EFFector Vol. 20, No. 34 August 29, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 438th Issue of EFFector:
- Back to School for Reading, Writing, and RIAA Lawsuits?
- EFF Challenges Bogus Patent on Internet Subdomains
- EFF Documents Shed Light on FBI Electronic Surveillance Technology
- Spy Chief Admits Telcos Collaborated With NSA Spying
- Check Out the 7th Annual "Future of Music Policy Summit" in Washington, DC!
- miniLinks (12): The Freedom to Read Online in Jeopardy
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. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Back to School for Reading, Writing, and RIAA Lawsuits? EFF Releases Comprehensive Report on Recording Industry's Litigation Campaign San Francisco - As college students across the country head back to class this fall, they need to worry about more than keeping up on their schoolwork. The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) continues to target college campuses for hundreds of new lawsuits each month. Meanwhile, under pressure from the recording industry, universities are instituting draconian punishments for students suspected of sharing music files. At the same time, the RIAA continues to sue file sharers off campus, with a total tally now exceeding 20,000. In a report released this week, "RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later," the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) provides the only comprehensive look at the four-year litigation campaign waged by the RIAA against music fans. The report traces the RIAA campaign from its beginnings in 2003 against a handful of students at Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and Michigan Tech to the current spate of "pre-litigation settlement" letters being sent to universities nationwide. "Despite the RIAA's legal campaign, file sharing is more popular than ever," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "History will treat this as a shameful chapter in the history of the music industry, when record companies singled out random music fans for disproportionate penalties. Artists must be compensated, but these lawsuits aren't putting money into any creator's pocket." The crackdown on Internet file sharing has already driven music fans to technologies that are harder to monitor -- for example, burning and exchanging CDs among friends and sharing on members-only "darknets." EFF calls on universities to help artists get paid for their creative work while protecting their students from costly legal problems. Universities should insist on a blanket license for their students, collecting a reasonable regular payment -- for example, $5 a month -- in exchange for the right to keep sharing music with their classmates. "This is about money, not morality," said von Lohmann. "With a blanket licensing solution, the RIAA can call off the lawyers and the lobbyists, and universities can get back to education instead of copyright enforcement." For the full report "RIAA v. The People: Four Years Later": http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/riaa-v-thepeople.php For more on the litigation campaign: http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/?f=riaa-v-thepeople.html Read the FAQ for students faced with "pre-litigation letters": http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAA_v_ThePeople/college_faq.php For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_08.php#005414 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Challenges Bogus Patent on Internet Subdomains Illegitimate Patent Used to Threaten Website Hosting Companies San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging a bogus patent on Internet subdomains that has been used to threaten small businesses and innovators. Ideaflood, a self-proclaimed "intellectual property holding company," used this illegitimate patent to demand payment from website hosting companies that offer virtual, personalized subdomains -- like "action.eff.org" for the parent domain "eff.org." But in a reexamination request filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) last Wednesday, EFF and Rick Mc Leod of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, show that the method Ideaflood claims to have invented was well known before the patent was issued. In fact, website developers were having public discussions about how to create these virtual subdomains on an Apache developer mailing list for more than a year before Ideaflood made its patent claim. "This illustrates how an open-source project can establish a public record of technology development and thwart invalid patents," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "The public discussions on the Apache and other mailing lists have shown that Ideaflood's patent claims were without merit and that the patent should be revoked before it causes any more damage to innovation on the Internet." The companies that Ideaflood threatened include Freehomepage.com, T35 Hosting, and LiveJournal, a social networking site where each of its three million users have their own subdomain. The patent has since been reassigned to a company called Hoshiko, LLC. "Our patent system is intended to encourage innovation, not damage it by encroaching on the public domain," said Rick Mc Leod, who drafted EFF's petition. "Unfortunately, in recent years the PTO has been deluged with applications, making it difficult to determine whether many patents should be issued or rejected. When a 'bad' patent targets something as ephemeral as the Internet, it can be even more difficult to get that patent invalidated. Fortunately, a diligent, prior art searcher sent us a key reference." The challenge to the Ideaflood patent is part of EFF's Patent Busting Project, which combats the chilling effects that bad patents have on public and consumer interests. So far, the project has killed one bogus patent and requested the reexamination of two others. For the full reexamination request: http://www.eff.org/patent/wanted/ideaflood/reexam/ReqReexam_746.pdf For more on EFF's Patent Busting Project: http://www.eff.org/patent For this release: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_08.php#005412 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF Documents Shed Light on FBI Electronic Surveillance Technology The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that reveal the inner workings of the FBI's Digital Collection System Network (DCSNet), a software suite that allows the Bureau to conduct surveillance on a wide variety of digital devices. As Ryan Singel writes in his extensive report for Wired News: "Many of the details of the system and its full capabilities were redacted from the documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but they show that DCSNet includes at least three collection components, each running on Windows-based computers. "The $10 million DCS-3000 client, also known as Red Hook, handles pen-registers and trap-and-traces, a type of surveillance that collects signaling information -- primarily the numbers dialed from a telephone -- but no communications content. (Pen registers record outgoing calls; trap-and-traces record incoming calls.) "DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, captures and collects the content of phone calls and text messages for full wiretap orders. "A third, classified system, called DCS-5000, is used for wiretaps targeting spies or terrorists." EFF obtained these documents through a FOIA lawsuit filed against the FBI last year. A federal judge has ordered the Bureau to turn over new documents every month, so check back often the learn more about DCSNet. See the documents on EFF's FOIA litigation: http://www.eff.org/flag/07656JDB/ For more on EFF's FLAG Project: http://www.eff.org/flag/ Read Ryan Singel's Wired Threat Level report, "FBI's Wiretap Network Revealed And Request for Reader Document Analysis": http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/fbis-wiretap-ne.html For the complete post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005415.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Spy Chief Admits Telcos Collaborated With NSA Spying In a lengthy and revealing interview, the Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell admitted that telecommunications companies collaborated with the NSA's massive domestic spying. Of course, it's long been an open secret that the government is engaging in dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and has backdoor access to telecommunications providers' networks and records databases. The overwhelming evidence includes statements from fully briefed members of Congress, whistleblower evidence from a former AT&T employee, and numerous newspaper reports. Alongside our lawsuit against AT&T, numerous other lawsuits have been brought against various carriers, including Verizon and MCI. Yet the government has tried to sweep away these allegations as mere speculation and has desperately tried to stop lawsuits against the carriers by claiming that "whether any particular company (or type of company) is assisting the Government" is a "state secret." Now McConnell has conceded the truth: "[U]nder the president's program, the terrorist surveillance program, the private sector had assisted us. Because if you're going to get access you've got to have a partner and they were being sued." As EFF has argued in our case against AT&T, the courts are well equipped to protect state secrets while determining whether the spying is illegal, and the evidence already on the record is sufficient to move forward with the case, but McConnell's statement should absolutely settle the question. Read the transcripts from McConnell interview here: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_6685679 For more on EFF's case against AT&T: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att See EFF's page on the NSA's Warrantless Domestic Surveillance: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/NSA/ For EFF Activist Derek Slater's entire analysis and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005413.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Check Out the 7th Annual "Future of Music Policy Summit" in Washington, DC! The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) is a national nonprofit that works on the issues at the intersection of music, law, technology and policy. For the past six years, FMC has organized an annual Policy Summit that brings an unprecedented mix of 500 musicians, artists, attorneys and policymakers together for discussions about issues that are emerging as the promotion and distribution of music moves to a global, digital platform. This year, FMC is back in Washington, DC, to host the 7th annual "Future of Music Policy Summit" from September 17- 18, 2007. Over the course of two days, panels will cover such topics as: * Copyright and licensing issues * Network neutrality and broadband policy * FCC's "rules of engagement" on payola * Sample clearance licensing process * The explosion of niche market genres * Wireless/music portability * The challenges of cultural preservation * Technologies that are bringing artists and fans closer together ...and more. The Summit will also include a special conversation with Marybeth Peters, Register, US Copyright Office, and keynotes by leading members of Congress. For general event information: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/ To see all confirmed panelists: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/panelists.cfm To see the summit schedule: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/matrix.cfm Online registration is open; the regular 2-day registration rate is $199 per person. Discounted rates are also available for students: https://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/regform.cfm Scholarships are available for working musicians. There are only a few left, so click here to apply! http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/scholarshipinfo.cfm : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ The Freedom to Read Online in Jeopardy EFF joins in amicus appeal of United States v. Forrester ruling. http://blog.aclu.org/index.php?/archives/264-The-Freedom-to-Read-Online.html ~ iPhone Freed From AT&T Your hardware delivered - back into your control. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070824-iphone-set-free-from-att-with-first-full-software-unlock.html ~Is Your Boss Spying on You? Reader's Digest introduces the Big Brother workplace. http://www.rd.com/content/is-your-boss-spying-on-you/ ~ California Judge Decides Perl's "Artistic License" Is a Contract Free software advocates (in this case) would prefer copyright law. http://lwn.net/Articles/246695/ ~ Geeks <3 Human Rights Tim Lee ponder's the techie love of civil liberties. http://www.techliberation.com/archives/042710.php ~ WordPress Hosted Sites Blocked in Turkey A single defamation site brings down thousands of blogs. http://www.citmedialaw.org/wordpress-blocked-turkey ~ Walmart Offers DRM-free Music Downloads Support for restricting your fair use rights continues to crumble. http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2007/08/21/watch-your-back-apple.aspx ~ The Law According to Godwin EFF's first lawyer, and now Wikimedia general counsel, is profiled. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/technology/20link.html ~ Microsoft Declares Genuine Customers Pirates Redmond's remote validation of Windows users fails. http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136451-c,companynews/article.html ~ Is Comcast Breaking BitTorrent? The company denies it, but customers are seeing strange reset packets kill their seeds. http://torrentfreak.com/comcast-wrongfully-denies-interfering-with-bittorrent/ ~ Opening up the Law Tim Wu and Carl Malamad work to open up case law and the Federal Register. http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/23/opening-up-the-ameri.html ~ RMS Speaks at Stanford The creator of the General Public License speaks on GPL3 on September 10th. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/5512 : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * 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: Julie Lindner, Education Outreach 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. 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/ Click here to change your email address: http://action.eff.org/addresschange This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.