Defense Rests in ElcomSoft Case

The defense rested Tuesday afternoon in the criminal case against ElcomSoft with its last witness delivering some of the most effective testimony for the Russian software firm. Federal prosecutors have charged ElcomSoft with five counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) with its program that circumvents the copyright protections in Adobe Systems eBooks.

A key element in the prosecutors’ case is the contention that ElcomSoft continued to sell the program, the Advanced eBook Processor, after Adobe officials warned the Moscow-based company that the software violated the criminal provisions of the DMCA. But Ryan Dewell, director of technical services for a Washington-based reseller of ElcomSoft products, said Tuesday sales of the program were quickly stopped after Adobe sent its notice to ElcomSoft.

Dewell testified that Alex Katalov, president of ElcomSoft, requested that resellers stop marketing the program within the five-day period demanded by Adobe. A second version of the program with a separate product code was listed for a few days beyond the five-day period but Dewell said that version was pulled as soon as it was discovered.

“It was an oversight on our part. Katalov brought the second version to our attention,” Dewell said.

ElcomSoft defense attorney then introduced two e-mails from Katalov to Dewell ordering sales of the Advanced eBook Processor be halted. When asked why Dewell’s company, Register Now!. didn’t produce the e-mails in a prosecution subpoena for all ElcomSoft-related communications, Dewell again called it an “oversight.”

Earlier in the day, Katalov testified that he was aware of the DMCA, applauding the law because it “protects my software from stealing.” He testified that he does not believe his company’s software violated the DMCA.

Katalov’s brother, Vladimir Katalov, ElcomSoft’s managing director, said he believed the program was legal under the principle of fair use, saying the Advanced eBook Processor would only work for owners of legally obtained e-books.

After a Wednesday recess, final arguments will be presented Thursday morning with the case expected to go to the jury by Thursday afternoon.

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