EFFector Vol. 20, No. 20 May 22, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 424th Issue of EFFector:
- Action Alert: Stop the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty!
- Action Alert: Fight the Justice Department's Copycrime Proposal!
- 'Electric Slide' Creator Calls Off Online Takedown Campaign
- Public Interest Prevails in Digital Copyright Showdown
- Congress Demands Answers About NSA Spying
- EFF Education: Learn About Location Tracking and the Law
- miniLinks (9): State Censorship of the Net Is Growing
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 the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty! For the past nine years, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has been debating a treaty that could lock down digital devices like TiVos and grant broadcasters and cablecasters copyright-like rights over everything they transmit. A bad draft version of the Broadcasting Treaty is on the fast track, and one of your Senators is on a key committee that can help stop it. Take action now: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=297 EFF and other groups worked hard in Geneva to fix the proposed Broadcasting Treaty, and last year many countries, including the United States, said they would support a narrow treaty that focuses on signal protection. But now the US WIPO delegation has flip-flopped, and the WIPO Chair just released a draft that once again endangers innovators' and users' rights. On June 18-22, WIPO's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will be holding a special session to determine whether there's enough agreement on this new draft to go forward with an already-scheduled inter-governmental Diplomatic Conference in November, at which the new draft could become international law. We need to convince the US WIPO delegation not to support this draft at the June meeting. Write to Congress now: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=297 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Action Alert: Fight The Justice Department's Copycrime Proposal! Should ordinary Americans face jail time for attempted copyright infringement? Should the sort of property forfeiture penalties applied in drug busts also threaten P2P users, mixtape makers, and mash-up artists? Of course not, but the Department of Justice (DoJ) has drafted an outrageous legislative proposal that applies these severe penalties and much more. Take action now to stop it: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=299 Criminal copyright infringement already goes beyond situations involving large-scale commercial piracy. Thanks to laws like the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act and the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA), the federal government can now criminally charge (i.e., send to prison) people for simply uploading a single "pre-release" song (as two Ryan Adams fans discovered last year when they were brought up on federal charges for uploading tracks from pre-release promotional CDs). Most of the DoJ's proposed changes to copyright's criminal provisions fall into two categories: (1) making it easier to convict people by eliminating the inconvenient necessity of proving that actual infringement took place, and (2) increasing the financial and confinement punishments. Law enforcement would also be allowed to use wiretaps and to spy on personal communications as part of copyright investigations. That potentially translates into wiretap authority for millions of American homes, since surveys show that 1 in 5 American Internet users downloads music and movies from P2P networks. This guarantees one result: more costly, unnecessary, and draconian investigations and prosecutions funded by taxpayer dollars. Not only will this end up costing Americans tremendous amounts of time, money, and peace of mind, but it will also give law enforcement yet another opportunity to invade your privacy. All it takes is a single attempt to download the wrong file online. Law enforcement already has enough tools to go after commercial pirates, and the entertainment industry has the tools to pay its own lawyers to sue infringers. (Indeed, they have already sued over 20,000 people.) Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars, Congress ought to be focusing on meaningful copyright reform that protects fans' rights to use creative material and supports new technologies. Take action now and write to your representatives: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=299 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 'Electric Slide' Creator Calls Off Online Takedown Campaign Agreement Ends Copyright Threats Over Non-Commercial Use of Popular Dance San Francisco - The man who claims to have created "The Electric Slide" has agreed to call off his online video takedown campaign and to stop threatening people using the popular line dance for non-commercial purposes. Instead, he's making the dance available for all noncommercial use. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of videographer Kyle Machulis, who posted a concert video to YouTube that included a ten-second segment of audience members attempting to do the Electric Slide. Richard Silver sent a takedown demand to YouTube under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), alleging he owned the copyright to the Electric Slide and that the video infringed his rights. Machulis's video was removed from the site. "Mr. Silver's misuse of the DMCA interfered with our client's free speech rights," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "New technologies have opened multiple avenues for artists and their audiences to create, share and comment on new works. We cannot let absurd copyright claims squash this extraordinary growth." Under the terms of the settlement, Silver will license the Electric Slide under a Creative Commons license -- allowing the performance, display, reproduction or distribution of any recorded performance of the dance in any medium for non-commercial purposes. Silver has agreed to post these terms on any of his current or future websites that mention the Electric Slide so that users are aware of the Creative Commons license. "Often, 'all rights reserved' copyright is too restrictive and prevents people from being able to legally use and build upon other people's creativity in any reasonable way," said Eric Steuer, Creative Director of Creative Commons. "When that is the case, it makes sense to adopt a more flexible, 'some rights reserved' approach to copyright. We couldn't be happier that Mr. Silver is using a Creative Commons license to make the Electric Slide freely and legally available to anyone in the world to use for noncommercial purposes." "We are pleased that Mr. Silver has stepped up and recognized fair uses of the Electric Slide," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Copyright law is meant to encourage creativity. It must not be used to chill free expression." For more on the Electric Slide lawsuit: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/electricslide/ For more on Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_05.php#005263 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Public Interest Prevails in Digital Copyright Showdown The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed Internet innovators and users of all stripes a huge victory last week in the much-anticipated Perfect 10 v. Google decision. The decision covers a wide-range of online copyright issues from in-line linking to fair use to the DMCA safe harbors and post-Grokster liability. Perfect 10 had sued Google for copyright infringement, claiming that its "Image Search" tool illegally reproduced and displayed P10 photos when it returned thumbnail results and framed third-party websites in response to search terms. It also claimed that Google was liable for contributing to Internet user infringement when users would look at pictures online that they had found via Google Image search. While the decision leaves some questions open, the bottom line is that the Court upheld important policies of fair use and freedom online and resisted Perfect 10's plea to put copyright owners completely in charge of how and when search engines and other online intermediaries can provide their users with links to images. (Full disclosure: EFF filed an amicus brief supporting Google in the case.) Read on for more about this ruling: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005259.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Congress Demands Answers About NSA Spying Four senators pressed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last week to come clean about the relationship between the NSA spying program and former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's dramatic testimony about a controversial classified program. Comey claimed that the White House pressed a hospital-bound former Attorney General John Ashcroft to certify the classified program as legal, and, when Ashcroft and Comey refused, the program continued anyway for a period of time. Gonzales declined to offer further information, but Congress isn't backing off. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler followed up with a letter of their own, demanding more information about the still-shadowy NSA spying. Along with asking for information related to Comey's testimony, they stated: "We similarly remain extremely concerned about your continuing refusal to provide access for House Judiciary Committee members to information on the Administration's current version of the domestic wiretapping program described in your January 17, 2007, letter to House and Senate members. We believe that your refusal violates applicable legal requirements and precedents, and threatens to effectively eliminate meaningful Judiciary Committee oversight and legislative activity concerning this crucial issue." Meanwhile, the Washington Post offered its read on the Justice Department's "lack of candor" in an editorial called "The Gonzales Coverup": "If you were Mr. Gonzales, you'd certainly want to make sure [Comey and Ashcroft] stayed quiet. Consider: Mr. Gonzales, as the president's lawyer, went to the hospital room of a man so ill he had temporarily relinquished his authority. There, Mr. Gonzales tried to persuade Mr. Ashcroft to override the views of the attorney general's own legal counsel. When the attorney general refused, Mr. Gonzales apparently took part in a plan to go forward with a program that the Justice Department had refused to certify as legal.... "What was the administration doing, and what was it willing to continue to do, that its lawyers concluded was without a legal basis? Without an answer to that fundamental question, the coverup will have succeeded." The LA Times and NY Times (among others) also pushed Congress to immediately investigate the spying program. And you should too -- make your voice heard now through our action center: http://action.eff.org/fisa For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005260.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Education: Learn About Location Tracking and the Law Can the government keep track of your whereabouts through your cell phone? Do they need a warrant or not? Location tracking by law enforcement is already becoming routine, and EFF has been fighting to make sure your privacy is protected. This Wednesday, EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston will be addressing these and other issues in a free online course offered through the State of Play Academy (SOPA), a virtual space for conversations about law and technology located in the virtual community There.com. More information, including how to log on and participate in SOPA classes, is at: http://www.stateofplayacademy.com You can also learn about location tracking and the law in meatspace on May 29 at O'Reilly's Where 2.0 conference. Kevin will be there to give a talk entitled "Where.gov: Government Surveillance Using Location Technology." EFF will have a membership table at the conference as well, so stop by and grab some schwag! For more information on Where 2.0: http://conferences.oreillynet.com/where2007/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ State Censorship of the Net Is Growing Out of 41 countries surveyed by the Open Net Initiative, 25 showed evidence of content filtering. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=2723 ~ Register of Copyrights Says: Limit Betamax Claims that the Betamax doctrine should only apply to "free, over-the-air television for time-shifting." http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2007/05/21/us-copyright-office-limit-betamax-to-its-facts/ ~ David Weinberger Says: Limit Copyright Abuse Wants statutory damages if rights holders block free speech. http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/violate_copyright_150000_viola.html ~ Support in US For WIPO Broadcasting Treaty Wanes Drew Clark reports from the US WIPO delegation's roundtable. http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/index.php?p=628&res=1280_ff&print=0 ~ Media Center DRM - Now With More Bugs! Watch your fair use ebb away, as Microsoft obeys premium television's "don't copy" signals. http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/21/0138255 ~ Yahoo!'s Terms of Service Clash With Law Enforcement Yahoo! UK's anti-anonymity rules mean that police can't run undercover operations. http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article1813494.ece ~ Click to Adjudicate The 7th Circuit gets an official wiki. http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page ~ Why Microsoft Won't Reveal the Patents Microsoft claims open source violates 235 patents but will only tell you which ones if it's hitting you up for license fees. http://legalpad.blogs.fortune.com/2007/05/13/msft-linux-free-software-infringe-235-of-our-patents/ ~ A Fair(y) Use Tale Prof. Eric Faden samples Disney to spell out the limits of copyright. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/documentary-film-program/film/a-fair-y-use-tale : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 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, Activism Coordinator 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. 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