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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

EFFector - Volume 16, Issue 32 - Court Hearing on Electronic Voting Company's Threats Against Critics


EFFector - Volume 16, Issue 32 - Court Hearing on Electronic Voting Company's Threats Against Critics

EFFector       Vol. 16, No. 32       November 15, 2003

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 271st Issue of EFFector:

Court Hearing on Electronic Voting Company's Threats Against Critics

Diebold Suppressing Evidence of Voting Machine Flaws

San Jose, CA - Two student activists and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) will ask a federal district court judge on Monday to put an end to ongoing legal threats by Diebold Systems, Inc., in a case involving the disclosure of flaws in the company's electronic voting machines. The nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore college students seek to prevent Diebold from issuing further cease-and-desist letters aimed at squelching public discussion of these flaws.

The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. PST in courtroom 3 on the 5th floor of the San Jose Federal Courthouse, located on 280 South 1st St. in San Jose, California. There will be a press conference outside of the courthouse immediately following the hearing.

Diebold has threatened a dozen or more ISPs that host websites that either publish or link to a corporate email archive revealing technical problems with the company's voting machines. The archive includes email messages written by Diebold employees discussing how to resolve, or in some cases, obfuscate these problems.

EFF and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School are providing legal representation in this important case to prevent abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting, the very foundation of our democratic process.

"Instead of paying lawyers to threaten its critics, Diebold should invest in creating electronic voting machines that include voter-verified paper ballots and other security protections," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn.


Media coverage of Diebold threats:

EFF Applauds Ruling in Chamberlain Group v. Skylink DMCA Case

The Northern District of Illinois District Court this week ruled that the universal garage door clicker sold by Skylink Technologies that interoperates with Chamberlain Group garage door openers does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

"A homeowner has a legitimate expectation that he or she will be able to access the garage even if the original transmitter is misplaced or malfunctions," wrote US District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the order.

"We're pleased the court recognized consumers' reasonable expectation that they can replace lost or damaged remote controls with competing products without violating the DMCA," said EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "Congress clearly did not intend to give copyright owners the power to veto interoperable consumer products when it passed the DMCA."


Media coverage of the ruling:

321 Studios Advocates Fair Uses in Digital Copyright Law

DVD Backup Software Vendor Supports EFF's Efforts

St. Louis, MO - DVD backup software vendor 321 Studios this week announced it will donate as much as $1 million over the next year to EFF. 321 Studios hopes to support EFF's work in advocating for digital copyright law responsive to consumer needs and to educate its customers about these issues.

The company will donate $25 toward EFF's efforts for each sale of a Lite-On DVD burner and DVD X Copy Platinum software bundle through the 321 Studios website or at the 321 Studios Touch Point Customer Service Center in the St. Louis Galleria Mall.

"We are very pleased that 321 Studios has chosen to recognize the important work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation with a generous financial contribution over the next year," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "321 Studios knows firsthand the importance of advocating for copyright law that preserves the balance among content creators, innovators, and the public."

"This is a natural partnership that allows our customers to join the fight for digital rights. The EFF is working to protect those rights - including that of Americans to protect their home entertainment investment through DVD backup and repair," said Robert Moore, President and Founder of 321 Studios. "As the leader in the DVD backup, repair, and creation software industry, it makes sense for 321 and our customers to put some economic muscle behind that fight."

Last year, 321 Studios filed a declaratory relief action in federal court asking a judge to confirm that its software, which enables consumers to make backup copies of DVDs they own, does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The major movie studios counter-sued to prohibit 321 Studios from selling and distributing that software. EFF submitted a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the DMCA cannot constitutionally prohibit tools, like 321 Studios', that enable the public to make fair use of their media. The court has not yet ruled on the case.


Deep Links

Deep Links features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.

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Donna Wentworth, Web Writer/Activist

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