Russian computer programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and his Moscow-based employer, Elcomsoft, have been charged by a US grand jury of copyright infringement.

Sklyarov and ElcomSoft are today due to be formally charged in a federal court in San Jose, California.

Sklyarov was arrested for allegedly selling software that cracks the encryption code used by Adobe Acrobat's electronic books. This violates the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This decrees that selling tools designed to bypass copy-control technology is illegal. However, in Russia the same software is lawful.

Elcomsoft and Sklyarov stand accused of conspiring for "commercial advantage and financial gain".

If found guilty, Sklyarov faces a five-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine. He is currently on $50,000 bail, but must remain in the US.