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Fair Use as Consumer Protection

Talking about fair use often means talking about your right to re-use existing copyrighted works in the process of making something new - to make remixes and documentaries, parodies, or even to build novel Internet search tools. But now that copyright-protected software is in almost everything (including our cars, our...

Copyright Law Versus Internet Culture

Throughout human history, culture has been made by people telling one another stories, building on what has come before, and making it their own. Every generation, every storyteller puts their own spin on old tales to reflect their own values and changing times. This creative remixing happens today and it...

Fair Use: Journalism Can’t Succeed Without It

The idea that you don’t need a subject’s permission to report on them is fundamental to a free press. If a powerful or influential person, or company, could veto any coverage they don’t like, or make sure any embarrassing or incriminating statements disappear, there’d be little point to having a...

Shadow Regulation Withers In The Sunlight

Dot-Org Registry Suspends Secretive Copyright-Policing Plan Yesterday, the group that runs the .org top-level domain announced that they will suspend their plans to create a new, private, problematic copyright enforcement system. That’s welcome news for tens of millions of nonprofits, charities, businesses, clubs, bloggers, and personal website owners...

Protect Biometric Privacy in Montana

Update February 28, 2017: Unfortunately, the Montana House Judiciary Committee tabled H.B. 518 on February 27. We look forward to working to pass it next year. Legislatures around the country are beginning to acknowledge the threat to our privacy presented by companies collecting and using our biometric...

Congressional Oversight Committee Wants Warrants to Rein in Police Abuse of Cell-Site Simulators

A bipartisan Congressional committee’s recent report showcases troubling details about police abuse of cell-site simulators, and calls on Congress to pass laws ensuring that this powerful technology is only deployed with a court-issued probable cause warrant. Cell-site simulators, often called IMSI catchers or Stingrays, masquerade as cell phone towers and...

BWP Media v. Polyvore: It’s All About Control

Major entertainment companies are once again trying to expand copyright law to gain leverage over a wide variety of user-generated content sites. If they succeed, they would have a veto over Internet users’ access to the tools that allow us to remix, mashup, and participate in popular culture. EFF, along...

EFF to Copyright Office: Safe Harbors Work

The “notice-and-takedown” process for addressing online copyright infringement isn’t perfect: it’s often abused to remove lawful speech from the Internet. But it many cases this process, described in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), works pretty well—particularly because of the safe harbors that protect Internet services that...

Spotting Shadow Regulation

Case Study: the UK's Search Engine Voluntary Code of Practice How do you tell the difference between a code of practice that responds to the needs of the Internet community as a whole, and a sweetheart deal cut between government and industry that avoids democratic accountability and sidelines users? This...

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