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Sklyarov Released On $50,000 Bail 534

Mike Schiraldi was the first to write about Dmitry Sklyarov's release from jail, even before it happened: "According to this live report from the courtroom, Dmitri will probably be out of jail real soon now. Of course, he still won't be allowed to leave Northern California, but it's a start ..." Soon after, inaneboy pointed out this Reuters story on yahoo which says that Sklyarov has been released, on 50,000 dollars bail, raised by his employer, ElcomSoft. phalse phace wrote to say that the EFF has just posted an announcement as well as some background.
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Sklyarov Released On $50,000 Bail

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  • by TrinSF ( 183901 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2001 @03:49AM (#2109820)
    I know I have absolutely no practical experience in social agitation for political change, so please accept it as my woefully uneducated personal opinion that I see this sort of thing [chanting slogans] as infantile.

    That's your opinion; it's not matched by the experience of countless protest organizations and movements dating back centuries. As you've said, you don't have a similar well of experience from which to draw.

    It is not effective or witty, it is lame. It makes you look like brainless, uncreative drones on television, and people will tune you right out.

    While it may be annoying to you, it *is* effective.

    The reason chanting has been used at protest events for centuries is because it works. Chanting, in combination with other factors (bright/colorful/memorable costumes, clear signs, catchy slogans) helps fulfill several goals that most protest groups have. Among them, chanting:

    1. Creates substantive sight-and-sound bites for the media.

    2. Conveys a basic message to observers.

    3. Unites the protesters, giving a greater appearance of unity.

    4. Helps keep participant energy up over long protest periods.

    5. Can be used to synchronize group action and convey messages in large crowds. ("When we start chanting 'foo', that's the signal to move towards the gates of the plant.")

    6. Provides a simple "hook" for bystanders to participate.

    I understand that you may consider chants about the DMCA childish, but simple slogans can create interest in a topic. If I know nothing about the DMCA and hear people chanting "Down with the DMCA" (and see signs waving!) I may be spurred to find out more about the subject myself. While you may be adept at explaining the topic in 20 minutes, or even 5, you need to capture interest in 20 seconds -- the time my car is stopped at that red light on the corner -- and that requires slogans, signs, and *chants*.

    Please think of something different.

    I'll politely refrain from asking how many protests you've participated in, or organized, or how you've kept your mental and physical energy up after 4 hours of marching, or 20 days at the same street corner; after all, you've already said you have no experience with organized protest actions. While I understand that you -- someone educated about the topic -- may find simple chanting "infantile" -- I would suggest that you try engaging in the activity before demanding of others that they replace a time-tested and perennially effective element of protesting.


  • by RetsamYthgimla ( 458392 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @03:51PM (#2163904)
    Hey, I was there from about 10:45 AM to noon. Where would I send pictures I took with my digital camera? I don't have any place to host the pictures from.
  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @03:58PM (#2163956)
    Adobe doesn't need to reimburse Elcomsoft. After the trial, Elcomsoft will get its $50K back. That's how bails work.
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Monday August 06, 2001 @03:59PM (#2163974) Homepage Journal
    He's only out on Bail. He can still be sent to jail if he is found in violation of the DMCA. I wouldn't toss your Free Dimitri shirt quite yet.
  • by LiamQ ( 110676 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:00PM (#2163980)

    Here are a couple new SF Chronicle articles of interest:

  • by gorgon ( 12965 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:05PM (#2164015) Homepage Journal
    Contact somebody at the SF Bay Area Free Dmitry site []. They have a bunch of protest pictures up, and I'm sure they'd be glad to add more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:09PM (#2164048)
    Tobin came home today.. Why aren't I surprised?
  • LA Times (Score:2, Informative)

    by Amazing Quantum Man ( 458715 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:13PM (#2164071) Homepage
    Front Page article in the LA Times [] about E-Books and Dmitry. Had a great picture of one of the protests on an inside continuation page (pic not available on line, bummer!).

    LA Times article on the bail. []
  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:17PM (#2164102) Homepage
    The slap in the face goes beyond just a low bail. Consider this:
    • The Judge is allowing Dmitry out on bail without any intrusive monitoring device. The only thing keeping Dmitry in the US is the fact that the US is holding his passport.
    • The low bail and the very lax terms of his bail were set by an agreement between the EFF and the US Attourney's office. The judge just "rubberstamped" the deal.

    I personally wouldn't consider this a slap in the face of the FBI, but perhaps a slap in the face of the DMCA. Clearly the US Atty. intends to prosecute, but I suspect that John Ashcroft not exactly enthusiastic to prosecute Sklyarov. If we keep up the political pressure on Ashcroft, we may indeed stop this prosecution altogether.

    So, let's step up the pressure. Call John Ashcroft (the US Attourney General) at 202-353-1555 and let him know that you think Sklyarov's prosecution under DMCA is unjust.

  • by 3-State Bit ( 225583 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:23PM (#2164147)
    ...The question is not whether he broke the law, he did...

    Where have you been for the past forever? Dyema' broke no law, just as you're breaking no law by getting drunk off your ass in your own home, provided you're allowed to purchase alcohol in your area, even though there are countries where being intoxicated past a certain point is illegal. A 19 year old in France who buys a beer is breaking no law, and neither is the man or woman selling it to him. Sure, over here the legal drinking age is 21, and over here we have a DMCA also. But Dyema' didn't break the DMCA while he was over here. He did actions in russia, previous to his ever having come to the U.S., that had he done them here, would have been illegal. The speech he gave is protected in a specific exception clause in the DMCA, which allows unlimited discussion of cryptography, as long as its application is not sold to break specific copyrighted software.

    However unethical the DMCA may be, Dyema' did not break it.

    However unethical underage drinking laws may be, then my 19 year old friend Ja'nos did not break them when he was over here mixing drinks, even if he had drunk alcohol in Hungary at the age of 18 before he ever came here! (Which is the legal drinking age over there).

    Dyema did not break Russian or U.S. laws while in Russia. Dyema did not break Russian or U.S. laws while in America. Therefore, he is not a good test case to establish a precedent against the DMCA, which is an unethical law. A good precedent would be someone who actually broke it.

    Where have you been?
    Search Skylarov on the slashdot front page and read the +5 insightful comments on any one of the many resulting slashdot stories. We've established this thoroughly. How can you still think that Skylarov broke the DMCA?

    I assume an underage person is allowed to mix drinks, because I know someone so employed.
  • Pictures from Rally (Score:5, Informative)

    by byoungvt ( 225652 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:37PM (#2164241) Homepage
    Pictures now up here []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:42PM (#2164263)
    According to the little ACLU "Arrest Card" that I like to carry around with me, you MUST be brought be given an attorney immediately and brought before a court the first business day after your arrest. If he were arrested on a Friday, he should see a judge on Monday. This bail hearing was three weeks late.
  • by Daffy Duck ( 17350 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:42PM (#2164270) Homepage
    The room was indeed packed - standing room only. (Only they don't let people in the gallery stand except for the security guards.)

    Sklyarov was handcuffed and wearing a fetching orange T-shirt from the Santa Clara County Main Jail collection.

    The proceeding itself was mostly dull and could just as easily have been done over the phone. No controversy or disagreement. The judge seemed to just want to get the whole thing over with as routinely as possible. The only additional information he asked for was some assurance that Dmitry's immigration status would not interfere with the trial proceedings. And while the papers are reporting that the U.S. attorney is still holding Sklyarov's passport, he did make clear that it would be handed over to the court at their discretion.

    The next court appearance is scheduled for August 23, so Dmitry must be indicted within that time for the case to go forward.

    After the hearing was over, nine tenths of the people left the room, and the whole proceeding only took about twenty minutes.

  • Re:Party (Score:3, Informative)

    by ikluft ( 1284 ) <`gro.yabs.rednuht' `ta' `hsals-ki'> on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:48PM (#2164305) Homepage
    At the very least, someone may want to set up some housing for him.
    I was in the court room today...

    Part of the conditions with which Dmitry was allowed out on bail (even though he is a foreign national) was because the defense had arranged for a "custodian", someone at whose home he will stay who accepts some responsibilities under the arrangement. The judge briefly questioned the custodian before accepting him. The deal had already been agreed upon between the prosecutors and the defense so the judge just approved it.

    The custodian is a Russian immigrant who has lived in Cupertino (a city adjacent to San Jose on the western side of Silicon Valley, best known as home of Apple Computer) for 8 years.

  • by bani ( 467531 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @04:51PM (#2164321)
    The REAL people responsible for this whole situation are the INDIVIDUALS WHO FILED THE COMPLAINT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    These people made a PERSONAL decision to prosecute Sklyarov, and it was their INDIVIDUAL decision to cry foul under the DMCA.

    We have their names from the criminal complaint document, why hasn't anyone in the media contacted them?

    The individuals responsible:

    Kevin Nathanson - eBooks Group Product manager, complainant to the FBI.
    Daryl Spano - Adobe "Anti-piracy" investigator, also complainant to the FBI.
    Tom Diaz - Senior Engineering Manager for eBook
    Daniel J O'Connell - FBI agent who filed the complaint.

    The media needs to put the spotlight on these I N D I V I D U A L S who are personally responsible for Sklyarov's situation.
  • by teatime ( 225707 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @05:01PM (#2164381)

    You can publish your picutures and captions at [] as well. It's also a good way to educate people who are not educated about technical matters and the DMCA and of the danger this law poses to ALL of our civil liberties.

  • I still don't think the EFF has done diddley to help him really.

    I'd much rather see people e-mailing the REAL Lawyers who help those burned by unconstitutional laws, the Institute for Justice [].

    Here's a law team that really pushes the envelope on laws that are obviously unconstitutional, AND they have a long list of cases not only where they have won their client's cases, BUT THEY HAVE CHANGED THE LAWS! How's that for freedom?

  • Re:California? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @06:16PM (#2164874)
    Apparently you haven't been to Silicon Valley. What you describe sounds more like coastal Southern California. SV is more like: vast, endless traffic, no decent restaurants (only endless tech company offices), no women at all (only male techies).
  • Fox News Frontpage (Score:2, Informative)

    by NullPointer ( 6898 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @06:42PM (#2164995) Homepage
    As others have noted here, we must do what we can to keep the pressure on. Currently (6:30pm eastern) the Fox News site ( has a reference on their front page to the bail hearing. Big media companies like Fox keep track of their hits and visiting the link may help to convince Fox's producers to keep an eye on the story... just a thought.
  • by MatsG ( 111793 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @06:47PM (#2165018)
    EFF's FAQ [] about the case tells:
    "Sklyarov is accused of "trafficking" in or providing to the public, software that can circumvent technological protection on copyrighted material under the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions (section 1201(b)(1)(A)). He's also charged with aiding and abetting. The Complaint doesn't identify the factual basis of that charge, but people have speculated that the US government would claim that Dmitry, as an employee of ElcomSoft Co. Ltd., aided and abetted the company to manufacture and distribute software that circumvents a technological protection that effectively protects a copyrighted work."
    EFF also has the complaint [] filed by FBI Special Agent Daniel J. O'Connell. Even though the conclusion is that agent O'Connell "based on the forgoing' believes that Sklyarov has "has willfully and for financial gain imported, ... and otherwise trafficked .. " etc, etc, very little in the affidavit substantiates this. More importantly, there is no mention of any "trafficking" taking place by Dimitri personally and DEF CON. The grievances seems to be more with Elcomsoft (Dimitri's employer) rather than with himself. As I read things, it is clear that Elcomsoft has offered its unlocking software for sale in the US, however, the prosecution will have to prove that Dimitri, after having written the software, was actively involved in this.
  • by Ms.Taken ( 324811 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @07:21PM (#2165166)
    Thanks for the links. Definitely good for a laugh.

    From the 'Martyr or criminal?' article:

    Book publishers say they need a tough law like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or they'll never be able to make money selling electronic books. If programmers are allowed to crack eBook encryption, the next Napster-style trading system will be exchanging copies of "Moby Dick" instead of songs by Moby, they warn.

    From the Project Gutenburg website:

    DOWNLOAD: - 591 KB

    Let's just hope no one alerts the FBI. ;)

  • by ehintz ( 10572 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @07:21PM (#2165174) Homepage
    I contacted his wife the day after the arrest and offered the family the option of staying at my house. Additionally, when the topic came up on the Free-Skylarov list folks chimed in with somewhere on the order of $500, and this was just folks saying "put me in for $20". Also, I understand the EFF offered to fly the whole family out. Anyway, if they want to come there is no doubt they can-assuming of course that INS will give them Visas. However, Dmitry's wife has thus far declined all offers, for various reasons including the fear of somehow becoming incarcerated herself. A very reasonable fear given our gestapo tactics and her upbringing in a police state. In her shoes I'd be worried too...

    She and I have both agreed for now that it would be best if we meet in Moscow, with Dmitry being a free man.
  • AP article here (Score:2, Informative)

    by neier ( 103246 ) on Monday August 06, 2001 @07:57PM (#2165303)
    There's another "friendly" AP article at the Boston Globe [].

    While working for Elcomsoft Co. Ltd. of Moscow, Sklyarov
    came up with ways around those restrictions so electronic
    books could be transferred from one computer to another or used in
    text-to-speech programs, for example.

    Such programs are legal in Russia but banned under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2001 @01:05AM (#2166330)
    I take it you grant me my point on police brutality in Los Angeles and NYC.

    Hmm, are you suggesting that all these broken windows, destroyed property and burned out cars were provided to us by our "dark corner" police?

    Actually, yes, according to many reports [] from eyewitnesses (and here [] , and here [] ) the police were responsible for a great deal of the violence in Genoa. It is undisputed that the vast majority of the protestors in Genoa were non-violent, yet they were especially targeted, while the small number of black-block anarchists were left unopposed to destroy property. Many protestors believe that the police actually infiltrated the black block and took part in some of the worst property destruction. Quite a propaganda coup for the proto-fascist Italian government - do you see the logic behind it?

    Personally, I would rather see a few broken windows than have a young women get her face beaten to an unrecognizable pulp, or a young man wielding a fire extinguisher get fatally shot in the head.

    Of course, if you only get your information from Fox News [] and the like, these events were either unreported or trivialized [] .

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain