Skip to main content

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 12 - Special Appeal: Help Fund the Felten vs. RIAA Case

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 12       June 15, 2001     editor@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    IN THE 172nd ISSUE OF EFFECTOR (now with over 27,500 subscribers!):

     * Special Appeal from the Executive Director of the Electronic
       Frontier Foundation (EFF)
     * EFF and Princeton Scientists Sue Record Comppanies Over Squelched
       Research
     * Electronic Frontier Foundation Urges Doubleclick to Adopt Opt-In
       Privacy Protections
     * EFF Seeks Media Intern
     * EFF's Wish List
     * July 10, 2001 BayFF & EFF Housewarming Party 

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org

   To join EFF or make a donation: http://www.eff.org/support/
   EFF is a member-supported non-profit. Please sign up as a member
   today!
     _________________________________________________________________

Help Fund the Felten vs. RIAA Case

  Special Appeal from the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier
  Foundation (EFF)

   June 15, 2001

   Imagine a world where our culture and heritage are locked up by the
   entertainment industry and turned into a pay-per-view theme park -- a
   theme park where consumers pay our admission and then pay again with
   our freedoms. Music and movie lovers are gagged, unable to exercise
   our rights to free expression. Scientists can no longer publish their
   research if it talks about studio-controlled content. Technological
   innovation is illegal if it encroaches on the profits of the music and
   movie studios.

   Unfortunately, this isn't science fiction. Through cases like Felten
   vs. RIAA, EFF is fighting to prevent this theme park world by
   challenging the constitutionality of the law being used to unfairly
   lock up content and take away our rights to free expression. But we
   need your help. While we believe that we will win this case and
   protect scientists' rights to publish their research, we can't do it
   without funding for the legal costs.

   EFF consistently and successfully fights to protect freedom in
   technological arenas. Many of you probably remember the Bernstein
   case, where EFF helped abolish the export laws on encryption and
   proved that computer source code is protected speech under the First
   Amendment. If you've been around cyberspace for a while like I have,
   you'll remember the Steve Jackson Games case, where EFF established
   the principle that email is legally entitled to the same protections
   from law enforcement access as telephone calls. I'm proud to have been
   a part of EFF when we set those important legal precedents; it was a
   great feeling. The Felten case will be another opportunity to be part
   of a precedent-setting case for freedom in our digital age.

   This case is likely to cost EFF over a million dollars, an
   overwhelming amount for a small nonprofit organization like ours, but
   a drop in the bucket for the movie and music studios that we oppose.
   Please, take a moment now to contribute to the cause of freedom. You
   can donate online at http://www.eff.org/support/, or you can call or
   send us a donation to the address below. Please feel free to call us
   at +1 415-436-9333 x110, if you'd like to discuss other ways of
   contributing, such as through stock donations or employer matching
   programs.

   EFF is here at the exact right time in history to change the world for
   the better. Be a part of that. Join with us today, and help protect
   freedom. There are not many things you can do with your money that can
   have such a strong and far-reaching effect.

   Thanks for your help.

   Sincerely,
   Shari Steele, Executive Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street
   San Francisco, CA 94110
     _________________________________________________________________


Princeton Scientists Sue Over Squelched Research

  EFF Challenges Record Companies

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release -- June 6, 2001

    Contact:

     Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
       cindy@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x108

     Edward Felten, Princeton University Professor
       felten@cs.princeton.edu
       +1 609-258-5906

     Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney
       robin@eff.org
       +1 415 436 9333 x112

     Gino J. Scarselli, Esq., Outside Lead Counsel,
       gscarsel@multiverse.com
       +1 216-291-8601

     James S. Tyre, Esq., Outside Counsel,
       jstyre@jstyre.com
       +1 310-839-4114

     Ellie Young, USENIX Executive Director,
       ellie@usenix.org
       +1 510-528-8649 x18

   Trenton, NJ -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked a
   federal court to rule that Princeton University Professor Edward
   Felten and his research team have a First Amendment right to present
   their research on digital music access-control technologies at the
   USENIX Security Conference this August in Washington, DC, despite
   threats from the recording industry.

   When scientists from Princeton University and Rice University tried to
   publish their findings in April 2001, the recording industry claimed
   that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal
   to discuss or provide technology that might be used to bypass industry
   controls limiting how consumers can use music they have purchased.

   Like most scientists, the researchers want to discuss their findings
   and publish a scientific paper about the vulnerabilities of several
   technologies they studied. Open discussion of music customer control
   technologies has resulted in improved technology and enhanced consumer
   choice.

   "Studying digital access technologies and publishing the research for
   our colleagues are both fundamental to the progress of science and
   academic freedom," stated Princeton scientist Edward Felten. "The
   recording industry's interpretation of the DMCA would make scientific
   progress on this important topic illegal."

   Felten's research team includes Princeton University scientists and
   plaintiffs Bede Liu, Scott Craver, and Min Wu. Also members of the
   research team and plaintiffs are Rice University researchers Dan
   Wallach, Ben Swartzlander, and Adam Stubblefield. Another scientist
   and plaintiff is Drew Dean, who is employed in the Silicon Valley. The
   USENIX Assocation has joined the case as a plaintiff.

   The prominent scientist and his research team originally planned to
   publish the paper in April at the 4th International Information Hiding
   Workshop. However, the scientists withdrew the paper at the last
   minute because the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
   and the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) Foundation threatened
   litigation against Felten, his research team, and the relevant
   universities and conference organizers.

   SDMI sponsored the "SDMI Public Challenge" in September 2000, asking
   Netizens to try to break their favored watermark schemes, designed to
   control consumer access to digital music. When the scientists' paper
   about their successful defeat of the watermarks, including one
   developed by a company called Verance, was accepted for publication,
   Matt Oppenheim, an officer of both RIAA and SDMI, sent the Princeton
   professor a letter threatening legal liability if the scientist
   published his results.

   EFF filed the legal challenge in New Jersey federal court against
   RIAA, SDMI, Verance, and the U.S. Justice Department so that the
   researchers need not fear prosecution under DMCA for publishing their
   research.

   "When scientists are intimidated from publishing their work, there is
   a clear First Amendment problem," said EFF's Legal Director Cindy
   Cohn. "We have long argued that unless properly limited, the
   anti-distribution provisions of the DMCA would interfere with science.
   Now they plainly have."

   "Mathematics and code are not circumvention devices," explained Jim
   Tyre, an attorney on the legal team, "so why is the recording industry
   trying to prevent these researchers from publishing?"

   USENIX Executive Director Ellie Young commented, "We cannot stand idly
   by as USENIX members are prevented from discussing and publishing the
   results of legitimate research."

   EFF is challenging the constitutionality of the anti-distribution
   provisions of the DMCA as part of its ongoing Campaign for Audiovisual
   Free Expression (CAFE). The CAFE campaign fights over-reaching
   intellectual property laws and restrictive technologies that threaten
   free speech in the digital age. "The recording studios want to control
   how consumers can use the music they buy. Now they want to control
   scientists and publishers, to prevent consumers from finding out how
   to bypass the unpopular controls," said EFF Staff Attorney Robin
   Gross.

   Media professionals have been invited to attend a June 6 press
   conference and simultaneous teleconference on the Felten case
   featuring the legal team and Professor Felten.

   The legal team includes EFF attorneys Lee Tien, Cindy Cohn, and Robin
   Gross. Outside lead counsel Gino Scarselli, argued the Junger case
   where the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that computer
   code is creative expression worthy of First Amendment protection. Also
   members of the legal team are James Tyre, a technology savvy lawyer
   from Southern California who co-founded the Censorware Project and
   wrote an amicus brief in Universal v. Reimerdes, and Joe Liu, a
   Professor of Law at Boston College. Local counsel in New Jersey are
   First Amendment specialists Frank Corrado of Rossi, Barry, Corrado,
   Grassi and Radell, and Grayson Barber, chair of the ACLU-NJ privacy
   committee.

   For more background on Professor Felten and his team's legal
   challenge:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/felten/

   For EFF's legal filing in the Felten case:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/felten/20010606_eff_complaint.html

   RIAA/SDMI letter threatening Professor Felten and his team:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/felten/20010409_riaa_sdmi_letter.html

   Professor Felten's website:
     http://www.cs.princeton.edu/sip/sdmi/

   Listen to an audio file about EFF's legal challenge to SDMI (MP3):
     http://www.eff.org/sc/felten/felten_audio.html

   For more information on the August USENIX Security conference:
     http://www.usenix.org/events/sec01/

  About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
   government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
   information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
   maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:
     http://www.eff.org/

  About USENIX:

   The USENIX Association, an organization representing some 10,000
   computer research scientists is dedicated to the free exchange of
   scholarly information through its many conferences and publications.
   See its website at:
     http://www.usenix.org/ 

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Judge Rules Alleged DoubleClick Privacy Violations Sufficient to Go to Trial

  Electronic Frontier Foundation Urges DoubleClick to Adopt Opt-In Privacy
  Protections

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: June 6, 2001

    Contact:

     Deborah Pierce, EFF Staff Attorney,
     dsp@eff.org,
     +1 415 436 9333 x106

     Ira Rothken, Attorney, Rothken Law Firm,
     ira@techfirm.com,
     +1 415 924 4250

   San Rafael, CA - Judge Lynn O'Malley Taylor ruled today that a lawsuit
   seeking to prevent DoubleClick from invading individuals' privacy
   moved one step closer to trial. The class-action claims in the privacy
   lawsuit against DoubleClick focus on DoubleClick's practice of
   tracking and profiling people without their consent as they browse the
   Web. She indicated that, unless the parties reach a settlement, the
   trial will be held in January 2002, despite DoubleClick's attempt to
   derail the lawsuit.

   "DoubleClick is invading people's privacy by collecting personal
   information without first asking permission," said EFF staff attorney
   Deborah Pierce. "We are glad that Judge Taylor recognizes that
   DoubleClick's practices may be in violation of privacy rights
   guaranteed by the California state constitution."

   "California's Constitution protects the general public against the
   massive, unauthorized accumulation of sensitive information," said Ira
   Rothken, lead plaintiff's attorney in the case. "DoubleClick's
   behavior is outrageous. DoubleClick's business model is flawed. And we
   are going to obtain a remedy from the court to stop them."

   DoubleClick, an online advertising company, places banner ads and
   other website advertisements on behalf of its clients. The dispute
   concerns DoubleClick's use of cookies and web bugs to track the web
   browsing behavior of individuals. Individuals are often unaware these
   technologies exist, what they can do to avoid a cookie or a web bug,
   or how they can prevent companies like DoubleClick from placing
   cookies on their computer hard drives.

   The lawsuit alleges that by using cookies DoubleClick can store
   personally identifying information, resulting in a profile of
   individuals based on their surfing history. Online profiling and
   aggregation of data from different sources allows others to form
   opinions, to market items, and to discriminate based on a profile that
   may or may not be accurate. Unwanted disclosure of information may
   have harmful consequences, ranging from simple embarrassment to
   serious problems such as harassment, violence, insurance cancellation,
   loss of job or home, and relationship issues with family and friends.

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with the Privacy
   Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) and the Electronic Privacy Information
   Center (EPIC), have been acting as advisors in the case, formally
   called Judnick v. DoubleClick.

   For more information about online privacy, see the EFF website:
     http://www.eff.org/

   For more information about the Rothken Law Firm, see the Rothken
   website:
     http://www.techfirm.com/

   For additional background and information on online privacy and
   data-sharing, see:

   Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC):
     http://www.privacyrights.org/
   Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC):
     http://www.epic.org/
   Privacy Pledge:
     http://www.privacypledge.org/

   About EFF:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
   in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
   government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
   information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
   maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world:
   http://www.eff.org/

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF Seeks Media Intern

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation seeks a Media intern to focus on
   media tasks such as media interview assignments, media releases, media
   professional relationships, and mediabase and media coverage archival.
   Basic HTML skills and general computer competence necessary. Very
   helpful if you have your own laptop and/or home Internet access.

   Interns will be in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in the EFF office
   at least two days per week. School credit may be available.

   Timeframe: Needed immediately, for each semester. Minimum commitment 2
   days per week for at least three months.

   For more information, see the EFF website at:
   http://www.eff.org/jobs#vol0

   Or contact Will Doherty, Online Activist / Media Relations,
   wild@eff.org
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF's Wish List

   We have received a flood of helpful responses to last week's request
   for a conference table. However, we still don't have the perfect
   match. So we are re-posting the request, and are so heartened by the
   positive response that we've decided to add more items to form an
   official wish list. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.

   EFF still seeks a conference table for our SF office of dimensions
   approximately 15-17 feet by 4-5 feet for use in our large conference
   room. Ideally, this would be a nice wood table, but we would consider
   other materials as well. Donation (deductible to the extent permitted
   by law) or discount on a table would be very helpful, as it would
   spruce up the conference room immensely and permit us to convert the
   existing cobbled-together tables into desks for four EFF interns! We
   are also looking for quality office chairs.

   In addition to office furniture needs: As EFF looks toward providing
   more digital audio & video event coverage on our Web site, it has
   become clear that we need more equipment to be able to do this
   efficiently and in ways that do not interfere with our staff's legal,
   policy and media/education work. We are also in need of newer
   replacements for a number of old Macs, Pentium IIs, office machines,
   and old software, that slow our staff and interns down. So, we are
   appealing to the Internet community for your (TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!)
   donations of new or used equipment:

   * G3/iMac/iBook or better Macs
   * PIII or better PCs (desktop or laptop)
   * 22" Apple Cinema Display monitor
   * Mac audio-video in/out card (G3/G4 compatible)
   * Mac software: Final Cut Pro 2, MS Office 2001, MacOS X, Virtual PC 4
   * Windows software: MS Office 2001
   * copier in good shape, w/ multisheet feed, duplex, collate, & staple
   * collator ("mailbox") & extra paper trays for Lexmark Optra T614
   printer

     Please contact:
     Henry Schwan
     EFF Asst. Webmaster
     +1 415-626-8167 x114
     owlswan@eff.org
     _________________________________________________________________


July 10, 2001 BayFF & EFF Housewarming Party

  Come Celebrate Our 11th Anniversary, See Our New Home, Meet Board 
  Members and Staff, and Learn More About the Work We Do

   WHAT: EFF's Housewarming "BayFF"
   WHEN: Tuesday, July 10th, 2001 at 7:00 PM Pacific Time
   WHERE: Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

   This is a night to celebrate! July 10th is:
     * EFF's eleventh birthday
     * The one year anniversary of BayFF's exciting re-launch
     * EFF's formal welcome of the public to our new home

   This event is free and open to the general public. There will be
   plenty of food, drink, music, and a blessing of our new office space
   by a Tibetan Lama.

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
   organization working to protect rights in the digital world. For more
   information, please see EFF's website ( http://www.eff.org ), or
   contact:
   Katina Bishop
   EFF Director of Education and Offline Activism
   +1-415-436-9333 x101
   katina@eff.org     
_________________________________________________________________


Administrivia

   EFFector is published by:

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation
   454 Shotwell Street
   San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
   +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
   +1 415 436 9993 (fax)
   http://www.eff.org/

   Editors:
   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster
   editors@eff.org

   To Join EFF online, or make an additional donation, go to:
    http://www.eff.org/support/

   Membership & donation queries: membership@eff.org
   General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries: ask@eff.org

   Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.
   Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To
   reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for
   their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements &
   articles may be reproduced individually at will.

   To subscribe to EFFector via e-mail, send to majordomo@eff.org a
   message BODY (not subject) of:
    subscribe effector
   The list server will send you a confirmation code and then add you to
   a subscription list for EFFector (after you return the confirmation
   code; instructions will be in the confirmation e-mail).

   To unsubscribe, send a similar message body to the same address, like
   so:
    unsubscribe effector

   (Please ask listmaster@eff.org to manually add you
   to or remove you from the list if this does not work for you for some
   reason.)

   To change your address, send both commands at once, one per line
   (i.e., unsubscribe your old address, and subscribe your new address).

   Back issues are available at:
    http://www.eff.org/effector

   To get the latest issue, send any message to
   effector-reflector@eff.org (or er@eff.org), and it will be mailed to
   you automagically. You can also get, via the Web:
    http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/current.html

     _________________________________________________________________
JavaScript license information