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EFFector - Volume 15, Issue 3 - EFF Says Network Solutions Inc. Must Protect Public

                                                                       
EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 3       Jan. 24, 2002      editors@eff.org 
                                                                       
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424 
                                                                       
In the 202nd Issue of EFFector:

  * EFF Says Network Solutions Inc. Must Protect Public
  * EFF Asks Court to OK Morpheus Peer-to-Peer Software
  * "Will Free Expression Survive the Digital Media Revolution?"
  * EFF Thanks IDG for Generous Donation
  * Administrivia (new subscribe/unsubscribe instructions)

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!

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EFF SAYS NETWORK SOLUTIONS INC. MUST PROTECT PUBLIC

NSI SCREWED UP SEX.COM DOMAIN DISPUTE

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 23, 2002

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked an
appeals court to hold Network Solutions, Inc., (NSI) responsible for
mismanagement of the Sex.com domain name.

The case arises from NSI's actions in taking the Sex.com domain name
from appellant Gary Kremen and giving it to another Internet user who
presented NSI with fraudulent information.

In 2000, a lower court ruled that NSI, a private company which is the
sole domain name registry for dot-com domain names, is immune from
civil suit in cases where it negligently handled a domain name. Sex.com
then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and EFF filed an
amicus brief in the case.

"A court has ruled that NSI can screw up its monopoly on dot-com domain
name management and face no consequence for its actions," said EFF
Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross. "We hope the appellate
court will recognize the danger in eliminating all accountability for
this key component of Internet governance."

"I'm pleased that EFF, which has always been a clear voice on
cutting-edge Internet governance issues, supports the position that
domain registrars are custodians of valuable business properties and
have clear responsibilities to their customers," said San Francisco
businessman Gary Kremen, plaintiff in the suit. "Everyone reasonably
assumes the registrar will prevent poaching of domain names. It's time
the law backed that up."

VeriSign Inc. acquired NSI after the legal case was filed.

Links:

Documents related to Sex.com case:   
  http://www.eff.org/IP/Internet_address_disputes/Kremen_v_NSI/

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/

Contacts:

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

James M. Wagstaffe, Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP, Attorney for Sex.com
  wagstaffe@kerrwagstaffe.com
  +1 415-371-8500

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EFF ASKS COURT TO OK MORPHEUS PEER-TO-PEER SOFTWARE,

REJECT HOLLYWOOD ATTEMPTS TO STIFLE INNOVATION

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Los Angeles - Championing technological innovation, MusicCity, creator
of the Morpheus software, is asking a federal district court today to
recognize that the many legal uses of Morpheus software should prevent
any ban on the product.

Because people are now using, and will in the future use the Morpheus
peer-to-peer (P2P) software to obtain and trade creative works legally,
the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and lead counsel Andrew
Bridges are asking the court to reject entertainment industry claims
that the software has no significant purpose other than contributory
copyright infringement.

Morpheus software users currently access a broad variety of materials,
including public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, "shareware"
programs like the WinZip file compression software, films from the
Prelinger Archive, music videos from Lil'Romeo and others distributed
with permission by J!VE Media Technologies, and live concert recordings
authorized by musicians.

The MusicCity legal team bases its request to the court on the famous
Sony Betamax case, in which the motion picture industry tried to outlaw
VCRs. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that even if some
people use a new technology to infringe copyrights, that does not
justify an outright ban on that technology.

MusicCity also cites the Napster case, noting that the court held
Napster liable based on Napster's operation of a centralized
file-indexing service, but it never held Napster liable for, or
enjoined, creation or distribution of its software. In its ruling on
Napster, the 9th Circuit warned, "To enjoin simply because a computer
network allows for infringing use would, in our opinion, violate Sony
and potentially restrict activity unrelated to infringing use."

"MusicCity's technology is the kind of technology protected under both
the Betamax and Napster decisions -- technology capable of substantial
noninfringing uses that is turned over to the control of users," noted
Andrew Bridges. "The U.S. Supreme Court strongly upheld the principle
that a beneficial technology cannot be banned just because users may
abuse the technology," stated Bridges, partner in Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich Rosati's Palo Alto office.

"The studios' legal attack against P2P is the latest battle in the
industry's long war to kill any technology it cannot control," said
Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney. "We
shouldn't outlaw file-sharing programs simply because some people
misuse them."

On October 2, 2001, twenty-eight of the world's largest entertainment
companies sued MusicCity, the Nashville-based developer of the leading
P2P file-sharing program Morpheus, for the infringing actions of users
of its product (MGM et al v. Grokster et al, Case No. 01-CV-8541 SVW).
MusicCity has requested a February 25 hearing before the Honorable
Stephen V. Wilson, U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District
of California in Los Angeles.

Although referred to as MusicCity in the court case, StreamCast
Networks is the company currently maintaining the Morpheus software
product and MusicCity.com website.

"Morpheus is about a technological breakthrough in the way that people
share information", said Steve W. Griffin, Chairman and CEO of
StreamCast Networks. "We are allowing people to communicate, buy, sell,
and exchange with much greater ease than ever before."

Links:

Documents related to Metro-Goldwyn Mayer v. Grokster case:
  http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/MGM_v_Grokster/

U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Betamax case, Sony Corp. of America v.
Universal City Studios, Inc.:
  http://www.eff.org/Cases/sony_v_universal_decision.html

9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in RIAA v. Napster:
  http://www.ce9.uscourts.gov/web/newopinions.nsf/4bc2cbe0ce5be94e8825692
7007a37b9/c4f204f69c2538f6882569f100616b06?OpenDocument
(you'll need to put this URL back together on one line)

Related music publisher lawsuit against MusicCity:
  http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/NMPA_v_MusicCity/

EFF Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression:
  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/

About StreamCast Networks (MusicCity):

StreamCast Networks, Inc. is a provider of scalable peer-to-peer (P2P)
technology that brings to market software products that utilize P2P and
leverage the extensive user base of its network. StreamCast is
revolutionizing Internet digital media distribution and communications
via a unique software-driven solution that enables users to communicate
with one another more efficiently on an unprecedented scale. StreamCast
Networks is backed by Timberline Venture Partners, the independently
managed Northwest affiliate of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. StreamCast
Networks, Inc., operates the MusicCity.com website, which distributes
the Morpheus software product. StreamCast Networks is based in
Franklin, TN, with offices in Phoenix, AZ. For more information about
Morpheus, please visit http://www.musiccity.com/

[EFF does not officially endorse any products, including those of
StreamCast Networks (MusicCity).]

Contacts:

Andrew Bridges, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  abridges@wsgr.com
  +1 650-320-4861

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

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"WILL FREE EXPRESSION SURVIVE THE DIGITAL MEDIA REVOLUTION?"

JOIN EFF STAFF ATTORNEYS IN AN INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION AT OUR FEB. BAYFF

WHO:

Cindy Cohn - EFF Legal Director
Lee Tien - EFF Sr. Staff Attorney
Fred von Lohmann - EFF Sr. IP Attorney
Robin Gross - EFF Staff Attorney for Intellectual Property/CAFE
Director
Moderated by Shari Steele - EFF Executive Director

WHAT:

"Will Free Expression Survive the Digital Media Revolution?"

Sponsored by The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Berkeley Center
for Law and Technology

Movies. Music. Books. You buy it; you own it. That's how it used to be.
Now the DMCA and expanded copyright laws are helping Hollywood change
all that. Come and hear the EFF attorneys talk about the state of the
battlegrounds that affect your rights.

EFF attorneys will tackle thorny issues during this interactive
discussion, such as the impact on science and research from the DMCA's
broad ban on technical information, its effect on encryption and
computer security, Constitutional challenges in court and possible
legislative actions, international concerns, and the role of fair use
in the digital age.

WHEN:

February 12th, 2002

WHERE:

Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
University of California
School of Law (Boalt Hall)
Goldburg Room, Second Floor
Berkeley, California 94720-7200
Tel: +1 (510) 642-8073

For directions, see:
  http://www.law.berkeley.edu/institutes/bclt/events/bayff.html

For more information contact Katina: +1 (415) 436-9333 x101, 
katina@eff.org

This event is free and open to the general public. Food and beverages
will be served.

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/

The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology was founded in 1995 to foster
beneficial and ethical advancement of technology by promoting the
understanding and guiding the development of intellectual property and
related fields of law and policy. Housed in Boalt Hall, the Center
serves as a resource for academia, the judiciary, law students,
practitioners, policy makers and others with an interest in the
intersection between technological development and the public interest.

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EFF THANKS IDG FOR GENEROUS DONATION

The EFF would like to thank IDG for their recent donation of boothspace
at the Macworld Conference and Expo '02 in San Francisco, which took
place January 7-11. Without the assistance of IDG World Expo, owners
and managers of the Macworld Conference, the EFF would not have been
able to attend Macworld. Their generous donation made it possible for
the EFF to reach thousands of interested Mac users. Thanks IDG!

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ADMINISTRIVIA

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Editors:
Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster
  editors@eff.org

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