
DMCA: HA HA HA HA ....
Skylarov: Take off every 'good lawyer'
Skylarov: You know what you defending
Skylarov: Move 'good lawyer'
Skylarov: For great defense

Legal assumptions. (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131010)

You know, it occured to me over the weekend that the present spate of bad laws are based on the assumption that corporations have an entitlement to make a profit on distributing things digitally. And it's that sense of entitlement that results in laws that violate our constitutional rights.

Why don't we chuck out the sense of entitlement, and the laws trying to enforce it, and just tell businesses that if they want to be profitable in the cyberage, they need to come up with a business plan that actually works in the cyberage.

It's "Sklyarov" you fucking jackasses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2131574)

I snapped this picture of the US District Attorney outside of the courtroom. This is what he thinks of all you bleeding heart, I want my information for free, fuck copyrights and patents, slashdot whiners:

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] g
o / \ [slashdot.org] \ [slashdot.org] / \ o
a| | [slashdot.org] \ | [slashdot.org] | a
t| `. [slashdot.org] | | [slashdot.org] : t
s` | [slashdot.org] | \| [slashdot.org] | s
e \ | / [slashdot.org] / \\\ --__ \\ : e
x \ \/ _--~~ [slashdot.org] ~--__| \ | x
* \ \_-~ [slashdot.org] ~-_\ | *
g \_ \ _.--------.______\| | g
o \ [slashdot.org] \______// [slashdot.org] _ [slashdot.org] ___ [slashdot.org] _ (_(__> [slashdot.org] \ | [slashdot.org] o
a \ . C ___) ______ (_(____> | / a
t /\ | C ____)/ \ (_____> |_/ t
s / /\| C_____) | (___> / \ s
e | ( _C_____)\______/ // _/ / \ e
x | \ |__ \\_________// (__/ | x
* | \ \____) `---- --' [slashdot.org] | *
g | \_ ___\ /_ _/ | g
o | [slashdot.org] / [slashdot.org] | | [slashdot.org] \ | o
a | [slashdot.org] | / [slashdot.org] \ \ [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] | a
t | [slashdot.org] / / | [slashdot.org] | \ |t
s | / / \__/\___/ | |s
e | / / [slashdot.org] | | | [slashdot.org] |e
x | | [slashdot.org] | | [slashdot.org] | |x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Re:It's "Sklyarov" you fucking jackasses (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144168)

Heres a funny thing:

Some guy messes around with a giant corporation's software security, reverse engineering is involved, as is some cracking. The guy comes to the US to give a little presentation about his work, the corporation has him arrested for violation of the DMCA (which he certainly did). Slashbots everywhere are outraged. They call for the heads of Adobe execs, they boycott their software (as if they bought any in the first place), they post the same tired drivel every time a DMCA article goes up. They demand their freedom to steal.

Contrast this with:

Some guy messes around with a piddly little weblog's filtering software. He figures out how to post an ASCII art rendering of an infamous disgusting photograph of a man with a torn out ass. Slashbots everywhere hurriedly try to mod it down. Editors leap into action, trying to figure out how the filter was cracked. The ASCII artist is treated like a criminal.

No contradictions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2131783)

This will be a short post, but I dont think its been brought up yet in this article.

I think that either there is a contradiction, or the DMCA is just more evil than you previously thought it was. It mentions you can backup your data, but you are not allowed to program a backup utility. -You- are not allowed to program one anyway, you are supposed to purchase one to be legal, of course.

Tell me what you think.

Alienation.. (4, Interesting)

FordImperfect (512893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131784)

"Ms. Samole said she ended up downloading a pirated version of "Fight Club," which is how she intends to obtain her movies in the future. "I'm completely alienated," she said. "I'm never going to rent a DVD again." Hmmm... thats what people will start doing.. something akin to civil dis-obedience. Nothing would be more frustrating than not able to watch the DVD you bought.. and only a fool will make the same mistake again... Those morons are going to dig their own grave... meanwhile i am going to shrug the atlas and sit back and watch them die.

Re:Alienation.. (1)

alcmena (312085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119217)

I suddenly remember a quote, sorry I do not remember who said it first. "Only the entertainment industry treats their customers like enemies."

I agree that the movie industry is alienating their customers. I remember a while back when the DVD encryption scheme changed slightly. They put in some new code that would, in theory, only affect multi-region players.

My parents did not have a hacked, nor multi-region player. However, these new DVDs will not play on their player. The manufactur said that there was nothing they could do, the rules of the game were changed on them after the players were made.

Most DVDs still work for my parents, and it is usually Columbia/Tristar ones that do not. Though, my parents severly cut back on the number of DVDs they buy now, and are boycotting Columbis/Tristar entirely.

Ummmmm... (1)

FrostyWheaton (263146) | more than 12 years ago | (#2130619)

meanwhile i am going to shrug the atlas and sit back and watch them die.

How exactly does one "shrug the atlas"?? I can only assume you are referring to Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged" in which one character remarked that if he was Atlas, the man who held the world on his shoulders, he would shrug it off, refusing to carry it. You could "shrug like Atlas", or something like that, but "shrugging the atlas" is akin to "setting us up the bomb"

Muddying the law (5, Insightful)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131785)

From the article:

The Library of Congress is now considering whether to recommend other exceptions to the law. Many libraries and other educational institutions want an exception that would let individuals circumvent a copy- control technology in order to copy portions of a work for use in parody, scholarship or criticism -- purposes protected under the "fair use" doctrine of traditional copyright law.

This is the sticking point of the DMCA with me; it strips away whatever bit of fair-use doctrine we once enjoyed. No wonder most people don't like it, no one wants to lose rights they once had.

This is all fine and good, but people still have to prove they cracked whatever encryption in order to make a parody, etc. It makes for more complications in the long run.

It seems to be a poor substitute for examining its constitutionality to see if the law should still even exist.

Great afternoon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2132119)

Just boiling eggs...

Oh, to stay on topic: DMCA must come down!

No reg link (5, Informative)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134552)

http://archives.nytimes.com/2001/08/13/technology/ ebusiness/13NECO.html?0813inside [nytimes.com]

Can't article submitters please take the easy step of replacing www with archives? It works every time.

Re:No reg link (4, Funny)

die_rollerblader (469147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122370)

I hope that link isn't an illegal circumvention device!

Re:No reg link (3, Interesting)

jidar (83795) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131786)

Well yes it does, but it wouldn't be right now would it? Regardless of whether or not you agree that the NYT should be requiring a registration, if the NYT wants to make sure people register to read their article then linking to the article that requires registration is just the polite thing to do.

Re:No reg link (1)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132064)


I'm guessing that they would probably get in trouble with NYTs legal department if they did. For a while the registration free server was called "partners" making it quite clear that only NYT partners were allowed to link to it.

Yes, it is stupid as fuck to put pages on the web and tell people they can't link to them, and yes it is ironic as hell when it is regarding an about sanity in Internet laws, but you can never overestimate the the level of hyporcrisy possible from corporations...

Re:No reg link (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151789)

So you block by the referrer. If you have an open server on the net, what happens is your own fault.

Stop whining! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2139137)

Damn, the NY Times publishes a pretty damn good article in defense of something most people here support, AND YOU STILL FIND SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. Do you really wonder why so many people are leaving slashdot??? Its not JUST Rob/Jon/Timothy/Michael...

Why the articles can't have no reg links (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2141893)

Slashdot is responsible for what's in the articles, but not what's in the comments. They can't post a no reg link in the story, but it's not their problem if someone does post one in the comments.

What I'm wondering is... (5, Interesting)

James Foster (226728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135880)

What I'm wondering is, what exactly do they want with Sklyarov?
I mean, he broke *US LAW* whilst IN RUSSIA... and now they're prosecuting him in the US.
After taking that into account... what do they hope to achieve? Its unlikely that he has much money that anyone can sue him for... so they just want to keep a prisoner, basically?
What if Russia arrested and held an American for breaking a Russian law whilst in America?!? I bet there'd be a helluva lot of demands going on by the US.
The US seems to have a lot of double standards in terms of what it expects from other countries contrasted with what it allows other countries.
The DMCA is only part of the deal.

Re:What I'm wondering is... (3, Informative)

Nater (15229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2112876)

The US seems to have a lot of double standards

Indeed. I don't know all of the details in the case, but there are some Americans in jail in China right now for violating Chinese law on China's turf... and the US Gov. is protesting it. It had a few headlines while protests were going on in the US over Sklyarov's arrest. I didn't bother reading the articles, mostly because I found the irony - and hipocrisy - so sickening.

Re:What I'm wondering is... (2)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114908)

I wondered about that very same thing, actually. But what you're forgetting (I think) is that he also presented his results in the US, and I think (=hope!) that's what makes him prosecutable. I haven't stayed current with the details of the case though, so I could be totally wrong.

Re:What I'm wondering is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2125284)

It's all about cash flow, and protecting those who supply it to the government. DMCA is designed to protect and centeralize production and distribution of Digital content. If it's not centralized it's harder to collect tax. If you have to pay AGAIN to view something, the government gets to tax you again and the company gets to charge you AGAIN. The government IS a corporate intity and grows and freeds just like any other corporation. It is a monopoly on power it's only limited by the Constitution, which it pretty much ignors anymore.

If you want stupid laws like DMCA not to come out of washington then fight to put government back in it's constitutional box.

The constitutions SOLE propose is to LIMIT the scope of power of the US government NOT to protect your rights.

Read the bill of rights and constitution, then read it again until you understand WHY this is important. You lve in a republic not a democracy, democracy is good for big government to easily extort money from the citizens. Republics are evil and limit government ability to extort money from the citizens.

Re:What I'm wondering is... (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2137312)

What if Russia arrested and held an American for breaking a Russian law whilst in America?!? I bet there'd be a helluva lot of demands going on by the US.

Umm, there was [nytimes.com] . Of course, he was also accused of being a spy... and possession of marijuana is illegal in the US too, but still... there were a lot of demands made, yes.

NY times sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2137310)

It requires free subscription.

Dont go there

./configure (4, Funny)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138591)

A lot of bad laws have stuck around for longer than the DMCA has yet, but the more this kind of analysis is seen, the sooner sanity can be restored.

tar -xvzf dmca.tar.gz
cd dmca
./configure
creating cache ./config.cache
checking for extra includes... no
checking for extra libs... no
checking for a BSD compatible install... /usr/bin/install -c
checking whether legal environment is sane... no
*Exit with error code 1

Tonights SJRally Latest on Dmitry (3, Informative)

byoungvt (225652) | more than 12 years ago | (#2139229)

as usual I will have pictures and info up from tonights rally ASAP. Also Dmitry is the topic of a KQED radio program at 9AM Featuring the EFF vs. AAP. I will put the streaming link up for the broadcast on my site! http://sjrally.n3.net> BJY [n3.net]

Dmitry KQED Radio Show Fixed the Link Here!!! (0, Redundant)

byoungvt (225652) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114203)

as usual I will have pictures and info up from tonights rally ASAP. Also Dmitry is the topic of a KQED radio program at 9AM Featuring the EFF vs. AAP. I will put the streaming link up for the broadcast on my site! http://sjrally.n3.net [n3.net] BJY

Two many times (1)

Overphiend (227888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2140341)

The government decides to make a law that keeps us, not from breaking a law, but from having the choice to break the law. They say this tool could be used to break the law; therefore you should not have access to it. You are not responsible enough to make the decision on your own. When did we empower the government with this ability?

Need to be careful with this case. (2, Informative)

Anemophilous Coward (312040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2140889)

We need to have as many technical and scientific minds work with the lawyers of the EFF all through this case. This being the first case testing this abomination of a law, we need to make sure that it is rightly patched and/or overturned. We don't want to fall for a 'quick fix' that seems to be better, when in the long run the law still favors the wrong side. Make sure the lawyers know what to get fixed and how to fix them properly for the benefit of everyone.

I'm sure the media cartels are grinding their gears to find the right obfuscated solution that may satisfy people now, yet still retain the draconian measures currently in place. Just getting his release is not enough, the law must be made right.

- A non-productive mind is with absolutely zero balance.
- AC

From the article: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2141690)

Marybeth Peters, the chief of the United States Copyright Office, said that the exception was still meaningful, even without a market for anti-circumvention devices, because it allowed individuals to figure out for themselves how to go around a technological control measure. "Many of the people I know can come up with a program to do it themselves, without being in the business of doing it," Ms. Peters said.
Arrest these proto-crackers at once! The DMCA demands their blood!

Good to be arrested? (5, Informative)

DiveX (322721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2141691)

While sitting in your warm bedroom or at your cool office saying how great it was that he was arrested so that the law can be challenged in court, Dmitri is most likely sitting in a one room cell with little but a cot, metal toilet, and TV down the hall. His family is most likely sick with worry since they realize that there is little to nothing that they can do. Any time an American (born or recent addition) is imprisoned for a crime in some foreign, there is often a public (US) outcry. In the Spring of 1994, an 18-year-old Michael Fay, was caned in Singapore for spray painting cars. Many in the United States expressed outrage at the primitive brutality of the punishment. Even President Clinton expressed his dismay and criticized the punishment as cruel and close to barbarism and torture. I really doubt Dmitri is glad to play a small part at the legal challenge of the DMCA. If you were in that position, your lawyer would most likely suggest (and you would accept) that if you can be quietly get let off with time served and a small fine that you accept it. If my lawyer were to suggest, 'we're going to fight this until your bitter end', then I'll be asking for new representation. Poor Dmitri is being used as a pawn by both sides. Corporate America is using him to scare the programming community into submission (i.e. you're next) and the community is using him to strike down a law.

free link? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2142347)

reeferxxmadness password

Let my people go (3, Troll)

T1girl (213375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2142350)

Would someone please just let this poor guy go home to his wife and kids and sort this all out later?

Re:Let my people go (2)

baptiste (256004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129965)

While I agree with you, its not gonna happen and we need this case to go to the courts. This is the first big test case and overall we really need this to expose the DMCA as the fraud that it is.

It sucks for him no doubt. But if his case wins us the repeal or watering down of the DMCA, he'll be a hero.

I figure if the above happens, lets setup a fund for his family & kids and make donations as a way to thank him for his trouble for improving things here. Life can be rough in RUssia, the least we can do is improve his standard of living a bit as a why of thanking him for hte trouble he went through to, hopefully, get rid of this stupid law.

Re:Let my people go (2)

TV-SET (84200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2143932)

While I agree with you, I also want to remind that Dmitry did not have any choice as far as I know, which pretty much does not make him a hero.

Did he have any chance not to be arrested? Guess no. Could he choose the date of the hearing? Nope. Etc, etc,etc.

The only thing is for sure - DMCA sux :)

Adobe and other corporations wat him let go. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2137599)

Adobe no longer wants Sklyarov prosecuted [slashdot.org] . And I'm sure, neither does the MPAA or RIAA. The reason is that they know that the first challenge to the DMCA in court will results in its weakening, affirmation of user's rights, or total dumping of the DMCA (see the MPAA vs Sony/Betamax trial for an example of this).

Corporations love powerful but unconstitutional/illegal laws like this that they can use to beat people over the head with. However, if the person has the time or resources to mount a strong defense, the corporations will "back down" and let this one trouble maker go so that the law stays in full force and on the books so they can use it against the next guy.

Fortunately in this case, the US gov't is going to force the issue.

Re:Let my people go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2141878)

At the 1997 World Women's Conference the first speaker from England stood up:

"At last years' conference we spoke about being more assertive with our husbands. Well after the conference I went home and told my husband that I would no longer cook for him and that he would have to do it himself. After the first day I saw nothing. After the second day I saw nothing. But after the third day I saw that he had cooked a wonderful roast lamb."

The crowd cheered.

The second speaker from America stood up:

"After last years' conference I went home and told my husband that I would no longer do his laundry and that he would have to do it himself. After the first day I saw nothing. After the second day I saw nothing. But after the third day I saw that he had done not only his own washing but my washing as well."

The crowd cheered.

The third speaker from Australia stood up:

"After last years' conference I went home and told my husband that I would no longer do his shopping and that he would have to do it himself. After the first day I saw nothing. After the second day I saw nothing. But after the third day I could see a little bit out of my left eye."

Ef Jackie. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2142351)

Muh-muh-MONKEY.

A good thing (2)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2142352)

I think it is a good thing Sklyarov was arrested. I mean, it would suck to be arrested, no doubt. But it was going to happen eventually, sooner than later. A case like this is exactly what we need to have this law rewritten in a way that makes more sense.

Re:A good thing? (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110633)

I only hope that Sklyarov (not to mention his family and friends) shares your sentiments.

This probably is the only way to get the DMCA amended, but it's not really fair that it involves a foreign national.

Cheers,

Tim

Re:A good thing? (3, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 12 years ago | (#2115957)

I think it is a good thing Sklyarov was arrested.

I sort of agree, but perhaps it would have been better if an American were arrested. I would think it would be pretty awful to be arrested in another country just because the lawmakers there were stupid enough to pass such a lame law. I asked this once before. How would you feel if you went to Russia and were arrested for something as simple as speaking at a convention. I think you might be frightened. (Note, this is not to imply that Russia does or does not have such a stupid law).

Re:A good thing? (2)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119126)

Good point. I would much rather it be an American, and much rather him be treated with rights, such as a timely bail hearing, etc.

Re:A good thing? (3, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121805)

...arrested for something as simple as speaking at a convention.

If you're going to argue the case, at least get the facts straight - there was a criminal complaint against him before he came to the US (it's dated July 10th), and he was only arrested once the FBI found out that he was in Las Vegas (on July 17th).

He was arrested specifically because the copyright to the Advanced eBook Processor was assigned to him - leading the FBI to believe that he is the one responsible for it. He was also arrested because the software could be purchased in the United States and was purchased in the United States. This doesn't make the DMCA any more fair, but at least realize that he wasn't arrested for speech, but for trafficking in an illegal copyright-circumvention device.

Re:A good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2134466)

I wonder if there's a way to write to Sklyarov and to donate money for his defense? Even if the charges are dropped, which I certainly hope for, I'd consider that money well spent (a small compensation for mental pain and suffering).

How to help (3, Informative)

Curien (267780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2131018)

Here [eff.org] 's the pertinent FAQ over at EFF. It gives you links to a Paypal account set up for Dmitri as well as links to various mailing lists, web sites, et cetera.

Computer Law... (1)

snadsnad (451797) | more than 12 years ago | (#2143843)

It is going to be a long time before laws involving computer useage are perfected. I shouldn't even dare to say perfected because our current laws are still flawed; and the worse thing is that there are many more fine lines to cross with computers.

What Happens to Libraries with the DMCA (3, Interesting)

cs668 (89484) | more than 12 years ago | (#2143898)

I know that this seems far fetched because ebooks have not become popular. But, if in the future they did become the only way publishers released books libraries would not be able to lend them.

The DMCA seems to criminalize the library that might someday exist.

I love this part (5, Insightful)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2143924)

Marybeth Peters, the chief of the United States Copyright Office, said that the exception was still meaningful, even without a market for anti- circumvention devices, because it allowed individuals to figure out for themselves how to go around a technological control measure.

"Many of the people I know can come up with a program to do it themselves, without being in the business of doing it," Ms. Peters said.


She has GOT to be kidding if she thinks the average consumer has the ability to design tools that will allow them to access there fair use rights. This is idiotic. Most /.ers couldn't even handle this.

What she is suggesting would be like if wrenches were illegal, but you could make your own to fix your faucet that is leaking. "We believe the average consumer will find a way to make the wrenches they need." Sorry, but most people do not have the knowledge, expertise, or equipment to make wrenches. If you think most people can write code that will crack encryption, you shouldn't buy that new Lexus you have been looking at. Why not build you own car?

Re:I love this part (1)

Shardis (198372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132117)

rofl, you're kidding right? Although you don't see this type of cheap copy protection anymore, I've very easily "hacked" (rolls eyes) many game CD's just by changing a few lines of some config file so I didn't have to insert the damned CD every time I played. I've done this probably to well over 20-30 games. Just make sure all the configs are looking for info on your "c:" drive instead of "d:" or higher. Piece of cake.

Re:I love this part (2, Interesting)

Dunedain (16942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2142121)

Most interestingly, manufacturing a circumvention device for use in your own home is still illegal under the DMCA. It allows their use for security research and backup purposes, but not their manufacture. Similarly, it's legal for a child to smoke a cigarette in most places -- but it's not legal to give him one or leave one where he could get it.

a common skill? (4, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144084)

From the times article:

Marybeth Peters, the chief of the United States Copyright Office, said that the exception was still meaningful, even without a market for anti- circumvention devices, because it allowed individuals to figure out for themselves how to go around a technological control measure. "Many of the people I know can come up with a program to do it themselves, without being in the business of doing it," Ms. Peters said.

So, according to the US copyright office, hacking e-books is a common skill? In fact, a neccessary skill to excersize our rights?

I like this one.... (3, Funny)

Flower (31351) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144086)

Allan Adler, vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the Association of American Publishers, has an explanation. "There is no device that can distinguish between a fair use and a non-fair use,"

I beg to differ. I have the perfect device to distinguish fair use. It's called a brain. I have greater faith in its capability than in any access control scheme Big Media may come up with.

first poop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2144484)

poop on you

Is anybody else (0, Offtopic)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144486)

Having trouble posting? I've already hit the ASCII art filter and the "this has already been posted" filter... apparently I posted something 270,000 hours ago that this duplicates... and having "..." counts as ASCII art...

Re:Is anybody else (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2115960)

Yeah, it's becoming more and more difficult to post on Slashdot.

Getting your IP banned from time to time is almost impossible to avoid if you're posting regularly, even if you're not trolling. Some dickhead moderator will occasionally mod you down just for the fun of it.

As a result I've started posting on Slashdot exclusively as an AC and via anonymizer proxies (to save my own IP from getting banned).

Re:Is anybody else (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144377)

It only gets banned for 24hours, garbage brain. And if you're getting modded down and don't understand why, you're just a troll in denial.

It's irrelevant to me. Once you start posting at -1, no one moderates you down no matter how much you troll. You should just give into the dark side.... lemme relate to you my own story....

I was once a prominent slashdot poster. My karma was never higher than 20 but I always posted good comments and tried to do my best to be a good slashdot user. I appeased the moderators and editors. I never made fun of Jon Katz or that censor michael. I was rare modded down and regularly modded up. I moderated every week myself, for god's sake! Then, I woke up one morning and began to ask myself, what kind of a man am I? All those times I could have said a biting remark... I hesitated because of my precious status. I could NEVER join the ranks of the trolls. Or could I? They seemed to be having so much fun. I was getting bored with slashdot. It was turning into a kiss-ass fest and we all were invited. We only flamed eachother about BSD/Linux, Windows/Linux, Mac/Everyone else, because it was the thing to do. Deep down we all wanted to be accepted by each other and have the approval of the great CmdrTaco. Oh, to have your name on the front page and being submitted by the mexican dish himself... it was an honor. It was enough to make you orgasm with delight.

But I was questioning the whole culture. And so were others. Others that were with we since the beginning. We mostly were introduced to slashdot in the summer of 97. Slashdot invented the troll. No, it molded the troll, it elvolved it to a super being. The troll made you think twice about clicking that link. the troll made you question if this comment is for real. The troll started OWNING the whole universe of slashdot. We infested, infected, dominated, sometimes shut it down. We all remember osm, Jon Erikson, spiralx. They have passed on. Evolved into super beings that don't even exist in our dimension anymore. In the year 2000 I began trolling. I experimented under the AC guise. I trolled for Scooby doo. I then trolled for goatse and comp-u-geek. I experimented with logged in accounts. I have seen many trolls come and go. I have seen many change their names but I recognise their writing style. I know it's a troll by the first 3 words. It's second nature now. Be afraid of what you can become. But don't deny it.

The world of the dead is a lonely place for the living. We don't belong here, but there's no way to avoid ending up here. In the end, we all surrender. We all surrender. Surrender.

Re:Is anybody else (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2121836)

Once you start posting at -1, no one moderates you down no matter how much you troll.

So CmdrTaco et al. won't ban your IP permanently? I find that hard to believe...

Re:Is anybody else (-1, Troll)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138995)

I've been banned dozens of times. How can he ban an IP permanently? It's so easy for most of us to just get new ones.

Re:Is anybody else (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2139227)

I get a lot of "Invalid Form Code *random text*" errors, myself. It seems to be gradually occurring more and more often.

Re:Is anybody else (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2144750)

Leave CmdrFucko alone; he is too busy whackin it to anime tentacle rape porn and compiling kernel on his iPAQ to write decent perl code.

As a goatherd learns his trade by goat, so a writer learns his trade by wrote.

DMCA gagging crypto researcher (3, Insightful)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 12 years ago | (#2144644)

Crypto expert Niels Ferguson [xs4all.nl] was at the HAL2001 [hal2001.org] festival yesterday, speaking about AES/Rijndael vulnerabilities. At the end of his presentation, he wanted to add a personal note.

He said that he had done some research on some topic (unfortunately I could not hear what it was about). He said he would go to the US next week for a conference and he feared being arrested if he would publish. Since he had mouths to feed and rent to pay, he said he could not afford to take the risk. So he decided to not publish his research. He urged everyone to protest against the DMCA which affects him as a non-US citizen. He did realise that at the HAL he was preaching to the choir...

Perfection? (1)

_anomaly_ (127254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2145218)

Do you really expect perfection from the US government? Of course the first several times a law is first used to bring someone to court will result in changes, or at least reflections and debate. This is at least one Good Thing(TM) about the judicial system. Doesn't mean the DMCA is any easier to swallow...

Re:Perfection? (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121834)

Sure, we do not expect perfection, but then again we do expect laws to embrace a certain fairness. Stripping away one's last fair use rights is not even what I consider "fair", no less perfect.

Jury trial... (5, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2145219)

As much as I'd like to see the charges tossed out now (I doubt that DS wants to be a pawn in this... he probably just wants to go back to Russia), going to trial could be quite helpful. Unlike the 2600 trial, this one could easily be painted in a better light.

One of the things his software is capable of doing is to allow blind people to read these e-books. Imagine THAT testimony in front of a jury!

And what would Adobe's representatives say when they take the stand? (and you can be sure that they will) They backed off once. Will they say "No, this hasn't hurt us." Or will they backtrack once again and call for him to be put in jail. Surely their calls to have him released will enter into the testimony?

No jury of "average" Americans will be able to wrap their heads around the technical issues of the DMCA. It's going to be the simple things like "this software allows blind people to read e-books" that will sway them one way or the other.

-S

It will never get to a jury (3, Informative)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2113612)

Only questions of fact get to a jury (and mixed law and fact). This case will soley be a question of law. Juries do not get to decide if a law if legal.

Re:It will never get to a jury (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134465)

umm... take a look at http://www.fija.org . A jury in the US can base their decision on the fairness of the law, not just the "facts" of the case.... i.e. they can acquit a person because they believe the law itself is wrong. This is what we need for the DMCA, congress won't change it, they're too damn scared of technology.

Re:It will never get to a jury (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2141559)

"Juries do not get to decide if a law if legal."

They effectively do when they pass a verdict of not guilty, despite the evidence. Juries can do that, you know?

Re:It will never get to a jury (4, Informative)

Kotetsu (135021) | more than 12 years ago | (#2143923)

Juries do not get to decide if a law if legal.

Apparently you've never heard of jury nullification [2ndlawlib.org] . You most certainly *do* have the right to decide if a law is legal when you are on a jury.

Re:It will never get to a jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2141561)

In principle, yes, but in practise the judge can overrule the jury nullification and in most cases they do.

I'm actually happy for that. I wouldn't trust twelve ordinary citizens to draft laws. That way we'd end up with an eye-for-an-eye society.

Re:It will never get to a jury (1)

Nater (15229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121806)

the judge can overrule the jury nullification and in most cases they do.

In most cases, there's nothing wrong with the law, since most laws are okay. Unless you mean most cases of jury nullification, in which case I really couldn't say.

Re:It will never get to a jury (1)

Bobo the Space Chimp (304349) | more than 12 years ago | (#2154482)

It was my understanding jury nullification was the jury deciding (as representatives of "The People") to not apply the law to that particular case.

Re:It will never get to a jury (1)

Rev Snow (21340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2137776)

...in practise the judge can overrule the jury nullification and in most cases they do.

Nonsense. In a criminal trial an acquittal by a jury is final. No judge may change it.

Judges do have the power to overrule convictions, but I can't imagine a conviction that would be considered jury nullification.

Jury nullification (3, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151202)

You most certainly *do* have the right to decide if a law is legal when you are on a jury.

Actually, you don't. If a jury votes "not guilty" in a case, the law is still on the books, and still enforceable. All the jury decides, in a criminal case, is guilty or not guilty. Wether or not the law is constitutional is decided in the appellate courts.

Re:Jury trial... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2130618)

Q: When do you slap a midget?

A: When he tells your wife her hair smells nice.

Re:Jury trial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2131782)

It's going to be the simple things like

"He's a Russian and a hacker?!"
"Lock him up!"

Re:Jury trial... (1)

popoutman (189497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2138380)

to allow blind people to read these e-books. Imagine THAT testimony in front of a jury!

To sway juries, especially in really technical disputes, is to not bore the average joe and jane soaps on jury duty with the relevant technical details (but those need to be put on the record and explained in a non-condescending manner to the jury) as long as the details can be reasonably easily understood by explaining in non-tech language (if that is not an oxymoron).

Was there no facility to output ebooks to a braille-friendly output? Strange omission on the part of the writers...
From an outsider, this case and related antics are disturbing - especially as I may end up living in the States for a number of years after I graduate...

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2145223)

haha fistpost

More DMCA violations! (2, Informative)

agilen (410830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2147675)

Ms. Samole said she ended up downloading a pirated version of "Fight Club," which is how she intends to obtain her movies in the future. "I'm completely alienated," she said. "I'm never going to rent a DVD again."

Arrest her! She is a hacker-theif!!

Don't worry (5, Funny)

briggsb (217215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153931)

Congress has already passed legislation [bbspot.com] to remedy the situation.

DCMA and Microsoft... (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2155142)

A small voice asks... what happens when Microsoft encrypt their email protocols, network file sharing protocols, office document formats, and then start prosecuting programmers who try to hack these protocols, say... to allow Linux to interoperate with Windows.

What if the whole affair about copyright and fair-use a red herring designed to distract attention from the real game: making it illegal to write software that competes in any way whatsoever with Microsoft's own work.

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