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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

EFFector - Volume 23, Issue 5 - Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers


EFFector - Volume 23, Issue 5 - Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers

EFFector 23.5: Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers

EFFector Vol. 23, No. 5, February 19, 2010

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 528th issue:

~ Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers
Over the last few months, the universe of digital books has expanded
dramatically, with products like Amazon's Kindle, Google Books,
Internet Archive's Text Archive, Barnes and Noble's Nook, and Apple's
upcoming iPad poised to revolutionize reading. But while this digital
books revolution could make books more accessible than ever before,
there are lingering questions about the future of reader privacy,
consumers' rights, and potential censorship.

What questions should consumers ask before buying a digital book or
reader? EFF has published "Digital Books and Your Rights," a checklist
for readers considering buying into the digital book marketplace.

Full press release:

Full report on Digital Books and Your Rights:

~ Online Software Reseller Battles Bogus Infringement Allegations
EFF, joined by a coalition of public interest, consumer, and library
groups, has urged a federal appeals court to preserve consumers'
rights and the first sale doctrine in a battle over an Internet
auction of used computer software.

Timothy Vernor is an online software reseller who tried to auction
four packages of Autodesk's AutoCAD software on eBay. Autodesk
threatened Mr. Vernor with a copyright lawsuit, claiming that its
software is only "licensed," never sold. With the assistance of the
public interest litigators at Public Citizen, Vernor filed suit in
Seattle against Autodesk, asking the court to clarify his right to
resell the AutoCAD software packages. He prevailed before the district
court in 2009, prompting Autodesk to appeal.

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~ Redbox, Movie Studios, and the Subversion of First Sale
As we’ve explained before, a number of Hollywood movie studios
have been on the war path against Redbox, the kiosk-based DVD rental
operation, because Redbox offers DVD new releases for rent at 99 cents
per night. Thanks to the first sale doctrine in copyright law,
Redbox's business is completely legal—the company buys
legitimate DVDs to stock their kiosks. This is great for consumers,
and it provides an alternative for those who might otherwise opt for
an unauthorized copy online.

But Hollywood wasn't pleased and took a number of steps to interfere
with Redbox's business, which in turn led to lawsuits. Earlier this
week, Redbox and Warner Brothers settled their litigation, with Redbox
promising not to offer Warner DVDs until 28 days after the DVD goes on
sale. In other words, no more Warner new releases in the Redbox
kiosks. Analysts predict this will be a blueprint for similar
settlements with other Hollywood studios.

~ Google Buzz Privacy Update
Google has announced significant changes to its new social networking
service, Buzz. Responding to criticism, Google moved away from the
system in which Buzz automatically sets you up to follow the people
you email and chat with most. Instead, Google has adopted an
auto-suggest model, in which you are shown the friend list with an
option to de-select people before publishing the list. While a full
opt-in model would be less likely to result in inadvertent disclosures
of private information, this is a significant step forward.
In addition, Google said it would show current Buzz users the setup
process again, giving a second chance to review and confirm the
follower list "over the next couple weeks." We recommend that all
current Buzz users immediately turn off their public lists and review
their friend lists before making them public again.

~ Music Journalism Is the New Piracy
Imagine you're a music journalist who maintains a blog. You've just
found a great, new, virtually-unknown artist you want to share with
the world. How can you do so in a way that is simple and convenient
for your readers but does not place you or your blog's host at risk of
being sued?
Thanks to the increasingly aggressive copyright-enforcement tactics of
the music industry, this has become a startlingly complicated question
with no good answer.
In the latest signal of this conundrum, at least six music blogs were
deleted by Blogger due to copyright complaints. It's uncertain who
made the accusations that led to the deletions, but the most likely
culprit is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry,
a copyright-enforcement organization that had previously filed
copyright takedown notices against some of the targeted blogs.

~ EFF to Wisconsin: Just Say No to Warrantless GPS Tracking
ACLU National, ACLU of Wisconsin, and EFF have filed an amicus brief
in the Wisconsin Supreme Court arguing that the law of that state
prohibits police from installing a GPS device on you or your car
without first getting a warrant from a judge. A growing number of
state high courts have decided that their citizens should be protected
from suspicionless GPS tracking, recognizing that uninterrupted
around-the-clock surveillance is qualitatively different from ordinary
police observations of a suspect. In the Wisconsin case, People v.
Sveum, we ask the court to follow the example of Washington, New York,
and Massachusetts and find that GPS tracking is a search that requires
a warrant.

~ Ten Year Term of EFF Chairman Brad Templeton Winds Down
After serving served ten years as EFF's board chairman, Brad Templeton
has rotated out. John Buckman, founder of Magnatune and Bookmooch
(among other ventures) is the new chair, and law professor Pam
Samuelson will serve as vice-chair, replacing John Perry Barlow. John
Perry and Brad remain active members of EFF's board.

~ Google Superbowl Ad Explains the Need for Search Privacy
Google's ad during this year’s Superbowl explained in less than
a minute how the story of someone's life can be pieced together from
their search queries. Using only the search terms and user's clicks of
the search results, Google told the story of a user who seeks love
while studying abroad in Paris, finds it, moves to Paris, marries and
has a child.

The poignant story, along with Google's suite of search stories,
masterfully illustrates how some of the most intimate information in
our lives -- from planning a trip to political activism -- are
routinely and vividly expressed in our interactions with Google, and
highlights the need for that information to have strong privacy
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~ Laptop Webcams Used to Spy on Students
BoingBoing reports that a lawsuit charges school administrators with
using laptop webcams to spy on students at school and at home.

~ Action Alert: Export Fair Use & Innovation Policy
Public Knowledge wants you to contact the US Trade Representative on
"Special 301" and balance in copyright.

~ Australia Deserves an Open Internet
A new coalition Down Under is fighting back against plans to filter
the Internet.

~ Cell Phones and Privacy
The New York Times editorial board speaks out in support of EFF's
recent Third Circuit argument about cell phone location privacy.

~ Copy Machines and Privacy
CBS-5 reports that many copy machines have a built-in drives that
retain copies of your documents indefinitely.

~ EFF's 20th Party in Photos
Here's a fun photo-montage of EFF's 20th Anniversary Party last week
in San Francisco.

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* EFF at SCaLE in Los Angeles!

See what's new in free and open source software at the Southern
California Linux Expo from February 19-21!  EFF is proud to support
SCaLE and the open source community.  Stop by our membership booth to
say hello!

Westin LAX
5400 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 216-5858

February 20 and 21, 2010
Exhibit Hall Room: Westin Grand Ballroom
Exhibit Hall Hours: 10am  6pm

For more information:

* NEW Liberty Mecha Member Shirts!

EFF's 20th Anniversary celebration rages on with AMAZING new Liberty
Mecha member shirts from artist Hugh D'Andrade!  Who needs a jetpack
when you have a digital freedom-fighting robotic exoskeleton?  These
super cool Liberty Mecha shirts debuted at our birthday party and are
now available as donor premiums while supplies last!

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EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin, Referral Coordinator

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