EFFector Vol. 19, No. 35 September 19, 2006 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 396th Issue of EFFector: * Action Alert - Stop Specter's Surveillance Bill on the Senate Floor! * EFF Battles to Save Critical Ohio E-Voting Case * Anonymity Preserved for Online Embroidery Fans * Canadian Sony Rootkit Settlement Misses the Mark * Microsoft's Zune Won't Play Protected Windows Media * Broadcast Treaty Moving Forward Despite Objections * Vote for EFF SXSW Conference Panels! * Digital Rights Ireland Challenges EU Mass Surveillance Laws * miniLinks (8): Isabella Gardner Museum Podcast Is P2P- Friendly * Administrivia For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/ Make a donation and become an EFF member today! http://eff.org/support/ Tell a friend about EFF: http://action.eff.org/site/Ecard?ecard_id=1061 effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired change. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Action Alert - Stop Specter's Surveillance Bill on the Senate Floor! Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee unfortunately passed Senator Specter's dangerous surveillance bill, along with a related NSA spying proposal. But this fight is far from over -- with your help, we can beat these bills on the Senate floor. Every day we hold off these bills provides another opportunity for the courts and the public to make their voices heard. Judges in three courts -- including Judge Walker in EFF's case against AT&T -- have already rejected the government's bogus arguments shielding the NSA spying program. In just over two weeks, Congress will head into recess, and the November election gives the public a chance to rebuke those who have supported illegal spying. Take action now and tell your representatives to stop the surveillance bills: http://action.eff.org/fisa : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Battles to Save Critical Ohio E-Voting Case Court Fight Continues As Princeton Researchers Demonstrate 'Vote Stealing' San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject Ohio's latest attempt to dismiss a critical electronic voting case -- the final legal hurdle in the path to a thorough investigation of the state's widely criticized 2004 election and much needed reform. "Ohio's procedures, like many used elsewhere across the country, simply don't do enough to protect voters from the serious vulnerabilities in the current generation of electronic voting equipment," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "It's time to let this important case go forward so that these critical problems can finally be resolved." Last fall, EFF filed suit on behalf of voter Jeanne White against Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Governor Bob Taft, alleging that they had abdicated their responsibilities to protect the fundamental right to vote of Ohio residents. When White voted on Election Day in 2004, the electronic voting machine she used malfunctioned, causing her vote to toggle from one candidate to another. White's problems were not isolated: other voters reported unacceptably long lines, inadequately trained pollworkers, and voting machines that failed to record their votes correctly. Similar problems were reported in the 2005 elections and in the May 2, 2006, primary, including a chaotic election in Cuyahoga County where election officials have launched a formal investigation. In its brief, EFF argues that the widespread and deeply rooted failings in Ohio's voting system stem from incoherent and inadequate procedures, inconsistent standards, and lack of planning and training -- all of which raise serious questions about the basic fairness of the state's elections. The suit aims to require the state to dramatically increase the security and accuracy of its voting technology and related election procedures. "The state claims that its election system merely exhibits 'garden variety' problems and that the blame for those should rest on pollworkers and other officials," said Zimmerman. "The governor and secretary of state of Ohio, however, have the ultimate duty of protecting citizens' fundamental right to vote. Instead of trying to avoid responsibility for a system in crisis, these officials need to step up to their responsibilities." The lawsuit will also provide the best chance yet to demonstrate the true "in the field" performance record of electronic voting equipment, details of which are carefully controlled by election officials and voting equipment vendors. EFF's brief was filed on the same day that researchers at Princeton University released a critical new report demonstrating the ability to manipulate results on a Diebold electronic voting machine. The study, led by Professor Edward W. Felten, found that the machine was extremely vulnerable to "vote-stealing" attacks that would undermine the accuracy of vote counts. EFF is working with co-counsel Kerger and Associates; Zuckerman, Spaeder, Goldstein, Taylor & Kolker; and Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe, LLP, as it pursues this case. For the full appellate brief: http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/ohio/intervenorsappellatebrief.pdf For more on the Ohio suit: http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/ohio/ For EFF's report on Professor Felten's research: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004906.php For more on the Professor Felten's research: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/tech/D8K48IU80.htm For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2006_09.php#004907 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Anonymity Preserved for Online Embroidery Fans Subpoena Withdrawn After EFF Intervenes San Francisco - The Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) has dropped its attempt to unmask anonymous embroidery fans after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) intervened in the case. The embroiderers used an online discussion group to share information about a long-running campaign to threaten purchasers of embroidery designs and software with copyright infringement lawsuits. ESPC filed defamation claims against some members of the group and then issued a subpoena for detailed personal information about every single person who joined the discussion group -- whether or not they had ever posted a single message. "ESPC should have never filed this frivolous case in the first place. But we're pleased that ESPC now understands that it can't use the courts to intimidate those who want to talk about ESPC's ham-fisted tactics," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "The First Amendment forbids such abusive use of the discovery process." This case is the latest in EFF's long fight to protect anonymity online. EFF lawyers have represented or provided amicus support in anonymity cases in California, Colorado, and Delaware. Most recently, in Oklahoma, a school superintendent withdrew his attempt to unmask anonymous online critics after EFF filed a motion to quash his subpoena. For more on this case: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/ESPC_v_Ebert/ For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2006_09.php#004908 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Canadian Sony Rootkit Settlement Misses the Mark Almost a year after the Sony BMG rootkit debacle began and EFF sued the company on behalf of U.S. customers, Sony BMG has finally settled with its Canadian customers. Much of the settlement, particularly the compensation customers will receive, mirrors the provisions of the U.S. agreement approved last May. But the Canadian settlement is missing some crucial commitments regarding Sony BMG's future conduct. The U.S. settlement includes several security testing and disclosure requirements should Sony BMG decide to use DRM in the future. The Canadian settlement includes none of these obligations. Instead, Sony BMG promises merely to notify the Canadian court if it releases CDs with DRM that has not been independently tested per the U.S. agreement. There are no disclosure requirements, no requirements to provide access to an uninstaller, no promises not to use DRM that installs without your permission, and no commitments on how problems will be rectified. Worse still, the way that Sony BMG rationalizes these terms is woefully inadequate and appears to be an attempt to mislead the Canadian courts. Sony BMG insists that it only agreed to the "future conduct" provisions in the U.S. settlement in response to ongoing investigations by U.S. government entities. But that's simply not how it went down. EFF's first demands to Sony BMG included limitations about the company's future conduct, and there is no way we would have settled the case without them. More importantly, though, whether the Canadian government is investigating Sony BMG's conduct should have no bearing on whether Canadian customers deserve the same protections as U.S. customers. The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) has filed a formal objection to the settlement, with a supporting affidavit from EFF setting the record straight. For the formal objection: http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/objection.pdf For EFF's supporting affidavit: http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/cohn_affidavit.pdf For more on the Sony BMG rootkit debacle: http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/ For the original version of this post: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004905.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Microsoft's Zune Won't Play Protected Windows Media In last week's announcement of the new Microsoft Zune media player and Zune Marketplace, Microsoft (and many press reports) glossed over a remarkable misfeature that should demonstrate once and for all how DRM and the DMCA harm legitimate customers. Microsoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right -- the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play on Microsoft's own device! Buried in footnote 4 of its press release, Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are conspicuously absent. This is a stark example of DRM under the DMCA giving customers a raw deal. Buying DRMed media means you're locked into the limited array of devices that vendors say you can use. You have to rebuy your preexisting DRMed media collection if you want to use it on the Zune. And you'll have to do that over and over again whenever a new, incompatible device with innovative features blows existing players out of the water. Access to MP3s and non-DRMed formats creates the only bridge between these isolated islands of limited devices. The real culprit here is the DMCA -- but for that bad law, customers could legally convert DRMed files into whatever format they want, and tech creators would be free to reverse engineer the DRM to create compatible devices. Even though those acts have traditionally been and still are non- infringing, the DMCA makes them illegal and stifles fair use, innovation, and competition. May this be a lesson to those who mistakenly laud certain DRM as "open" and offering customers "freedom of choice" simply because it is more widely-licensed than other formats. With DRM under the DMCA, nothing truly plays for sure, regardless of whether you're purchasing from Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else. [Postscript: In an interview with Engadget, Microsoft Zune architect J Allard pointed out that Zune has sufficient video format support, in part because there's "Lots of DVD ripping software out there that encodes to those formats, so the most popular formats out there, whether it's MPEG-4 or H.264, we'll support those." Gee, he isn't suggesting that his business model benefits from customers using tools like DeCSS or Handbrake to evade the DRM on DVDs, right? Especially since Microsoft is furiously trying to squash the FairUse4WM tool, that would seem rather hypocritical.] For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004910.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Broadcast Treaty Moving Forward Despite Objections WIPO's proposed Broadcasting Treaty lurched another step forward last Wednesday. In a tense and acrimonious meeting, the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights adopted a recommendation that WIPO's General Assembly should convene a 2007 Diplomatic Conference to finalize the treaty. The 183 WIPO Member States must now decide whether to accept that and convene the Conference, when the General Assembly meets on September 25 - October 3. It's not at all clear whether they will do so, but EFF will be at WIPO to report on events as they unfold. This week's meeting was supposed to reach agreement on the content of the draft treaty text, but that did not happen. Many countries expressed concerns about the current treaty draft, which would grant broadcasters and cablecasters broad IP-like rights over anything they transmit, even when material is in the public domain. The treaty currently gives broadcasters and cablecasters exclusive rights to control transmissions of their 'casts over the Internet. Meanwhile, the United States supports expanding the treaty to give 50- year exclusive rights to certain other Internet transmissions, deemed "netcasts." A large and diverse group of public interest organizations, artists, U.S telecommunications companies, consumer electronics companies, and related industry bodies turned up in force to oppose the current draft. Yet again, non- governmental organizations were not given an opportunity to present statements during the meeting. However, EFF distributed an open letter to WIPO signed by over 200 podcasters and podcasting organizations, together representing thousands of podcasters. The letter expressed podcasters' concerns that the treaty would increase complexity for rights clearance and harm the innovation environment for online communication technologies. The Internet community should continue to be very worried about this Treaty. Everything now turns on the WIPO General Assembly meeting that will take place in two weeks. If the General Assembly accepts the Committee's recommendation, there will be a two-day preparatory conference in January to formulate procedural rules, and what is likely to be a very acrimonious Diplomatic Conference in July. If the General Assembly votes against moving the treaty to a 2007 Diplomatic Conference, as it has done for the last two years, then the U.S. has indicated that it wants "netcasting" back in the treaty. Either way, EFF will be at WIPO to defend your rights. For more on this treaty: http://www.eff.org/IP/WIPO/broadcasting_treaty/ For the original version of this post: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004913.php#004913 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Vote for EFF SXSW Conference Panels! Do you plan on heading to the 2007 SXSW Interactive Festival? Would you like to see EFF speak there? This year, SXSW is letting you pick the conference panels, and EFF's made two proposals: * Who's Afraid Of A Little Free Speech? As more and more people find their voice online, we've seen a dramatic increase in threats to free expression -- bloggers subpoenaed; fair use under fire; students suspended for MySpace postings -- even Barney the Purple Dinosaur has threatened those who poke fun at him. On this panel, attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will walk the audience through the latest court cases, legal doctrines, and rules of the road to keeping the Internet litigation-free. * Cutting Through the Hype: Artists and Fans Talk About Music File Sharing Lawless pirates vs. greedy record executives is the usual portrayal of the over 20,000 lawsuits against peer-to-peer filesharers. But the truth is much more interesting. Some artists and labels criticize the RIAA lawsuits and support fans downloading their music. Many P2P users buy CDs and use iTunes and Rhapsody. This panel brings together artists and fans with diverse views to discuss the present and future of music file sharing. Vote for EFF's panel proposals here: http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/panel_picker/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Digital Rights Ireland challenges EU Mass Surveillance Laws Last week, Irish civil rights group Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) started a High Court action against the Irish Government challenging new European and Irish laws requiring mass surveillance. To learn more: http://www.digitalrights.ie/2006/09/14/dri-brings-legal-action-over-mass-surveillance/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Isabella Gardner Museum Podcast Is P2P-Friendly The museum's music collection -- licensed through Creative Commons. http://www.isgm.org/music/podcast/theconcert.asp ~ Talking Surveillance Cameras in Britain Lest people forget they are being watched. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=405477&in_page_id=1770 ~ Another P2P File Sharing Company Down P2P users largely oblivious, having already moved on to other networks. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/technology/15501831.htm ~ Tor Servers Seized in Germany, Redux But Tor wasn't targeted. http://itnomad.wordpress.com/2006/09/12/tor-roundup/ ~ Email Jurisdiction Disagreements Anti-Anti-Spammers win default judgment, Anti-Spammers ignore it. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/15/spamhaus_lawsuit_flap/ ~ Wikipedia Founder Leads Fork Inaugurating an experiment to outdo the original. http://citizendium.org/essay_shorter.html ~ Ultra High Definition TV An early preview of where high-end consumer electronics may go... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5335870.stm ~ Cheap Chinese PCs ...and the low-end that may swallow up the bottom of the high-tech market. http://techfreep.com/china-to-crank-out-125-pcs.htm : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Administrivia EFFector is published by: The Electronic Frontier Foundation 454 Shotwell Street San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA +1 415 436 9333 (voice) +1 415 436 9993 (fax) http://www.eff.org/ Editor: Derek Slater, Activist email@example.com Membership & donation queries: firstname.lastname@example.org General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: email@example.com Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF. To reproduce signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express permission. Press releases and EFF announcements & articles may be reproduced individually at will. Current and back issues of EFFector are available via the Web at: http://www.eff.org/effector/ This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.