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EFFector - Volume 16, Issue 23 - Help Broaden the World IP Debate!

EFFector       Vol. 16, No. 23       September 8, 2003

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 262nd Issue of EFFector:

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Action Alert: Help Broaden the World IP Debate!

The cost of software, availability of medicine and production of valuable scientific knowledge are, in large part, determined by the policies of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Today, WIPO focuses on restrictive intellectual property regimes, but it doesn't have to be that way tomorrow. WIPO is holding a budget meeting in Geneva from September 8- 10, where it will decide whether or not to schedule increased discussions of open and collaborative development models (OCDM). OCDM includes open source software like Linux and collaborative scientific endeavors like the Human Genome Project - valuable initiatives that benefit the public. WIPO expressed support for such a discussion, but backed off when the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) warned it away. Tell the USPTO to reconsider its misguided stance and support public information resources throughout the world!

Links:

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Recording Industry Announces Lawsuits Against Music Sharers

Electronic Frontier Foundation Warning on "Amnesty" Program

San Francisco - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today filed 261 lawsuits against people who allegedly shared copyrighted music online. The RIAA announced plans to sue more file-sharers and introduced an "amnesty" program available only to file-sharers who the RIAA has not yet identified or sued.

The lawsuits come in the wake of more than 1600 subpoenas the RIAA filed in recent weeks, seeking the identities of file-sharers who allegedly downloaded a "substantial amount" of copyrighted works. The RIAA claims that the music fans have engaged in illegal direct copyright infringement.

"More lawsuits is not the answer. Does anyone think that suing 60 million American file-sharers is going to motivate them to buy more CDs?" said EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "File sharing networks represent the greatest library of music in history, and music fans would be happy to pay for access to it, if only the recording industry would let them."

Under the amnesty program, dubbed the "Clean Slate Program," the RIAA claims files-sharers can avoid lawsuits if they sign a declaration pledging that they will delete all copyrighted music files from their hard drives and mp3 players and never again share or download music illegally. The amnesty program is only available to people who the RIAA has not yet sued or subpoenaed.

"The RIAA has offered 'sham-nesty,' not amnesty, for those sharing music online," explained EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "The recording industry wants file-sharers to confess guilt, while leaving these music fans vulnerable to lawsuits from record companies and music publishers and bands like Metallica that control independent music rights."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has maintained that the recording industry should offer file-sharers a real amnesty program, for example, an opportunity to pay a reasonable monthly fee for to access the music they love using file-sharing software.

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D.C.-Area EFFector Readers: European Cybercrime Talk Tomorrow

On Tuesday, September 9, there will be a talk on problems with the Council of Europe CyberCrime Convention (CCC) in Washington, D.C. This treaty, which the United States has signed, could lead to huge changes in US and international criminal law and procedure. Professor Bert-Jaap Koops, author of the WWW Crypto Law Survey, will discuss significant problems with the treaty. Prof. Koops' talk is free and open to the public.

Details:
Date: Sept 9, 6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: 108 Phillips Hall (22nd and Eye St., NW, Washington DC)

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EFF Needs a Volunteer Intern Coordinator

We're looking for a volunteer who can coordinate and organize our volunteer and intern program. Responsibilities include advertising internships in schools and on websites, processing applications through a task management application, setting up interviews, attending volunteer meetings in San Francisco, and coordinating interns and volunteers once accepted.

We are looking for a detail oriented person with basic+ computer skills and great "people" skills who can commit at least 10 hours a week for a period of six months. Internships are unpaid but school credit may be available. You must live in the Bay Area to apply.

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Deep Links

Deep Links features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.

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Staff Calendar

For a complete listing of EFF speaking engagements (with locations and times), please visit our online calendar.
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Editor:
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