« Ben Stein on Ruining American Enterprise | Main | Discussion of Slash Integration with E-commerce Systems on Slashcode.com »

Russian Software Company Found Not Guilty in Landmark DMCA Case

CNET News.com reported that a jury in San Jose has found Elcomsoft not guilty of four counts of violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The company was charged with "desiging and marketing software that could be used to crack {Adobe} eBook copyright protections, plus an additional charge {of conspiracy}...." According to the article:

ElcomSoft attorney Joseph Burton said Tuesday's win is important as one of the first setbacks for publishers seeking to assert the law against programmers. But he cautioned that the acquittal did not mean software developers should consider themselves immune from future criminal prosecutions under the law.

The "not guilty" verdict in the case may have been inevitable in light of the jury instructions. Reportedly, "the judge told jurors that in order to find the company guilty, they must agree that company representatives knew their actions were illegal and intended to violate the law. Merely offering a product that could violate copyrights was not enough to warrant a conviction...."

On the basis of these instructions to the jury, we wonder if the legal actions taken by the RIAA and the MPAA against casual users of p2p file sharing depend for possible legal success on an overly-expansive view of their the trade groups' rights as publishers' representatives.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
  • Financial services business process consulting,
  • Content management system and knowledge management system consulting,
  • Apache web server engineering and hosting,
  • MySQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server architecture and development,
  • SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC system architecture and programming, including Amazon Web Services and
  • Weblog publishing.
For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
Copyright © 1995-2010, CTDATA Ventures. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by
Movable Type 4.25