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ElcomSoft Verdict: Not Guilty

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the merry-christmas-adobe dept.

The Courts 593

truthsearch writes "From News.com: 'A jury on Tuesday found a Russian software company not guilty of criminal copyright charges for producing a program that can crack anti-piracy protections on electronic books.' HUGE legal win against the DMCA. Thank you Lawrence Lessig."

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593 comments

Great!! (4, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908937)

This is great news for Dimitri & friends, but on the other hand this will never make it before the USSC to be ruled unconstitutional. I guess it's at least a good precident to set for other cases.

jaysyn

so now... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908985)

So what I want to know is how is the US Government and/or Adobe going to compensate Dmitri and Elcomsoft for this fraudulent lawsuit?

The way he was treated and the significant portion of his life that was stolen from him to deal with this ridiculous lawsuit demands some serious retribution to make things right.

Re:so now... (5, Insightful)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909092)

how is the US Government and/or Adobe going to compensate Dmitri

A free lifetime supply of e-books?

But seriously, they're not going to give him diddly. Things are frequently never made "right," esp. when the criminal justice system is involved.

It's not like you get restitution for when the cops pull you over, give you a warning, and let you go. Though technically you were detained for a few minutes while they ran your registration. What happened to Dmitry is the same thing but on a larger scale.

No fraud here. Lots of innuendo and FUD, but nothing arising to the legal definition of fraud. If you want to give hackers a better name, stop using the word fraudulently ... uh, fraudulently.

Re:Great!! (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909012)

not only that but it will be appealed probably another dozen times and then overturned silently in about 2 years.

Lawyers and politicians have one thing in common they are sneaky and cannot be trusted. espically in the case of defending laws that the companies that bribed ....ummm... supported them paid for.

Re:Great!! (5, Informative)

dalassa (204012) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909049)

Once he's been found not guilty it can't be "overturned." There's this thing called double jeopardy which is explicitly forbiden in the US Constitution. Not all lawyers are out to make the biggest buck by screwing over everyone in sight. Some actually have this idea that their job is to protect their client against unjust laws and to represent them to the best of their abilty.

Re:Great!! (2, Insightful)

CaptainPsyko (632409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909122)

Verdicts can be overturned on appeal.

Re:Great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909142)

A "not guilty" can only be overturned -- or even retried, I believe -- with significant new evidence.

Re:Great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909155)

Some actually have this idea that their job is to protect their client against unjust laws and to represent them to the best of their abilty.

must not be very many of them out there.. at least to the point that they are a rarity.. I have yest to hear of one lawyer speak out against these unjust laws being passed... hell most-all of them happily rolled over and towed the line with the rest of the BAR by reccomendingand SUPPORTING the passing of the homeland security act. yeah.. they're out to protect me... that's why they dont use plain english in ANY of their communication..

show me one lawyer that will stand up and say "cut the bullshit" let's talk in plain english.

Re:Great!! (1, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909151)


Oh, SHUT UP.

Whining about how all lawyers and politicians are for sale to the highest bidder and out to screw the regular guy (ie, you) isn't going to change anything. It just makes you a whiner.

I challenge you to s**t or get off the pot. Go enroll in law school so you can become the world's first honest lawyer. Run for a public office so you can be the only honest politician there is. The system CAN be changed if it's broken. You think it's broken, you change it.

Re:Great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909014)

This is only the first small step in the long and expensive process of killing the DMCA.
I'm glad to see Dimitry and company were successful. Porzdrovlaui! (congrats in Russian).

It could still make it to the US supreme court ... (2)

mfago (514801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909096)

Just wait for the dumb-wit US DOJ to appeal.

I mean the gall of a Russian company to violate US law. What will they think of next? Skipping out on US income taxes?

Re:Great!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909107)

no precedent here - a jury cannot set precendents. only if it gets appealed by DOJ (which may not be possible) could it get to a court that can set precedents.

Re:Great!! (1)

foxcub (465958) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909157)

So was he allowed to enter the US (was he granted the visa), and if not, will he be granted it now? Because for a researcher this can be a disaster...

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908940)

This post generated by FPyBot 0.0a

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908976)

Moron -- not even close.

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

Failure Guy (627040) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909109)

What is this? Another FAILURE POST bot? (as if one [slashdot.org] wasnt enough) Unsurprisingly, you have FAILED! The art of First Posting requires soul!

YOU FAIL IT!

Hi! You are a bitch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908946)

Hi remember me?

Yes you do! ya whore!!

Bend over and take it like a man!!!

tHANK yUO

Thank goodness! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908948)

Now I can go back to cracking.

Michael has the perfect crack for Yuo! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908973)

Yes you cum-guzzling queen!

Lube up you meat and ram that ass!!!

You know you want to!!!

All I can say is....... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908949)

woooohoooo!

at last... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908950)

One against DMCA!

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908951)

This is great to hear. I hope more cases turn out like this in the future.

weeeeeeee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908952)

w00t!

Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908955)

I certainly don't. We're not all yanks, you know.

Re:Who cares? (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909120)

No, but you can yank my marinara-sauce coated dick over your pallid british lips and suck it, taking great care not to touch my mighty wang with those yellow and black calcium deposits you brits call "teeth."

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908959)

The verdict finds YOU!

A disaster (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908965)

Because we won, we cannot challenge the constitutionality of the DMCA.

This is good news for the DMCA.

Re:A disaster (0, Offtopic)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909076)

Moderators: This is not a troll. The AC is right. Read the rest of the fscking comments before moderating from the hip.

Ok, someone fill me in (4, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908969)

How much closer does this get us to overturning the law? What exactly did we win?

If you want to be filled in... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908996)

1. Pants to your knees

2. Grab your ankles

3. Scream for "TACO!!!"

A fag will be on your ass to service you shortly

You are welcome!!

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (4, Insightful)

Rai (524476) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908997)

I'm no legal expert, but I think we're still a long way from overturning that law. It will take a lot more cases such as this...a LOT more.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (1)

jorupp (529670) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909164)

However, it _does_ set a legal precendent (in the court in which it was tried and all courts below it), I believe (though IANAL).

A joke (5, Funny)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909020)

I know it's bad form to reply to your own comment, but I just thought of something that IMHO is funny and hell and I have karma to burn.

It kind of reminds me of that Chris rock joke -- Following OJ's aquital:
Black people are like 'Yeah, we won!' What the fuck did we win? Every day I look in my mailbox for my O.J. prize - nothin'."

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (4, Insightful)

buzzdecafe (583889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909041)

IANAL, but--
In order to overturn the law, it would probably have been better to lose the case. Then they could appeal their way up the food chain to the Supreme Court. Challenging the constitutionality of the law is the way to get it overturned; losing in the lower courts is the only way to get there.

But, I ain't no expert, so I also would appreciate more light on this issue.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909168)

...but this successful non-defense of the DMCA could be used in another case to build up enough similar case history that the law is constitutionally challengable for other reasons - too broad (and possibly self-contradictory in parts) and vaguely defined, and possibly even an unreasonable intrusion on consitutionally protected rights.

That has been a successful tool to get some laws thrown out, even with The Supremes.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909081)

How much closer does this get us to overturning the law? What exactly did we win?

obIANAL

This doesn't help to overturn the law, but what we have won is a judicial precedent that creating a product which competes with another product is not illegal. This is in conflict with the DeCSS cases, which found that a product which competes with other DVD players was illegal under the DMCA.

This is all considering that there is no copyright or patent violated and no trade secrets were stolen in the creation of the competing product, as none were in the creation of DeCSS or the EBook Processor. These would all be separate crimes in and of themselves regardless of the DMCA, as would be advertising the product as one which assists in commiting criminal acts.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (5, Interesting)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909093)

Nowhere. The judge actually had some sense and instructed the jury that, to find Elcomsoft guilty, they needed to decide that the company knowingly commited an illegal act, and intended to do so.

Secondly, there is NO proof of pirated eBooks out there, even after 2 independant groups were paid to troll the web looking for them. No proof of copyright violation, no DMCA-offense.

It really came down to whether or not there was a reasonable legal use for the tool or not. The jury found that there was, ie, fair use applications. Not guilty, case closed, proceed with appeals.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909141)

knowingly commited an illegal act

sorry, but ignorance of the law is not a reason to reach a guilty verdict. in the last episode of Seinfeld, they didnt know squat about the good sumaritan law in that small town, but were still guilty of violating it. Though that was a TV show, that part of the story is accurate to real life.

Proof that the moderation system is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909132)

How the fuck can a post titled "Someone fill me in" and questions about what it all means be considered "Insightful"?

I suppose, by extension, this post should be moderated to +5, too. At least this one has declarative sentences.

It is clearly time to scrap the moderation system. Monkeys flinging their feces at posts would be better than the system we have now.

Re:Ok, someone fill me in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909135)

Actually we're further away now. The law can't be overturned on appeal until someone is SUCCESSFULLY prosecuted under it. Our hopes lie with either prosecutors winning these ridiculous cases or the legislature getting enlightened and repealing it. My money's on CowboyNeal.

Huge legal win? I think not. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908979)

Read the article. Elcomsoft removed the software and claimed they didn't realize their software was illegal. They prosecution also could not find any illegal ebooks on the web that had been cracked by Elcomsoft's software. This doesn't mean they can start selling the software again. Nor does it mean the DMCA cannot be used in future cases. Essentially they could not provide that Elcomsoft willfully violated copyright, which is necessary in criminal copyright violation cases. This is not a "huge legal win" by any stretch of the word.

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (5, Insightful)

g_adams27 (581237) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909042)

> This is not a "huge legal win" by any stretch of the word

I disagree. Take another look at the last paragraph of the article:

The judge told jurors...[that] merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction

That's a huge statement! One of the big, big sticks wielded by the RIAA/MPAA and others against software makers is that they can be held liable if their programs merely have the capability of being used to violate copyrights, even if the programmer had the best of intentions and never intended that it be used for that purpose. This guidance from the judge significantly reduces the ability of RIAA/MPAA to swing that stick.

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909075)

So what does this mean for Jon Johanssen and DeCSS??

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. - a moderate win (5, Informative)

garyrich (30652) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909046)

"After much wrangling among attorneys over the definition of the word "willful," the judge told jurors that in order to find the company guilty, they must agree that company representatives knew their actions were illegal and intended to violate the law. Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction, the jury instructions said."

In this case the jury instructions are probably more important than the actual verdict. This establishes a key point that a product that has both legal and ilegal potential uses is not in and of itself ilegal.

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909057)

Not only that, but how does the DMCA have any right to step over into Russia? Regardless of whether or not it was found
to have cracked any eBooks, who are these people to say that Russian businesses fall under the DMCA?

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (2)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909072)

Read the whole article. The judge instructions to the jury are interesting and will contradict what you're thinking.

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (4, Insightful)

Guido69 (513067) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909106)

Exactly. From reading the article, this sounds more like a win for the DMCA. Elcomsoft was found not guilty only because the tests in the law were not passed. Had nothing to do with whether or not those tests were appropriate.

I'm glad to see Elcomsoft come out on top of this, but don't see where it helps overturn the DMCA.

it is a "huge legal win" (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909127)

If it stops multi-nationals from fileing DMCA violations without thinking ... Wall-Mart etc.....

Re:Huge legal win? I think not. (2)

aufait (45237) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909166)

Depends on your viewpoint. In the two previous cases, the judges said basically that any software that allows a user to circumvent access controls was ipso facto an infringing device.

This doesn't mean they can start selling the software again.

Conversely, it doesn't mean that they can't. There is no evidence produced to show that it was ever used to violate copyright law. This gives Elcomsoft a strong arguement if they want to get a declaritory judgement that says their software is legal under the DMCA. It will be difficult for Adobe to prove that its "main purpose" is to infringe copyright if they can't find a single instance of it being used in that fashion in spite of the number already sold.>p?

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908981)

... IN SOVIET RUSSIA

WOOT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908982)

WOOOT

Now I can finally rest easy at night... (3, Funny)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908992)

...knowing that the DMCA's attempts to stifle software innovation have been conquered.



I'm still worried about the whole idea that the law applies in Russia, though...

Re:Now I can finally rest easy at night... (3, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909100)

I'm still worried about the whole idea that the law applies in Russia, though...

It doesn't exactly apply in Russia, it applies to people selling things in the US that may be illegal under american law. You don't have to like it but if you sell something in a country it's your responsibility to make sure it's legal under their laws. No matter how messed up. ..knowing that the DMCA's attempts to stifle software innovation have been conquered.

Except for the fact that ElcomSoft withdrew the software in question. I'm not sure about you but I would consider withdrawing the software in question to be stifling innovation :(

3....2....1.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909116)

I'm still worried about the whole idea that the law applies in
Russia, though...
IN SOVIET RUSSIA....

Re:Now I can finally rest easy at night... (2)

ProfDumb (67790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909162)

I'm still worried about the whole idea that the law applies in Russia, though.

I see this comment a lot and it is not fair. No one claims that the law applies "in Russia". The prosecution argument was, first, that the software was offered for sale to US customers. They could have put on a button on their website that said, "I certify I am not a resident of the US", or even "I certify that this sofware is legal in my place of residence," but they didn't. Second, they supposedly used a US payment clearing firm for their web transactions. This alone is probably enough for them to come under US law. But even the prosecution didn't claim that the law applies "in Russia."

As an analogy, imagine a firm that operated in Russia, but shipped illegal drugs into the US. They clearly violate US law.

Now, under the judges instructions, perhaps the jury found it sufficient that they didn't specifically intend to sell the software to folks in the US, but more likely the jury was impressed that they didn't specifically intend for it to be used to violate copyright.

IANAL and none of this is intended as a defense of the DMCA, which is a horrible law.

my 2 cents (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909002)

fuck you all

2 cents? You should have held out for a nickel!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909037)

That witty joke is worth at least that

You Are welcome!

Frickin' finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909003)

I feel like it's been a long, long time since there was any really good news in the paper. This warms me to the bone.

Eat This DMCA: +5 Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909004)



#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 531-byte qrpff-fast, Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz
# MPEG 2 PS VOB file on stdin -> descrambled output on stdout
# arguments: title key bytes in least to most-significant order
$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$ c=142;$ t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,1 1,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])$t^=(72, @z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16
-2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12 :0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if ((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@ b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$ h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$
d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256| (ord$b[4])>8^($f=$t&($d>>12^ $d>>4^
$d^$d/8))>8^($t&($g=($q=$e>>14&7^$e)^$q*8^ $q>=8)+= $f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/p ack+/g;eval

Ahhh, the rainmaker comes (2, Insightful)

Ben1234 (558406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909009)

It's nice to see reason prevail against corporate tyranny. We can only hope that this is the first in a long list of successes against an unreasonble set of laws that make up the DMCA. Let's hope that there are not a string of appeals that that just ultimately drain the resources of ElcomSoft.

Re:Ahhh, the rainmaker comes (1)

Durrik (80651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909051)

I don't think there can be an appeal on an innocent verdict in a criminal trial in the states.

I think its called the double bind clause in their bill of rights. If you're charged for murder and get found innocent you can't be brought to trial again just because they found some new evidence.

I know in Canada that an innocent verdict can be appealed. And in non-criminal cases the double bind clause doesn't apply. But this was a criminal copyright trial wasn't it?

Will Adobe Apologize? (1, Interesting)

TimeReliesOnLadyLuck (634991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909023)

First, they had the man arrested. Second, what, did they back down only after massive protest??? Third,
I still won't buy any product or contribute to their profit.

Some things just can't be forgiven. In some republics, we would arrest Adobe, for harrassing an innocent programmer just writing code.

Don't just boycott Adobe-- help GIMP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909143)

I contribute to projects like MacGIMP [macgimp.org] as one way to fight their cowardice.

if only (1, Insightful)

Cheapoboy (634792) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909028)

Now if we can just get the US goverment to stop arresting european teenagers for being too clever, we'll actually have something!

There is no such thing as a clever European (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909077)

Eurotrash!!! Fuckers all of them!!!

Fuck them, you and your whore of a mother!!!!

Thank You!

The biggest problem (4, Insightful)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909030)

Is that the case was turned on the wording, moreso the usage of the word "Willful." This case does not provide precedence for using the software to crack an eBook. Basically, we still cannot use our open source machines to do something that proprietary machines can.

There was no precedence established for the unconstitutionality of the DMCA, in part or in whole. Once that happens, we can be happy.

Re:The biggest problem (2)

Jobe_br (27348) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909115)

I'm not sure about that. One cannot use Elcomsoft's software to crack an illegally obtained eBook or to facilitate the illegal distribution of a cracked eBook, but - if one were to legally purchase an eBook and use Elcomsoft's software to convert the eBook into a PDF to view in otherwise incompatible viewers, for personal use only (not to be shared), then I believe that would be legit, since it is not legal for content copyright holders to prevent the user from personal use of the copyrighted materials.

Of course, IANAL, so I could be off on this ..

Re:The biggest problem (4, Insightful)

thelen (208445) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909118)

Exactly, this case doesn't speak at all to whether the DMCA is itself legitimate, but rather whether ElcomSoft was in violation of it. This is good news in the sense that it sets a precendent for how to avoid prosecution under the law, but in no way actually undermines the law itself, which is what we truly need to happen.

In Summary . . . (2, Insightful)

WebBug (178944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909045)

in order to find the company guilty, they must agree that company representatives knew their actions were illegal and intended to violate the law. Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction(from the Judges instructions to the jury)


I think that pretty much sums it up. If you clearly intend to perform an illegal act then the DCMA is fully in effect. Elcom did not intend to circumvent the copy protection on ebooks except for the legitimate user making backup copies. Elcom reacted to Adobe's concerns in reasonable time and in manner that clearly demonstrated Elcom's concern with the legality of their eBook software.


In summary: the court found that intent is everything.

Intent is everything (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909054)

After much wrangling among attorneys over the definition of the word "willful," the judge told jurors that in order to find the company guilty, they must agree that company representatives knew their actions were illegal and intended to violate the law. Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction, the jury instructions said.
That's the positive side. Basically, to move the argument to the other "big" DMCA-related case, if you want to produce a DVD player, as long as your intent is "clean" - ie your application is intended to provide fair use of content, such as the ability to watch it - you are not violating the DMCA by doing so.

Intent is something that, in this case, was determined by a jury, presumably on the balance of evidence rather than on a reasonable-doubt basis, so someone producing something that allows you to make copies of DVDs for friends, or of DVDs you've rented, would appear to be unlikely to get away with doing so if there's any suggestion that they saw that as being the major application of the program.

Disclaimer: IANAL, but my mother is.

Willfull infringement? (2, Insightful)

jander (88775) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909059)

Although I believe this is a big win, I am not sure it was for the right reasons. It appears that the jury did not believe elcomsoft *willfully* violate the DMCA, but questions of jurisdiction and even applicability were not sufficiently answered, IMHO.

Hopefully, with more rulings like this we can postpone the seemingly inevitable trip to the re-education camps.....

oh great! (2, Funny)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909060)

And in other news, DMCA2 is now being drafted... sounds like they're pluggin the legal holes... and what's this paragraph about? 'We the RIAA and MPAA reserve the right to f*$@ you up the...'...

Oh my...

Congratulations Joe Burton (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909064)

Much of the accolade goes to defense attorney Joe Burton and his dogged determination to defend Dmitry and Elcomsoft at considerable burden to himself. As a senior partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, he had to get the firm to buy into the importance of this case, because I believe they were paid very little. He sold it to the firm because he believed in this case, and that it was unfair to apply the DMCA criminal charges against this company. Well done Joe! And thanks for taking up this fight! And thank you Duane Morris for picking up much of the tab. Who said big law firms have no heart?

The judge's instructions (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909068)

That's the interesting part. He instructed the jury that simply making a product that could be used for copyright violation wasn't enough, the company had to intend for it to be used for copyright violation. This is similar to DeCSS, where it can be but isn't intended for copyright violation. If the ElcomSoft instructions were used in the DeCSS case, they'd be found not guilty by the same reasoning. From a PR standpoint this is a win, because it undercuts the ability of companies to use the DMCA to shut down everything while still allowing them to prosecute actual violation, and it makes them prove intent instead of just possible use.

Its amazing...the system works...sometimes (2)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909070)

Its amazing what can happen when things get put to a jury, instead of being decided by a single judge or targeted committe! The Jurors have appearently opted for freedom in a country that values freedom...its really very shocking...

Star Trek : Nemesis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909074)

Hey, did anyone see ST:Nemesis? I think it was one of the best ST movies out there. It definitely had a Wrath of Khan flavor to it and I thought the character development was great! The only problem was -

Oh, am I supposed to stick to the topic?

Great, but I don't think it sets a precedent. (5, Insightful)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909082)

This is certainly good news for Elcomsoft: they've won their battle. Unfortunately, it doesn't help much to win the war. This decision was by the jury. That means that it doesn't set a precedent, and won't help get the law overturned.

What this decision does do is show the government one way not to prosecute honest programmers and researchers. What it doesn't do is keep them from finding other ways, that will work.

To set a precedent, we need a judge's decision that the DMCA is/is not unenforceable/unconstitutional. That will make the DMCA a settled issue within that judge's jurisdiction. To make it effective nation-wide, it then needs to be appealed to the Supreme court, and upheld there.

Jury Instructions (2)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909084)

the judge told jurors that in order to find the company guilty, they must agree that company representatives knew their actions were illegal and intended to violate the law. Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction, the jury instructions said.

I think that this is a key reason why much of DMCA will fail in court. Providing something that can be used illicitly is different from providing something that can only be used illicitly. A gun can be used to commit murder which is illegal. It can also be used in an Olympic event, which is legal. There is no legal use for crack cocaine, so having, providing, and using are all illegal. So as long as there are legitimate uses for the code, it should be legal.

My humble $0.02 on a complicated and tangled issue;-)

WoooHoooo! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909086)

Suck on that, DMCA-loving Nazis! (Yes, that's you, MPAA and RIAA.)

It's too bad... (3, Insightful)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909088)

... that the reason was because they weren't "wilfully" breaking the law. Not for the defendents of course, any reason to get off is good for them. But in the grande scheme of things it would have benefited many more people if the law was found unconstitutional.

Looks like (3, Interesting)

zephc (225327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909090)

the older decision in "Lawyers vs. Justice" has been overturned! Here's hoping the "Reversal of Freedom Act" will be overturned soon too!

(more Simpsons references)

OBEDIENCE IS VICTORY! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909097)

All your courtroom are belong to us!

Nothing to download here people. Move along.

And there was much rejoicing! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4909098)

Hooray for justice! W00t!!

Fair use restored, dancing in the streets reported (5, Funny)

nagora (177841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909105)

Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction, the jury instructions said.

Well, that clears DeCSS up, then!

If only it were that simple, eh?

TWW

Although it sounds good there is a catch (3, Insightful)

i_luv_linux (569860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909114)

In this case, we should remember that Adobe backed from its initial claims and thus opened the way for a win for the Elcom. This will probably not be true for other cases, and from what I understood the "intention" thing is too shaky. It is too subjective, another jury with a different atmosphere can find the defendant guilty. So overall I think we are still not so sure about the power of DMCA.

What about the issue of jurisdiction? (1)

s1234d (542588) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909119)

Surely the major issue in this case is validity of prosecuting somebody in Russia under US law? Can anybody give details as to whether this was included in the legal arguments?

This case isnt even about copyright (1)

NynexNinja (379583) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909167)

Its about freedom of speech. Source code is speech. I think they should take it to the next level, get this DMCA law exposed for the fraud that it is. Its a blatent restriction on everyones freedom of speech and expression.

Huge Win? (2)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 11 years ago | (#4909174)

This isn't a legal win; the provisions of the DMCA itself were never called into question - just the efforts to comply with them.

Is is, of course, a great time to make a donation to the EFF [eff.org] so that they can keep up the fight!
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