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EFFector - Volume 14, Issue 8 - EFF's Victory for Online Anonymous Speech

   
    EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 8       Apr. 30, 2001     editor@eff.org
                                      
   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424
                                      
  IN THE 168th ISSUE OF EFFECTOR (now with over 27,400 subscribers!):
  
     * EFF's Victory for Online Anonymous Speech
     * EFF Releases Public Music License to Promote Audio Freedom
     * CHIPA Internet Blocking Protest Roundup
     * BayFF On Internet Blocking Software - May 6, 2001
     * DeCSS Case to be Reviewed by Appellate Court
     * Administrivia
       
   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org
     _________________________________________________________________
   
EFF's Victory for Online Anonymous Speech

  FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS ANONYMOUS SPEECH ON INTERNET
  
    For immediate release - Apr. 20, 2001
    
    Contact:
    
     Lauren Gelman, EFF Public Policy Director
     +1 202-487-0420 gelman@eff.org
     
   Seattle -- In a precedent-setting ruling on free speech in cyberspace,
   a federal court in Seattle yesterday upheld the right to speak
   anonymously on the Internet. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly
   quashed a subpoena seeking to force an Internet service to disclose
   the identity of persons who spoke anonymously on an Internet message
   board. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic
   Frontier Foundation (EFF) represented J. Doe, one of the anonymous
   speakers, in blocking the subpoena.
   
   The subpoena was filed by 2TheMart.com, Inc., which is currently
   defending itself against a class-action lawsuit alleging the company
   engaged in securities fraud. The subpoena requested that InfoSpace
   turn over the identities of 23 speakers who used pseudonyms in
   participating on the Silicon Investor Web site owned by InfoSpace.
   
   The ruling is the first of its kind nationally in a case involving
   anonymous speech by a third party. The case differs from many other
   Internet anonymity cases because J. Doe, who used the pseudonym
   "NoGuano," is not a party to the case, and no allegations of liability
   against Doe have been made. While Doe does maintain a Silicon Investor
   account, Doe never made any statements about 2TheMart, nor has Doe
   ever posted on Silicon Investor's 2TheMart message board.
   
   "This is an important ruling for free speech on the Internet. The
   court recognized that you should be able to express opinions online
   without having to worry your privacy will be invaded because of a
   lawsuit that has nothing to do with you," said Aaron Caplan, staff
   attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization with
   an 80-year history of defending freedom of speech. "You have the right
   to speak anonymously on an Internet bulletin board just as you have
   the right to distribute a leaflet using a pseudonym," added Caplan.
   Caplan argued the case on behalf of J. Doe before the Court.
   
   "By ruling for Doe, Judge Zilly has sent a clear message that the
   courts will not tolerate lawsuits designed to chill online speech,"
   said Lauren Gelman, director of public policy for the Electronic
   Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization working to protect
   rights in the digital world. "We hope that this decision will force
   companies to think twice before they issue subpoenas, and encourage
   users to step forward and protect their rights if they receive a
   subpoena."
   
   The ACLU and EFF argued that the Court should adopt the same test
   currently used to determine whether to compel identification of
   anonymous sources of journalists or members of private organizations.
   Under that test, the Court must first determine whether the person
   seeking the protected private information (in this case 2TheMart.com)
   has a genuine need for the information in the context of the case and
   cannot discover the information any other way. If so, the Court must
   then balance the harm to the anonymous speakers against the
   plaintiff's need to discover the identity of the speaker. Anonymity
   should be preserved unless the identity of the anonymous person is
   clearly shown to be of central importance to the case. In his ruling,
   Judge Zilly said that the information sought by the subpoena clearly
   was not central to the case of 2TheMart.com.
   
   2TheMart.com was a fledgling company that intended to launch an online
   auction house. After its stock price plunged in 1999, a number of
   investors sued for securities fraud, alleging that the company had
   misled them about its prospects. Like many Internet start-ups,
   2TheMart.com had a number of people who chatted about the company on
   investor-related bulletin boards. One of these bulletin boards was
   operated by Silicon Investor, a Web site now owned by Seattle-based
   InfoSpace. The postings were made under 23 different user names,
   including "The Truthseeker," "Edelweiss," and "NoGuano."
   
   J. Doe was represented by ACLU staff attorney Aaron Caplan and Cindy
   Cohn, legal director for EFF. InfoSpace also submitted a brief
   supporting the right of its users to speak anonymously, and Brent
   Snyder of Perkins Coie argued the case before Judge Zilly on behalf of
   InfoSpace.
   
   The briefs may be found at the EFF Web site at
   http://www.eff.org
   and the ACLU Web site at
   http://www.aclu-wa.org.
   
   An opinion will be published in the case and will be posted on the Web
   sites when it is available.
   
     _________________________________________________________________

   
EFF Releases Public Music License to Promote Audio Freedom

  Artists and Audiences Strike New Deal to Protect Public Commons
  
    For Immediate Release - April 21, 2001
    
    Contact:
    
     Robin Gross, EFF Staff Attorney for Intellectual Property,
     +1 415-863-5459
     robin@eff.org
     
   New York -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) introduced a new
   tool designed to empower both artists and audiences at the New York
   Music & Internet Expo on April 21, 2001. As part of its Campaign for
   Audiovisual Free Expression (CAFE), EFF's Open Audio License allows
   anyone to freely copy, share, perform, and adapt music in exchange for
   providing credit to the artist for her gift to humanity.
   
   EFF's Open Audio License enables musicians and society to build upon
   and share creative expression creating a rich public commons. Artists
   who chose to release a song under the public license can build their
   reputation by offering unfettered access to their orginal works in
   exchange for recognition. Open Audio works are designated as "(O)" by
   the author and may be lawfully traded on file-sharing systems such as
   Napster or played by traditional and Web DJs royalty-free. Numerous
   musicians have traditionally taken advantage of super-distribution of
   their music, such as the Grateful Dead, a band that attributes much of
   its success to its encouragement of fans to freely copy and share
   their music.
   
   "EFF's Open Audience License hopes to use the power of copyright to
   protect copyright's ultimate objectives a vibrant and accessible
   public domain, incentivising creativity, and promoting the free
   exchange of ideas," said EFF Staff Attorney for Intellectual Property
   Robin Gross. "EFF's public music license strikes a new deal between
   creators and the public, granting more freedoms to the public to
   experience music while ensuring the artist is compensated."
   
   The online civil liberties group launched CAFE in June 1999 to address
   complex social and legal issues raised by new technological measures
   for protecting intellectual property. EFF believes that new
   intellectual property laws and technologies harm - nearly eliminate -
   the public's fair use rights, and make criminals of people doing
   perfectly legitimate things.
   
   To read EFF's Open Audio License & supporting documents, see:
   http://www.eff.org/IP/Open_licenses
   
   For more information on EFF's CAFE campaign, see:
   http://www.eff.org/cafe
   
   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
   
     _________________________________________________________________

   
CHIPA Internet Blocking Protest Roundup

      Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release
      
  Nationwide Protests Counter CHIPA Internet Blocking Law
  
    Growing Opposition to Internet Blocking in Schools and Libraries
    
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, April 20, 2001
    
    Contacts:
    
     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
     +1-415-436-9333 x111
     wild@eff.org
     
     Katina Bishop, EFF Offline Activist,
     +1-415-436-9333 x101
     katina@eff.org
     
   April 20, 2001 -- A spirited crowd of activists opposed to Internet
   blocking protested, some of them chanting in pouring rain today,
   against implementation of Congressionally-mandated Internet blocking
   in schools and libraries. The protests took place in Pleasanton,
   California, and Long Island, New York, as well as in "blackouts" of
   websites supportive of the action.
   
   Berkeley City Council member Kriss Worthington spoke at the Pleasanton
   protest stating, "Our schools and libraries must be the safety net to
   make education available through the Internet. CHIPA's cybernet
   censorship is unconstitutional, un-American, and unacceptable."
   
   Worthington was joined by Jim Schmidt of San Jose State University,
   who served on the Congressional Child Online Protection Act (COPA)
   Commission; Will Doherty, Online Activist at the Electronic Frontier
   Foundation and Executive Director of the Online Policy Group; and by
   Lisa Maldonado, Field Director, American Civil Liberties Union of
   Northern California.
   
   Maldonado commented, "The government is trying to strangle the free
   flow of information on the Internet to those library patrons who need
   it the most. CHIPA would widen the 'digital divide' that already
   exists between those who can afford Internet access at home and those
   who rely on their public library for Internet access."
   
   "The government-mandated requirement for Internet blocking in schools
   and libraries violates the free expression rights of American, adults
   and minors alike," explained Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist. "We
   must protest Congressionally-mandated Internet blocking because it
   censors Constitutionally-protected materials, stunts the intellectual
   growth of American children, and weighs unfairly on disadvantaged and
   'controversial' communities."
   
   Internet blocking technologies underblock what they are supposed to
   block and overblock what they are not supposed to block. They rely on
   subjective control from software product companies many of whom
   exhibit clear political and religious biases, rather than relying on
   local communities to decide for themselves. The products are
   error-prone, vulnerable, problematic, and unfairly discriminatory,
   denying access to constitutionally protected and educationally
   important materials that schools and libraries would otherwise
   provide. Government-mandated censorship does not solve problems better
   handled through local decision making and educational efforts.
   
   The Pleasanton protest place at offices of the Federal Communications
   Commission because it is the agency tasked by Congress with
   enforcement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CHIPA a.k.a.
   CIPA) blocking law.
   
   EFF, along with co-sponsors such as the Online Policy Group
   (www.onlinepolicy.org )and the American Civil Liberties Union (
   http://www.aclunc.org ), called the protests to demonstrate the
   growing public opposition to Internet blocking in schools and
   libraries.
   
   Protests or celebrations will occur on some or all of the following
   dates:
     * Summer 2001 - The United States District Court, Eastern District
       of Philadelphia, will make a decision on the CHIPA challenge filed
       by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic
       Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Library Association (ALA),
       and others.
     * July 1, 2001 - By this date US schools and libraries must comply
       with CHIPA in order to get "year four" e-Rate discounts
       administered by the Federal Communications Commision.
     * October 28th, 2001 - By this date US schools and libraries must
       certify their compliance with CHIPA to the Federal Communications
       Commission (FCC)
       
   If you are interested in organizing a protest in you local area,
   please send email to:
    freespeech@eff.org
   
   More information on the Internet blocking protests is available on the
   EFF website at:
    http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Censorware
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) 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.
   
     _________________________________________________________________

   
BayFF on Internet Blocking Software - May 6, 2001

      Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory
      
    Contact:
    
     Katina Bishop, EFF Offline Activist,
     +1-415-436-9333 x101
     katina@eff.org
     
  Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in a Panel Discussion on
  Internet Blocking in Schools and Libraries
  
   WHO: Electronic Frontier Foundation: Will Doherty, Online Activist,
   and Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney; James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian
   Center: Jim Mitulski; N2H2: David Burt, Market Researcher; San
   Francisco Board of Supervisors: Mark Leno; San Francisco Public
   Library: Susan Hildreth; Santa Clara University: Tom Shanks, Ph.D,
   Professor.
   WHAT: "BayFF" Panel Discussion on Internet Blocking in Schools and
   Libraries: Law, Litigation, and Community Response
   WHEN: Sunday, May 6, 2001 at 2:00 PM Pacific Time
   WHERE: San Francisco Public Library
   Room: Koret Auditorium
   100 Larkin Street
   San Francisco, CA 94102
   Tel: 415-557-4400 (for directions only)
   
   This event is free and open to the general public.
   
   With the United States Congress' passage of legislation requiring the
   use of Internet blocking technologies in all public schools and
   libraries participating in certain federal programs, it has become
   clear that these schools and libraries are facing a variety of
   challenges.
   
    Panelists:
    
   Will Doherty is the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Online Activist.
   He spearheads online outreach and grassroots organizing on EFF's
   pioneering work to protect Internet free speech and privacy rights.
   Doherty also currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of the
   Online Policy Group, dedicated to "one Internet with equal access for
   all." Doherty has designed and implemented Internetstrategies and
   websites for many nonprofit community and advocacy organizations
   
   David Burt is currently employed as a market researcher and analyst at
   N2H2, a leading Internet filtering company. Mr. Burt joined N2H2 in
   April, 2000 after nearly three years as president of Filtering Facts,
   an organization devoted to the study and promotion of Internet content
   management software.
   
   Susan Hildreth - Susan Hildreth is the City Librarian for the San
   Francisco Public Library. She has served as both Acting City Librarian
   and Deputy City Librarian since July 1998. She has previously worked
   with the California State Library, the Sacramento Public Library, the
   Placer County Library and other public libraries in northern
   California. She is active in both the American Library Association and
   the California Library Association and is an advocate for the
   library's role as a provider of all types of information for all
   users.
   
    Other Participants:
    
   The panel will be moderated by Tom Shanks.
   Tom Shanks, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow in Business and Public Policy at
   the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Associate Professor of
   Communication at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. He
   is also a Senior Scholar with the Washington, D.C., Ethics Resource
   Center. Shanks is a nationally-recognized expert in ethical
   decision-making and has conducted workshops and teaching seminars on
   ethics and values for corporate and nonprofit leaders, business and
   professional organizations, educators, engineering professionals,
   health care providers, and students.
   
   Lee Tien is a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier
   Foundation, a non profit public-interest organization based in San
   Francisco. He specializes in free speech law, including intersections
   with intellectual property law and privacy law. Before joining EFF, he
   also litigated FOIA cases. He has published articles on children's
   sexuality and information technology, anonymity, surveillance, and the
   First Amendment status of computer software.
   
   Mark Leno is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He
   recently introduced a Board resolution that prohibits the use of
   Internet blocking software on computers owned by the City or County of
   San Francisco.
   
   This event is sponsored by: Electronic Frontier Foundation, San
   Francisco Public Library, James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center,
   Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, Online
   Policy Group, and Mark Leno, Member of Board of Supervisors, San
   Francisco.
   
   The San Francisco Public Library is located across the street from the
   Civic Center BART/Muni stop. For directions to the event, you can use
   free services like http://www.mapquest.com or http://maps.yahoo.com to
   generate driving directions or maps. For CalTrain and Muni directions,
   please call their information lines. You can subscribe to receive
   future BayFF annoucements. To subscribe, email majordomo@eff.org and
   put this in the text (not the subject line):
    subscribe bayff
   
   Continuing over 10 years of defending civil liberties online, EFF
   presents a series of monthly meetings to address important issues
   where technology and policy collide. These meetings, entitled "BayFF",
   (Bay-area Friends of Freedom), kicked off on July 10, 2000, and will
   continue on a monthly basis.
   
   For more information, see:
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation:
   http://www.eff.org
   
   BayFF Meetings Info Page:
   http://www.eff.org/bayff
   
   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
   
     _________________________________________________________________

   
DeCSS Case to be Reviewed by Appellate Court

      Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Advisory
      
  Free Speech on Trial in DVD Fair Use Case
  
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    
    Contact:
    
     Cindy Cohn, Legal Director
     +1-415-505-7621
     cindy@eff.org
     
   April 26, 2001 -- In a case involving free speech rights and fair use
   of DVDs, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the appeal of 2600
   Magazine in Universal v. Remeirdes at 10:00 a.m. on May 1, 2001. The
   hearing will be held in Courtroom 506 of the United States Courthouse
   at 40 Centre Street (at Foley Square) in Manhattan, New York City.
   
   Dean Kathleen Sullivan of Stanford Law School will argue the case on
   behalf of the magazine. 2600 Magazine will hold a short press
   conference immediately after the hearing in Foley Square Plaza,
   directly across from the courthouse.
   
   The case arises from 2600 Magazine's publication of and linking to a
   computer program called DeCSS in November, 1999 as part of its news
   coverage about DVD decryption software. DeCSS decrypts movies on DVDs
   that have been encrypted by a computer program called CSS. Decryption
   of DVD movies is necessary in order to make fair use of the movies as
   well as to play DVD movies on computers running the Linux operating
   system, among other uses.
   
   Universal Studios, along with other members of the Motion Picture
   Association of America, filed suit against the magazine in January
   2000 seeking an order that the magazine no longer publish the program.
   
   The Studios object to the publication of DeCSS because they claim that
   it can be used as part of a process to infringe copyrights on DVD
   movies.
   
   In the case, formally titled Universal v. Remeirdes, et. al., the
   District Court granted a preliminary injunction against publication of
   DeCSS on January 20, 2000. By August 2000, after an abbreviated trial,
   the Court prohibited 2600 Magazine from even linking to DeCSS.
   
   2600 has appealed the trial court's ruling.
   
   More information about this case is available on the EFF website at:
http://eff.org/IP/Video/MPAA_DVD_cases/20010319_ny_eff_appeal_reply_brief.html
   
   The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) 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.
   
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, and
   Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster, editor@eff.org
   
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     _________________________________________________________________
   
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