ElcomSoft Jury Asks for Law Text

Monday, 16 December 2002, 11:56 AM EST

Jurors deliberating in the first trial in which a company stands accused of criminal violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act did not reach a verdict Friday. They did, however, seek further clarifications regarding the law they are being asked to apply.

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. The government brought its case against the Russian software firm for creating and selling a program that illegally removes encryption on Adobe eBooks.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday, following six days of trial proceedings in the closely watched federal court case, which is being tried in San Jose, California. Jurors plan to return to court Tuesday morning.

"They appear to be quite serious," said Judy Trummer, spokeswoman for ElcomSoft, of the jury. Throughout the trial, ElcomSoft officials have repeatedly denied government accusations that they sold an allegedly illegal program, the Adobe eBook Processor, in deliberate violation of U.S. law.

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