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
- EFF Applauds Ruling in Chamberlain Group v. Skylink DMCA Case
- 321 Studios Advocates Fair Uses in Digital Copyright Law: DVD Backup Vendor Supports EFF's Efforts
- Deep Links (13): Pardon Me, Sir - You Left Your Ethics in the Limo
- Staff Calendar: 11.18.03 - Gwen Hinze speaks at ATSDF, Miami, FL; 11.19.03 - Gwen Hinze speaks at the Program on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, Miami, FL.
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 features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.
Me, Sir - You Left Your Ethics in the Limo
Free concert tickets, pool parties and lobster bakes - election officials are reportedly getting star treatment from the e-voting machine companies competing for your tax dollars.
- La Regle du
A fellow Sims player has publicly insulted you. Can you sue for defamation? So asks "The State of Play," a conference exploring the gap between real law and virtual reality.
- Patent Busters Bankrolled
Innovation, competition and even human health suffer when patents are granted indiscriminately. Enter the newly flush Public Patent Foundation.
Cracks Knuckles, Glowers at Public
LA Times article in which film industry representatives discuss plans to bring lawsuits against individual file sharers - including contemplating "the size of the coffin".
- It's Ten O'Clock. Do You
Know Where Your Privacy Is?
To save money, major credit agencies are outsourcing the handling of your Social Security number and credit history to firms overseas - where U.S. privacy laws cannot be enforced.
- Sony to Offer Use-Limited
CDs with Extras
Rule of Marketing #783: Distract the buyer from the inferior product by padding it with filler.
- ART Aims at Movie
A new bill targeting pre-release movie piracy focuses on P2P file sharers, not the major source of Hollywood movies onto the Internet - the leaks from inside the studios themselves.
- Michael Moore Speaks Out on
The normally soft-spoken, timid documentary filmmaker shocked British audiences by openly questioning the wisdom of e-voting machines sold by partisan fund raisers.
- Rock the
Vote - No, Really
The rock band Railer is touring North America - and stumping for a bill that would require e-voting machines to have voter verifiable paper receipts.
Airport Pi**ed Over Urinal Photo Site
An odd public urinal photo website is threatened by odd legal claims from the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
- MyTunes Turns iTunes into P2P
Like iCommune, this Windows app adds a feature to iTunes bound to make Mr. Jobs very unhappy.
in the (Digital Millennium Copyright) Act
The Washington Post on the unintended consequences of the DMCA.
- Don't Look Now, But the Dean Is Watching
(Ad view nonsense required.)
Under pressure by the feds and the record labels, campus administrators are spying on students now more than ever.
For a complete listing of EFF speaking engagements (with locations and times), please visit: www.eff.org/calendar/
- November 18 - Gwen Hinze will be speaking at Americas Trade and Sustainable Development Forum Miami, FL. - 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. "Access to Information and the Copyright and Related Rights Provisions in the Proposed FTAA"
- November 19 - Gwen Hinze will be speaking at the Program on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest Miami, FL. - 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. "Copyright, Trademark, and related Forms of Protection"
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