The New York Association of Copyright Stakeholders NYASCH, formerly referred to as "New Yorkers for Fair Use", has recently taken on this new identity in order to distinguish itself from the activities of NYFU. Additional information can be viewed on our history page.

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All material copyrighted by Ruben Safir and contributors.

Court Cases
The real war on Fair Use has begun, and the first casualty is a young family man Dmitry Sklyarov

Dmitry is nothing more than a paid employee of a legal and ethical business in the Russian Republic, which makes devices to make Adobe E-books legal to possess in Russia. Russia, in response to terible abuse of information channels in the past, has a strange law which forbids the selling of any device which doesn't guarantee a minimum of Fair Use aceess to published works.

Adobe's ebook is in violation of Russian Law. Dmitry is just a hired programmer working for ElcomSoft. He made a speech here in the US on E-Book Security and was arrested.

Dmitry was arrested for violating a US Law which destroys the Democratic Freedom while being a simple employee for a company producing a product which guarantees and complies with laws in Russia designed to protect their fledgling democracy.

Is this the Twiight zone or What? See this NYTimes Article

----- Forwarded message from Bill Evans  -----

This from the U.S. Att'y. in SFO:

December 13, 2001

        The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District
of California announced  that Dmitry Sklyarov entered into an
agreement this morning with the United States and admitted his conduct
in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Whyte in San Jose Federal

        Under the agreement, Mr. Sklyarov agreed to cooperate with the
United States in its ongoing prosecution of Mr. Sklyarov's former
employer, Elcomsoft Co., Ltd.  Mr. Skylarov will be required to appear
at trial and testify truthfully, and he will be deposed in the matter.
For its part, the United States agreed to defer prosecution of Mr.
Sklyarov until the conclusion of the case against Elcomsoft or for one
year, whichever is longer.  Mr. Sklyarov will be permitted to return
to Russia in the meantime, but will be subject to the Court's
supervision, including regularly reporting by telephone to the
Pretrial Services Department.  Mr.  Sklyarov will be prohibited from
violating any laws during the year, including copyright laws.  The
United States agreed that, if Mr. Sklyarov successfully completes the
obligations in the agreement, it will dismiss the charges pending
against him at the end of the year or when the case against Elcomsoft
is complete.

        Mr. Sklyarov, 27, of Moscow, Russia, was indicted by a federal
Grand Jury on August 28, 2001.  He was charged with one count of
conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371,
and two counts of trafficking for gain in technology primarily
designed to circumvent technology that protects a right of a copyright
owner in violation of Title 17, United States Code, Section
1201(b)(1)(A), and two counts of trafficking for gain in technology
marketed for use in circumventing technology that protects a right of
a copyright owner in violation of Title 17, United States Code,
Section 1201(b)(1)(A).

        In entering into the agreement with the government, Mr.
Sklyarov was required to acknowledge his conduct in the offense.  In
the agreement, Mr.  Sklyarov made the following admissions, which he
also confirmed in federal court today:

"Beginning on a date prior to June 20, 2001, and continuing through
July 15, 2001, I was employed by the Russian software company,
Elcomsoft Co. Ltd.  (also known as Elcom Ltd.) (hereinafter
"Elcomsoft") as a computer programmer and cryptanalyst.

"Prior to June 20, 2001, I was aware Adobe Systems, Inc. ("Adobe") was
a software company in the United States.  I was also aware Adobe was
the creator of the Adobe Portable Document Format ("PDF"), a computer
file format for the publication and distribution of electronic
documents.  Prior to June 20, 2001, I knew Adobe distributed a program
titled the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader that provided technology for the
reading of documents in an electronic format on personal computers.
Prior to June 20, 2001, I was aware that documents distributed in the
Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader format are PDF files and that
specifications of PDF allow for limiting of certain operations, such
as opening, editing, printing, or annotating.

"Prior to June 20, 2001, as a part of my dissertation work and as part
of my employment with Elcomsoft, I wrote a part of computer program
titled the Advanced eBook Processor ("AEBPR").  I developed AEBPR as a
practical application of my research for my dissertation and in order
to demonstrate weaknesses in protection methods of PDF files.   The
only use of the AEBPR is to create an unprotected copy of an
electronic document.  Once a PDF file is decrypted with the AEBPR, a
copy is no longer protected by encryption.  This is all the AEBPR
program does.

"Prior to June 20, 2001, I believed that ElcomSoft planned to post the
AEBPR program on the Internet on the company's website  I believed that the company would charge a fee for
a license for the full version of the AEBPR that would allow access to
all capabilities of the program.

"After Adobe released a new version of the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader
that prevented the initial version of the AEBPR program from removing
the limitations or restrictions on an e-book, I wrote software
revisions for a new version of the AEBPR program. The new version
again decrypted the e-document to which it was applied.  The version
of this new AEBPR program offered on the Elcomsoft website only
decrypted a portion of an e-document to which it was applied, unless
the user had already purchased a fully functional version of the
earlier version and had both versions installed on the same machine.
The new version was developed after June 29, 2001. At that time,
Elcomsoft had already stopped selling the program. The version of this
new program offered on the Elcomsoft website did not provide a user
with an opportunity to purchase it or convert it to a fully functional
one, and was developed as a matter of competition.

"On July 15, 2001, as part of my employment with Elcomsoft, I attended
the DEF CON Nine conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  At the conference I
made a presentation originally intended for the BlackHat conference
that immediately preceded the DefCon Nine in July 2001 in Las Vegas,
Nevada.  The same group of people organizes both BlackHat and DefCon
Nine.  Since there was no available slot for a presentation at
BlackHat at the time when the paper was sent for the committee
consideration, the organizers of both conferences suggested that the
paper be presented at the DefCon rather than at BlackHat.  The paper
that I read at DefCon is attached as  Exhibit A.  A principal part of
my presentation is comprised of my research for the dissertation.  In
my presentation when I said "we", I meant Elcomsoft."

        Mr. Sklyarov's employer, Elcomsoft, remains charged in the
case, and the Court in that matter has set hearings for various
motions on March 4, 2002, and April 1, 2002.

        The prosecution of Elcomsoft is the result of an
investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Scott Frewing
and Joseph Sullivan of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property
("CHIP") Unit are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the
case with the assistance of legal technician Lauri Gomez.

        A copy of this press release and key court documents filed in
the case may also be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at .

        All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be
directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs at (415)436-7181
or Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Nadel, Chief of the CHIP Unit, in San
Jose at (408
To everyone who spent their time helping me:

During the three weeks I spent in jail I learned that many people were protesting against my arrest. I also learned that Adobe withdrew its support of my arrest after meeting with EFF. But I was not able to see that or to read letters and articles about my case.

After being released from jail on August 6, I was really surprised and impressed by the scale of the action and the number of people involved in the protests. I'm not an IT superman. I'm just a programmer, like many others. It was unexpected by me that so many people would support a guy from another country that nobody heard about before.

Your support means a lot to me and my family and makes a difference for all.

This experience is going to change me in a profound way that I cannot even appreciate fully as yet. Thank you very much.

Dmitry Sklyarov

Court Cases
The Motion Picture Industry has initiated a number of cases related to the DMCA in their pursuit to snuff out Fair Use of the movies which they develope.

It's bad enough that the industry is a haven of invester abuses and expoits actors and writers to the degree that they do, but now they want to steel your DVD's from your home as well!!!

For example, a Norwiegian Boy created a DVD player for his Linux computer to play his DVD. The MPAA had him arrested for this Fair Use of his disk. Is it a crime to play your disks? His Hack is Here

See this article by the NY Times on the ensuing court case.

Copyright by the NY Times


        By CARL S. KAPLAN

        Norwegian Teenager Appears at
        Hacker Trial He Sparked

        The person who
        kicked off a huge
        legal battle involving
        Hollywood and the
        Internet is a skinny,
        16-year-old Norwegian
        computer programmer
        who, with his serious
        face, wire-rimmed
        glasses and
        almost-there mustache,
        could maybe pass for

        Yesterday the
        mild-looking young
        man, Jon Johansen, was
        the focus of attention in
        Judge Lewis A. Kaplan's
        courtroom in federal
        court in Manhattan. He
        calmly admitted, for the
        first time in a legal
        tribunal, that he and two
        other hackers wrote the
        computer program
        known as DeCSS . 

        The software, available
        on the Internet, unlocks
        the information on an
        encrypted DVD movie
        disk, allowing a user to
        copy the movie to a
        hard drive for later

        DeCSS has Hollywood
        in a tizzy. In a lawsuit
        pending before Judge
        Kaplan, eight major
        studios are suing Eric
        Corley, a Long
        Island-based publisher
        and editor of a hacker
        magazine and Web site,
        for posting the software
        and linking to hundreds
        of other sites around the world that offer the code. 

        The studios claim that Corley's "trafficking" in the
        code violates a federal law, the Digital Millennium
        Copyright Act, which prohibits the distribution of a
        device that is primarily designed to circumvent a
        technological barrier guarding a copyrighted work. 

        In the first three days of the trial, which began on
        Monday, a parade of witnesses for the Hollywood
        studios have testified that movies on DVD disks are
        protected with an encryption system called CSS to
        deter piracy. With the aid of DeCSS, witnesses said,
        a consumer can make an unauthorized copy of a DVD
        movie, then compress the decrypted file and send it
        merrily around the Internet to friends or swap it for
        other pirated movies. 

        Corley, who is represented by the Electronic Frontier
        Foundation and Martin Garbus, a veteran New York
        trial lawyer and First Amendment specialist, have
        claimed in legal papers that the new federal law must
        be interpreted to allow for unauthorized but legitimate
        access to copyrighted work, lest it imperil First
        Amendment freedoms. They also say that Corley has
        never used DeCSS to pirate a movie, and that it
        would be impractical for anyone to use the code for
        that purpose. 

        Johansen, about 6 feet tall, with dark, short-cropped
        hair, was called as a surprise witness for the defense.
        He was in New York City to attend a hacker
        convention, and he and his father attended the trial
        earlier this week as anonymous members of the
        audience. When a witness pointed him out as one of
        the authors of DeCSS, Judge Kaplan ordered the
        young man out of the courtroom, telling him that he
        was a potential witness. 

        Johansen lives with his parents and two sisters in
        Larvik, a small town south of Oslo. His father, Per, is a
        postal worker who runs a computer business on the
        side. In an interview the day before his testimony,
        Jon said that he is a self-taught computer expert who
        started playing with his father's computers when he
        was six years old. 

        In the fall of 1999, Johansen said, he and two other
        programmers -- one from Germany and the other
        from the Netherlands -- decided to write the DeCSS
        code. He said they wanted to allow people to watch
        DVD films they had purchased or rented on
        computers with alternative operating systems like
        Linux. At that time, he said, there was no hardware or
        software that could enable someone who purchased
        a DVD to view it on a Linux-based computer. 

        At trial, Johansen said that his German friend, known
        by the nickname "Ham," was the one who successfully
        hacked a DVD player and retrieved the secret CSS
        "key." Later, Johansen took that information and
        created a program that is easily usable on Linux
        machines, he said. His code was released as a
        Windows application for technical reasons, he added.

        In November 1999, Johansen posted
        DeCSS on a Web site operated by his
        family. He also advertised the program
        in a hacker chat room and on a bulletin
        board. He did it "to allow others to use
        it," he said in the interview. In the next
        few months, about 20,000 to 30,000
        people downloaded copies of the
        program, he said. After the movie
        studios sued Corley, Johansen took down the code. 

        In late January of this year, at the behest of the movie
        studios, police from Norway's financial crime unit
        visited Johansen at home, bearing a search warrant.
        They seized his two computers, some CDs, his cell
        phone and his cell phone charger. "What they hoped
        to get from the charger, I don't know," he added,

        Johansen and his father are now under investigation
        in Norway for two crimes: an intellectual property
        offense -- for posting and advertising DeCSS --
        and breaking into a computer system without
        permission. They face a maximum punishment of fines
        and two years in jail. 

        A minor celebrity in Norway as a result of his DeCSS
        activities, Johansen said that since the beginning of
        the year he has received his country's most
        prestigious academic prize for high school students,
        as well as several job offers from computer firms. He
        recently left school and started work as a programmer
        at an Oslo-based startup working on mobile phone
        technology and interactive television. 

        While Johansen's testimony seemed to help the
        defense's efforts to depict the trial as a contest
        between Goliath and some Davids, its legal
        significance is questionable. 

        Charles Sims, a lawyer for the movie studios,
        suggested in an interview that Johansen's testimony
        is a diversion from the core issues in the case. 

        "The question is what this defendant [Corley] did,"
        Sims said. "Did this defendant traffic in a
        circumvention device? Whatever was in Jon
        Johansen's head when he invented DeCSS in
        Norway in the fall of 1999 is totally irrelevant." 

        At trial, Sims objected to much of Johansen's
        testimony, saying it was not relevant, but Judge
        Kaplan wearily waved him off. "The man is here from
        Norway. I may as well hear it," the judge said. 

        After his son left the witness chair, Per Johansen told
        a reporter in the courtroom hallway that his son had
        done "very well." He noted that Jon's grandfather
        fought the Nazis in World War II. He said that he
        himself fought communism in Europe in the 1980s by
        working as a secret courier for Solidarity leaders in
        Poland, carrying money into the country and
        smuggling out documents. 

        "Jon is in an historical line," Per Johansen said
        proudly. "He is fighting for freedom." 

        The trial is expected to end next week. 

        CYBER LAW JOURNAL is published weekly, on
        Fridays. Click here for a list of links to other
        columns in the series.