[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[dvd-discuss] [OT] elcomsoft/sklyarov jury denied text of law?

----- Forwarded message from Seth Finkelstein -----

  Date:         Sat, 14 Dec 2002 13:28:09 -0800
  From: "James S. Tyre" <jstyre@JSTYRE.COM>
  Subject: Re: [CYBERIA] [IP] keep them ignorant --  ElcomSoft Jury ...

My guess (and it is only that, I have no special info) is that there is
more to the story than the blurb in the Wired piece, "The jury asked U.S.
District Court Judge Ronald Whyte for a full copy of the DMCA to assist in
their decision-making. But he declined to provide a copy of the document,
which is over 100 pages long.  Instead, Whyte said he would answer specific
questions jurors had about portions of the law they must consider in
determining ElcomSoft's guilt or
innocence."  http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,56853,00.html

The DMCA is a fairly large law, most of which has no relevance to the
Elcomsoft trial.  First, there are a number of conforming amendments to
other sections of the U.S. Code which have no particular
applicability.  Second, if one focuses on the "guts" of the DMCA, 17 USC
sections 512 and 1201-1205, most of those have no applicability either.

Section 512 primarily concerns the notice and takedown provisions, not at
issue here.  Then, if memory serves, the indictment only is under section
1201(b) - and, necessarily, section 1204, the criminal provisions of
DMCA.  There is no charge under 1202 (copyright management information);
necessarily, the criminal trial does not invoke 1203, the civil
liability/remedies section of the DMCA.

If I were the judge, I'm not sure that I would give the jury "a full copy
of the DMCA", if, in fact, that is what the jury really requested.  Using
an extreme analogy, it would be akin to giving the jury a full copy of the
Internal Revenue Code when the sole charge against the hypothetical
defendant is tax fraud by virtue of claiming non-existent charitable

The question, to which I do not know the answer, is what portions of the
DMCA the jury already had by way of the jury instructions.

At 03:31 PM 12/14/2002 -0500, Drew Lehman - DigitaEye Designs wrote:
>Does anyone else find it disturbing when a jury asks for a copy of a law
>it's being asked to interpret and pass judgement from, and the judge
>Granted, the jurists probably aren't legal scholars, but what's the problem
>with giving them the law, after which they can ask questions of the judge?
>   I would think that if the jury is not allowed to see the law that they are
>to render a verdict on, wouldn't that invalidate their decision?    Besides,
>aren't laws supposed to be available to everyone?  Are we to say that this
>law is now only seen on a "need to know" basis?  My gut clenched when I read
>this.  We snicker at the parallels between "1984" and the current
>administration, but this had no humor to it.

James S. Tyre                               mailto:jstyre@jstyre.com
Law Offices of James S. Tyre          310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512               Culver City, CA 90230-4969
Co-founder, The Censorware Project             http://censorware.net

----- End forwarded message -----

Seth Finkelstein  Consulting Programmer  sethf@sethf.com  http://sethf.com
Anticensorware Investigations - http://sethf.com/anticensorware/
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/
List sub/unsub: http://sethf.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/infothought