Skip to main content

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 32 - EFF Defends Anonymous Critics

   EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 32       Oct. 24, 2001     editors@eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 192nd Issue of EFFector (now with over 29,300 subscribers!):

     * EFF Defends Anonymous Critics
     * EFF Counsels New Zealand on Copyright Law Revamp
     * EFF Debuts "Radio EFF" on Live 365
     * Find out how Anti-Terrorism Legislation Will Affect Civil
       Liberties on Radio EFF
     * SSSCA hearings postponed
     * Administrivia

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

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

Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Anonymous Critics

  Urges Court Dismiss Unfounded Identity Disclosure Cases Quickly

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: October 25, 2001

    Contact:

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

     Ryan Roth, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
       ryanroth@paulhastings.com
       +1 213-683-6292

   San Francisco, California - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
   today defended the right of anonymous posters to criticize the
   Metalclad company on a Yahoo! message board devoted to the company.
   EFF filed an amicus brief in support of a John Doe in a California
   Court of Appeal case aimed at silencing legitimate speech online.

   CEO Grant Kesler sued several unnamed participants in the Yahoo!
   public message board devoted to Metalclad, a provider of insulation
   and asbestos abatement services. Kesler claimed defamation based upon
   remarks critical of him and immediately sought to force Yahoo! to
   disclose the speakers' identities.

   One of the Does, whose screen name is "Mezzzman", requested that the
   court dismiss the case under California's anti-SLAPP law. This law
   enables those sued in "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public
   Participation" to seek an immediate dismissal with appropriate
   attorney fees awarded. The Superior Court denied the motion on
   procedural grounds and Mezzzman has appealed. The case may set a
   precedent in determining whether and how California's anti-SLAPP law
   should apply to speech on Internet message boards.

   "Unfounded defamation suits threaten to silence message boards and
   other Internet tools which offer an important forum for free and frank
   shareholder and investor discussions," noted Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal
   Director. "We asked the appellate court to ensure that those facing
   unjustified litigation can protect themselves."

   "California's anti-SLAPP law was designed to deter lawsuits aimed at
   silencing critical discussion. The history of this law clearly
   indicates that it should extend to Internet message boards and
   postings such as those of Mezzzman," said Ryan Roth of the Los Angeles
   office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, LLP, who is
   representing Mezzzman pro bono.

   In six previous court cases, EFF has sought to prevent corporations
   from obtaining the identities of online speakers inappropriately as
   part of the civil discovery process. In the case called In re
   2theMart.com, EFF secured a ruling from the Federal District Court in
   Seattle, later upheld by the 9th Circuit Court, setting out legal
   criteria for protecting the First Amendment rights of anonymous
   speakers.

   Following completion of court briefs in the Kesler/Mezzzman case
   (officially, Kesler v. Doe) by mid-December, the court will hear oral
   arguments and will likely reach a decision by late spring 2002.

  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

   Background materials about this case are available at:
     http://www.eff.org/Cases/Kesler_v_Doe/

   Materials concerning the 2TheMart case are available at:
     http://www.eff.org/Cases/2TheMart_case/

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


EFF Counsels New Zealand on Copyright Law Revamp

  Counters Industry's Worldwide Clampdown on Digital Rights

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

    Contacts:

     Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
       fred@eff.org
       +1 415-436-9333 x123

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

   San Francisco, California - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
   today publicly urged New Zealand to avoid adopting copyright laws
   similar to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In the
   U.S., the DMCA has proven dangerous to free speech, scientific
   research, and technical innovation. The EFF filing in New Zealand is
   part of an on-going effort to counter U.S. copyright industry attempts
   to export the DMCA worldwide under the guise of "modernizing"
   copyright for the digital age.

   EFF submitted recommendations last week in response to a discussion
   paper issued by New Zealand's Ministry of Economic Development. The
   Ministry is considering changes to New Zealand's copyright law to
   address digital technology.

   "Copyright owners told us that they needed the DMCA to stop piracy.
   Instead, it has been used against the press, scientists, and computer
   programmers," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von
   Lohmann. "We're hoping that other countries will learn from our
   mistakes, and will think twice before giving in to the demands of
   corporate media giants."

   The EFF submission focuses on three areas. First, EFF urges New
   Zealand not to adopt "anti-circumvention" provisions like those found
   in the DMCA. These provisions prohibit any effort to bypass use and
   access restrictions - such as copy protection on CDs - imposed by
   copyright owners. In the U.S., copyright owners have used this
   provision to stifle discussion of, or research into, their "digital
   rights management" technologies. As a result, the DMCA has chilled
   free speech and scientific research. For example, when a team of
   researchers led by Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten
   first tried to publish a scientific paper questioning the security of
   digital music technology, the recording industry threatened the team
   with legal action under the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the
   DMCA.

   Second, EFF urges the Ministry not to treat temporary copies made in a
   computer's memory as copyright infringements. Because every computer
   must make temporary, incidental copies of software and data in order
   to function, copyright owners with the ability to control every copy
   would also have the ability to control where, when, and how often
   consumers could listen to the music, books, and movies they have
   purchased.

   Third, EFF recommends that the Ministry protect consumer privacy and
   technological innovation if it adopts any copyright "safe harbors" for
   Internet service providers (ISPs). In the U.S., the "safe harbors"
   aimed at protecting ISPs from copyright liability have been used by
   copyright owners to silence free expression and bully customers who
   use peer-to-peer file-sharing services like Napster, Aimster and
   Morpheus.

   In an effort to prevent U.S. copyright industries from exporting DMCA
   principles to other countries, EFF and other organizations and
   individuals recently submitted similar comments in Canada. EFF is
   publicizing and opposing U.S. efforts to include DMCA principles in
   free trade agreements with other nations, including Jordan, Singapore,
   and Latin American nations. In addition, many European countries are
   expected to wrestle with the issue in the coming months.

   "It's really about striking a fair balance between the rights of
   copyright holders and the interests of the public," said EFF Staff
   Attorney Robin Gross. "In a world of copy-protected CDs, for example,
   publishers could charge you a second time to add music to your mp3
   player or make a copy of a CD for your car."

   EFF comments on New Zealand proposal:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/20011012_eff_dpdtca_comments.html

   Joint EFF and Electronic Frontier Canada comments on Canadian
   proposal:
     http://www.eff.org/sc/20010915_efc_eff_cpdci_comments.html

   EFF Free Trade Association of the Americas (FTAA) alert:
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010816_eff_ftaa_alert.html

  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

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Electronic Frontier Foundation Debuts "Radio EFF" on Live 365

    Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

    For Immediate Release: October 23, 2001

    Contacts:

     Patrick Norager, General Manager, Radio EFF
       patrick@eff.org
       +1 415-863-5459

     Alan Wallace, SVP Communications, Live 365, Inc.,
       pr@live365.com
       +1 650-345-7400 x130

   Foster City, California - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has
   launched Radio EFF on Live 365. Radio EFF uses audio programming to
   help people better understand how technologies and laws interact,
   impacting everyone's freedoms and civil liberties.

   Radio EFF's programming includes interviews and panel discussions with
   the people who are on the front lines defending freedom of expression
   in cyberspace. EFF staff attorneys and activists regularly appear
   discussing ongoing litigation and legislation that will determine the
   future freedoms of the individual in the digital age.

   "Having the ability to share ideas is critical to the preservation of
   liberty. Radio EFF and Live 365 are working together to amplify the
   issues and events shaping the future of freedom online," said Patrick
   Norager, Radio EFF's General Manager. As more and more people learn
   about their rights in cyberspace, these freedoms become more difficult
   to diminish or dismantle. "Public education is a significant source of
   our success at EFF. Through audio, our message - and the message of
   freedom - can travel farther faster."

   "We are thrilled to provide a forum for the EFF, and to help
   facilitate the important dialogue being offered relating to the
   protection of civil liberties in the digital space," said John
   Jeffrey, Executive Vice President of Live 365, Inc. "Through our
   broadcasting services, we strive to provide an opportunity for any
   individual or organization to use our tools to provide their
   viewpoints, share their content, and exercise their right to free
   speech."

  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 Live 365:

   Live 365 (www.Live365.com) is the world's largest broadcaster of
   streaming MP3 content on the Internet and rated by Arbitron as the No.
   1 Internet Radio network. Users can listen to tens of thousands of
   broadcasts anytime day or night. Through innovative proprietary
   technology, users can also create a one-of-a-kind personal station to
   broadcast worldwide. Live 365's tools (including Meetings365 &
   Studio365) empower traditional radio stations, record companies,
   government, city and civic community groups with an easy solution to
   stream audio over the Internet. Live 365 is both a member of the
   Digital Media Association (DiMA) and a member of the National
   Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Founded in July 1999 in Foster
   City, CA, Live 365 recently won the 'People's Voice' award for "Best
   Music Site" at the Fifth Annual Webby Awards.

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


Find out how Anti-Terrorism Legislation Will Affect Civil Liberties on Radio
EFF

  October 11th BayFF Audio Recording Available

   BayFF: Anti-Terror Legislation and our Civil Liberties
   Location: San Francisco Public Library
   Recorded: October 11, 2001
   Moderator: Cindy Cohn, EFF Legal Director
   Panelists:
   Ann Brick - Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern CA
   Lee Tien - EFF Senior Staff Attorney
   Kevin Poulsen - Journalist, SecurityFocus
   Robert Rubin - Legal Director, Lawyers' Committee
   for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area

   Links:

   Part 1 Panel Discussion (30 MB @64k)
   Running Time: 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds
   Downloadable & Streamable MP3 (O)pen Audio
     http://radio.eff.org/radio_shows/bayff1.mp3

   Part 2 Audience Q&A (16 MB @64k
   Running Time: 32 minutes 44 seconds
   Downloadable & Streamable MP3 (O)pen Audio
     http://radio.eff.org/radio_shows/bayff2.mp3

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


SSSCA hearings postponed

   Senate Commerce Committee hearings relating to the Security Systems
   Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), originally set for October
   25, have been postponed in the face of mounting opposition from the
   technology community.

   The SSSCA would require that all future digital technologies include
   federally-mandated "digital rights management" (DRM) technologies that
   will enable Hollywood to restrict how consumers can use digital
   content. Response to the draft bill, which was authored by Senator
   Fritz Hollings (D-SC), has been largely negative. EFF announced its
   opposition to the bill several weeks ago and encouraged its members to
   express their concerns to Senator Hollings. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and
   others have since announced their opposition, as well.

   Senator Hollings has not re-scheduled the hearings, and has indicated
   that he would consider modifying the bill.

                                  - end -
     _________________________________________________________________


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 or unsubscribe from EFFector via the Web, go to:
     http://www.eff.org/signup/mailserv.html

   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 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 automatically. You can also get, via the Web:
     http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/current.html
     _________________________________________________________________
JavaScript license information