EFFector Vol. 20, No. 22 June 6, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 426th Issue of EFFector:
- Action Alert - Don't Let the Senate Stall the OPEN Government Act!
- Senate Panel Rejects Dangerous Spying Bill, Demands Details of NSA Program
- Major League Baseball Rattles Sabre at Slingbox
- Campus Lawsuits Against P2P != Stopping File Sharing
- iTunes Release Reveals New and Old Problems
- Attention Returns to Orphan Works
- miniLinks (15): Google Street View -- Where's the Pro-Privacy Technology?
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 - Don't Let the Senate Stall the OPEN Government Act! A single Senator is blocking legislation that would help protect the public's right to know. Bipartisan open government legislation has already passed in the House, and a similar measure was on its way to the Senate floor until Senator John Kyl placed a "hold" on it. Don't let this stall tactic stand in the way of government transparency -- take action now: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=285 The OPEN Government Act would provide some important updates to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a crucial tool used to compel the release of government documents. This bill will give federal agencies, like the FBI and the FCC, greater incentive to follow the law and make it easier for all FOIA requesters to access government documents. EFF's FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) project relies on FOIA to expose the government's expanding use of new technologies that invade Americans' privacy, and this bill would greatly help in our and other organizations' efforts to protect your rights. Please tell your Senators to help advance this bill to the Senate floor immediately: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=285 For news about Senator Kyl's "hold": http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005283.php For more on EFF's FLAG project: http://www.eff.org/flag : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Senate Panel Rejects Dangerous Spying Bill, Demands Details of NSA Program The Senate Intelligence Committee has affirmatively stated that it will not consider the Bush Administration's dangerous "FISA modernization" surveillance legislation until critical details about the NSA spying program are revealed. Noting that "the Administration's refusal to satisfy these document requests span over a year," the Intelligence Committee demanded "the President's orders authorizing the warrantless surveillance and the Department of Justice's opinions on the legality of the program." As you may recall, we were concerned last month that the Administration's proposal could slip into the Senate's intelligence budget authorization. The authorization bill and the Committee's report were made public last week, and we're pleased to see that it decided against legislating in the dark about the still-shadowy surveillance program. Thanks to everyone who took the time to call the Senate Intelligence Committee to oppose the spying bill. The Administration isn't about to back down, though, and it's critical that Congress keeps pushing back and conducting with vigorous investigations into the program. Take action now to help stop the illegal spying: http://action.eff.org/fisa For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005286.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Latest U.S. Free Trade Agreement Contains New Twist The U.S. Trade Representative's Office has just released the text of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, and it includes a number of decidedly disturbing features. Since 2002, the last nine free trade agreements have required America's trading partners to adopt very specific intellectual property laws and to provide a higher level of legal protection than international standards embodied in multilateral treaties. Like those before it, the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement requires South Korea to create an anti-circumvention law mirroring the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, extend the copyright term to 70 years beyond the life of the author, and create a pre-established statutory damages regime for potential copyright violations that is likely to chill research and innovation. But this trade agreement also includes several new elements. There are three side letters to the Intellectual Property chapter, and the third includes the following statement: "The Parties agree on the objective of shutting down Internet sites that permit the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or transmission of copyright works, of regularly assessing and actively seeking to reduce the impact of new technological means for committing online copyright piracy, and of providing generally for more effective enforcement of intellectual property rights on the Internet." This language is extraordinarily broad: it appears to apply not just to websites that are directly infringing copyright, but also to any site that can be argued to be "permitting" certain activities. For more on this trade agreement: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005287.php For more on the recent history of these agreements: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005278.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Major League Baseball Rattles Sabre at Slingbox You probably have heard of the Slingbox, the innovative product that lets you enjoy the TV you've paid for from wherever you might be. Well, here's what Michael Mellis, senior VP and general counsel for Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), had to say about the Slingbox in last week's issue of The Hollywood Reporter Esq., a weekly newspaper for entertainment industry legal eagles: "Of course, what they are doing is not legal.... We and other leagues have formed a group to study the issue and plan our response. A lot depends on ongoing discussions. Plus, there's no guarantee that Slingbox will be around next year. It's a startup." Apparently MLBAM is upset because a Slingbox might allow baseball fans to "circumvent geographical boundaries written into broadcast rights deals." (Read: watch games that are blacked-out in their areas.) The argument appears to be that watching games remotely, even games you've paid to watch and that are not blacked out at home, violates the contractual fine print that comes with cable and satellite sports packages. In other words, MLBAM thinks that it's against the law for baseball fans who have paid for premium sports packages to watch while away from home. Once again, the fans that are paying their bills are treated like the enemy. This should sound familiar: an entertainment company targeting an innovator by arguing that otherwise law- abiding fans who use its products are thieves for doing so. This same argument was leveled at ReplayTV digital video recorder and XM's Inno satellite radio recorder. As usual, the "content owner" here appears to believe that innovation should be halted until paranoid fears can be allayed. (Read: until the innovator pays MLBAM and redesigns the product to its specifications.) For the original version of this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005276.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Campus Lawsuits Against P2P != Stopping File Sharing The NPD Group's latest music stats provide yet another reason that the RIAA's war on college students is misguided: "The 'social' ripping and burning of CDs among friends -- which takes place offline and almost entirely out of reach of industry policing efforts -- accounted for 37 percent of all music consumption, more than file-sharing, NPD said." This data suggests offline sharing is growing, and that's to be expected. Along with burning CDs and DVDs for each other, fans can swap hard drives, share USB drives, and use many other technologies to share music without hopping online or installing P2P software. It's only going to get easier to share mass volumes of music in this way -- these tools are increasingly ubiquitous, with ever-growing capacity and ever-diminishing price. Sure does make the RIAA's recent litigation rampage against college students seem silly, doesn't it? The kinds of university network surveillance being pushed by the RIAA won't make any difference, either. After all, even if university administrators unplugged the student body from the Internet altogether, that still wouldn't stop students from walking out of their dorm rooms with a stack of burned DVDs filled with music. In fact, the more the RIAA attacks P2P, the more likely fans will simply migrate to these alternative channels. So, short of ubiquitous surveillance (including hand-to- hand swapping), stopping fans from sharing music is doomed to failure. Isn't it about time we start focusing on the real question: how do we ensure that artists and rights holders get adequately compensated for the unrestrained copying that is an inevitable fact of digital life? For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005280.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * iTunes Release Reveals New and Old Problems Apple released its latest version of iTunes last week and started offering DRM-free music through the iTunes Store. At the same time, Ars Technica highlighted that Apple is embedding personal information, such as the name and email address of the purchaser, in the Store's downloads. This is true for both the new DRM-free downloads, as well as past and current DRM-restricted ones: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070530-apple-hides-account-info-in-drm-free-music-too.html For our commentary: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005288.php We got curious and wondered whether Apple might also be watermarking the underlying audio data in these tracks. Read on to learn what we've turned up so far: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005282.php Meanwhile, Playlist reports that the latest iTunes breaks the "buy-burn-rip-to-MP3" procedure that users have long relied on to convert the DRM-restricted songs they buy from the iTunes Store into unrestricted MP3s. Apparently, this is the result of a bug, rather than a deliberate Apple design decision: http://www.playlistmag.com/publications/playlist/weblogs/ipodblog/2007/06/itunes72gotcharedux/index.php Regardless, previous iTunes "upgrades" have resulted in deliberate "downgrades." Whether it's breaking the Internet streaming feature, restricting the number of streaming users per day, or reducing the number of burns permitted for songs purchased from the iTunes Store, Apple is among the worst offenders when it comes to messing around with stuff you've already paid for. For more related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005285.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Attention Returns to Orphan Works An "orphan work" is something currently protected by copyright but with an owner who can't be found even with diligent searching. Currently, making a copy of an orphan work (say, for archiving or republication) or using it to create a derivative work (like a compilation or montage) could put you at risk of huge statutory damages if the owner ever appears and exercises his or her rights. Unsurprisingly, many choose not to take that gamble, and works with potential useful value are left to languish. This problem got a lot of attention last year, when the Copyright Office issued a report concluding that "the orphan work problem is real" and suggesting legislative solutions. An Orphan Works Act was introduced last May and eventually incorporated into the problematic Copyright Modernization Act (CMA). The CMA stalled in September, but Congressional attention may yet return to this critical issue. In the New York Times last week, U.C. Berkeley professor Hal Varian revives the issue, highlighting the economic waste it creates: "The orphan works legislation from the Copyright Office is still on the back burner in Congress. Let us hope that it soon gets the attention it deserves. Information plays a crucial role in today's economy. Making it easy for creators and users of information to find each other should be a high priority for policy makers." Read the whole thing here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/business/31scene.html?ex=1338264000&en=6d008c0f5e0fd16e&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005284.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Google Street View -- Where's the Pro-Privacy Technology? Even EFF attorneys get their privacy invaded by street- watching tech. http://news.com.com/Cameras+everywhere%2C+even+in+online+maps/2100-1038_3-6187556.html?tag=nefd.top ~ Face Non-Recognition Technology An example of what privacy-protection in Google Street View might look like. http://gregsadetsky.com/ghats/ ~ What Google Is Doing With Your Data The secretive company reveals part of what it does with your search term history. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/business/yourmoney/03google.html?ex=1370318400&en=8ff05c6562960005&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND ~ On the Receiving End Ron "Electric Slide" Silver talks about his settlement with EFF. http://news.com.com/The+copyright+buzz+from+the+Electric+Slide/2008-1026_3-6188297.html?tag=nefd.lede ~ MySpace Seeks Court Order to Release Predator Emails MySpace asked a Pennsylvania court for advice on how it can legally provide local authorities with private email info belonging to convicted sex offenders. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070604/tc_nm/myspace_sexpredator_dc_1;_ylt=AlBXonqH4P0koKnla_qd2xEE1vAI ~ FBI Arrests Filesharer Government goes after pre-release uploader. http://www.hollywoodreporteresq.com/thresq/government/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003593677 ~ Facebook v. ConnectU Blogger Eric Goldman on Facebook's suit against ConnectU for harvesting personal info. http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2007/05/facebooks_lawsu.htm ~ Software v. Software A software manufacturer claims that an anti-malware system surreptitiously deletes its innocent application. http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2007/05/zango_claims_sp.htm ~ AP Looks to "Protect Copyright Online" But what practices and which publishers will be targeted remains to be seen. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/31/AR2007053100039.html?referrer=emailarticle ~ YouTube Snags Another Deal Gets the last of the four major labels. http://news.com.com/YouTube%2C+EMI+sign+breakthrough+licensing+pact/2100-1030_3-6187759.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-5&subj=new ~ FCC Moves in on the Internet The FCC claims it has jurisdiction to design "social policy" for anything using Internet Protocol. http://scrawford.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/5/31/2988994.html ~ Where the Real Advantage Lies Real finally wises up and provides stream recording software for Windows. http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/05/realplayer_rebo.html ~ ISPs Make Money From P2P?! IFPI's Ten Conveniently Uncorroborated "Truths" About Piracy http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20070531.html ~ AACS Sued for Patent Violation Oh, the irony. http://www.betanews.com/article/Certicom_Patent_Suit_Against_Sony_Threatens_to_Unravel_AACS/1180557165 ~ A Library of Privacy Law Legal firm Morrison & Foerster produces a free guide to privacy law inside and outside the U.S. http://www.mofoprivacy.com ~ Open Shakespeare The Open Knowledge Foundation is providing the complete works of Shakespeare in an open form, so that anyone can use, share, or comment on the Bard's words freely. http://www.openshakespeare.org/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 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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