EFFector Vol. 20, No. 3 January 17, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 409th Issue of EFFector:
- Action Alert - Tell Congress to Keep DRM out of Radio!
- Spocko, KSFO, and the Blogosphere's Allergy to Copyright Thuggery
- The Good, the Bad, and the DRMed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2007
- Another Step Towards Cable Set-Top Competition
- Felten: Next Gen DVD DRM Will Be Broken Wide Open A DMCA Takedown Tale With a Twist
- Feds Shut Down E-voting Certification Lab
- EFF's Sweet 16 Party a Success!
- Time Running Out -- Nominate a Net Pioneer Now for EFF's 2007 Awards!
- miniLinks (16): Pentagon and CIA Spying on US Credit Records
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 - Tell Congress to Keep DRM out of Radio! The new Congress has barely begun, but the major record labels are already up to their old tricks. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has re-introduced the PERFORM Act, a backdoor assault on your right to record off the radio. Satellite and digital radio stations as well as Internet webcasters would have to adopt digital rights management (DRM) restrictions or lose the statutory license for broadcasting music. Letters from constituents like you helped beat this dangerous proposal last year -- take action now to block it again: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=221 This bill aims to hobble TiVo-like devices for satellite and digital radio. Such devices would be allowed to include "reasonable recording" features, but that excludes choosing and playing back selections based on song title, artist, or genre. Want to freely move recordings around your home network or copy them to the portable player of your choice? You'll be out of luck if PERFORM passes. This bill would also mess with Internet radio. Today, Live365, Shoutcast, streaming radio stations included in iTunes, and myriad other smaller webcasters rely on MP3 streaming. PERFORM would in effect force them to use DRM- laden, proprietary formats, so you can say goodbye to software tools like Streamripper that let you record programming to listen to it later. Tell your representatives to oppose the PERFORM Act now: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=221 Learn more about the bill: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005078.php Learn more about related bills: http://www.eff.org/IP/digitalradio/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Spocko, KSFO, and the Blogosphere's Allergy to Copyright Thuggery Over the past year, a self-described "fifth-tier blogger" who publishes under the pseudonym Spocko posted audio clips of what he deemed to be offensive and violent talk radio rhetoric from ABC-owned and San Francisco-based KSFO-AM. He apparently succeeded in encouraging several advertisers to pull their ads from the station. ABC-corporate struck back, sending a vague, threatening letter to his hosting company, 1&1 Internet, which promptly shut him down instead of standing up for his rights. (Spocko, now back online, subsequently moved his business to Computer Tyme, a host with more backbone.) EFF has agreed to defend Spocko if he is sued by ABC or KSFO over their allegations of copyright infringement, but it more than likely won't come to that. As ABC's lawyers know, the brief audio clips posted on Spocko's blog are classic examples of protected fair use. That important detail -- and the fact that KSFO's corporate counsel misrepresented Spocko's legal position in a briefly successful attempt to snuff out his blog -- are conspicuously absent from KSFO's discourse these days, at least so far. And now the station has begun arguing (ironically enough) that criticism of its content amounts to censorship. Last week, Morgan blasted Spocko and his "stalker friends on the Internet" who, according to Morgan, are trying to "take away our free speech rights." Sorry, KSFO. Not quite. While such radio personalities certainly have a right to air their views, the First Amendment says nothing about a right to advertiser-subsidized speech. Even if advertisers choose to pull their ads because Spocko has a more convincing argument -- even if advertiser revenue dries up completely and shows are cancelled -- it doesn't necessarily follow that anyone's free speech rights have being violated. Rough and tumble speech is often protected speech nonetheless, as KSFO well knows, and the "marketplace of ideas" promoted and protected by the First Amendment frequently results in definite winners and losers. KSFO, quick to call out the attack lawyers yet slow to respond to the concerns of advertisers, is rapidly embracing that loser mantle. For the original version of this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005071.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * The Good, the Bad, and the DRMed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2007 Last week, EFF blogged live from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), searching for the latest fair use technologies that are either in danger, or nonexistent, thanks to legal threats from the entertainment industry. Great gadgets for your music collection were all over CES: servers that stream to devices throughout your house, slick portable players and music cell phones, place-shifting software that lets you -- and your friends -- hear your collection from any computer, and much more. But if you want to do more with your DVD collection or your HD cable subscription, you can basically forget about it: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005064.php http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005065.php Fortunately, some clever new devices that rely on the analog hole can still help you get more from your digital video: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005066.php While Hollywood continues locking down your media, perhaps it's starting to get the message that fans abhor digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. Disney's CEO Bob Iger delivered a keynote jam-packed with multimedia glitz, but here's the line that got the spontaneous audience applause: "The best way to combat piracy is to bring content to market on a well-timed, well-priced basis": http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005062.php Meanwhile, Consumer Electronics Association chief Gary Shapiro opened the convention with a call to update copyright laws so that consumer rights and innovation are properly protected: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005061.php For an audio recap of what went down, check out EFF's Line Noise podcast: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005077.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Another Step Towards Cable Set-Top Competition Way back in 1996, Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to foster useful, competitive alternatives to cable providers' proprietary set-top boxes. As we saw at CES, several alternatives that rely on CableCARD technology are finally coming to market, and now the FCC has taken another step towards putting them on a more level competitive playing field. Last week, the FCC denied Comcast's request for a permanent waiver from the "integration ban," which in effect forces cable providers to rely on CableCARD in their own set-top boxes. Without the ban, providers would be able to continue pushing their own proprietary set-top boxes on customers, treating CableCARD devices (such as TiVo Series 3 HD) like second-class citizens. The ban had been delayed twice before due to cable industry pressure and will go into effect on July 1. Unfortunately, CableCARD devices are DRM-laden, but consumers could face even worse DRM if cable providers' set-tops were the only game in town. Set-top competition should help hold the DRM in check as well as bring more features and lower prices to consumers. EFF, Public Knowledge, and a coalition of public interest groups recently asked the FCC to reject the cable providers' requests. Also, over 2000 people have used EFF's Action Center to file comments with the FCC and support set-top competition. The FCC did grant two more limited requests from other cable providers, but Chairman Kevin Martin stated at CES that, "I think the commission should be saying no to some of the largest carriers [requesting 'blanket waivers' of the integration ban]." Keep the letters to the FCC coming by visiting EFF's Action Center now: http://action.eff.org/cablecard For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005070.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Felten: Next Gen DVD DRM Will Be Broken Wide Open HD-DVD and Blu Ray discs haven't been on the market for long, but a tool called BackupHDDVD is already available to help users evade the discs' DRM. Is this tool the end of the AACS encryption scheme, or will the movie studios be able to repair the hole? Computer security experts Ed Felten and Alex Halderman have the answer in a series of posts that puts in layman's terms how AACS works and how it might be attacked. The bottom line: "[BackupHDDVD] isn't a big deal by itself, but it is the first step in the meltdown of AACS." For the series on BackupHDDVD: http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1104 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * A DMCA Takedown Tale With a Twist Time and again, we've seen the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process abused to censor legitimate speech. It's not everyday that one of these stories ends with a quote like this: "I would like to make it clear that I regret filing DMCA claims in this case, because the real issue at hand wasn't at all about copyright." Those are the words of Guntram Graef, the husband of Second Life businesswoman Anshe Chung. Several weeks ago, Graef sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, which was hosting a video of other Second Life users harassing Chung in the virtual world. The video, no matter how offensive to Graef or Chung, clearly didn't violate any of their copyrights, yet YouTube promptly removed it from the system. The DMCA takedown process invites this kind of abuse. You don't need a proven copyright infringement claim to fire off a cease-and-desist letter and have online speech immediately taken down. Most online speakers don't have the resources to defend themselves, especially when facing enormous monetary damages if sued when they counter-notice under the DMCA. Fortunately, Graef realized his error and apologized, as detailed in an interview with CNET. Hopefully others will learn from his story and think twice before pulling the DMCA trigger without first getting solid legal advice on its appropriateness. Ultimately, stories like these demonstrate the need for better checks and balances in the DMCA takedown process. Without them, we can only expect the situation for online speech to get worse. For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005080.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF's Sweet 16 Party a Success! Thanks to everyone who attended EFF's Sweet 16 party Thursday night! The event at the 111 Minna Gallery to celebrate our 16th year was packed with hundreds of civil libertarians and digital luminaries. In addition to having fun and mingling with our many beloved supporters, EFF raised several thousand dollars in cash donations. As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of receiving a check in the amount of $3561 from Laughing Squid founder Scott Beale. The outpouring of support proves we'll be here for many more years, fighting to defend your digital rights. You can watch speeches from Legal Director Cindy Cohn and Chairman of EFF's Board Brad Templeton at the party here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFziGF5vAXA : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Time Running Out -- Nominate a Net Pioneer Now for EFF's 2007 Awards! EFF established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. This is your opportunity to nominate a deserving individual or group to receive a Pioneer Award for 2007. The International Pioneer Awards nominations are open both to individuals and organizations from any country. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges chosen for their knowledge of the technical, legal, and social issues associated with information technology. How to Nominate Someone for a 2007 Pioneer Award: You may send as many nominations as you wish, but please use one email per nomination. Please submit your entries via email to email@example.com. We will now accept nominations until January 30, 2007. Simply tell us: 1. The name of the nominee, 2. The phone number or email address or website by which the nominee can be reached, and, most importantly, 3. Why you feel the nominee deserves the award. Nominee Criteria: There are no specific categories for the EFF Pioneer Awards, but the following guidelines apply: 1. The nominees must have contributed substantially to the health, growth, accessibility, or freedom of computer-based communications. 2. To be valid, all nominations must contain your reason, however brief, for nominating the individual or organization and a means of contacting the nominee. In addition, while anonymous nominations will be accepted, ideally we'd like to contact the nominating parties in case we need further information. 3. The contribution may be technical, social, economic, or cultural. 4. Nominations may be of individuals, systems, or organizations in the private or public sectors. 5. Nominations are open to all (other than current members of EFF's staff and board or this year's award judges), and you may nominate more than one recipient. You may also nominate yourself or your organization. 6. Persons or representatives of organizations receiving an EFF Pioneer Award will be invited to attend the ceremony at EFF's expense. More on the EFF Pioneer Awards: http://www.eff.org/awards/pioneer/ : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Pentagon and CIA Spying on US Credit Records Uses special "non-compulsory" national security letters to spy on US citizens, but "does not use the specific term National Security Letter." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2793547 ~ Singapore WiFi Thieving Teen Sentenced To 18 Month Probation Seventeen year-old boy punished for using neighbor's WiFi. http://techdirt.com/articles/20070116/115327.shtml ~ The Coming Age of MP3 A nice summary of the growing meme that the music industry is abandoning DRM. http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/buzz/archives/110543.asp ~ VirginMega adopts DRM-free MP3s on its Music Store ... starting with France, where the first major DRM online music store has switched over. http://www.djing.com/news/1926/virginmega-adopts-drm-free-mp3s-on-its-music-store/ ~ HD DVD Hits the Darknet It's 19GB, but it's there. It's "Serenity," the movie with the release tagline of "Can't Stop the Signal." Uh, yeah. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/first-pirated-hd-dvd-movie-weighs-in-at-19gb-229031.php ~ Canadians to Use Their Own No-Fly List Now all Robert Michel will be banned, as well as Robert Michaels. http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/01/canadians_impor.html ~ What to Look for in 2007 in Canadian Copyright Canada's other hitlist: a flurry of IP legislation. http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-to-look-for-in-2007-in-canadian.html ~ Beyond Broadcast 2007, February 24 Berkman, MIT, and Yale announce their annual conference on what happens next in media. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=2553 ~ Repeat PERFORMance Bill Patry looks at the return of PERFORM, and Senator Sununu's attempt to cut the video and audio flags at the FCC pass. http://williampatry.blogspot.com/2007/01/repeat-performance.html ~ Gadgets and Credit Cards Track Every Move of an Average American A day in the life of today's casual, unspoken high-tech surveillance. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/15/AR2007011501304_pf.html ~ Will Universal Music Sue Apple? Industry rumor suggests that Universal's self-described "kamikaze" CEO Doug Morris will divebomb Apple to get a cut of iPod sales. http://www.ipdemocracy.com/archives/2007/01/16/#002248 ~ Work, Blog for Free Speech Global Voices, the nonprofit group dedicated to the international blogging community, has a job vacancy for a part-time Advocacy Director. http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2007/01/global_voices_s.html ~ Up with Uploading Susan Crawford notes the problems with assymetric consumer download/upload rates in a peer-to-peer, user-generated world. http://scrawford.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/1/15/2652993.html ~ FBI Discovers Webcams, Freaks Out The authorities get nervous about webcams showing public airports. http://techdirt.com/articles/20070115/101253.shtml ~ Yahoo! Music Sees a Collecting Society Future Plucked from the NYT's anti-DRM piece: "David Goldberg [head of Yahoo! Music] said he believes that ... all portable players will have wireless broadband capability and will provide direct access, anytime, anywhere, to every song ever released for a low monthly subscription fee." http://www.nashvillescene.com/blog/nashvillecream/archives/00000437.shtml ~ ATI Brings CableCARD to the PC with Digital Cable Tuner Unfortunately still choked with DRM. As one commentator notes, "Buying this product is like a mouse buying a maze for its cheese." http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070109-8576.html : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Membership & donation queries: email@example.com General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 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