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EFFector - Volume 26, Issue 8 - Stop the secret copyright agenda

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 635th issue:

Stop the Secret Copyright Agenda

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has for years pressed for secret negotiations to obscure its efforts to add Hollywood-approved copyright provisions into international law. Now the White House is set to announce a new nominee for the position, and we have a chance to speak up. These tainted processes must be stopped if we are to ever work towards creating copyright regimes that balance the needs of creators and users. Sign this petition today and help us usher in a new era of transparency for the USTR.

Supreme Court Victory for Common Sense and Owners' Rights

In a long-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court held last week in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley that the first sale doctrine applies to works made outside of the United States. In other words, if you bought it, you own it: no matter where it was manufactured. That's a major victory for consumers--and also libraries, used bookstores, and all kinds of groups that depend on the right to lend or resell the goods they've legally purchased.

EFF Joins Coalition Urging White House to Veto CISPA

Thirty-seven digital rights groups and businesses have come together to urge the White House to defend privacy and promise to veto the dangerous cybersecurity bill CISPA. Such legislation poses a number of privacy risks to individuals, allowing levels of information sharing between companies and the government that supersede existing privacy laws. Privacy advocates aren't the only ones speaking out against CISPA; online companies like Reddit and Mozilla--as well as web hosts like Gandi and Namecheap--have chosen to stand up for their users' rights rather than support ill-defined legislation.

EFF Updates

Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards

There's a new front in the battle against digital rights management (DRM) technologies. These technologies, which supposedly exist to enforce copyright, have never done anything to get creative people paid. Instead, by design or by accident, their real effect is to interfere with innovation, fair use, competition, interoperability, and our right to own things. That's why we were appalled to learn that there is a proposal currently before the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 Working Group to build DRM into the next generation of core Web standards.

Visualizing Google's Transparency Report

EFF is excited to announce a visual collaboration with SHARE Defense: a three-part series visualizing the data from over three years of Google transparency reports. Part 1 covers which countries are requesting data from Google; part 2 addresses how Google responds to these requests; and part 3 goes into depth on the relative numbers of requests from different countries.

Updating the Copyright Act? It's Up to All of Us.

The head of the U.S. Copyright Office has called for Congress to update U.S. copyright law. If Congress takes up the challenge, supporters of free expression and the promise of digital technology will have a great opportunity to forge a copyright law that reflects our fundamental values. Of course, a major reform of copyright law could lead the other way--back towards a world of more centralization, censorship, and technology regulation.

Oman's Sultan Qaboos Pardons Activists and Netizens

EFF is pleased to learn that Oman's monarch has pardoned "all dissidents jailed for defaming the ruler or taking part in protests." According to the Reuters news agency, "His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has issued a royal pardon for those convicted of defamation, information technology crimes and unauthorized rallies." Those "information technology crimes" included comments about the Sultan made on Facebook pages and blogs.

Google's Wi-Fi Snooping Settlement is Really, Really Awful

A recent settlement between 38 states and Google over the company's Wi-Fi snooping fiasco sure is puzzling. While the settlement, called an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, does little to punish Google for slurping up massive amounts of content from wireless networks using its roaming Street View vehicles, it does require the company to carry out a gratuitous and poorly thought out song and dance regarding wireless security practices.

Victory for Transparency: Microsoft Releases Report on Law Enforcement Requests for User Data

In January of this year, EFF called for Microsoft to publish a report on government requests for Skype user data. Microsoft has answered that letter not only on behalf of Skype, but on behalf of the entire company, releasing a first transparency report covering all law enforcement requests and court orders received in 2012 related to all of their online and cloud services, including Hotmail/Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Microsoft Account, and Messenger.

AP v. Meltwater: Disappointing Ruling for News Search

A federal district judge in New York City issued a troubling ruling holding that an electronic news clipping service infringed copyright when it republished excerpts of news stories in search results for its clients seeking news coverage based on particular keywords.

miniLinks

Techdirt: "Rather than fix the CFAA, House Judiciary Committee planning to make it worse."

The House Judiciary has begun circulating a draft cyber-security bill that, instead of fixing the CFAA, expands it.

Public Knowledge: "A quick guide to the current phone unlocking bills"

There are currently three different proposals to make sure that you can unlock your phone, despite the Library of Congress's thoughts on the matter. Public Knowledge has put together a chart that runs through some of the pros and cons of each.

Gizmodo: "Everything wrong with digital copyright (and how to fix it)"

Gizmodo spoke with EFF's IP Director Corynne McSherry about how the DMCA is broken, and how we can work together to fix it.

Supported by Members

Our members make it possible for EFF to bring legal and technological expertise into crucial battles about online rights. Whether defending free speech online or challenging unconstitutional surveillance, your participation makes a difference. Every donation gives technology users who value freedom online a stronger voice and more formidable advocate.

If you aren't already, please consider becoming an EFF member today.

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Administrivia

Editor: Parker Higgins, Activist
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EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Announcements

Penn Intellectual Property Group Symposium

This year's symposium will explore the IP implications of the shifting divide between content creators and providers through the lenses of game development, fan fiction writing, and 3D printing and home fabrication. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn will deliver the keynote address.
March 29, 2013
Philadelphia, PA

Heinrich Boll Foundation Freedom of Expression Conference

EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression, Jillian C. York, will speak about digital activism and social media.
March 30, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey

National Conference for Media Reform

Free Press's 2013 event will include panels by EFF activists Rainey Reitman, Trevor Timm, and Adi Kamdar. This conference brings together journalists, activists, artists, and media reformers of all walks together to celebrate the future of media.
Get a 10% discount on registration using the code: EFF_NCMR
April 5-8, 2012
Denver, CO

re:publica conference, 13

EFF's Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian C. York joins a panel called "Responding Effectively to Digital Emergencies & Human Rights Violations Online."
May 6-8, 2013
Berlin, Germany

Bitcoin 2013: the Future of Payments

The Bitcoin Foundation presents Bitcoin 2013: The Future of Payments. On May 18, EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman will speak on censorship by financial intermediaries.
May 17-19, 2013
San Jose, CA

Security BSides Boston

Security BSides is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members. This event, BSidesBOS, will promote information about security to an audience of both new and well-established professionals and techies.
May 18, 2013
Boston, MA

International Press Institute World Congress 2013

EFF Director of International Freedom of Expression Jillian York is speaking on a panel entitled "Internet Regulation: What are the Implications for Democracy and Press Freedom?" at the International Press Institute World Congress 2013, "Documenting Change/Empowering Media."
May 19-21, 2013
Amman, Jordan

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