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EFF Press Release Archives

Press Releases: June 2003

June 30, 2003

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled against Madster (formerly known as Aimster).

"Just as the inventors of the photocopier and the VCR, today's innovators should be free to produce useful products without fear of being sued simply because some people may misuse their products to commit copyright infringement ," said EFF staff attorney Jason Schultz. "By narrowing the landmark Supreme Court ruling in the Sony Betamax case, this decision will chill technology developers of all stripes."

June 30, 2003

Urges 60 Million Music Lovers in U.S. to Demand Legal Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
today launched a "Let the Music Play" campaign urging the
more than 60 million U.S. citizens who use file-sharing
software to demand changes in copyright law to get artists
paid and make file-sharing legal.

The EFF Let the Music Play campaign counters the Recording
Industry Association of America's (RIAA) announcement that
it will file thousands of lawsuits against individuals who
use file-sharing software like Kazaa, Grokster, and
Morpheus.

"Copyright law is out of step with the views of the
American public and the reality of music distribution
online," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "Rather
than trying to sue people into submission, we need to find
a better alternative that gets artists paid while making
file sharing legal."

EFF's Let the Music Play campaign provides alternatives to
the RIAA's litigation barrage, details EFF's efforts to
defend peer-to-peer file sharing, and makes it easy for
individuals to write members of Congress. EFF will also
place advertisements about the "Let the Music Play" campaign in
magazines such as Spin, Blender, Computer Gaming World, and
PC Gamer.

"Today, more U.S. citizens use file-sharing software than
voted for President Bush," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney
Fred von Lohmann. "Congress needs to spend less time
listening to record industry lobbyists and more time
listening to the more than 60 million Americans who use
file-sharing software today."

According to online media analyst Big Champagne, more than
60 million Americans are using file-sharing software.

Links:

Contact:

Shari Steele
  Executive Director
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  ssteele@eff.org
  +1 415 436-9333 x103

Fred von Lohmann
  Senior Intellectual Property Attorney

  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  fred@eff.org
  +1 415 436-9333 x123 (office)

June 25, 2003

EFF responds to today's announcement by the RIAA that it will begin gathering evidence that will be used to sue individuals who use file-sharing software:

"It's plain that the dinosaurs of the recording industry have completely lost touch with reality," said Fred von Lohmann, EFF senior staff attorney. "At a time when more Americans are using file-sharing software than voted for President Bush, more lawsuits are simply not the answer. It's time to get artists paid and make file-sharing legal. EFF calls on Congress to hold hearings immediately on alternatives to the RIAA's litigation campaign against the American public."

June 18, 2003

Senator Orrin Hatch proposed yesterday that entertainment companies be entitled to destroy people's computers after two warnings of copyright infringement, according to press reports. "This is an entirely unreasonable proposal, tantamount to a debt collector sending you two warnings that your car payment is late and then claiming that he is entitled to burn down your garage," said EFF staff attorney Gwen Hinze.

June 18, 2003

Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Consumer Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked a federal court to rule that people have the right to use technology to skip scenes or mute language they find disturbing while viewing movies they have obtained lawfully.

The case, entitled Huntsman v. Soderbergh, involves consumer use of software and hardware to skip scenes of sex and violence and to mute profanity on DVDs of films they have purchased.

"If I buy a DVD and want to use some software to skip or mute parts of a movie I'm watching at home with my family, I should be able to do so," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz.

EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case to counter the claim of the eight major Hollywood studios that technology vendors are creating a "derivative work" of movies by allowing consumers to use software and hardware to skip and mute movie scenes. Specifically, the brief points out that copyright owners should have no control over how people choose to watch movies in the privacy of their own homes.

"The Huntsman case doesn't affect the free speech or artistic license of movie directors and studios, since they already control public showings of their films under copyright law," said EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "The EFF brief urges the court to reject the Hollywood studios' lawsuit and preserve the public's right to control the viewing experience of films purchased for home use."
Links:

* EFF amicus brief in Huntsman v. Soderbergh case
* Huntsman v. Soderbergh case archive
* Video of debate on Huntsman v. Soderbergh case

Contact:

Jason Schultz
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
jason@eff.org
+1 415 436-9333 x112

Wendy Seltzer
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
wendy@eff.org
+1 415 436-9333 x125 (office)

June 10, 2003

EFF is disappointed with Digital Networks North America's decision to disable the Commercial Advance and Send Show features in new model 5500 ReplayTVs. "This is yet another example of Hollywood dictating what technologies consumers can and can't use" said EFF Attorney Gwen Hinze. "Consumers are the real losers from Digital Networks' business decision. They will now be forced to watch commercials and forgo the benefits of technological innovation to meet the concerns of the 28 Hollywood studios who have been suing ReplayTV for the last two years."

June 4, 2003

"RIAA's claim that it has an emergency need to violate the privacy of the two Verizon users is weak, especially since one of those users has already filed a declaration stating that he has disabled KaZaA entirely," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Once again, RIAA has shown that it is willing to sacrifice normal procedures and processes that protect Americans' privacy and constitutional rights to protect its business model. The over 60 million KaZaA users (more people than voted for our President) are sending a clear signal that the industry is failing to meet their needs."

June 2, 2003

EFF welcomes the Supreme Court's decision in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox, that the Lanham Act does not interfere with republication of uncopyrighted works. "The Supreme Court's unanimous decision recognized that the public should be free to reuse materials from the public domain," said EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "The public domain is an important part of the copyright bargain, and the Court properly refused to impose restrictions once copyright has expired." EFF joined an amicus brief supporting Dastar.

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