Following a presentation at Defcon, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested by the FBI for violating the DMCA. He is currently being held incommunicado awaiting transfer from Las Vegas, Nevada to San Jose, California where he will stand trial and faces up to 5 years in prison. All for writing software that enables people to exercise fair use.
We join the EFF in urging all of our readers around the world to take part in protests on Monday, July 23rd against Adobe (who initiated the complaint) and the US Department of Justice which is prosecuting it. Readers in other countries are invited to protest their local US Embassy or Consulate. Demonstrations are already planned in Moscow, Denver, Boston, Seattle and San Jose. Check out the free-sklyarov mailing list for help coordinating an event in your city.
Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory
Protest Adobe's Role in Jailing Programmer Sklyarov
EFF Urges His Immediate Release
For Immediate Release : July 19, 2001
Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations,
+1 415 436 9333 x111
Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney,
+1 415 436 9333 x112
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and community activists urge concerned citizens to join in a San Francisco Bay Area protest on Monday, July 23, against software firm Adobe's role in the jailing of programmer Dmitry Sklyarov.
The local protest is part of a multinational effort to secure the release of Sklyarov, who was arrested for distributing electronic book software that expands the capabilities for reading, sharing, printing, and making backups of electronic books.
According to a Justice Department complaint used by the FBI in the Las Vegas arrest of Sklyarov earlier this week, Adobe requested that the Justice Department take action against the programmer, resulting in his arrest shortly after giving a conference presentation on security weaknesses of Adobe's eBook Reader software.
"Adobe, seeking to protect electronic property rights at any cost, has apparently pushed the U.S. Department of Justice into an ill-advised arrest of a Russian programmer under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act," reported EFF Executive Director Shari Steele.
Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney, said, "We join the international community in expressing outrage at the selective arrest of programmer Dmitry Sklyarov for allegedly distributing software that we believe is perfectly legal and helpful to electronic book purchasers."
"Our hearts go out to Dmitry's wife, children, and colleagues who are likely distraught by what appears to be a most disgraceful arrest," added Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist. "We protest Adobe's role in perpetrating this grave miscarriage of justice."
The San Francisco Bay Area protest will occur at Adobe Headquarters, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm this Monday, July 23. Protestors will gather in San Jose at the Quetzalcoatl snake sculpture at the south end of Cesar de Chavez Park, at the corner of South Market St. and West San Carlos St, then march to Adobe Headquarters at 345 Park Avenue in San Jose.
Protest organizers include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, BoycottAdobe.com, and a loose-knit group of activists linked together through the free-sklyarov email list.
The organizers request that attendees bring along U.S. or Russian flags and signs. Free T-shirts from a group called BoycottAdobe.com will be distributed to the first fifty attendees.
Protests are also expected in Moscow, Denver, Boston, Seattle, and other locations.
For the latest information on the Sklyarov case, media releases, legal filings, and the protests, including ridesharing options, see:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:
EFF ACTION ALERT: Free Dmitry!
What You Can Do To Help Set Dmitry Sklyarov Free