Russian Programmer's Arrest To Test Copyright Law

from the okay,-I'll-post-it dept

If you read technology news anywhere, you’ve probably already read about yesterday’s arrest of a Russian programmer who was in the states for DefCon 9. Adobe sent the FBI after him for his company’s software that disables the (apparently very weak) encryption on their eBooks. I read the stories about it yesterday and didn’t think there was much worth posting that wouldn’t be covered at other sites. Today, however, we’re getting more in depth looks at the legal implications of the case. Dan Gillmor explains why Ed Felton should be scared, since Adobe decided to go with a criminal suit rather than a civil law suit (like most cases involving the DMCA) – which could open up Felton to criminal charges as well. He also explains why this case clearly demonstrates (if you hadn’t figured it out already) why the DMCA is a threat to fair-use (though, not the type of “fair-use” that Symantec tried to claim in the article below). Another article suggests that the folks at the EFF are thrilled about the case because they think they can tear down the DMCA with it. This would be nice – but it’s dangerous to assume that the courts are automatically going to realize how ridiculous the case is.

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