EFF in the News
Google stands to be the single repository for millions of the world's books. Advocates applaud the organization and the access a digital library can afford. But critics worry about monopoly and profit motives, and what it means for readers' privacy. (With EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann.)
Danny O'Brien over at the EFF has the details on how the entertainment industry is attempting to push through an attempt to DRM TV in the UK. It's not quite a "broadcast flag," but close enough.
Companies such as YouTube and Veoh have filtering technologies in place that help keep infringing materials off the site, and Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has always said there isn't any way for such services to determine what content is infringing and what isn't. The copyright owners, according to EFF, are in the best position to do that.
The EFF's Fred von Lohmann believes the Viacom-YouTube judge may very well be influenced by the decision. "[T]his ruling could prove to be influential on the judge in the YouTube case, since Veoh's policies are very similar to YouTube's," von Lohmann told Ars. "The ruling further cements a number of earlier rulings that have insisted that the burden of policing user-generated content for copyright infringements falls to the copyright owner, not to the video hosting provider."
YouTube and Google could be the big winner in all of this, said Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Viacom accused YouTube of infringing its copyright in a lawsuit filed in March 2007.
"Veoh's policies are very similar to YouTube's," von Lohmann said. "The judge gave Veoh a clean bill of health. I think the court in New York (where the Viacom-YouTube case is being heard) is going to take this ruling very seriously. The facts are very, very close."
Online anonymity is "a speed bump that's relatively easy to clear for people with legitimate causes of action," said Matt Zimmerman, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“This is an important point that people haven’t grasped,” said Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “If you have any hacker who is competent and spends the time and targets you, he’s going to get you.”
"The vast majority of tweets are likely to be too short and lacking in creativity to qualify for copyright," said Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an e-mail. "So they are not 'owned' by anyone, much like your idle chatter while walking down the street isn't 'owned' by anyone."
However, if schools really are interested in educating kids about copyright, why not use a non-industry curriculum, like the one put together by the EFF, called Teaching Copyright.
The brief says the policy "fails to safeguard reader privacy."