Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, who helped develop the Advanced eBook Processor (an application which cracks the lame access controls on Adobe's eBook Reader), has been indicted by federal grand jury in San Jose, California on five counts of copyright violation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- specifically, trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in a copyright circumvention device.
The Russian software company for which he works, Elcomsoft, is a co-defendant. Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, for a potential grand total of 25 years. Sklyarov can be fined up to an incredible $2,250,000, and the company up to $2,500,000, according to an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) press release (surely a typo?).
Since company principals can't be compelled to appear in US court, Sklyarov will have to serve as the DoJ's scapegoat on their behalf. He's scheduled to appear for arraignment on Thursday morning in Federal District Court in San Jose, and is currently free on $50,000 bail.
Adobe is the big winner here, since it has officially 'withdrawn support' for Sklyarov's prosecution. It's likely to get the bust it no doubt wants, while appearing to be shocked, shocked, by this turn of events over which it, tragically, has no control. ®
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