Anyone who makes or shares things online is affected by copyright law. Whether you're a YouTube creator, a fanfiction writer, or just interested in watching or sharing "transformative" works (or pretty much any online content), you won't want to miss this town hall on how content creation is affected by copyright—and what to do about it. On February 26 at 10 a.m. PST, join EFF's Katharine Trendacosta and Cara Gagliano, as well as Professor Casey Fiesler, a member of the Legal Committee for Archive of Our Own. They will discuss the recent flurry of changes to copyright law, how copyright filters work (or don't), and answer any questions you might have about copyright! This event will be livestreamed via Twitch and is free to attend. It will also be streaming on Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
During the pandemic, a dangerous business has prospered: invading students’ privacy with proctoring software and apps. In the last year, we’ve seen universities compel students to download apps that collect their face images, driver’s license data, and network information. Last fall, Ian Linkletter, a remote learning specialist at the University of British Columbia, became part of a chorus of critics concerned with this industry. Now, he’s been sued for speaking out. The outrageous lawsuit—which relies on a bizarre legal theory that linking to publicly viewable videos is copyright infringement—will become an important test of a 2019 British Columbia law passed to defend free speech, the Protection of Public Participation Act, or PPPA.
Along with other civil liberties organizations and activists, EFF has long warned that Amazon Ring and other networked home surveillance devices could be used to monitor political activity and protests. Now we have documented proof that our fears were founded.
Someone tries to livestream their encounters with the police, only to find that the police started playing music. In the case of a February 5 meeting between an activist and the Beverly Hills Police Department, the song of choice was Sublime’s “Santeria.” The police may not got no crystal ball, but they do seem to have an unusually strong knowledge about copyright filters, and how they can get important content taken off the Internet. Copyright should not be a fast-track to getting speech removed that you do not like. The law is meant to encourage creativity by giving artists a limited period of exclusive rights to their creations. It is not a way to make money off of criticism or a loophole to be exploited by authorities.
EFF filed an amicus brief urging an appeals court to protect students' free speech rights when they aren’t in school. In this case, we asked the court to hold that under the First Amendment public schools may not punish students for their off-campus speech, whether they are expressing dissatisfaction with their schools’ COVID-19 safety protocols, calling out instances of racism at schools, or organizing protests against school gun violence. We hope that the First Circuit and the Supreme Court will take this opportunity to reaffirm the free speech rights of public school students and draw clear limits on schools’ ability to police students’ private lives.
Hateful speech presents one of the most difficult problems of content moderation. At a global scale, it’s practically impossible. That’s why there’s no good solution to Facebook’s current dilemma of how to treat the term “Zionism.” Ultimately, the fact that Facebook is in the position to make such a decision is a problem. We hope that they will not limit yet another nuanced term that they lack the capacity to moderate fairly. But whatever they choose, they must ensure that their rules are transparent, and that users have the ability to appeal—to a human moderator—any decisions that are made.
Please join us on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. PST for a conversation about the state of copyright law in 2021 and what you need to know about it. Most importantly, we will give you a way to stay informed and fight back.
EFF Director of Investigations Dave Maass will host a panel at the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) 2021 conference on March 5 at 12 p.m. PST, discussing tips and techniques used by reporters on the ground to reveal abuses, errors, and disproportionate policing.
EFF is proud to be a part of the first-ever virtual BSidesSF, a conference dedicated to advancing the body of Information Security knowledge. Be sure to check out EFF's session from our Director of Investigations, Dave Maass, titled "How to Observe Police Surveillance at Protests."
With a unanimous city council vote, Minneapolis joins Boston, San Francisco, and more than a dozen cities across the country that have banned government use of face recognition technology.
Americans should feel angry about companies harvesting every morsel of our data to sell us sneakers or rate our creditworthiness. But a data protection law that few of us know about should also give us hope.
A coalition of advocates for more access to government information and deliberations are urging Biden to make such openness a higher priority and reverse what they contend was a deterioration in public access to the inner workings of government under former President Donald Trump.