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For Sklyarov, the three weeks until his bail hearing last Monday were a whirl of jails: federal detention centers in Nevada, Oklahoma and California. Though separated from his wife, two-year-old son and four-month-old daughter back in Moscow, Sklyarov was typically upbeat about his imprisonment. He read mystery and romance novels to improve his English and felt he was learning a lot about U.S. society: "When you watch American movies, you see the policeman arrest somebody and read him his rights and that's all, but it's very interesting what happens after."
If he returns to jail, e-book publishers will have free rein to use Adobe's security restrictions on what little e-book market there is. If he returns to Moscow, Silicon Valley will breathe easy and more of us may end up reading e-books on our computers. Whether we will have paid for them is another question entirely.