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EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 17 - EFF & ReplayTV Owners Sue Hollywood

EFFECTOR

EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 17 - EFF & ReplayTV Owners Sue Hollywood

EFFector ÊÊÊÊÊ Vol. 15, No. 17 ÊÊÊÊÊ  June 6, 2002 ÊÊÊ     ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ÊÊÊ ISSN 1062-9424


In the 217th Issue of EFFector:

*    EFF & ReplayTV Owners Sue Hollywood
*    Court Rejects Hollywood Effort to Spy on ReplayTV Owners
*    Organizations Wary of Plan to Restrict Digital Television
*    Judge Focuses on "Betamax" Question in P2P File Sharing Case
*    Thanks to United Layer
*    EFF Needs Office Chairs
*    Administrivia


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

To join EFF or make an additional donation:
Ê http://www.eff.org/support/
EFF is a member-supported nonprofit. Please sign up as a member today!
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ReplayTV Users: "We Are Not Thieves"

Customers Defend Right to Digital Recording


Los Angeles - ReplayTV customers today sued the entertainment industry to
protect their rights to skip over commercials and record television programs
for later viewing using digital video recorders.

Responding to both the lawsuit brought against ReplayTV and the industry's
public claims that these actions are "theft," five customers, represented by
the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Ira Rothken of the Rothken Law
Firm in San Rafael, filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles asking the court
to rule that their use of the ReplayTV device is legal under copyright law.

"The studios are using their copyrights as an excuse to control what
individuals do with their own property in the privacy of their own homes,"
said EFF Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross.

"These Hollywood guys want to stop me from using my digital video recorder
like I use my VCR, like for watching shows when I want or zipping through
commercials," explained Craig Newmark, craigslist.com community founder,
ReplayTV user, and plaintiff in the case. "I want to give my nephews and
nieces a break from the rampant consumerism on TV by using ReplayTV's
commercial skipping feature."

Last October, dozens of Hollywood movie and television studios sued ReplayTV
and SonicBlue for making and distributing personal video recorders, claiming
that consumers' use of such devices constitutes copyright violation and
seeking a broad injunction that would prevent the further use, support, or
sale of the machines.

Along with Newmark, ReplayTV customers filing the lawsuit with legal
representation by the EFF are: Keith Ogden, owner of a financial broker firm
in San Francisco; Shawn Hughes, a small business owner in Georgia; Seattle
journalist Glenn Fleishman; and southern Californian video engineer Phil
Wright. 


Links:

Press release:
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Newmark_v_Turner/20020606_eff_pr.html

EFF complaint against entertainment industry:
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Newmark_v_Turner/20020606_complaint.html

EFF case portal on Newmark et al. v Paramount et al.:
http://www.eff.org/sc/newmark/

EFF case archive on Paramount v. ReplayTV case:
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Paramount_v_ReplayTV

Paramount complaint against ReplayTV:
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Paramount_v_ReplayTV/20011031_complaint.html

craigslist.com announcement on ReplayTV case:
http://www.craigslist.org/craig.vs.hollywood.html



Contacts:

Robin Gross
Ê Intellectual Property Attorney
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê robin@eff.org
Ê +1 415 436-9333 x112 (office), +1 415 637-5310 (cell)


Fred von Lohmann
Ê Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê fred@eff.org
Ê +1 415 436-9333 x123 (office), +1 415 215-6087 (cell)



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:
Ê http://www.eff.org


                                - end -


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Court Rejects Hollywood Effort to Spy on ReplayTV Owners


Los Angeles - On Thursday, May 30, District Court Judge Florence Marie
Cooper rejected Hollywood's effort to force ReplayTV to develop and
install"spyware" to monitor the viewing habits of ReplayTV owners.

In October 2001, ReplayTV was sued in Los Angeles by 28 movie studios,
television networks, and cable networks, which allege that owners of
ReplayTV PVRs infringe copyrights when they skip commercials and share shows
and that ReplayTV should be held responsible for these infringements.

As part of preliminary discovery in the case, the Hollywood plaintiffs
demanded that ReplayTV develop and install software that would monitor the
viewing habits of ReplayTV owners. On April 26, 2002, a magistrate judge
granted Hollywood's demand. EFF, along with a number of other civil
liberties and privacy organizations, joined in an amicus brief filed by
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asking the district court to
reverse the magistrate's ruling.

"As this incident makes clear, when Hollywood goes after technology
companies instead of infringers, they often trample on the rights of
innocent technology users," said Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual
Property Attorney. "We are pleased that the court agreed that Hollywood is
not entitled to order Replay to spy on its own customers."


Links:

The court's May 30, 2002 order
Ê   
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Paramount_v_ReplayTV/20020531_replay_discovery_r
eversal.pdf 

Amicus brief by EPIC, in which EFF joined:
Ê http://www.epic.org/privacy/replaytv/amici_brief_eick_order.pdf

For general background on the ReplayTV lawsuit
Ê 
http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Paramount_v_ReplayTV/20020531_replay_ca_lawyer.p
df 

For other case documents
Ê http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/Paramount_v_ReplayTV/


Contacts:

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

                                - end -


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Organizations Wary of Plan to Restrict Digital Television

EFF Rejects Non-Consensus Report

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 4, 2002

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with other
non-profit organizations and publishers, on Tuesday criticized a
Hollywood-backed plan to restrict digital TV equipment. The proposal, which
aims at legislative control over television, was unveiled Tuesday in a
report by the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG).

"Hollywood studios are demanding that the consumer electronics industry
redesign digital televisions," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth Schoen.
"Congress, industry, and consumers must all reject Hollywood's attempt to
force an unconscionable government mandate restricting technology innovation
and the rights of digital television consumers."

If implemented, the BPDG's recommendations would restrict consumers from
making and distributing legal copies of programs broadcast on digital
television.

A sample of the organizations endorsing EFF's comments are:
DigitalConsumer.org; the Free Software Foundation; HDNet; Phillips; and The
Computer and Communications Industry Association.

BPDG was founded in November 2001 as a sub-group of the Copy Protection
Technical Working Group (CPTWG). Allegedly representing an industry
consensus, BPDG recently attained a high profile as a possible alternative
to the controversial Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act
(CBDTPA). EFF staff have participated in BPDG's meetings and conference
calls since its inception.

EFF submitted comments that were included as a dissenting opinion within the
BPDG's final report. For the full press release and comments, see the links
below.

Links:

For this release:
Ê http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/HDTV/20020604_eff_bpdg_pr.html

Summary of EFF's comment on the BPDG report:
Ê http://bpdg.blogs.eff.org/archives/000121.html

Full text of EFF's comments on the BPDG report:
Ê http://bpdg.blogs.eff.org/archives/000116.html

EFF's BPDG "Consensus At Lawyerpoint" weblog:
Ê http://bpdg.blogs.eff.org/


Contacts:

Seth Schoen
Ê Staff Technologist
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê seth@eff.org
Ê +1 415-436-9333 x107

Fred von Lohmann
Ê Senior Intellectual Property Atty.
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê fred@eff.org
Ê +1 415-436-9333 x123


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:
Ê http://www.eff.org


                                - end -


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Judge Focuses on "Betamax" Question in P2P File Sharing Case



At a June 3rd hearing in the case against Morpheus over file-sharing
software, the court agreed to narrow the issues in the case to the proper
application of the "Betamax" legal doctrine. Last Fall, Hollywood record
companies sued Streamcast, KaZaa, and Grokster - all distributors of P2P
file-sharing software - and asked the court to ban the software under
copyright law. Earlier this year, Streamcast filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment, asking the court to declare that the technology is capable of
"substantial non-infringing uses" under the Supreme Court's ruling in
Betamax (Universal City Studios v. Sony).

This is a positive development in the case. It indicates Judge Steven Wilson
understands that the Betamax doctrine, the core legal principle protecting
consumers rights to use video recordings as they choose absent explicit
copyright infringement, is at the heart of this case. The parties next will
be before the court on July 8th for a status conference.


Links:

MusicCity Archive:
http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/

U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Betamax case:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/464_US_417.htm

EFF Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression:
http://www.eff.org/cafe/


Contact:

Robin Gross
Ê Intellectual Property Attorney
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê robin@eff.org
Ê +1 415 436-9333 x112 (office), +1 415 637-5310 (cell)


                                - end -


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Thanks To Server Folks


The Electronic Frontier Foundation would like to thank the good folks at
United Layer Inc. (http://www.unitedlayer.com) - a San Francisco based
server farm and security company - for their generous donation of space for
our server and bandwidth. The EFF web server had been hosted in-house on a
T1 connection - but due to the support of our members and our success - we
had saturated our connection and needed a bigger pipe to the world. Last
week when Slashdot published an article about us that linked to a 1.8 Meg
MP3 file, United Layer stepped in to provide us the bandwidth to serve that
file. Now they are donating EFF all of our web server bandwidth.

You can see who else has helped us out with goods, services, and funds by
visiting our new thank you page at http://www.eff.org/thanks/index.html

                                - end -


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EFF Needs Office Chairs


EFF is looking for some good office chairs. Fighting the good fight is hard
on the vertebrae, so ergonomically-minded donations are especially welcome.
We are in San Francisco, so donors should probably be in the Bay Area.
Contact Ren Bucholz if you have questions or donations. Thanks in advance!


Contact:

Ren Bucholz 
Ê Activist 
Ê Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ê ren@eff.org
Ê +1 415 436-9333 x121 (office)


                                - end -


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Administrivia

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Editor:
Ren Bucholz, Activist
Ê ren@eff.org 

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