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EFFector - Volume 20, Issue 10 - Acton Alert - Repeal the REAL ID Act!


EFFector - Volume 20, Issue 10 - Acton Alert - Repeal the REAL ID Act!

EFFector Vol. 20, No. 10  March 6, 2007

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

In the 416th Issue of EFFector:
  • Acton Alert - Repeal the REAL ID Act!
  • 'Electric Slide' Creator Steps on Fair Use
  • EFF Pioneer Awards at eTech; Mark Cuban to Keynote Ceremony
  • EFFers at EFF-Austin's SXSW Bash, March 12
  • miniLinks (5): Congressman Talks FAIR USE Act
  • Administrivia

For more information on EFF activities & alerts:

Make a donation and become an EFF member today!

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effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired 

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* Acton Alert - Repeal the REAL ID Act!

The federal government took another step last week towards 
forcing you to carry a national ID in order to get on 
airplanes, open a bank account, enter federal buildings, 
and much more. But with state legislatures and 
Congressional representatives increasingly turning against 
the REAL ID Act, you can help stop this costly, privacy-
invasive mandate -- voice your opposition now:

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
released draft regulations for implementing REAL ID, which 
makes states standardize drivers' licenses and create a 
vast national database linking all of the ID records 
together. Once in place, uses of the IDs and database will 
inevitably expand to facilitate a wide range of tracking 
and surveillance activities. Remember, the Social Security 
number started innocuously enough, but it has become a 
prerequisite for a host of government services and has been 
co-opted by private companies to create massive databases 
of personal information. 

REAL ID won't just cost you your privacy. The states and 
individual taxpayers bear the estimated 23 billion dollar 
burden of implementing the law, and that figure is probably 
low given that the necessary verification systems don't 
exist yet. 

And what will you get in return? Not improved national 
security, because IDs do little to stop those who haven't 
already been identified as threats, and wrongdoers will 
still be able to create fake documents.

REAL ID is fundamentally flawed, and DHS' proposed 
regulations do nothing to change that. Thankfully, the tide 
is turning against REAL ID in a big way -- state 
legislatures around the country are passing or considering 
legislation rejecting its implementation, and Congress is 
considering repealing it.

The DHS regulations mean that states must have an 
implementation plan ready by October 2007. Make sure your 
Congressional representatives support the repeal of REAL ID 
before it's too late:

Read the San Jose Mercury News' editorial, "Time to drop 
expensive, unrealistic ID plan":

For more information about the REAL ID Act:

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* 'Electric Slide' Creator Steps on Fair Use

EFF Lawsuit Battles Bogus Copyright Claims

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) 
filed suit last week against the man who claims to have 
created the popular line dance "The Electric Slide," asking 
the court to protect the free speech rights of a 
videographer who captured a few steps of the dance in a 
documentary video he posted to the Internet.

EFF's client, Kyle Machulis, shot the video at a concert 
last month. In one ten-second segment, a group of fans in 
the audience attempts to dance part of the Electric Slide. 
Machulis later uploaded the video to YouTube. Within just a 
few days, Richard Silver, owner of www.the-, filed a takedown demand under the 
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Silver claimed he 
owned the copyright to the Electric Slide and that 
Machulis' video infringed his rights. The removal appears 
to be part of a broad campaign by Silver to misuse 
copyright allegations to prevent dancers from performing 
the dance "incorrectly."

"Silver's claim of copyright infringement is absurd and is 
a classic example of the kind of DMCA abuse that can chill 
Internet speech," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. 
"Even if Silver had a valid copyright in the dance--which 
is not at all clear--this is a fair use and not 

EFF's complaint asks that the judge immediately rule that 
the video does not infringe any copyright owned by Silver, 
and that Silver cease his meritless claims towards 

"We spend a lot of time fighting the misuse of copyright 
law on the Internet, but this situation is particularly 
outrageous," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "With 
thousands of videos being uploaded to sites like YouTube 
every day, free speech is on the line and needs to be 

For the full complaint:

For this press release:

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* EFF Pioneer Awards at eTech; Mark Cuban to Keynote 

Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a fundraiser 
honoring those who have contributed to the health, growth, 
accessibility, and freedom of computer-based 
communications. Awarded every year since 1991, the Pioneer 
Awards recognize leaders who are extending freedom and 
innovation on the electronic frontier.

Past winners include World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-
Lee, Linux creator Linus Torvalds, science fiction writer 
Bruce Sterling, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, among 
many others.

This year, the 16th Annual Pioneer Awards ceremony will be 
held in conjunction with the O'Reilly Emerging Technology 
(eTech) Conference in San Diego, CA, on Tuesday March 27th, 
2007. The event begins at 7:30 p.m.

HDNet Chairman and NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban 
will keynote the event.

If you're heading to eTech, you should also visit our booth 
in the Exhibit Hall and grab some EFF swag -- we look 
forward to seeing you!

Tickets to the Pioneer Awards ceremony and Mark Cuban's 
keynote address are $35. You can buy your ticket in advance 

For more information about the 2007 Pioneer Awards:

The 2007 Pioneer Awards ceremony is sponsored by Sling 
You can find out more information about eTech here:

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* EFFers at EFF-Austin's SXSW Bash, March 12

If you're heading down to Austin, Texas, for the South-by-
Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival next week, don't 
miss EFF-Austin's party on March 12. "Futures of the Past: 
A Steampunk Adventure" features musical performances, 
vaudeville acts, and a variety of art exhibitions. The 
party honors EFF, and EFF staff members will be in 
attendance, so stop by, chat, and grab some schwag.

It's $15 at the door with proceeds going to EFF-Austin, and 
badge holders get in for free.

More details here:

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* miniLinks
The week's noteworthy news, compressed.

~ Congressman Talks FAIR USE Act
Co-author of new copyright reform bill discusses next steps 

~ Reconceptualizing Net Neutrality, Part 1
Scholar Kevin Werbach explains the difference between non-
discrimination and interconnection, and how both concepts 
fit into the net neutrality debate.

~ Reconceptualizing Net Neutrality, Part 2
Or is neutrality about monopolizing access to customers? 
Tim Wu explains.

~ Crowdhacking
Manipulating reputation and recommendation systems for fun 
and profit.

~ Onion: "Viacom Demands YouTube Pull 400,000 Ex-TV Viewers 
From Its Site"
Potatoes wanted back on couches immediately.

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* 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)	

Derek Slater, Activist	

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