David LaMacchia Defense Fund

The David LaMacchia Defense Fund was organized to ensure that David LaMacchia received a fair trial. LaMacchia was indicted by the federal government for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. "This is the first time in Massachusetts that the wire fraud statute has been used in a computer bulletin board case," said Stephen Heyman, deputy chief in the US attorney's office. That made the case interesting, law-making, and very expensive. An unfortunate side-effect of our common law system, where laws are made by decisions in particular cases, is that an individual involved in a constitutional test case is faced with the certainty of staggering legal bills as well as the possibility of imprisonment and fines.

Contributions to the Fund are used to defray a portion of LaMacchia's legal expenses, which were staggering. The Fund spends nothing on advertising, salaries, promotions, etc.; 100% of contributions are used to reimburse David's family for the costs of his defense.

The Fund has never taken a position on the merits of either side's case.

Information from both sides

Case Chronology

Contributions Received to Date

Trustees and Fund Organization

philg@mit.edu / c/o Philip Greenspun, MIT / 545 Technology Square, Room 420 / Cambridge, MA 02139 USA / (617) 253-8574