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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 26 - National Coalition of Authors Urge Rejection of Google Book Search


EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 26 - National Coalition of Authors Urge Rejection of Google Book Search

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 26 September 15, 2009

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 518th issue:

DEAL. A coalition of authors and publishers--including
best-sellers Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, and technical author
Bruce Schneier--is urging a federal judge to reject the proposed
settlement in a lawsuit over Google Book Search, arguing that the
sweeping agreement to digitize millions of books ignores critical
privacy rights for readers and writers.

For the full press release:

For a copy of the filing:

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EFF Updates

* What Information Is "Personally Indentifiable"?
Gender, ZIP code, and birth date feel anonymous, but Carnegie Mellon
Professor Latanya Sweeney was able to identify specific individuals
through this information.It turns out the combination of gender, ZIP
code and birthday is unique for about 87% of the U.S. population. In
addition, particular data sources, such as voter registration
databases, enable researchers to do searches that build on what they
already know about someone to learn more. "Anonymized" or "merely
demographic" information collected about you on websites and in your
daily interactions may be neither.

* Who Controls Data About Public Transportation?
How should city transit authorities treat independent software
developers who make use of public schedule data? Two models appear to
be emerging to answer this question. One, typified by New York City's
MTA and Washington DC's WMATA, sees schedule and related data as
valuable intellectual property to be zealously protected, licensed and
monetized. So far, the results of this approach appear to have been
bad press, irate passengers, wasted money and stymied innovation. The
other model, typified by San Francisco's SFMTA and Portland's TriMet,
holds that encouraging independent developers to make free use of
schedule information can both save the city money and foster
innovative applications.

* Improving DMCA Takedowns at Blogger, Flickr
Over the past couple of weeks, two major online service providers,
Blogger and Flickr, announced improvements to their DMCA takedown
policies. EFF had a hand in both: Blogger contacted us to discuss
their improvements, and we contacted Flickr to raise some concerns we
had. We're glad to see these improvements, which make the process more
transparent for users and minimize the collateral damage to free
speech that can sometimes be the result when a copyright owner sends a
takedown notice.

* UK Musicians Oppose Draconian Disconnect Policy
The UK government continues to consider a policy that would punish
those accused of illegal downloading by cutting off Internet access to
entire households, saying it wants to "support" the music
industry. Now it seems a coalition of the actual British musicians,
songwriters and producers behind the music, including superstars Paul
McCartney and Elton John, don't want "support" of this kind and view
this sort of draconian policy as "extraordinarily negative."

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~  Japan to Build Anti-Piracy Software Into Mobile Phones?
Japanese wireless carriers are considering mandatory filters to
control copyrighted music on the main device on which young Japanese
people listen to music.

~ Defining "Noncommercial"
Creative Commons released a new report about people's understanding of
the word "noncommercial" in CC licenses.

~ Copyright Office Slams Google Book Deal
"[T]he so-called settlement would create mechanisms by which Google
could continue to scan with impunity, well into the future, and to our
great surprise, create yet additional commercial products without the
prior consent of rights holders."

~ Another Objection to Google Book Search Settlement
A new voice has joined the opposition: the Free Software Foundation.

_ Data Valdez: Facebook's Oops
Private Facebook notes are leaked due to a misconfigured webserver.

For more minilinks and other news, follow EFF on Twitter or!

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* EFF Geek Reading with xkcd's Randall Munroe!

The second Geek Reading event to benefit EFF will be held on Monday,
September 21, at 111 Minna in downtown San Francisco. The Geek of
Honor will be Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd.

The main event starts at 7:00 p.m., and tickets are $30. For some
extra face time with the man behind the most complex stick figures
ever drawn, join us at the VIP reception ($100) at 6:00 p.m. Space is
limited, so get your tickets now!
Monday, September 21, 2009

VIP Reception: 6:00 pm

Reading: 7:00 pm
111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna Street, San Francisco

* Help EFF Go to Ohio LinuxFest!

EFF is looking for donations of airline tickets and hotel points for
Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus, as well as other conferences and speaking
engagements. If you have enough airline miles for a free ticket and
would like to send an EFF staffer to a conference, let us know, and we
will help you with the process of making the reservation. Please note
that at this time we are unable to combine miles from multiple
individuals or airlines. We are also looking for hotel rewards points
to help reduce our overall travel costs.

As thanks for your donation, we can offer a free membership and a
mention in EFFector (if you'd like). Please contact if
you can help!

* Volunteer at EFF!

EFF is looking for volunteers to assist with operations in our
membership department. If you're organized, detail-oriented, and
looking for a hands-on way to support EFF, contact us today!

Duties include:

* Sending out membership packets
* Organizing premiums
* Printing mailings
* Assisting with events

Learn about fundraising operations in the nonprofit world while
supporting your favorite organization in a tangible way! Interest in
grassroots fundraising is a plus, as is knowledge and familiarity with
EFF's issues. Send a letter of interest to

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin, Referral Coordinator

Membership & donation queries:

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