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EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 6 - ACTION ALERT: Tell Legislators "No!" on Harmful NII Copyright Bill


EFFector - Volume 9, Issue 6 - ACTION ALERT: Tell Legislators "No!" on Harmful NII Copyright Bill

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EFFector Online Volume 09 No. 06       May 17, 1996
A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation        ISSN 1062-9424


ACTION ALERT: Tell Legislators "No!" on Harmful NII Copyright Bill
House Members Demand an End to "Key Escrow" and Crypto Export Regs
 Georgia Online Trademark Law Passed - CORRECTION
Upcoming Events
Quote of the Day
What YOU Can Do

* See or, /pub/Alerts/ for more
information on current EFF activities and online activism alerts! *


Subject: ACTION ALERT: Tell Legislators "No!" on Harmful NII Copyright Bill

[This is an action alert from the Digital Future Coalition, of which EFF 
is a member organization.]


Congressional contacts urgently needed NO LATER THAN Tuesday, May 21

Next Wednesday, May 22, the House Judiciary Committee's Intellectual
Property Subcommittee is scheduled to consider amendments to, and
vote on approval of  HR 2441, the "National Information Infrastructure
Act of 1995." Such approval, if given, would give an important boost to
passage of a legislative package heavily backed by -- and tilted in favor
of -- the movie, recording, and publishing industries (and other large
"content providers").  

[This was already supposed to have happened this week, but action on the 
bill has been postponed until the 22nd, and the alert's been updated 
accordingly.  This delay is lucky - the public gets another chance to 
save it's fair use rights. -]

If passed in its current form, the bill would:

*** make it a copyright violation to simply browse the Net without a
    license from copyright owners;

*** subject computer system operators -- such as on-line services and
    networks at schools and libraries -- to potentially crippling liability 
    for the copyright violations of their users

*** cripple "distance education" efforts especially vital to rural
    communities and the disabled; and

*** make it illegal to manufacture, import or distribute devices and
    software (including computers and VCRs) needed by industry, schools
    and libraries to make "fair use" of encrypted information - overruling
    long-standing Supreme Court precedent.

information below)!!!  Tell them that:

** These issues, and the healthy development of the Net are of critical
   concern to you, AND

** The May 22 meeting of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee is *too
   soon*.  Congress should take the time needed to understand and
   adequately deal with *all* of the complicated issues raised by HR
   2441 before it takes action.

For more information about the bill, the dangers it poses and the
constructive solutions offered, please see the DIGITAL FUTURE
COALITION Website at

Please get your faxes and calls to the following members of Congress,
especially those Members who represent you, NO LATER THAN
Tuesday, May 21:

(all letters go to the address + Washington, DC 20515)
Member   home city  address  phone  fax

Carlos Moorhead         Glendale, CA    2346 RHOB    225-4176        226-1279
F. James Sensenbrenner  Brookfield, WI  2332 RHOB    225-5101        225-3190
George Gekas    Harrisburg, PA  2410 RHOB    225-4315        225-8440
Howard Coble    Asheboro, NC    403 CHOB    225-3065        225-8611
Elton Gallegly  Oxnard, CA      2441 RHOB    225-5811        225-1100
Charles Canady  Lakeland, FL    1222 LHOB    225-1252        225-2279
Bob Goodlatte   Roanoke, NC     123 CHOB    225-5431        225-9681
Martin Hoke     Fariview Park, OH       212 CHOB    225-5871        226-0994
Sonny Bono      Palm Springs, CA        512 CHOB    225-5330        225-2961
John Conyers, Jr.       Detroit, MI     2426 RHOB    225-5126        225-0072
Patricia Schroeder      Denver, CO      2307 RHOB    225-4431        225-5842
Howard Berman	Mission Hills, CA       2231 RHOB    225-4695        225-5279
Rick Boucher    Abingdon, VA    2245 RHOB    225-3861        225-0442
Jerry Nadler    New York, NY    109 CHOB    225-5635        225-6923
Xavier Becerra  Los Angeles, CA 1119 LHOB    225-6235        225-2202

************************Suggested Letter******************************


The Honorable {name}
United States House of Representative
__#__ ____ Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative__________:

     I am writing today to ask that you do everything in your power to
assure that no action is taken by the House Subcommittee on Intellectual 
Property on the "NII Copyright Protection Act of 1995" (HR 2441) until a 
broad consensus can be reached on how to resolve a number of issues of 
critical mportance to me and, in my view, the future of the Internet.  As I
understand it, this bill in its current form, would seriously undermine the
ability of businesses, inventors, schools and librraies to make full use 
of the Internet's great potential.  Specifically, H.R. 2441 would :

* make it a copyright violation to simply browse the Net without a license
from copyright owners;

* subject computer system operators -- such as on-line services and
networks at schools and libraries -- to potentially crippling liability 
for the copyright violations of their users, even if the operator has no 
knowledge of such violations;

* thwart "distance education" efforts especially vital to rural communities
and the disabled; and

* make it illegal to manufacture, import or distribute devices and
software (including computers and VCRs) needed by industry, schools and 
libraries to make "fair use" of encrypted information by overruling 
long-standing Supreme Court precedent.

     Please don't allow the fears of major copyright owning industries to
cripple the Internet for the rest of America.  I urge you and other 
members of the House Judiciary Committee to take the time necessary to 
understand and thoroughly debate all of the proposed amendments to H.R.
2441, including those proposed by the Digital Future Coalition.

     Thank you very much for helping make the most of new technology
and the Internet to bring the benefits of information technology to all 
Americans, and especially those in [INSERT THE NAME OF THE DISTRICT/CITY].


 *************************Press Release***********************************

...promoting "Progress in Science and useful Arts"

Contact: Ephraim Cohen
Digital Future Coalition
(202) 628-6048


Digital Future Coalition Says Amendments Needed
to Balance NII copyright protection act of 1995

Washington, DC, May 7, 1996 --  Calling for Congress to ensure that
cyberspace copyright law remains appropriately balanced between the
interests of copyright holders and users of copyrighted material, a
Digital Future Coalition (DFC) spokesman today outlined a seven-point
package of amendments to S.1284, the NII Copyright Protection Act of
1995.  The changes were recommended during hearings on the Clinton
Administration's proposal before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch(R. Utah) and Patrick Leahy(D.
Vermont), S.1284 is based on recommendations made by the Working
Group on Intellectual Property Rights after two years of study of
consumers' use of copyrighted works on the Internet.

DFC Spokesman Robert L. Oakley,  Professor of Intellectual Property
Law, Director of the Georgetown Center Law Library and Washington
Affairs Representative for the American Association of Law Libraries,
told the committee, " Congress now has a golden opportunity (and a
 responsibility) to bring all of the critical precepts at the core of
copyright law into the digital future together and in balance."

DFC recommended several clarifications to S.1284 to ensure that the
nature and scope of the Fair Use Doctrine would be made clear in the
legislation, that there would not be overbroad restrictions on the
manufacture of devices and systems needed to make fair use rights
real, and that commercial and non-commercial use of the NII and GII
would not be "dramatically chilled by the potential for crippling  
legislation and liability."  It also offered new provisions on the Fair 
Use and First Sale doctrines and recommended that Section 1201, regarding
"Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems" be stricken from the

To "better assure that the critical balance in the copyright law is
maintained," the DFC's seven-point proposal included new provisions to:

*       Make clear that RAM and other "ephemeral" reproductions are
        not "copies" within the meaning of the bill

*       Clarify that the Fair Use  doctrine applies to the transmission of
        copyrighted works

*       Maximize libraries' ability to preserve the nation's cultural and
        scholarly  heritage

*       Affirm that the "First Sale" doctrine applies to digital copies
        lawfully acquired by electronic transmission to the same extent 
        that it applies to physical analog copies

*       Assure that the public is not deprived of advances in "distance
        education" for  elementary, secondary and higher education

*       Adopt product-specific, industry developed solutions to
        questions of reproduction of intellectual property, and abandon the
        current anti-technology approach

*       Focus criminal prosecutions only on actions with the intent to 
        infringe copyright, and study carefully the potential for 
        compromising network users' privacy imposed by "copyright 
        management information" systems

Oakley said the imbalance of copyright protection included in S.1284,
"not only threatens consumer interests and to inhibit or preclude the
emergence of new business models in cyberspace, but also promises to 
retard the very 'Progress in Science and the useful Arts' that led the 
Framers of the Constitution to grant Congress the power to award 
copyrights over two centuries ago."

The Digital Future Coalition has a membership from both the public and
private sectors which  together represents a combined membership of
more than 2.2 million individuals, corporations and organizations with
direct  interests in the continued growth and development of the National
Information Infrastructure.  The members of the DFC are committed to
supporting proposals which promote innovation in the information and
technology industries, personal privacy in electronic communication, and
public access to information resources, as well as appropriate
protection for copyrighted content in the digital environment.



Subject: House Members Demand an End to "Key Escrow" and Crypto Export Regs

                                                 1550 Bryant St., Ste. 725
May 17, 1996                                    San Francisco CA 94103 USA
                                 +1 415 436 9333 (v) * +1 415 436 9993 (f)

 Lori Fena, Executive Dir. * * +1 415 436 9333
 Shari Steele, Counsel (legal queries) * * +1 301 375 8856
 John Gilmore, Co-Founder (technical queries) *

EFF commends a diverse group of twenty-seven U.S. Representatives
who on Wednesday signed and sent a letter to President Clinton, urging
the Administration to abandon "key escrow" schemes and immediately
liberalize export controls on encryption programs and products. (A copy of
the letter is appended to this press release.)

The old Cold War model of regulating encryption as a "munition" is obsolete
in a world where electronic security and privacy affect everyone's daily

Increased Congressional interest in this issue underscores EFF's position
that encryption "key escrow" systems fail to serve the interests of
individuals and businesses.  Problems with "key escrow" include:

* inadequate security from unauthorized eavesdropping on personal &
  commercial electronic communications;

* annual losses of billions of U.S. dollars to industrial espionage and 
  online fraud;

* harm to U.S. software providers, who cannot compete in
  the global market for security products with the insecure "key
  escrow" offerings the Administration has pushed; and

* overly-broad extensions to law enforcement and intelligence 
  surveillance authority, with alarming accountability loopholes

EFF believes that the deregulation of encryption is necessary to
facilitate private communications as well as the expansion of U.S.
commerce to online channels and international markets.  Encryption is
the envelope for the digital age.

Several of the signatories, including Representatives Robert Goodlatte and
Anna Eshoo, have either introduced or expressed support for recent House
legislation which would ease the current restrictive controls on encryption
export, and which takes steps to prevent the creation of a mandatory
"key escrow" system (in which all users' private encryption keys are
held by third parties for the convenience of government agents.)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a non-profit civil liberties
organization working in the public interest to protect privacy, free
expression, and access to public resources and information in new media.

Internet Security Day:  EFF, CDT and over 25 other organizations will hold
a day-long educational event in California's Silicon Valley in July. The
"Internet Security Day" will bring together industry leaders, members of
Congress, encryption experts and others to discuss the need to reform U.S.
encryption policy. Similar events, to be held throughout the U.S. and on
the Net, are also being planned. Other sponsors of the event include
Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW), Americans for Tax Reform, AT&T,
Pacific Telesis, America On-Line, Netscape, the Business Software
Alliance, the Software Publishers Association, and several others. 

The Golden Key Campaign:  EFF and other civil liberties groups ask that a
key-and-envelope logo be displayed to show support for the essential
human right of privacy. This fundamental building block of free society
has been affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the constitutions and laws
of many countries, and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. Both the key
and the envelope symbolize historic means for communicating privately
and protecting personal and commercial information. Today, only encryption 
tools can provide this privacy in the electronic world.

                       Web Sites for More Information

Golden Key Campaign:

The US encryption policy debate:

Privacy & encryption--technical & legal issues:



             Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515

May 15, 1996

The Honorable William J. Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

   We are writing to ask you not to proceed with your Administration's key
escrow encryption policy proposal and instead to immediately liberalize
export controls on non-key escrow encryption programs and products.

   Many of us have sponsored H.R. 3011, the "Security and Freedom
Though Encryption (SAFE) Act" which would ensure the continued
ability of Americans to use and sell good encryption and would permit
the export of generally available software with encryption capabilities
and other such software and hardware under license when certain
conditions are met.  We understand that the Administration has developed
a key escrow encryption proposal and is not at this time willing to ease
export restrictions on encryption programs and products which are widely
available from domestic and foreign companies and the Internet.

   We share the concerns of a wide range of businesses and privacy interests
that a key escrow approach will not adequately address security concerns.
The ability of companies and individuals to ensure that the information they
send over communications and computer networks is secure is a prerequisite
to exploiting the potential of the Global Information Infrastructure.  For
example, U.S. small businesses are beginning to harness the Internet to enter
foreign markets.  The Internet in effect lowers the barriers to entry for
these companies.  But they will not be able to rely on the Internet if their
information is not secure.

   We also have serious concerns about the impact of the Administration's
policy on the U.S. economy and job creation.  (Indeed, it is our strong
belief the U.S. economic interests must be a primary consideration in
encryption policy discussions with other countries, the OECD, and in
other forums.  It is not clear that this has been the case in the
discussions held up to this point).

   A recent report entitled "A Study of the International Market for
Computer Software With Encryption" prepared by the U.S. Department of
Commerce and the National Security Agency indicated that U.S. companies
will lose market share given the availability of stronger encryption
products overseas.  The Computer Systems Policy Project estimates that
unless the U.S.  relaxes out-of-date export controls, the U.S.
technology industry will lose $60 billion in revenues and 200,000 jobs by
the year 2000.
   As Congress begins to consider H.R. 3011 we would greatly appreciate 
knowing whether the Administration plans to publish a final rule 
implementing a key escrow encryption proposal or, alternatively, will 
relax export controls on encryption programs and products which do not 
have a key escrow feature.


Tom Campbell          Bob Goodlatte
Anna Eshoo            Eliot Engel
Zoe Lofgren           Bob Barr
Carlos Moorhead       Patricia Schroeder
Barney Frank          Sam Gejdenson
Howard Coble          Rick Boucher
Fred Heineman         Sonny Bono
Vernon Ehlers         Randy Cunningham
Charlie Norwood       Randy Tate
Donald Manzullo       Helen Chenoweth
Thomas Davis          Roscoe Bartlett
Sam Farr              Ken Calvert
Linda Smith           Joseph Moakley
Lynn Woolsey

[end letter]

The text of Rep. Goodlatte's press release is available online at:
(along with a copy of the letter for convenient redistribution).


Subject: NewsNybbles

* Georgia Online Trademark Law Passed - CORRECTION

Last issue ye editor mis-reported:
 "A new bill to repeal this law has been introduced in the state 
 legislature. (No online text available as of yet)."

This should have read:

 "A new bill to repeal this law has been drafted in the state
  legislature. (No online text available as of yet)."

The Georgia legislature is in recess, and so this bill has not of course 
been introduced yet, and only exists in draft form. (Incidentally this 
also probably means that the text will not be available until the 
legislature is back in session and the bill is actually introduced, in 1997.)


Upcoming Events

This schedule lists EFF events, and those we feel might be of interest to
our members.  EFF events (those sponsored by us or featuring an EFF speaker)
are marked with a "*" instead of a "-" after the date.  Simlarly, government
events (such as deadlines for comments on reports or testimony submission,
or conferences at which government representatives are speaking) are marked
with "!" in place of the "-" ("!?" means a govt. speaker may appear, but
we don't know for certain yet.)  And likewise, "+" in place of "-"
indicates a non-USA event.  If it's a foreign EFF event with govt. people,
it'll be "*!+" instead of "-".  You get the idea.

The latest version of the full EFF calendar is available from:

ftp:, /pub/EFF/calendar.eff
gopher:, 1/EFF, calendar.eff

May  20-
     21 ! Internet Privacy and Security Workshop, sponsored by the
          Privacy and Security Working Group of he Federal Networking Council
          and the Research Program on Communications Policy Center for
          Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development at Massachusetts
          Institute of Technology; Haystack Observatory, Boston, MA.
          Deadline for abstracts: April 14.
          Contact: Internet Security and Privacy Workshop c/o Joseph
           Reagle, Research Program on Communications Policy, MIT, One
           Amherst St. (E40-218), Cambridge, MA 02139
          Voice: +1 617 253 4138
          Fax: +1 617 253 7326

May  20-
     22 - The Digital Revolution: Assessing the Impact on Business,
          Education and Social Structures, and ASIS Annual Meeting; San
          Diego, CA. Notification of intent to submit a paper must be
          received by November 15, 1995. [NOTE! We've also seen the date
          given as May 18-22, so you should ask what the correct dates are.]

May  23 - HotWired Electronic Frontiers Forum; online event, 7pm PST
          "speak"ers will include Gary Chapman.
          Users can participate via either WWW or telnet.
          Telnet: 2428

May  28-
     31 - Harvard Conference on the Internet and Society, Harvard
          University, Cambridge, MA.
          Contact: +1 617 432 1NET

May  29-
     31 - 18th Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing:
          Assessing the Reality of New Markets and New Media; Minneapolis
          Hilton and Towers, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
          Contact: 303-422-3914
          Fax: 303-422-8894

May  30-
     31 - "Networked Information: Challenges and Solutions," sponsored by
          CAUSE and the Coalition for Networked Information, University of
          Pennsylvania, Phialdephia, PA.
          Contact: +1 303 939 0315


Subject: Quote of the Day

"There are forces at work that will, if unresisted, take from us our 
liberties. There always will be.  But at least in the United States, our 
rights are not so much stolen from us as they are simply lost by us.  The 
price of freedom is not only vigilance but also participation."
  - Phillip L. Dubois (attorney for Phil Zimmermann, author of the 
    controversial PGP encryption program), 1996

Find yourself wondering if your privacy and freedom of speech are safe 
when bills to censor the Internet are swimming about in a sea of of 
surveillance legislation and anti-terrorism hysteria?  Worried that in 
the rush to make us secure from ourselves that our government 
representatives may deprive us of our essential civil liberties? 
Concerned that legislative efforts nominally to "protect children" will 
actually censor all communications down to only content suitable for 
the playground?  Alarmed by commercial and religious organizations abusing
the judicial and legislative processes to stifle satire, dissent and 

Join EFF!

Even if you don't live in the U.S., the anti-Internet hysteria will soon 
be visiting a legislative body near you.  If it hasn't already.


Subject: What YOU Can Do

* The Communications Decency Act & Other Censorship Legislation

The Communications Decency Act and similar legislation pose serious 
threats to freedom of expression online, and to the livelihoods of system 
operators.  The legislation also undermines several crucial privacy 

Business/industry persons concerned should alert their corporate govt.
affairs office and/or legal counsel.  Everyone should write to their own
Representatives and Senators, letting them know that such abuses of 
public trust will not be tolerated, that legislators who vote against
your free speech rights will be voted against by you in the next elections.

Join in the Blue Ribbon Campaign - see


Support the EFF Cyberspace Legal Defense Fund:

For more information on what you can do to help stop this and other 
dangerous legislation, see:, /pub/Alerts/, 1/Alerts

If you do not have full internet access (e.g. WWW), send your request
for information to

censorious legislation is turning up at the US state and non-US 
national levels.  Don't let it sneak by you - or by the online activism 
community. Without locals on the look out, it's very difficult for the 
Net civil liberties community to keep track of what's happening locally 
as well as globally.

* New Crypto-Privacy Legislation

Urge your Represenatitives to support the Pro-CODE crypto export bill 
(and to fix the few remaining bugs in it).  Join in the Golden Key Campaign!
for more info.

* Digital Telephony/Comms. Assistance to Law Enforcement Act

The FBI has been seeking both funding for the DT/CALEA wiretapping 
provisions, and preparing to require that staggering numbers of citizens be 
simultaneously wiretappable.  

To oppose the funding, write to your own Senators and Representatives 
urging them to vote against any appropriations for wiretapping. 

We are aware of no major action on this threat at present, but keep your
eyes peeled. It will be back.

* Anti-Terrorism Bills

Several bills threatening your privacy and free speech have been introduced
recently.  One passed, but none of the rest them are close to passage at 
this very moment - however, this status may change. Urge your 
Congresspersons to oppose these unconstitutional and Big-Brotherish 
bills, which threaten freedom of association, free press, free speech, 
and privacy. One such bill passed last week, stripped of most of the 
more onerous provisions. Keep it up. Write to your legislators: No secret 
trials and deportations, no expansion of wiretapping scope or authority, 
no national or "smart-card" ID systems!

For more information on some of this legislation, see

* The Anti-Electronic Racketeering Act

This bill is unlikely to pass in any form, being very poorly drafted, and 
without much support.  However, the CDA is just as bad and passed with 
flying colors [the jolly roger?] in Congress. It's better to be safe 
than sorry. If you have a few moments to spare, writing to, faxing, or 
calling your Congresspersons to urge opposition to this bill is a good 

* Medical Privacy Legislation

Several bills relating to medical privacy issues are floating in Congress 
right now. Urge your legislators to support only proposals that *truly* 
enhance the medical privacy of citizens.

More information on this legislation will be available at soon.  Bug to make 
it appear there faster. :)

* Find Out Who Your Congresspersons Are

Writing letters to, faxing, and phoning your representatives in Congress
is one very important strategy of activism, and an essential way of
making sure YOUR voice is heard on vital issues.

EFF has lists of the Senate and House with contact information, as well
as lists of Congressional committees. (A House list is included in this
issue of EFFector). These lists are available at:, /pub/Activism/Congress_cmtes/, 1/EFF/Issues/Activism/Congress_cmtes

The full Senate and House lists are senate.list and hr.list, respectively.
Those not in the U.S. should seek out similar information about their
own legislative bodies.  EFF will be happy to archive any such
information provided.

If you are having difficulty determining who your Representatives are,
try contacting your local League of Women Voters, who maintain a great 
deal of legislative information, or consult the free ZIPPER service
that matches Zip Codes to Congressional districts with about 85%
accuracy at:

Computer Currents Interactive has provided Congress contact info, sorted 
by who voted for and against the Communcations Decency Act:

* Join EFF!

You *know* privacy, freedom of speech and ability to make your voice heard
in government are important. You have probably participated in our online
campaigns and forums.  Have you become a member of EFF yet?  The best way to
protect your online rights is to be fully informed and to make your
opinions heard.  EFF members are informed and are making a difference.  Join
EFF today!

For EFF membership info, send queries to, or send any
message to for basic EFF info, and a membership form.



EFFector Online is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
1550 Bryant St., Suite 725
San Francisco CA 94103 USA
+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)
Membership & donations:
Legal services:
General EFF, legal, policy or online resources queries:

Editor: Stanton McCandlish, Online Activist, Webmaster (
Assoc. Editor: Ryan Thornburg, Communications Intern (

This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged.  Signed
articles do not necessarily represent the views of EFF.  To reproduce
signed articles individually, please contact the authors for their express
permission. Press releases and EFF announcements may be reproduced individ-
ually at will.

To subscribe to EFFector via email, send message body of "subscribe
effector-online" (without the "quotes") to, which will add
you to a subscription list for EFFector.

Back issues are available at:, /pub/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector/, 1/EFF/Newsletters/EFFector

To get the latest issue, send any message to (or, and it will be mailed to you automagically.  You can also get
the file "current" from the EFFector directory at the above sites at any 
time for a copy of the current issue.  HTML editions available at: 
at EFFweb.  HTML editions of the current issue sometimes take a day or 
longer to prepare after issue of the ASCII text version.


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