http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,45870,00.html Wired News Report 11:40 a.m. Aug. 6, 2001 PDT SAN JOSE, California -- Dmitry Sklyarov is out on bail. A federal magistrate judge ordered that the Russian programmer -- whose arrest last month on copyright infringement charges sparked worldwide protests -- be freed Monday on $50,000 bail. After a 30-minute bail hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward A. Infante released Sklyarov but said he must remain in Northern California under the supervision of a local friend, Sergei Osoakine. Joseph Burton, Sklyarov's defense attorney, said he was "ecstatic" that his client would be released. Sklyarov's passport remains in the hands of the U.S. Attorney's office, and a pre-trial hearing is set for Aug. 23. Last month, FBI agents arrested Sklyarov, who was visiting the U.S. to attend the DefCon hacker convention in Las Vegas, on charges of violating the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Sklyarov is listed as the author of a program that allows users to copy Adobe eBooks -- and selling it is a felony under the DMCA. The much-anticipated courtroom appearance, during which Sklyarov wore handcuffs, sandals, and a prison-issue orange jumpsuit, capped a turbulent three weeks that included worldwide protests, a campaign to boycott Adobe products, and an abrupt decision by Adobe last month to recommend Sklyarov's release. The software company initially had asked the Justice Department to prosecute this case, according to court documents. Sklyarov's employer, ElcomSoft, put up the amount for his bail. Sklyarov is facing a five-year prison term and a fine of $500,000 under the DMCA. Geektivists have organized dozens of "Free Dmitry" protests, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation met with the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco to try to secure Sklyarov's release. But during Monday's hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Frewing gave no indication the government was going to drop charges. "I'm an optimistic kind of guy," said Burton, the defense lawyer. "We'll convince them by logic or charm that this is not the right case to bring forward." Burton said he was negotating with the Justice Department in hopes of having charges dropped. Attorneys for EFF, which has taken up Sklyarov's cause, said they were optimistic. "We're very pleased about this, but this is not the end," said EFF's Robin Gross. "Our longterm goal is to have the charges dropped and to get the DMCA overturned." Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) has said that he's drafting legislation that would rewrite the section of the DMCA that the government used to charge Sklyarov. The DMCA was obscure enough when Congress enacted it in 1998, but it has emerged as one of the most important and far-reaching technology regulations. Sklyarov is charged with "trafficking in" a program to bypass Adobe's copy protection for e-books, a federal felony under the DMCA. The prospect of Sklyarov, a programmer at ElcomSoft who is married with two young children, spending up to five years behind bars outraged programmers, hackers and open-source activists. Leo Schwab, a software engineer at the former Be Software who showed up at the hearing, said: "I purchase a washing machine, I can take it apart and see how it works. I purchase software and I can't." Declan McCullagh in Washington and Farhad Manjoo in San Jose contributed to this report. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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