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Podcast Episode: Chronicling Online Communities

EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 38 - EFF Argues Website Case Unfair


EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 38 - EFF Argues Website Case Unfair

EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 38       Dec. 6, 2001 
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424 
In the 198th Issue of EFFector:

  * EFF Argues Website Case Unfair
  * Support EFF This Holiday Season!
  * The Eleventh Annual International EFF Pioneer Awards - Call for
  * DMCA Slogan Contest - Help Protect the Intellectual Commons
  * Recommended Viewing: Keep Liberty's Torch Shining
  * 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!




Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Richmond, VA - In a case with potential impact on many Internet
publishers and small businesses, the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) will argue before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 6
that companies cannot use a federal law to force website owners
worldwide to defend domain name disputes in Virginia.

A large Canadian corporation called Heathmount sought the domain name from a Canadian citizen, claiming a Canadian trademark
violation. Rather than sue in Canada, however, the corporation sued in
Virginia, based solely on the fact that Network Solutions, the registry
and registrar for the domain name, is located there.

"Why wasn't this lawsuit filed in Toronto, Canada, where both sides of
the dispute are located?" asked EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The
reason it was filed in Virginia was to increase the cost of litigation,
in the hope that the current domain owner could not afford to fight."

Despite the fact that the domain name holder had no relationship to
Virginia other than the registration of the domain name with Network
Solutions, the lower court ruled that a 1999 United States law called
the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act allows the case to be
heard in Virginia federal courts. The lower court then ordered the
domain name transferred to the Canadian corporation.

Heathmount has since dropped out of the case, but the U.S. government
will argue to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that it is proper to
force all website owners to defend their domain names in Virginia.
Network Solutions has also joined the case in support of the law.

"U.S. citizens would rightly protest loudly if another country adopted
such a rule and, for example, all U.S. domain holders were forced to
defend their domains in Kuala Lampur," commented EFF Staff Attorney Lee

EFF cooperating attorney Eric Grimm will argue the case.


More information on Heathmount v case:

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:


    Eric Grimm, Lead Counsel, CyberBrief PLC
      +1 734-332-4900

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

    Lee Tien, EFF Senior First Amendment Attorney
      +1 415-436-9333 x102

                                - end -                                



As the holiday season of giving approaches, we ask that you support the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the work that we do. EFF has
been fighting to protect rights in cyberspace for over 11 years. No
organization has our track record for effective advocacy in the online
world. And at no time have we needed your support more.

The current legal/political climate is very difficult for civil
liberties. Indeed, many of the rights that EFF and others have fought
so hard to secure are in jeopardy of disappearing. EFF is fully engaged
in preserving existing rights and in fighting new legislation that
would curtail individual liberties. These efforts along multiple fronts
press hard upon our resources, and we need your support to ensure that
a rational voice for individual rights continues to be heard.

You can make your donation at or you can
send a check to our mailing address:

    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    454 Shotwell Street
    San Francisco CA 94110 USA

This year, give the gift of freedom! Support EFF.

                                - end -                                



In every field of human endeavor, there are those dedicated to
expanding knowledge, freedom, efficiency, and utility. Many of today's
brightest innovators are working along the electronic frontier. To
recognize these leaders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation established
the Pioneer Awards for deserving individuals and organizations. The
Pioneer Awards are international and nominations are open to all. The
deadline for nominations this year is Feb. 15, 2002 (see nomination
criteria and instructions below).

How to Nominate Someone

You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one e-mail
per nomination. You may submit your entries to us via e-mail to: Just tell us:

 1. The name of the nominee;
 2. The phone number or e-mail address at which the nominee can be
    reached; and, most importantly;
 3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award.

You may attach supporting documentation as RTF files, Microsoft Word
documents, or other common binary formats, or as plain text.
Individuals, or representatives of organizations, receiving an EFF
Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at the
Foundation's expense.

Nominee Criteria

There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the
following guidelines apply:

 1. The nominees must have made a substantial contribution to the
    health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based
 2. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural.
 3. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the
    private or public sectors.
 4. Nominations are open to all (other than EFF staff & board and this
    year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient.
    You may nominate yourself or your organization.
 5. All nominations, to be valid, must contain your reasons, however
    brief, for nominating the individual or organization, along with a
    means of contacting the nominee (or heirs, if posthumous), and your
    own contact number. Anonymous nominations will be allowed, but we
    prefer to be able to contact the nominating parties in the event
    that we need further information.

The 2002 Awards

The 11th annual EFF Pioneer Awards will be presented in San Francisco,
California, in conjunction with the 12th Conference on Computers,
Freedom, and Privacy (CFP2002). All nominations will be reviewed by a
panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and
social issues associated with information technology.

For more information please see:

Pioneer Awards web page:

CFP site:

                                - end -                                



The DMCA affects every American, indeed, every human on the planet. The
problem is that the average person doesn't realize this. EFF wants the
input of our supporters in order to come up with slogans that will
raise the mainstream consciousness to the destructive effects of the
DMCA and inspire us all to continue the fight for free expression.

Put on your thinking caps, summon the creative muse and submit ideas
for slogans and "soundbytes" to help us fight the DMCA. If your idea is
chosen, you will win your choice of vintage EFF T-shirts. Send your
entry to Thanks for your help.

                                - end -                                



EFF applauds Working Assets for broadcasting the compelling online
video "Keep Liberty's Torch Shining" at:

The video describes how the government response to the events of
September 11 has spread the notion that liberty must be sacrificed in
order to achieve security through measures such as online censorship,
email surveillance, warrantless searches, secret military tribunals,
and other suspensions of constitutional rights. It asks viewers to
consider how to protect America without destroying the values we hold

                                - 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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