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Dmitry Sklyarov Gains High-Profile Defense Lawyer

timothy posted about 13 years ago | from the representations dept.

The Courts 228

Diesel Dave writes: "There's an article on Law.com about Dmitry Sklyarov's new Lawyer. Renowned San Francisco defense attorney John Keker has agreed to represent the Russian programmer pro bono. Keker is quoted as saying: "I think he is being unjustly accused and that's the kind of case I like to do." and "[The Government is] always welcome to dismiss the case, but we didn't come in to make a plea deal." This gives me the impression he has full intensions of fighting this to the end. Good."

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cop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2370997)

Driving home on the freeway, I was startled by a cop car suddenly pulling up
beside me from out of nowhere with its lights flashing. Then relief as it kept
going, after someone else.

Just as that cop was looking for someone else, but for a brief moment I thought
he was after me, so is she looking for someone else, but for a brief moment
it looked to me like she might have been after me.

2001-09-29

Re:cop (-1, Offtopic)

newr00tic (471568) | about 13 years ago | (#2371002)

second post =)

Hello! (-1, Offtopic)

cyborg_munkee (525540) | about 13 years ago | (#2371145)

I am the real cyborg_monkey. You are an asshole. I am kewl. I am the furst post master, you are a twat. blah blah blah.

HEAR MY GNUHOLY WORDS NOW!!!!! (-1)

Retarded_One (518093) | about 13 years ago | (#2371308)

Prophet
Mohammad
/ x \
I |
I \==
\______/
||
[]
[]\
[]\\
[] \\ Muslims
[] \\ / o o \
[] && [][][][][][][][]| > /
[]8===* O [] \ \_/ /
||\\ [] [] [] \----/
|| \\ [] [] []
|| \\[][][][][] [][]

Are you one of those people who rarely touches the Qur'an? Or do you read daily, but don't find it is having the impact on you that it should? Whatever the case may be, these are some simple tips that can help you connect with the Qur'an.

1. Before you touch it, check your heart. The key to really benefiting from the Qur'an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah's book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was described by his wife as a "walking Qur'an": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Qur'an, he lived it.

2. Do your Wudu (ablution). Doing your Wudu is good physical and mental preparation to remind you you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.

3. Read only 5 minutes everyday. Too often, we think we should read Qur'an for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, Insha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!

4. Make sure you understand what you've read. Five minutes of reading the Qur'an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur'an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.

5. Remember, the Qur'an is more interactive than a CD. In an age of "interactive" CD-Roms and computer programs, a number of people think books are passive and boring. But the Qur'an is not like that. Remember that when you read Qur'an,you are interacting with Allah. He is talking to you, so pay attention.

6. Don't just read, listen too. There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur'an, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your walkman or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur'an reading, not as a replacement for it.

7. Make Dua (supplication). Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Qur'an. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah for help and guidance will be your best tool for doing this. 8:51 PM 9/25/2001

RELEASED UNDER THE GNU PUBLIC LICENSE

I never thought I'd hear myself say this... (1)

TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) | about 13 years ago | (#2371006)

... but that lawyer is COOL!

I guess there are a few decent people working as lawyers out there after all...

Re:I never thought I'd hear myself say this... (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | about 13 years ago | (#2371052)

Okay, so we don't kill all the lawyers.

Re:I never thought I'd hear myself say this... (0, Flamebait)

KingAzzy (320268) | about 13 years ago | (#2371161)

Yes, hard to believe, but there are some in our society who truly respect the institution of law and justice and enter into the profession in passionate pursuit of this.

Then there are the 99% of the rest that are just insects.

Interesting decisions given recent events... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | about 13 years ago | (#2371014)


Given the current anti-tech rage being promoted in the US media this is a brave decision which should be applauded. While it is quite clear that this is a ridiculous case these are rapidly becomming ridiculous times.

"Ex-Commie tries to undermine US companies" is an all to easy headline to imagine. Its excellent that he has this defence lawyer, that should drive him into freedom, but the fact remains that the Don't Mind Capitulating Act is liable to get stronger rather than weaker... will Bush make this the one case where there isn't a back door to cryptography... probably.

This sort of thing is part of the reason why the US is now in recession, the driving of large corporations at the expense on innovation.

Re:Interesting decisions given recent events... (2, Informative)

Kryptonomic (161792) | about 13 years ago | (#2371025)

Very true.

Very brave, considering that "hackers" may soon be labelled [bbc.co.uk] as dangerous terrorists.

Re:Interesting decisions given recent events... (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 13 years ago | (#2371481)

What I am afraid of is the labeling the term "terrorist hacker!". Ashcroft wants hackers to be prosecuted as possible terrorists and information warfare is on the governments as well as on everyone else's mind. In the physc. of todays jurists and the temptation to use this label by the governments lawyers, I fear he may falsely accused and given perhaps I maximum sentance because of fear.

I know this might sound a little irrational but Americans right now are scared to death about evil "hackers" whom may or may not have something to do with terrorism. The taliban is threatening us right now with a pearl harbor equilivant with info warfare if we invade their country. I think we should stop using the term "hacker" to brilliant programmers. I know the proper term is cracker but the media as well as our language has the term hacker mingled with cracker. Perhaps the term "software engineer" would work better in court. It not only sounds non threatening but it also sounds professional and that is who we are. Not terrorists.

"High profile" to whom? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371018)

This dude's a no-name clown.

Re:"High profile" to whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371023)

This dude's a no-name clown.
Not any more he isn't.

Re:"High profile" to whom? (1)

mckeowbc (513776) | about 13 years ago | (#2371049)

No name clown or not, this case has become high profile in tech circles because of the implications of its outcome. The DMCA has the potential to trully hinder the efforts of open source software developers, and by having a it held up in court by convicting Skylarov would give it all the more clout in convicting anyone else who would dare to try to compete with, circumvent, or emulate the product of a powerful coporation, simply based on the grounds that in some way shape or form it may violate the copyright that company holds. This case is ludicrous...but what could come from it is very serious.

Re:"High profile" to whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371429)

So your point is that he became a high-profile lawyer because of this case, right? Sorry, but the Slashdot headline implies that we're supposed to get excited about him because he was already famous. What you're saying would be like a newspaper on September 12, 2001 announcing that "Renowned Hijacker Mohammed Atta Involved in WTC Attack."

Great news - Keker is top notch (4, Insightful)

hillct (230132) | about 13 years ago | (#2371035)

It's important that prescident setting cases of this sort are tried by the best available trial atourneys, such that the prescident that will be set can be looked upon as binding, regardless of which way the case goes. I'm suprised that more nationally renowned defense atourneys weren't all over this case from the start. It's nice to have good news in this case once in a while

--CTH

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (4, Insightful)

nachoworld (232276) | about 13 years ago | (#2371107)

Why is the U.S. such a big believer in precedents? No other country determines case outcomes based on precedent as strongly as the U.S. If we can get over our precedents maybe we wouldn't have to worry so much about the future. Things can be decided on a case-by-case basis.

That way cases like Bowen v. AHA (courts allowed Down's Syndrome patient to die from an easily curable gastric obstruction because the parents asked the doc not to operate *wink, wink*) won't really matter in the future.

There will always be cases that make bad precedents for the future. The AHA had a good lawyer (probably Keker caliber) and they successfully defended themselves. Who's to say which is the "right" precedent to establish in a case. Maybe if we didn't hold on so strongly to precedents...

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (2)

Paul Komarek (794) | about 13 years ago | (#2371124)

If it wasn't for the use of precedents, we'd have to live with laws Congress as wrote them. I'm not sure that's any better than relying on courtroom precedents.

-Paul

The reason is... (1)

Bistronaut (267467) | about 13 years ago | (#2371172)

The US has poorly written laws. Our legislatures seem to be unconcerned with writing laws that are easy to interpret, so our courts have to decide what they should mean. Also, laws are never overturned (to my knowledge) for being ambiguous. Don't you hate that?

Re:The reason is... (2, Informative)

ca1v1n (135902) | about 13 years ago | (#2371249)

It's rare for a law to be overturned because of ambiguity, because an ambiguous law usually has something clearly wrong with it in at least one reasonable interpretation, and thus can be struck down as "overbroad". It happens all the time.

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 13 years ago | (#2371208)

Why is the U.S. such a big believer in precedents? No other country determines case outcomes based on precedent as strongly as the U.S. If we can get over our precedents maybe we wouldn't have to worry so much about the future. Things can be decided on a case-by-case basis.


It's called "Common Law". It makes it so the legislature doesn't have to write laws about EVERY SINGLE LITTLE DINKY THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED AND THAT COULD HAPPEN.

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about 13 years ago | (#2371419)

Hate to brake this to you, but not only is that NOT Common Law (which the SC has said does not exist in the US in any event), but precedents aren't even legal. The Constitution, USC (and USCS and USCA) as well as the CFR all say that precendents are not to be used.

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (2)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | about 13 years ago | (#2371527)

Care to give a source?

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (5, Informative)

Jason Pollock (45537) | about 13 years ago | (#2371267)

No other country determines case outcomes based on precedent as strongly as the U.S.

How about the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and any other common law based country? Their entire system of law is based around the body of prior court decisions.

Precedent is powerful. It demonstrates what the higher courts decided was meant by the law, because they let the decisions stand...

Jason Pollock

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (2)

sheldon (2322) | about 13 years ago | (#2371565)

You forgot Great Britain.

Where do you think all those british colonies got their ideas? :)

Re:Great news - Keker is top notch (2)

bwt (68845) | about 13 years ago | (#2371524)

Why is the U.S. such a big believer in precedents? No other country determines case outcomes based on precedent as strongly as the U.S. If we can get over our precedents maybe we wouldn't have to worry so much about the future. Things can be decided on a case-by-case basis.

First of all, other countries do rely on precedent, and in fact, many even rely on US precedent.

But the real answer is that because judges aren't elected, the Court room is not the place to battle back and forth on controversial issues. The Courts are supposed to provide stability and predictability in the law. The idea of judges essentially changing the law on a "case by case" basis is much more frightening. Legislatures "overturn" judicial decisions all the time by passing new legislation, and this is the prefered method in a democracy to change disliked precedent.

Finally, you shouldn't overstate the value of precedent. It only binds courts directly under the jurisdiction of the decision. The Federal Circuit courts often do disagree. In fact, the Supreme Court often won't take a case unless conflict exists in the Circuits. In fact, sometimes even this isn't enough. Currently, there is conflict among the circuits on the Constitutionality of race based university admissions policies, but the Supreme Court still denied to hear the latest case.

Party time!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371047)

A case of beer

Some acid

Three gerbils

Duct tape

Two young goats

A twelve-year old virgin

Nipple clamps

Four enema bags

Styrofoam penuts

A lot of lube

And a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush

Oooh boy am I gonna have fun tonight!!

Yay! (1)

kilgore_47 (262118) | about 13 years ago | (#2371050)

This is some of the best news I've heard in some time.

Thank you, Mr. Keker.

nothing compares to... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371057)

sweaty man sex!

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371070)

especially with lube!

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371073)

hog-tied and getting fisted

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371086)

stripping and beating your 5 year old daughter into sucking your cockmonster down her virgin throat

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371102)

hey! this thread is about gay sex.

start your own goddamn thread!

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371105)

raping and torturing a young goat

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371140)

getting shot up your ass and living in agony for 30 minutes afterwards

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371079)

You cannot take it dry, sir? Weakling.

Re:nothing compares to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371091)

i don't care about the guy i'm fucking.

i use lube so that i won't get abrasions on my dick.

sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371150)

You are advocating an abomination.

In 1962 there were laws against sodomy in all 50 states, now liberals in the media have changed that in all but a handful. Wake up America, the storm clouds of God's judgement are gathering.

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371183)

If a woman were to accidentally grab a man's genitals while that man was fighting with her husband, she was to have her hand cut off (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371207)

Yep

And is that the way it is today? No. Another example of liberal intervention. America is a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371222)

You sound like a nice guy.

Would you like to come around to my place? We'd smoke some weed, watch some hot gay porn and who knows what we'll end up doing later at night...

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371230)

ooooh, can i? i'd love to preach the word of god to you while you give me a rim job! thou shalt not AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHUUUUUUUHHHHHHH

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371251)

I can't make it.

I'll be too busy praying for you.

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371258)

Thanks. I'll be thinking of you too this evening when I'm watching my European hardcore gay porn flicks.

Re:sigh .. read the book of Leviticus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371266)

Bel Ami?

Go away, troll. (0, Troll)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 13 years ago | (#2371234)

Nobody can seriously believe what you've posted. Because it makes no sense.
Except to Jerry Falwell and his sidekick Pat Robertson.... HAHAHA

Re:Go away, troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371261)

Stop posting off-topic things

Re:Go away, troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371265)

Never!

Since the open source community is such a hotbed for homosexualism and other deviant behaviour and Slashdot is one of the main proponents of the movement, gay sex is never off topic here.

Bravo! (5, Interesting)

pschmied (5648) | about 13 years ago | (#2371059)

This is really good news. I really hope that Dmitry Skylarov can go home to Russia soon.

On a side note, this case has gotten much more attention in international circles than it has in the US.

At my university I've met a woman from Ukraine who claims that for a while, atleast, there was daily coverage of the Skylarov predicament in the Ukrainian newspapers. Much like our terrorist coverage continues to dominate the news here in the land of the home, and the free of the brave.

For a moderately non-technical person, she seemed to have a very good grasp of the issues, albeit with a touch of (IMHO justified) "the US is doing this because they can" spin.

Well, I digress. Congrats, Dmitry. I hope you make it back to Russia before I visit there this winter.


-Peter

Dmitri, PLEASE Go Home! :) (5, Insightful)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#2371134)

I really hope that Dmitry Skylarov can go home to Russia soon.

Yes! Go home! Quick, Dmitri, go back to Russia! Your presense here is showing Americans how stupid our legal system is and our people can't possibly remain ignorant for much longer! Shoo! Shoo!

Oh dear, a mistake! (2, Insightful)

dbolger (161340) | about 13 years ago | (#2371061)

"I think he is being unjustly accused and that's the kind of case I like to do."

Tut tut that was an obvious error, what he really said was:
"I think this is a well-known case that I can use to increase my public profile, and therefore my rate of pay for other, subsequent clients, and that's the kind of case I like to do."

Re:Oh dear, a mistake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371171)

Even if so, so what?

Re:Oh dear, a mistake! (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 13 years ago | (#2371219)

He _does_ have a point. I mean, if I were unjustly accused, it's not likely to be a high-profile case, so I don't have enough $$$ to get Keker. OTOH, this is probably a case an Idealist would love, too, since this is a chance to make a big impact on fixing an unjust law. So I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He gets a chance to do something good for the rule of law, and gets famous for doing it.

Re:Oh dear, a mistake! (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 13 years ago | (#2371486)

Nicely cynical - I like that.
However, do remember that this is the guy who went against one of the tightest closed-doors self-defending lie-if-we-need-to institutions in the land in the outrageously high-profile North case. He's already reached the big time, _and_ he's perfect for the job. This is about as good as it gets at this stage of procedings/

FatPhil

Article's Text (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371067)

Russian Programmer Dmitry Sklyarov Gains High-Profile Defense Lawyer

Substitution adds twist to cyber-cause celèbre

Shannon Lafferty
The Recorder
October 1, 2001

Renowned San Francisco defense attorney John Keker has agreed to represent indicted Russian computer programmer Dmitry Sklyarov on a pro bono basis.

Keker's decision to represent Sklyarov, believed to be one of the first to be criminally charged under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, could put an end to speculation that a plea deal is in the works.

Keker of Keker & Van Nest won't say whether any plea offers are on the table but said he wasn't brought aboard to cut a deal.

"They are always welcome to dismiss the case, but we didn't come in to make a plea deal," Keker said Thursday. "We are here to deal with the defense of the case and to win it."

Sklyarov, 26, is accused of writing a program for his Russian employer ElcomSoft that allows people using Adobe Systems Inc. eBook software to copy and print digital books, transfer them to other computers and have the text read aloud by the computer.

Keker, whose past cases include the prosecution of Lt. Col. Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal, said he was approached to take Sklyarov's case but did not elaborate further. Keker said he took the case pro bono because he felt Sklyarov was unfairly targeted.

"I think he is being unjustly accused and that's the kind of case I like to do," Keker said Thursday.

Defense attorney Joseph Burton was initially retained to represent Sklyarov but is withdrawing to represent co-defendant ElcomSoft.

Since Sklyarov was arrested in July at a convention in Las Vegas, programmers and technology companies have publicly criticized the prosecution. The alleged victim, San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems, which initially reported Sklyarov and his Russian employer to the U.S. Attorney's office, has said it no longer supports prosecution.

Both sides are currently conducting discovery. Keker said he and his team will be working "to understand Adobe's role and determine whether or not it's proper."

Colleen Pouliot, Adobe senior vice president and general counsel, did not return calls.

Former prosecutors have said that Adobe's decision to distance itself from the case makes it tougher for the U.S. Attorney's office.

"Unlike traditional crimes, where you have an individual or an institution as the victim, tech crimes enter into a new area because all the government has to rely on is the expertise of the company," said Stephen Freccero, a former prosecutor now with Morrison & Foerster's San Francisco office. "Generally, they are the kinds of cases the government wouldn't even know about if they hadn't been contacted by the victim," Freccero added in a recent interview.

Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which promotes cyber-rights, have been critical of the prosecution from the start, saying the DMCA wasn't intended to criminalize software like Sklyarov's.

Meanwhile, observers have said Adobe's about-face has put the U.S. Attorney's office in a tough situation. If it drops the charges, the office may seem ill-equipped to handle the high-tech, white-collar crimes it has vowed to go after. If it goes ahead with an unpopular prosecution, it could alienate high-tech companies whose assistance it needs to develop other cases.

Sklyarov, who is out on bail, will appear in San Jose federal court Nov. 26 for a pretrial hearing. If convicted, he could face five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Symbiotic Relationship (4, Interesting)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#2371113)

Not that I find fault with it, but Mr. Keker has just as much to gain from representing Dmitri as Dmitri himself. Keker will gain a great deal of press and attention, whether or not he wins the case. Dmitri on the otherhand, now has a fighting chance at getting off clean from this injustice.

Hopefully, this is the kind of trend we can expect. As the open source and free speech movements (funny you have to think of it in those terms these days - thought we already had that one down) become more and more publicized, we may see more and more lawyers jump into the fray on our behalf for their benefit.

Again, not a bad thing, but we don't want to be misguided into thinking that these lawyers working pro bono support our causes. They just as soon would take a $1M check from Microsoft.

Re:Symbiotic Relationship (5, Insightful)

startled (144833) | about 13 years ago | (#2371178)

Actually, he's already high-profile enough that he doesn't need the advertising. He can already pretty much name his fee.

Sure, maybe he can charge a couple more bucks-- but that'll hardly balance out with what he would've made charging a different client during the hours he spends on this case. And sure, maybe he enjoys being in the papers; and maybe his clients expect that from him.

But basically, he's already got plenty of money, and his practice is plenty successful. If he were just in it for the money, he wouldn't take this case. You'll find that a lot of defense attorneys (and prosecutors) really care about what happens to their client. Sure, Keker's probably not some anti-DMCA zealot, but he wouldn't have taken this case if he didn't think Sklyarov's prosecution was unjust.

Yes, cynicism is good, and with lawyers, it's doubly important. :) But contrary to popular belief, most of them are not soulless, money grubbing ambulance chasers.

Re:Symbiotic Relationship (2)

Lethyos (408045) | about 13 years ago | (#2371212)

But contrary to popular belief, most of them are not soulless, money grubbing ambulance chasers.

Thank you for validating my cynical nature yet all the while, sharply reminding me of this very good point. You're definitely right - my own lawyer, a man by the name of Karl Pfeffer, is a truly remarkable and respectable human being. I've become close friends with him since I enlisted his service and that of two of his peers a couple years ago.

It's easy to speak coarsely of a lawyer (or anyone for that matter) whom you have not met or know personally. As for Mr. Keker, I respect and applaud his act and wish him luck in this endeavor while at the same time, I hope he does in fact benefit from taking this on. Everyone should have fruits for their labor.

My goal with this comment may have been misconstrued, however. In brief, I mean that we have to be careful, in broad terms, to not become complacent. There are a lot of people and organizations supporting our ideals. Lawyers are certainly there, but also think about large companies that are involved with free speech ideals.

Take IBM, for example. Lots of devotion lately to Linux, but that's far from their bottom line. They benefit from OSS just as much as we do, but most likely, their returns to the community are just for good press. Their bottom line is profit, nothing more, and they should not be so readily trusted.

Re:Symbiotic Relationships on all levels (3, Flamebait)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 13 years ago | (#2371297)

Not that I find fault with it, but Lethyos has just as much to gain from posting his comment as we readers ourselves. Lethyos will gain a great deal of press and attention, whether or not his comment is highly moderated.

Yada yada yada. What a ridiculous comment! of COURSE both people gain from the deal! What else COULD there be -- Would you feel better if someone were holding a gun to Mr. Keker's head? Or if he had been drafted with the alternative a prison sentence?

And who the heck are you to say this lawyer doesn't support "our" causes? What causes would that be? Your cause? My cause? How about Dmitri's cause? Maybe Mr. Keker supports the cause of stopping Big Brother?

Good gosh, get a new hat -- your head's so swelled up you'll need a custom size.

Re:Symbiotic Relationship (2, Interesting)

totallygeek (263191) | about 13 years ago | (#2371450)

Again, not a bad thing, but we don't want to be misguided into thinking that these lawyers working pro bono support our causes.


Do you think Keker has a shot at making dough on a countersuit or wrongful imprisonment suit? Also, is there any legal recourse against Adobe [adobe.com] for starting this?

Re:Symbiotic Relationship (2)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | about 13 years ago | (#2371571)

What, are you kidding? What is the combined readership of Slashdot and 2600? That is the total number of people in the US that have heard of this case. He is a high profile attorney, but this is not the most high profile case he could be working on. How many people do you know that are not geeks and would have known about Dmitri if you didn't tell them? If the media covered this the way that they should have, Dmitri would be free anyway.

pro bono (2, Redundant)

mattvd (44096) | about 13 years ago | (#2371121)

In case you didn't know...

From dictionary.com:

pro bono
adj.

Done without compensation for the public good: a lawyer's pro bono work.

maybe pro Bono Vox? (1)

romanski (311971) | about 13 years ago | (#2371259)

..

Press Release (4, Funny)

brad3378 (155304) | about 13 years ago | (#2371123)

&gt John Keker has agreed to represent the Russian programmer pro bono

AP - Moscow: In a briew interview with the lead singer of U2, Bono denies allegations with regards to involvement in writing software that is used to break copy protection schemes. Although Bono admits to using similar software to pirate his own music, He believes that he should be able to write whatever code he likes. Bono refused futher requests for an interview.

Great Site :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371141)


"Browser Error
Sorry.You must have cookies enabled to enjoy this site. Please adjust..."


I'll just have to wait for some people to post so I can get my usually skewed ./ version of what this lawyer is planning to do to deal with this stupid law and get Sklyarov back to what he should be doing.

Cookies.... Sheesh!

Other sources? (1, Offtopic)

warpeightbot (19472) | about 13 years ago | (#2371170)

Does somebody have another source for this? Law.com is requiring cookies, and I know this sounds whiny, but I'm just a little too cagey right now to go waltzing onto a commerical site with Junkbuster disabled...

--
This domestic terrorism [geekculture.com] has got to stop.

Re:Other sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371198)

Well, if you would read the article that was posted 22 MINUTES BEFORE YOURS then you could see the full text.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Wish Them Good Luck (1)

mandria (442627) | about 13 years ago | (#2371175)

This is going to be a tough battle but i truly wish them good luck. I hope this trial brings out how unjustifiable the DMCA is and maybe the government get a move to change things a bit.
Just Hoping...

Nonsensical. (4, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about 13 years ago | (#2371176)

"Generally, they are the kinds of cases the government wouldn't even know about if they hadn't been contacted by the victim,"

They say this as this is specific to hi-tech crimes. Most property crime, extortion, rapes, battery, assualts, only only known by the government when the victim makes a complaint.

I am suprised that Dmitry didn't bring a lawsuit against Adobe and the government for retaliation under the ADA. He was aiding others in making a reasonable accomodation by breaking the software to allow it to be converted to speech for the blind.

DMCA dead by ADA? Re:Nonsensical. (2)

strredwolf (532) | about 13 years ago | (#2371493)

That would assume that Adobe's ebook software would or could not interface with existing screen-reader software, nor it would/could interface with any speech synth software. Mighty big IF there.

But if you can prove that it doesn't interface, would it be safe to say that the DMCA have a hole or two punched into it the size of a Mack truck?

VA files for Chapter 11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371185)

see [valinux.com] for yourself !


btw what's up with this stupid lameness filter

Re:about fucking time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371231)

see subj

I like goats (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371194)

yes. goats.

Squiggy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371200)

Squiggy [drink.to] , an Oi! band from NJ, has a very good song called Hang The Lawyers.

Pro Sonny Bono? (2, Funny)

yerricde (125198) | about 13 years ago | (#2371215)

Renowned San Francisco defense attorney John Keker has agreed to represent the Russian programmer pro bono.

Pro Bono? Aren't we supposed to be against the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [everything2.com] ?

More people like John Keker. (4, Interesting)

BrookHarty (9119) | about 13 years ago | (#2371243)

"I think he is being unjustly accused and that's the kind of case I like to do," Keker said Thursday.

Bravo.

As programmers write code to further the cause of opensource software, we need skilled Lawyers to protect our rights. Its war, and the battle will take place in the courts.

Ashcroft tells it all [democrats.com] - Political Cartoons at Political Strikes [politicalstrikes.com]

Re:More people like John Keker. (2, Insightful)

bucky0 (229117) | about 13 years ago | (#2371302)

Ashcroft tells it all [democrats.com]

The funny thing is...the left has been suppressing the 2nd amendment for a while now. Of course, I dont agree with what ashcroft said. But I thought it was kinda ironic.

Sourceforge rejected my project (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371252)

main()
{

printf("VA files for Chapter 11, woohoo !\n");

}

Re:Sourceforge rejected my project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371550)

They must have realised how bad a coder you are. Try these helpful hints:

  • printf() is a function defined in stdio.h and you need to include that header to use printf()
  • main() should return an int
  • main() should be declared, unless you're using an ancient K&R compiler
  • Why not just use puts() instead of printf() if you're not doing any formating?


For more information, consult your textbooks "Hello World!" example. Shitlick.

They should sue Adobe (4, Interesting)

shankark (324928) | about 13 years ago | (#2371262)

The release doesn't mention whether Skylarov will press for damages if acquitted, seeing as he is pitted against the US government. But I think, Keker must file a simultaneous petition to seek damages from Adobe. That should teach them to stop acting like idiots. One moment they are crying foul to mamma, then they see there's nothing in it for them, and then sheepishly wanting to opt out. Show them how the jungle law of the West works, Keker!

FROST PIST!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371264)

Just call me cocksickle!!!

Some bio info (4, Insightful)

Leven Valera (127099) | about 13 years ago | (#2371286)

is available here. http://www.kvn.com/attyjwk.html

This is very good. With the recent events in NYC further stigmatizing the public's view of technology, Keker taking the case is an excellent move to bring Dimitri's case into proper perspective.

DMCA - future prospects (2)

Alien54 (180860) | about 13 years ago | (#2371303)

If this guy is any good, I hope they take it to the supreme court and get the DMCA ruled unconsitutional.

This would be very satisfying.

On the hand, if they win, the government might not appeal since they would not want to have the DMCA so ruled.

In any case, it would be ironic for the whole thing to be thrown out because it was an action in a foreign land by a foreign national.

It's sad that this matters (4, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | about 13 years ago | (#2371312)

While I'm very happy for Dmitri Sklyarov, it's rather a sad indictment on the judicial system that having the one of the best lawyers seems to matter so much.

Surely any competent lawyer should be sufficient to point out the facts of the case, and allow a reasonably impartial judge and jury to judge the case accordingly.

Sadly, this doesn't appear to be the case.

And no, this isn't intended just to be an attack on the US justice system. I'm sure other countries are as bad (even if some of our laws aren't as bad in this regard - at least, not yet).

Re:It's sad that this matters (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 13 years ago | (#2371501)

Whoever said 'you can't judge a book by the cover' is technically true, but should have added 'however, the cover will do a lot to attract people to read the book.' I don't care if you're the most technically competant lawyer in the world, if you can't speak well, and convey your arguments well, you're going to do poorly as a lawyer. That's why some lawyers are worth so much. Sadly, though, a good argument will beat legal truth sometimes....

high-profile == expensive (2, Insightful)

LazyDawg (519783) | about 13 years ago | (#2371330)

Poor Dmitry,

A foreigner, trying to escape America for Russia and freedom, fighting against an unjust system, being forced to spend all his money on a legal battle that should never have happened.

I wonder how his wife and kid are doing through all this.

Pro bono = free (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 13 years ago | (#2371367)

nt

Nope, free! (2)

Webmonger (24302) | about 13 years ago | (#2371382)

Actually, high-profile!= expensive here. John Keker is doing the case "pro bono", i.e. for free.

US laws do not apply outside US (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371348)

I hope, that the outcome will be the obvious:
Every country has its own laws, and laws of one country are not applicable on what happened inside another country.
  • Brits drive on the left, that's legal in UK, but not in France. Will a Brit be arrested, when he visits France, telling everyone that at home he drives on the left? Obviously not.
  • In Netherland light drugs are legal, but in Italy not. Will someone from Amsterdam be arrested, when going on holidays to Italy? Obviously not.
  • Sklyarov wrote the software while in Russia, he is a Russian citizen, and in Russia it is legal to write this kind of software. Why should USA be allowed to arrest Sklyarov? On what basis?
Does the US legal system really think its laws are "universally" applicable? Is this the US-arrogance, that makes USA so hatred?

ms

Re:US laws do not apply outside US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371365)

Sklyarov wrote the software while in Russia , he is a Russian citizen, and in Russia it is legal to write this kind of software. Why should USA be allowed to arrest Sklyarov? On what basis?

Because his company trafficked the software in America. If you made and sent drugs to the U.S. from the Netherlands, you'd be arrested, and justifiably.

The software is illegal in America, but Elcomsoft sold it there anyway. Sklyarov wrote it. That makes him an accessory to the crime.

As much as we bitch and whine about our government, in this case they are completely justified in enforcing the law. Deal.

Re:US laws do not apply outside US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371555)

The software is illegal in America, but Elcomsoft sold it there anyway.

As I suspected, the obvious answer is to just cut off all external internet links into and out of the US, thus saving those wonderful cooporations from these nasty criminal hacker types attempting to pervert Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

While we're at it, we'll disconect those fucking whingy Aussies, it's not as if they have any decent sort of connection to the outside world as it is.

yes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2371349)

I like goats.

South Park (2, Funny)

entrox (266621) | about 13 years ago | (#2371370)

He'll whip out the Chewbacca Defense and win the case hands down:

"Dear ladies and gentleman of this supposed jury I have one final thing I want you to consider: this is Chewbacca.."

Who is going to pay the bill? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 13 years ago | (#2371444)

Much of the injustice today is that good lawyers are hard to come by and the few that exist charge outrageous fees. If you have big pockets you can accuse someone or defend yourself and always win. IT doesn't matter if you or they are truly guilty. A lawyer can lie, stretch the truth, or use FUD and make doubts on all the witnesses to practically throw out all evidence. We need to change our system and put some penalties on dishonest layers or make some new rules in court procedures. However the BAR association likes our current system and will not make any recommendations to change it.

Anyway not to go offtopic, good lawyers are expensive and how is this Russian who makes probably dirt pay afford him? Is the EFF paying for him? The EFF would like to fight Hollywood themselves and have a limited 2 million dollar budget to do it. Anyway I thought it would be cool if he could somehow afford Johnny Cochran. I love the South Park episode where Capitalist records sued the chef for copyright infringement supposedly for a song the chef wrote 20 years ago because it sounds to close to a newer song that is out.

"Capitalist records CEO: I AM ABOVE THE LAW!"

Re:Who is going to pay the bill? (1)

Jubedgy (319420) | about 13 years ago | (#2371564)

errr lawyer is doing this pro bono, that means free, FYI

--Jubedgy

Re:Who is going to pay the bill? (1)

cstew (96019) | about 13 years ago | (#2371570)

John Keker has agreed to represent the Russian programmer pro bono.

This means he will be representing Dmitry for free, so no one will be paying. This will also work out in Mr. Keker's favour as it can only make him more "high-profile" and popular.

should get Johnnie Cochran (1, Funny)

robvasquez (411139) | about 13 years ago | (#2371466)

If the bit's not flipped you must acquit!

Sign the Petition to get rid of the DMCA (2)

bwt (68845) | about 13 years ago | (#2371489)

Sign the Petition to Abolish the DMCA. [petitiononline.com]

Forward it on to people you know who oppose the DMCA.

Let's not forget... (1)

dbrian1 (522049) | about 13 years ago | (#2371530)

From the Article:
If convicted, he could face five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

This is assuming the ATA doesn't pass. Otherwise it should read Lifetime in prison with no chance of parole. [securityfocus.com]

Funny... (2)

Kasreyn (233624) | about 13 years ago | (#2371533)

Funny how it's square-jawed normals like Bruce Willis who play heroes in our movies. People like this, who will stand up for their rights and fight this fascism, are true heroes. There should be heroic movies about THIS sort of thing, with heart-rending patriotic movies and the libertarian hackers getting the chicks at the end. =)

-Kasreyn

Er.. (2)

Kasreyn (233624) | about 13 years ago | (#2371538)

"heart-rending movies"

Meant "music", D'OH! Need to lay off the Dew and post more carefully. =P

-Kasreyn
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