EFFector Vol. 17, No. 27 July 29, 2004
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424
In the 299th Issue of EFFector:
- Freedom Fest Is Coming!
- EFF to Senate: P2P Solutions Should Pay Artists, Not Lawyers
- Debunking Audible Magic - Again
- Op-ed: E-Voting Is Not a Partisan Issue
- EFF Awarded $131,000 for E-Voting Campaign
- EFF Foments Digital Television Revolution at Defcon 12
- MiniLinks (18): This Use Is Fair Use
- Staff Calendar: 07.30.04 - 08.01.04 - Kevin Bankston, Annalee Newitz, Seth Schoen, and Wendy Seltzer speak at Defcon 12, Las Vegas, NV; 08.04.04 - EFF Freedom Fest 2004, San Francisco, CA
Freedom Fest Is Coming!
Red Hat Sponsors the Fourth Annual EFF Freedom Fest at LinuxWorld August 4
San Francisco, CA - For the past four years, EFF has been thanking its members for their support with a free outdoor concert called Freedom Fest. This year's event will be bigger and better than ever. EFF has partnered with Red Hat, the world's leading provider of Linux and open source solutions, to conduct the festivities as part of the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Freedom Fest will be held outdoors at the gorgeous Yerba Buena Gardens, with an all-star lineup that features celebrated local artists Austin Willacy, Josh Fix and the Furious Force, and The Megan Slankard Band.
Warwick Davies, Group Vice President, IDG World Expo, said, "We're pleased to have EFF's Freedom Fest at LinuxWorld. It's a natural partnership, and we hope everybody who attends has a great time."
Red Hat Vice President of Corporate Communications David Burney added, "As an open source company, Red Hat believes in providing freedom and choice to technology users, and we are excited to partner with EFF to bring this great event to the Bay Area."
In addition to celebrating digital rights, this year's Freedom Fest is held in honor of the attorneys who volunteered their time to help win the Bunner case, defending Andrew Bunner and hundreds of other Linux users who hosted DeCSS code on their websites in a lawsuit brought by several large entertainment companies. The annual concert is also a chance for people interested in EFF issues to meet the staff in a relaxed atmosphere, enjoy some free music, and share food and drink. And for the first time ever, the event will be simulcast live over the Web at the EFF website.
The EFF Freedom Fest will take place on Wednesday, August 4th, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. The event is open to everyone attending LinuxWorld and all EFF supporters - please join us!
EFF Freedom Fest website:
EFF to Senate: P2P Solutions Should Pay Artists, Not Lawyers
Just before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week on the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (S. 2560), the president of the Recording Industry Association of America sent a letter to all 100 senators arguing in favor of the bill and challenging its critics to "come forth with constructive and concrete suggestions." Today, EFF responded with our own letter to the Senate. We argue that the Induce Act not only threatens technological innovation, it also fails to address the real problem with peer-to-peer file sharing: making sure that creators are fairly compensated. Rather than pass futile legislation that will chill American innovators while pushing P2P overseas, Congress should be facilitating truly constructive, sensible business solutions that work with, rather than against, new technologies.
"In February, EFF proposed an industry-led collective licensing solution that would ensure compensation for copyright owners while minimizing the need for governmental intrusion into the digital music marketplace," writes EFF Executive Director Shari Steele in the letter. "It's time for a solution to the P2P conflict that pays artists, not lawyers."
EFF letter to the Senate:
Action alert on the Induce Act:
Debunking Audible Magic - Again
Earlier this month, EFF published an analysis of Audible Magic's CopySense appliance concluding that it is no silver bullet for thwarting copyright infringement via peer-to-peer networks. A potential customer subsequently sent Audible Magic the analysis, and the company responded with a letter defending its product. Unfortunately, the letter entirely misses the point of our critique, arguing that CopySense is a wise purchase for universities and Internet Service Providers because "our product solves today's problem."
First of all, it's debatable that CopySense solves today's problem. As we point out in the analysis, encrypting file transfers represents a cheap, easily implemented countermeasure that would effectively frustrate CopySense. P2P applications exist today that encrypt data transfers - MUTE, WASTE, and Freenet are just a few examples.
Second, investing in a technology like CopySense is a significant cost for most universities and ISPs, both in terms of budgetary allocations and time and labor resources. With most educational institutions facing strained budgets and administrative hiring freezes, the last thing they need is to waste time installing and learning a system that will become obsolete soon after leaving the showroom. A product that fails to consider tomorrow's problems fails.
It's important that people purchasing technological "solutions" to the P2P problem are fully aware of their limitations. Follow the link below for EFF's response to the Audible Magic letter, which rebuts the company's claims and clarifies key points in our original analysis.
EFF analysis: "Debunking Audible Magic - Again":
Op-ed: E-Voting Is Not a Partisan Issue
By Cindy Cohn EFF Legal Director
Over the past week we've seen several media stories suggesting that the electronic voting machine issue is partisan. While there are certainly folks who would like to portray it that way, it's not true. Far more importantly, it's not true in terms of who should care.
In a recent court case, EFF presented evidence of 18 serious direct recording electronic (DRE) problems over the past two years, and in the majority of the cases that we've seen, electronic voting systems don't fail in any partisan way - they just fail. In Virginia, for instance, a DRE machine switched one out of every 100 votes for the Republican candidate to a vote for the Democratic candidate. And given the many ways that e-voting machines can be cracked, no political party has a "lock" on programmers who could sway an election.
It's especially puzzling to see this "partisan" spin emerge now, in the face of a number of Republican and bipartisan efforts to ensure the integrity of our elections:
* Senator John Ensign, a Republican from Nevada, is sponsoring the leading Senate bill to establish a voter-verified paper ballot (VVPB). He has been a stalwart on these issues since long before most of us even thought about them.
* The National Federation of Republican Women supports the use of paper trail machines.
* Congressman Rush Holt's (D-NJ) bill, HR 2239, has bipartisan co-sponsorship, and chapters of political parties from across the spectrum have endorsed it.
* Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute endorses VVPB, and EFF has been working with several other conservative groups on the issue. Just a week ago, EFF helped a bipartisan group of voters in California's Riverside County in an ongoing effort to recount electronic votes in a very close election. While the race itself was nonpartisan, the candidate demanding the recount, Linda Soubirous, is not left-wing.
When e-voting is dismissed as partisan, voters from both parties lose. Election integrity is far too important an issue to be sidetracked by this diversion. And when the media falls for this sort of spin, they fall into the hands of people who want to push the very real problems with electronic voting back under the rug.
For an earlier version of this editorial online:
More information about e-voting:
* EFF Awarded $131,000 for E-Voting Campaign
Arca Foundation Gives $85,000; Quixote Foundation Gives $21,000; Rockefeller Family Fund Gives $25,000
San Francisco, CA - EFF has been awarded three grants totaling $131,000 for its work leading the national litigation strategy on computerized voting. The first grant of $85,000 is from the Washington, DC-based Arca Foundation; the second grant of $21,000 is from the Quixote Foundation of Madison, Wisconsin; and the third grant is from the Rockefeller Family Fund based in New York City.
"The reports of problems using computerized voting machines increase with every election," said Cindy Cohn, Legal Director for EFF. "These machines have been hastily developed and poorly tested. Worse, since they do not create voter-verifiable paper ballots, there is no way to do a real recount or audit of election results."
EFF has joined with other organizations in a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the ways insecure voting machines threaten the democratic process. The organization will litigate for e-voting reform and do outreach with traditional voting rights organizers before and after the November presidential election. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure accessible, secure voting on transparent, auditable systems to ensure that votes are counted as cast.
"We are thrilled to have the support of the Arca Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund, and the Quixote Foundation in this endeavor," said Cohn. "Their grant-making focuses on empowering citizens to help shape public policy - this is a great partnership."
For the full press release:
EFF's "Verify the Vote" Campaign:
EFF Foments Digital Television Revolution at Defcon 12
Less than a year from now, technology regulations by the Federal Communications Commission will outlaw a set of technologies that are revolutionizing the way people record and view digital television broadcasts. Aimed at preventing illegal copying, the FCC's "broadcast flag" could actually prevent a number of activities that are perfectly legal under copyright law - such as recording a clip of a Fox News program and redistributing it with commentary for the purposes of criticizing the company's reporting.
EFF is fighting back with the Digital Television Liberation Project - an initiative to help people make their own broadcast flag-resistant personal video recorders (PVRs) from off-the-shelf parts. EFF has created such a PVR and will demonstrate how it's done this Saturday, July 31st, at the Defcon 12 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"We want to keep the right to time- and space-shift that the VCR has given us. We want to keep the fair use rights that let us excerpt clips from press conferences or make our own 'Daily Show' from the evening news," says EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "That's why we're encouraging people to buy HDTV tuner cards now and build multi-function receivers and recorders around them."
Digital Television Liberation Project:
Wired article: "Group Warns DVRs Endangered":
Thanks to a special offer from pcHDTV, you can get an unencumbered high definition television (HDTV) tuner card at $9.89 off, and donate $5 to EFF at the same time. The pcHDTV HD-2000 card works with a PC running Linux to receive over-the-air broadcast HDTV (a fast PC is recommended for playback). This tuner will continue to work after the broadcast flag takes hold. EFFector readers can buy the pcHDTV HD-2000 card from http://www.pchdtv.com with the customer code "EFF-SPECIAL" for the discount and donation.
miniLinksminiLinks features noteworthy news items from around the Internet.
Open Source to Germany: Danke!
A German court recently reaffirmed the validity of the GNU Public License:
Politics as Usual in South Korea
And by that we mean taking students to court for creating provocative political parodies that could impact public opinion:
This Use Is Fair Use
Two brothers created a parody of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," the copyright holder threatened a lawsuit, and its fate hangs in the balance:
Apple vs. Real: A DRM Story
Edward Felten on the fracas over Real reverse-engineering for compatibility with Apple's iPod:
Microsoft Wants to See Your ID
If you're sending mail to people using any of their services, that is. Its new anti-spam tools will require senders to verify their mail servers when trying to contact accounts maintained by Hotmail, MSN, or Microsoft:
RIAA Busts Record Store for Selling Mix CDs
The owners of Berry's Music, an indie record store in Indianapolis, recently settled a recording industry lawsuit that forced them to close their doors. Their crime? Selling DJ mix CDs:
Libraries Invest in the Future of Surveillance
Salon explores the pros and cons of radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in library books:
(Subscription or day pass required.)
Another Study Says P2P Doesn't Hurt Record Industry
Meanwhile, the record labels fume and insist that they *do* have clothes:
Induce Act Blasted in Congressional Hearings
Tech industry reps made it clear that the Induce Act is a bad idea, but the bill's authors maintain that *something* is going to pass this year:
A website that runs competitions for creative "mash-ups," and offers a donation to EFF as the prize for the winners. Thanks, guys!
SCO Gets Whupped in DaimlerChrysler Suit
DaimlerChrysler was targeted in SCO's anti-Linux campaign, but a judge recently agreed with the car company and threw out most of SCO's case:
Data Company Compromised Again
An Arkansas man was recently indicted for breaking into the servers of Axciom - the world's largest repository of consumer data:
Study Says People Care More About Airline Security than Personal
Privacy The real question is why we're led to believe that the two are mutually exclusive:
Washington Post Calls for PATRIOT Review
This op-ed considers a recent DoJ report and concludes that the PATRIOT Act demands careful, thorough review before any discussion of expansion can take place:
(Registration unfortunately required.) EFF on the DoJ report:
E-Voting Victory in Ohio
The final three Ohio counties considering the purchase of e-voting machines will stick to paper this November. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell ordered the counties not to buy the machines in light of security concerns highlighted in yet another troubling study:
The Vast Open Source Conspiracy
Electronic voting machine vendors think that their critics are driven by a religious devotion to free software:
France Eases Ability to Take Down Infringers
The new rules require a judge to review the takedown request, which is a higher standard than record labels must meet in the states:
Microsoft Wins $4 Million from Spammer
A judge ordered a California man to pay $4 million after he used the names of Microsoft products in his salty, canned email messages:
For a complete listing of EFF speaking engagements (with locations and times), please visit the full calendar.
July 30 - August 1 -
Kevin Bankston, Annalee Newitz, Seth Schoen, and Wendy Seltzer speak at Defcon 12, Las Vegas, NV
August 4 -
EFF holds Freedom Fest 2004
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Yerba Buena Gardens
San Francisco, CA
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