EFF in the News
The second incarnation of the Humble Indie Bundle is now over and, thanks in part to the organizers extending the deadline by five days, the latest "pay what you want" indie game bundle brought in $1,815,934.53 in revenues for the five indie games (Braid, Machinarium, Osmos, Cortex Command and Revenge of the Titans) plus two charities (Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play). The six games from the first Humble Indie Bundle were added later in the week if people donated more than the average per-person amount.
The service is called Chilling Effects, “A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.”
Chilling Effects “gathers and analyzes legal notices alleging online copyright infringement. More than 12,000 notices are available for public review, education and study, and the data there has been the basis for a number of scholarly papers about copyright law and the Internet,” according to EFF, which this week filed a friend of the court brief with the Ninth Circuit that was co-written by the other founders and participants in the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse.
Hey, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's the real deal!
I've been a member for almost twenty years.
Check out EFF: the year in 8bit:
The system has indeed worked—for the two attorneys wiretapped in this case as part of the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" that the government has admitted to. But, as EFF has alleged in its cases based on widespread news reports and whistleblower evidence, the full scope of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping—cryptically referred to as "Other Intelligence Activities" in the Inspectors General report on the broader President's Surveillance Program—implicates the privacy rights of millions of Americans, rights that EFF is still seeking to vindicate in its lawsuits on behalf of AT&T customers. Both the Jewel and Hepting cases are currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and awaiting the scheduling of oral argument; depending on whether the government appeals yesterday's decision, the Al-Haramain case may soon be joining them.
The first example of a site being suspended comes from a blog post by the EFF’s Marcia Hofmann. The story starts with a letter sent from SiteGround to an unnamed customer, which informs them that SoftLayer has flagged the domain for AUP/ToS violations. When pressed, SiteGround told the customer that SoftLayer flagged the domain because it was hosting a mirror for WikiLeaks content.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also become involved, telling the appeals court in a filing this week that “Chilling Effects serves the purposes of the DMCA by facilitating research and education about online copyright policy, and by making possible an evaluation of the extent to which Congress’ goals for the DMCA are being met in practice.”
According to a post by Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Marcia Hofmann on Dec. 22, a WikiLeaks mirror was shut down by its host, SiteGround, as result of pressure from its upstream provider, SoftLayer. SoftLayer claimed the mirror Wikileaks site violated the company’s Acceptable Use Policy and ToS, wrote Hofmann.
A Google search turned up at least two users who claimed their WikiLeaks mirrors had been shut down by SiteGround. While the EFF post didn’t identify the mirror’s owner by name, the stories were identical.
But “as part of a long-running court battle with Google, adult publisher Perfect 10 claims that forwarding its infringement notices to the online resource is a copyright infringement, because Perfect 10 includes its copyrighted adult images on the notifications”, says the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation).
Now, in an amicus brief, it and other founders have urged an appeals court to reject Perfect 10’s attempts to block Google’s contributions to the copyright resource.
As the copyright infringement battle between Perfect 10 and Google drags on, various Google supporters filed an amicus brief this week in response to Perfect 10’s attempt to keep Google from sending take down notices to an online copyright resource.
The brief, filed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, rejects Perfect 10’s claim that Google is infringing on its copyright by forwarding its DMCA notices to Chilling Effects Clearinghouse because Perfect 10’s protected images are included in the notices.
The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and various leading universities.
“Chilling Effects Clearinghouse serves an important role in the DMCA scheme, enabling scholars and members of the public to view and analyze the ways in which the DMCA takedown process is used by maintaining a public archive of DMCA notices,” the brief said.
Here’s why I think you should consider giving a year-end donation to EFF: this tiny organization manages to rack up victory after victory, year after year, in the defense of your digital rights. Just this year, they succeeded in freeing your smart phone from restrictions against jailbreaking, fought back against copyright trolls shaking down individuals for alleged infringements, and helped you take better control of your privacy on Facebook. Just this month, they scored two additional major victories: they helped convince a federal court to rule that your email is protected by the 4th amendment, and they secured better protection for your cell phone location information. The EFF international team alone does the work of several organizations.