In a decision with likely wide-ranging impact, a judge in Las Vegas dismissed as a sham an infringement case filed by copyright troll Righthaven LLC. The judge ruled that Righthaven did not have the legal authorization to bring a copyright lawsuit against EFF's client, the political forum Democratic Underground, because it had never owned the copyright in the first place. Regarding the victory, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl said: "Righthaven's copyright litigation business model is fatally flawed, and we expect the decision to have wide effect on the over 270 other cases Righthaven has brought."
EFF urged a federal court to block Microsoft Corporation's attempt to misuse copyright law to thwart a competitor offering memory cards for the Xbox gaming system. Microsoft claims that Xbox users violate U.S. federal law -- the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- if they use third-party cards memory cards, such as those produced by Datel Holdings. If Microsoft were to prevail on this point, it could give the software giant the ability to use the DMCA to prevent competitors from selling Xbox-compatible accessories, like memory cards, controllers, and headsets. Such a ruling would have wide-ranging ramifications for hundreds of other consumer products.
EFF joined ACLU and ACLU Vermont in urging the Vermont Supreme Court to reject prosecutors' demands to override a judge's instructions and allow a limitless warrant for a computer search. During the investigation into an alleged identity theft last year, a detective from the Burlington Police Department applied for a wide-ranging search warrant, which included any computers, compact discs, cell phones, or mobile devices in the home, despite noting it was possible that some of the equipment might be owned by people not suspected in a crime. A judge granted the warrant application after putting reasonable bounds on the search, as well as including basic privacy protections for information and data not connected to the identity theft under investigation. Now prosecutors are petitioning the court for approval of the original overbroad warrant.
Netsweeper filtering software is being used by the government of Yemen to block popular blogging site Tumblr. We've also seen crackdowns on the "Anonymous" movement in Turkey and Spain, following attacks on government websites in both countries. And in Tunisia, activists are pushing back against a court order that would restrict access to all pornographic sites.
We’ve watched with dismay Immigration and Customs Enforcement's increasing use of domain name seizures as part of its stepped-up IP enforcement strategy. Now one of the seized domains -- Rojadirecta -- is taking the fight to court.
India is currently clarifying and refining its standard of liability for Internet intermediaries. India's Information Technology Act of 2008 would extend safe harbor protection to services that 1) are merely transmission conduits, 2) temporarily cache content, or 3) host content and exercise "due diligence" in complying with government regulations.
When we learned that Apple had stepped forward to support iPhone app developers who had found themselves threatened with patent litigation (and, in some instances, actually sued) based on their use of Apple-provided technology, we hoped that could be the end of the matter – or at least that Lodsys would pick its fight with Apple, who has the resources to fight back. Unfortunately, the company that started the mess, Lodsys, has decided to up the ante, suing seven developers in the notoriously "troll-friendly" Eastern District of Texas.
We're pleased to report a great response to our second annual DEF CON Getaway Contest! Now at the halfway point, thirty-one participants have raised over $2,500 so far! If you haven't already registered, what are you waiting for? It could be you in Vegas!
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Katitza Rodriguez is representing EFF at the 12th TACD Annual Meeting, a forum of US and EU consumer organisations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and the European Union to promote the consumer interest in policy making.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: June 19-21, 2011
EFF International IP Director Gwen Hinze is attending the 22nd session of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Date: June 20-24, 2011
Katitza Rodriguez is representing the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on The Future of the Internet Economy.
Location: Paris, France
Date: June 28-29, 2011