A federal judge says he plans to hold a hearing next month to set a trial date for a case that's the first major test
of the criminal provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ElcomSoft
, a Russian company that makes technology that can crack anti-copying features in Adobe Systems' e-books, is accused of violating the DMCA. The case first grabbed attention last summer when ElcomSoft employee Dmitry Sklyarov was arrested
by federal law enforcement officials after he gave a speech in the United States about the technology. Charges against Sklyarov were later dropped in exchange for his testimony in the case.
At a hearing Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte said he expects to rule by May 6 on two defense motions to drop the case. ElcomSoft attorneys have argued that the DMCA's criminal provisions violate free-speech rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, among other things.