Saturday, October 12, 2019

DMCA and Russia :: Copyright Laws Sharing Essays

DMCA and Russia Background Information Traditionally, book authors have had the Copyright Law to protect their creations. That changed, however, since their books have become available in electronic format. In short, the creations had been turned into information – one that can effortlessly be copied and distributed thanks to invent of computers, Internet, and (lately), cheap data storage devices. Adobe Corporation’s eBook was meant to fix that problem for the copyright owners, while letting the readers keep their rights to their copy of the book. A book translated into eBook format would contain various permissions in it, preventing the user from being able to share the book with anyone else (by tying the eBook’s decryption key to the user’s computer). Additionally, the distributor of the book would be able to specify whether the book can be transferred to paper (printed), text copied, book edited, etc. In theory, such restrictions would prevent unlawful distribution of books in electronic format. Unfortunately, the golden rule of computer security applies in full force here: the level of security is inversely proportional to the usability of the product being secured. In short, Adobe’s restrictions allowed the publishers to prevent users from printing a legal copy of the book (to read away from a computer), creating a backup copy of the book in case the computer has to be restored from a failure or upgraded, and other limitations, e.g. disabling built-in provisions for vision-impaired users. U.S. vs. Dmitry Sklyarov & ElcomSoft Since 1993, in mid- to late summer, DefCon, a yearly convention of hackers1 has occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2001, two programmers from Russia – Dmitry Sklyarov and Andy Malyshev – presented their findings of flaws in protection schemes used by the Adobe’s eBook format.2 Dmitry was arrested by the FBI half an hour before boarding a plane back to Moscow, Russia.3 Even after holding Dmitry for more than a week, no bail hearing was even scheduled. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the freedoms we enjoy in the physical world, in the digital world – has stepped in and started with organizing protests aimed at freeing Sklyarov from jail. These protests have been postponed while EFF representatives met with representatives from Adobe Corp. and US Attorney Office. As a result, Adobe Corp. has dropped its support of the lawsuit, but the case was not closed. It was only after 3 weeks that Dmitry was finally released, on a $50,000 bail.

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