DMCA weakened by jury verdict


— 7:07 PM on December 17, 2002

The case against Dmitry Sklyarov's employer, ElcomSoft, just ended with a not-guilty verdict. What's more, the jurors' reasons for the ruling seem to have narrowed the scope under which the ill-conceived Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be enforced:

Jury foreman Dennis Strader said the jurors agreed ElcomSoft's product was illegal but acquitted the company because they believed the company didn't mean to violate the law.

"We didn't understand why a million-dollar company would put on their Web page an illegal thing that would (ruin) their whole business if they were caught," he said in an interview after the verdict.

It's just one court case, but if this ruling becomes a substantial precedent, it could effectively blunt the worst excesses of DMCA enforcement. Thanks to Thresher for sending word of the ruling.
 
   
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