December 1, 2009 | By Jennifer Granick

Side A: DJs Win Laptops Back

Following a hearing in the San Francisco Superior Court today, DJs and party guests Justin Credible and Matthew Higgins had their illegally seized laptops returned to them. This is great news, and a real relief to the pair who have been without their machines for over a month. It started on Halloween, when San Francisco police officers broke up a private party and took the computers -- even though neither laptop was being used to play music. The police department attorney conceded at today's hearing that no charges would ever be filed against Credible or Higgins, which was clear from the very beginning.

San Francisco law currently requires after-hours parties with live DJs to get a permit, and failure of those throwing the party to do so can be punished as a misdemeanor. But DJing an unpermitted party is not a crime, and certainly not one for which one's laptop could be forfeited and held. EFF brought witnesses from the Halloween party and other events to testify that what happened to our clients was part of a pattern of illegal police practices, including rifling through purses and backpacks to find and seize laptops by people who were not even DJing. Both the SF Guardian and the SF Weekly have covered the story. The Court said EFF's offer to prove that the laptop seizures were both illegal and for the improper purpose of punishing after-hours party guests should be heard by another judge at a later time.

Side A of our efforts: accomplished. Stay tuned for Side B of our effort to protect the privacy of San Franciscans' laptops.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Tell your lawmakers: it's time to #MoveFASTR. Support public access to publicly funded research today. https://eff.org/r.2iql

Jul 28 @ 12:56pm

The public deserves access to the research it funds. Read @CreativeCommons on why -now- is the time to #MoveFASTR: https://eff.org/r.o0l4

Jul 28 @ 12:50pm

Over 1,000 users support our campaign to stop ridiculous copyright extensions in TPP. Sign on now: https://eff.org/r.bk2l

Jul 28 @ 12:10pm
JavaScript license information