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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 23 - ALERT: Canadian "DMCA" in the Works - Short Deadline


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 23 - ALERT: Canadian "DMCA" in the Works - Short Deadline

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 23       Sep. 7, 2001

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 183rd Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,800 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: Canadian "DMCA" in the Works - Short Deadline
     * Russian Programmer & Co. Case Continued
     * WIPOUT Launches Counter-Essay Contest on Copyright in response to
       WIPO Contest
     * EFF Thanks Craig's List, the Foundation Center and Actor Wil
       Wheaton for Featuring Us on Their Sites
     * EFF Thanks Working Assets for Their Activism
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!

ALERT: Canadian "DMCA" in the Works - Short Deadline

  Tell Canada to Reject Anti-Technology Bans

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: Friday, September 7, 2001 / Deadline: Saturday, September 15,


   Canadian citizens, and others, are urged to contact the Canadian
   government and express their opposition to legislation, similar to the
   Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the U.S., that would outlaw
   circumvention of technological restrictions put in place by copyright
   holders. The Canadian government is accepting public comment until
   September 15, 2001 on its proposed "Consultation Paper on Digital
   Copyright Issues" which considers such measures.

   These anti-technology bans violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and
   Freedom's guarantee of freedom of speech, and similar guarantees in
   the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are
   necessary to exercise lawful uses, including fair dealing and other
   uses that have never been and never should be criminalized. They would
   turn scientists, fair users, journalists, programmers, and archivists
   into criminals. While protecting copyright is important, passing measures
   that also censor much lawful speech goes too far, without ever
   achieving its objective.

   Canada is considering adopting anti-circumvention legislation in
   response to the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) 1996
   Copyright Treaty. This treaty, however, does not require enacting
   national legislation that outlaws technology with many lawful uses.
   Given the dismal US experience with the DMCA, other countries should
   learn from and steer clear of the U.S. Congress's mistake.

    What YOU Can Do:

   EFF calls upon the citizens of Canada, and other interested parties
   around the world, to submit comments by Sept. 15, urging the Canadian
   agency Intellectual Property Policy Directorate to remove the
   provisions of the Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues that
   outlaw the act of circumvention and forbid providing tools for
   circumvention of technological protection measures restricting use of
   copyrighted works.

   Comments, to be received by the government by September 15, 2001,
   should be submitted to: 

   Comments - Government of Canada Copyright Reform
   c/o Intellectual Property Policy Directorate
   Industry Canada
   235 Queen Street
   5th Floor West
   Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5 Canada
   fax: (613) 941-8151 (text, HTML, WordPerfect and MSWord
   formats accepted)

    Sample Letter:

   This is just an example. It will be most effective if you send
   something similar but in your own words.

     To Industry Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the
     Intellectual Property Policy Directorate and other concerned

     I write to express my grave concern regarding the extreme
     intellectual property provisions of the Consultation Paper on
     Digital Copyright Issues (CPCDI).

     These measures, based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act
     (DMCA), give far too much power to publishers, at the expense of
     indivdiuals' rights. The DMCA itself is already under legal
     challenge in the US, has gravely chilled scientists' and computer
     security researchers' freedom of expression around the world for
     fear of being prosecuted in the US, and resulted in the arrest of a
     Russian programmer. The CPDCI provisions, which serve no one but
     (largely American) corporate copyright interests, are just as
     overbroad as those of the DMCA.

     These provisions would amend the Canadian Copyright Act to ban,
     with few or no exceptions, software and other tools that allow copy
     prevention technologies to be bypassed. This would violate the
     Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee of freedom of speech, and
     similar guarantees in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
     since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful uses, including
     fair dealing, reverse engineering, computer security research and
     many others.

     I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom
     provisions from the CPDCI language. The DMCA is already an
     international debacle. Its flaws should not be imported and forced
     on Canadians.

     [Your full name]
     [Your address]


   For more information about the Canadian Copyright Act amendment
   process, including the proposed digital copyright measures and how
   Canadian citizens can become involved, see the following Web site:

    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:


     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
     +1 415 436 9333 x111

     Robin Gross, EFF Intellectual Property Attorney
     +1 415 436 9333 x112

                                  - end -

Russian Programmer & Co. Case Continued

  Trial Schedule and Company Counsel Cause Delay to September 24

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 4, 2001


     Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
       +1 415-436-9333 x108

     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
       +1 415-436-9333 x111

   San Jose, California - Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov and his
   employer Elcomsoft appeared briefly in court today regarding charges
   of providing electronic book format conversion software in the United

   At the hearing -- described as "pretty routine" by defense attorney
   Joseph Burton -- the case was continued to 9:00 AM on September 24,
   2001, in the same San Jose Federal court building. The case was
   continued so that Elcomsoft will have sufficient time to choose their
   legal representation and so that both prosecution and defense teams
   may present a joint schedule for motions and discovery in the case.

   Last Thursday, the court heard a five-count grand jury indictment
   against Elcomsoft and previously jailed programmer Sklyarov on charges
   of trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in a copyright circumvention

   Sklyarov -- who is out of custody on US $50,000 bail -- could face a
   prison term of up to twenty-five years and a US $2,250,000 fine. As a
   corporation, Elcomsoft faces a potential US $2,500,000 fine.

   "Dmitry has programmed a format converter which has many legitimate
   uses including enabling the blind to hear eBooks," explained Cindy
   Cohn, Electronic Frontier Foundation Legal Director. "The idea that he
   faces prison for this is outrageous. The EFF will support Dmitry
   through the end of this ordeal."

   "We were hoping that the government would see the wisdom and justice
   in not pursuing a case against Sklyarov," said his attorney, Joseph M.
   Burton of Duane Morris in San Francisco. "Even if one were to ignore
   the serious legal questions involving the DMCA, this case hardly cries
   out for criminal prosecution. Sklyarov's and Elcomsoft's actions are
   not conduct that Congress intended to criminalize. We will vigorously
   contest these charges."

   The next court appearance scheduled in the case is 9:00 AM Pacific on
   September 24 before Judge Ronald Whyte in the San Jose Federal Court

   Background on the Sklyarov case:

   Calendar of protests related to the Sklyarov case:

   Sklyarov Defense Fund (not affiliated with EFF):

                                  - end -

WIPOUT Launches Counter-Essay Contest on Copyright in response to WIPO Contest

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation is pleased to support this essay
   contest from WIPOUT.

     4 September 2001

     Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Fellow Activists:

     WIPOUT, an international organisation consisting of academics,
     artists, musicians, and other activists, is today (Sept. 4)
     launching the Intellectual Property Counter Essay Contest on its

     The multi-lingual essay contest has been organised in response to
     the World Intellectual Property Organisation's (WIPO's) own
     competition announced earlier this year. The counter contest is
     intended to challenge the over-protection of intellectual property
     (IP) which is doing much damage to education, health care, the
     environment, and economic security for millions around the world.

     Entrants are being asked to address the same topic that WIPO has
     LIFE? We expect the counter contest essays to be rather more
     critical than those that WIPO is soliciting.

     The website also has a space for shorter 'Point of View' pieces on
     the same topic for those who have something to say, but do not want
     to write an essay.

     WIPOUT's contest will continue from 4 September until 15 March
     2002. The winning essays will be chosen by an international panel
     of judges and the results announced on 26 April 2002, the same day
     that WIPO announces the winners of its contest. WIPOUT's prize fund
     currently totals 1500.00 UK pounds (approx. US$2100.00).

     Unlike submissions to most essay contests, WIPOUT's essays will be
     immediately posted on the website and accessible to all readers,
     not just the judges. And although WIPOUT is hosting a 'contest', we
     see the competitive aspect of the contest secondary to the purpose
     of enabling a public and critical debate on the over-protection of

     More than 40 groups and individuals from 10 countries have, to
     date, announced their support for WIPOUT. (A complete list can be
     viewed at High-profile endorsers include Noam
     Chomsky, The Treatment Action Campaign of South Africa, the Gene
     Campaign of India, British barrister Michael Mansfield, and the
     Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for the Public Domain
     in the US.

     WIPOUT sees the contest as a way of building on recent high-profile
     issues such as the South African anti-HIV drugs case, the growing
     protests against the TRIPS agreement and the WTO, the Napster saga
     (and increasing resentment against the high price of CDs), the
     arrest and charging of Dmitry Skylarov, and public concern about GM
     crops and the patenting of human genes and plants.

     The essays can be submitted to WIPOUT in English, French, German,
     and Spanish. A selection of initial essays, submitted for judging
     purposes or for the shorter non-judged "point of view" section of
     the website, has already been posted on the website.

  So what can you do?

     First, go and check our website,, and look at the
     contributions already posted. Then if you want to become a part of
     the contest and join in the campaign against the over-protection of
     intellectual property, you can:

    1. Most obviously, write an essay or a 'Point of View' and submit it
       to WIPOUT. It will then be posted on our website.
    2. Become an official endorser of the competition.
    3. Make a contribution to our prize fund.
    4. If you run a website, put a link to WIPOUT on your site (a .jpg
       button can be provided). We are happy to put a reciprocal link on
       our site.
    5. If your group or organisation publishes a newsletter/magazine,
       mention our launch. We have a launch essay we can supply for you.
    6. Download the Wipout poster and put it up in your workplace,
       university, school, or local shop.
    7. Spread the word. Tell others who may be interested by forwarding
       them this email. There are a lot of people in the world who are
       extremely unhappy with the effects of the excessive protection of
       IP. Give them the chance to say what they think.

     Finally, keep checking in coming weeks to read the
     new submissions. It shows there are others who share your views and
     want to do something.


     Details of the WIPOUT contest can be found at:

     Details of the WIPO contest can be found at:


     Our email address is:

EFF Thanks Craig's List, the Foundation Center and Actor Wil Wheaton

  For Spotlighting Us on Their Sites

   EFF would like to thank The Foundation Center for spotlighting us for
   the week, as part of their Spotlight on Nonprofits and Technology
   Month, on their main San Franscisco-area page at:
   and for profiling us in detail at:
   The Foundation Center is an organization that helps nonprofits find
   funding sources.

   We would also like to express our gratitude to Craig's List, a popular
   and important San Francisco Bay Area community e-bulletin board, for
   highlighting us with a link on their main (left-side) navigation menu,
   for the month, at:

   Last but certainly not least a word of thanks, to
   actor/comedian/webmaster Wil Wheaton ("Wesley Crusher" on Star Trek:
   The Next Generation, among other roles such as in Stand By Me and
   several recent indie films) for devoting serious and attention-getting
   "desktop real estate" on his website to EFF's Blue Ribbon Campaign,
   Dmitry Sklyarov's plight, and related anti-DMCA grassroots efforts,
   Wil is one of the first celebrity voices to come out strongly against
   the DMCA.

                                  - end -

EFF Thanks Working Assets for Their Activism

   The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wishes to announce a
   strengthened partnership with Working Assets. Working Assets will from
   time to time post EFF Action Alerts to the large member base of their

   In fact, Working Assets's website posted the
   following alert about Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov this past

   EFF offers Working Assets hearty thanks for their ongoing efforts and

   [Disclaimer: EFF does not endorse the commercial products/services of
   Working Assets, or any other company.] 

                                  - end -


   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)

   Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster

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