EFF in the News
In a new report released Wednesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wonders aloud about the RIAA's litigation conflagration with questions like "Has the arbitrary singling out of nearly 30,000 random American families helped promote public respect for copyright law?" and "Have the lawsuits put the P2P genie back in the bottle or restored the record industry to its 1997 revenues?"
Unless the EFF has been infiltrated by a race of pod people and the current "Fred von Lohmann" is actually a soulless alien grown in some sort of spiny cocoon, the answer is guaranteed to be "no." Scratch that—according to the report, the answer is actually a "resounding" no.
Today (September 30) Yahoo is shutting down the DRM servers used in the Yahoo Music store. In a stand up move, the company is offering coupons or refunds to customers who find their songs unplayable after the shutdown. The action was praised by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was lobbying the company to delay the DRM shutdown.
In a statement, the EFF says: "Yahoo's decision sets a good precedent for when this problem inevitably arises again, vendors that sold DRM-crippled music must either continue supporting tech neither they or their customers like - as MSN Music chose to do - or take Yahoo's path and fairly compensate consumers with refunds."
The fate of technological innovation may once again be at stake in Arista v. LimeWire, the recording industry lawsuit that seeks to hold a technology company liable for the actions of its users. In an amicus brief submitted to the court, the EFF and a coalition of digital rights groups say that this case's outcome may be as important as the MGM v. Grokster case—perhaps even as important as the Sony Betamax ruling.
The House of Representatives on Sunday cleared the intellectual property enforcement bill that would create an "IP coordinator" position in the White House...
The measure has received wide support from the business community, including from groups like the Recording Industry Association of America and the AFL-CIO, but it is opposed by public interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge.
When Merlin Mann is on the go and needs to access his computer information he steps into the cloud...
Some are leery of cloud computing because it puts control of cherished data in the hands of companies that run the servers, raising questions about privacy and what happens when there are hardware or Internet problems. "You don't know where your data is really being stored," Danny O'Brien of the Internet rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
Jammie Thomas, who was ordered to pay $222,000 to a group of music labels for allegedly pirating songs using the Kazaa peer-to-peer service, has been granted a new trial...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had filed briefs in the case, supported the judge's ruling. "EFF applauds Chief Judge Davis's thorough rejection of the RIAA's effort to rewrite copyright law and thereby avoid the trouble of actually proving any infringement has occurred," Corynne McSherry wrote in a blog post. "And we wholeheartedly endorse the court's call to amend the Copyright Act's oppressive damages provisions."
Since 2007, in a "quiet" reversal of a two-decades-old policy, US customs officials have been able to read and copy personal documents of people -- including US citizens -- not suspected of wrongdoing that enter the United States, two civil rights organizations said Tuesday...
"Your laptop computer likely contains a massive amount of private information such as personal e-mails, financial data or confidential business records," said EFF lawyer Marcia Hofmann.
"The Department of Homeland Security has given its agents increasingly broad authority to search, copy, and store that information. Congress needs to step in now to stop these invasive practices and protect travelers," said Hofmann.
US cable provider Comcast has presented its long-term solution for managing broadband traffic...
"The new system appears to be a reasonable attempt at sharing limited bandwidth among groups of users," wrote EFF staff technologist Peter Eckersley.
"Comcast's objective here is still largely to prioritise non-peer-to-peer traffic above peer-to-peer traffic. But the criterion they use is the amount of data a cable modem sends during each 15 minute period, which is a much fairer rule than examining the traffic protocol."
The U.S. Department of Justice's current position on a law governing electronic storage raises questions about how it might prosecute the hacker who accessed Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)...
"We are pointing out the irony that the DOJ would take a position that would actually make it harder to prosecute somebody for accessing stored e-mail" without authorization, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the EFF who wrote the blog post.
Large Chicago law firm Jones Day is suing a tiny Internet startup called BlockShopper over the use of the humble hyperlink. But BlockShopper has picked up a pair of allies in the form of the EFF and Public Citizen, and the two groups jointly filed an amici curiae brief with the court that points out the obvious: "linking is what web sites do—that is, after all, why it is called the 'World Wide Web'."