Press Releases: December 2003
Evisa.com today won its appeal at the Ninth Circuit over whether its domain name diluted Visa's trademark for credit cards, keeping the word "visa" in the dictionary (and DNS servers) for now. "Visa is a generic word used throughout the world to describe foreign travel and was used long before it became a brand name for credit cards," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "The Court of Appeals wisely rejected Visa's attempt to monpolize use of the word 'visa' in a domain name without further proof of harm to Visa's business." EFF represented Evisa.com in its appeal along with Thomas Moore III of Tomlinson Zisko LLP.
For more information, see the EFF case archive.
In a victory for Verizon and the privacy of Internet users, the D.C. Circuit Court today dismissed the recording industry's subpoenas for user identities. (PDF opinion) The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed
nearly 3,000 subpoenas in Washington, D.C., as a prelude to
lawsuits against 382 alleged filesharers. The court today
ruled that those subpoenas are not authorized by the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act.
"Internet users are the winners in the Verizon case," said
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Wendy
Seltzer. "The effect of the appeals court decision is that
we do not lose our privacy simply by connecting to the
Internet. The ruling stops the record labels from taking our
free speech rights as collateral damage in the campaign
against the American music fan."
EFF filed an amicus brief supporting Verizon on behalf of 45
consumer, privacy, and Internet industry groups. (case archive)
"Allowing ordinary people to influence the rules that affect their lives through website 'action centers' is one of the best benefits of the technology revolution," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The Forest Service is right to listen to the opposition presented by a broad coalition of groups, led by EFF, and allow the public to continue to make its voice heard."
The Forest Service announced that it is abandoning its plan to reject public comments from online action centers and other "duplicative" sources. EFF led a coalition of 19 diverse organizations, including the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the League of Conservation Voters and the AFL-CIO, that objected to the proposed rule.
The RIAA announced yesterday that they have hired Bradley A. Buckles, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to head up their anti-piracy unit. "This is just another example of the RIAA's ongoing plan to treat American consumers like criminals instead of customers," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "If they really wanted to solve their file-sharing problems, the RIAA should have considered hiring someone with a business plan rather than a baton and a bulletproof vest."