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ElcomSoft case goes to trial in US

After a flurry of dismissal motions and delays, the US government's high-profile case against Russian software company ElcomSoft...

After a flurry of dismissal motions and delays, the US government's high-profile case against Russian software company ElcomSoft is finally set to go to trial today.

The case, which will take place in California, could set a precedent in terms of 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

ElcomSoft is being prosecuted for developing and distributing a software program that allowed users to circumvent the copyright protection in Adobe Systems' eBook file format. The Moscow-based company and one of its programmers, Dmitry Sklyarov, were charged with violating the DMCA last year after Sklyarov gave a presentation on the product at the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas.

The criminal charges against Skylarov were later dropped, however, in exchange for his co-operation in the case.

ElcomSoft has argued that its software, which had been created to allow eBooks to be read in more portable formats, was not illegal to distribute in Russia and that the DMCA impeded on its fair use and free speech rights.

The US government contended, however, that the DMCA is blanket law, prohibiting copyright circumvention.

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