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IN BRIEF / TECHNOLOGY

Russian Programmer Home, Praises Backers

January 01, 2002|Reuters

A Russian software programmer, freed in November after escaping prosecution under controversial U.S. copyright laws, returned home and praised those who campaigned for his release.

Dmitry Sklyarov, 27, told NTV television at a Moscow airport that his release had defied the odds of trying to defeat the U.S. authorities in legal proceedings.

Sklyarov, the first person to be charged with violating the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, was accused of selling and conspiring to sell technology designed to circumvent copyright protections in a computer program. His arrest followed a presentation in Las Vegas in July about software he had developed to allow computer users to copy digital books.

Sklyarov was freed as part of a "diversion agreement" under which he admitted facts but no illegal activity. His company, ElcomSoft of Moscow, still faces charges and a potential fine of $2.25 million.

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