A US federal judge yesterday denied a motion to dismiss the case against Moscow-based software house ElcomSoft for allegedly violating the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The government is prosecuting ElcomSoft for allegedly creating and distributing software over the Internet that lets users strip the copy protection built into Adobe System's eBooks.

The case has its roots in the arrest on July 16 lat year of Russian software engineer Dmitry Sklyarov, who is behind the controversial software. Sklyarov was released on $50,000 bail, and charges were later dropped. The US government has since charged the company he worked for – Elcomsoft – for violating the DMCA.

ElcomSoft's attorney Duane Morris said: "Our argument is that the offence occurred primarily on the Internet and not in the US."

Judge Ronald Whyte of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Jose, denied the motion. He based his decision on the fact that the software was offered for sale on a Web server located in the US and was purchased by people in the US.