Sunday, December 08, 2002

Adobe had a visiting scholar from Russia arrested and held in jail for exposing technical defects in its eBook program. Adobe said his employer (Elcomsoft) was using the ideas to sell a program to unlock eBook copy protection. Elcomsoft is being prosecuted under the DMCA for making a product that circumvents copy protection.

Now, at the trial, Adobe has admitted that it could not find anyone using the Elcomsoft product to pirate e-books. It is possible that all the purchasers of the Elcomsoft product had legitimate purposes in mind.

The root of the problem here is the DMCA. It criminalizes copyright circumvention whether it is for piracy or for what has always been considered legitimate fair use. The DMCA should be repealed, and Adobe's support of this prosecution is reprehensible.

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