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EFF Press Release Archives

Press Releases: February 2004

February 27, 2004

The California Court of Appeal Sixth Appellate District today overturned a 1999 injunction against Andrew Bunner that prohibited him from posting DeCSS DVD decryption computer code, because it found that the DVD-Copy Control Association did not present evidence that CSS was still a trade secret.

"We are thrilled that the Court of Appeal has recognized that the injunction restricting Mr. Bunner's freedom of speech is not justified," said Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "Today's Court ruling that there is no evidence that CSS was still a trade secret when Mr. Bunner posted DeCSS vindicates what we have long said DeCSS has been available on thousands of websites around the world for many years."

Related Issues:
February 24, 2004

Electronic Frontier Foundation Says Exclude Non-Commercial Infringement

San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
today asked concerned Europeans to contact Members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) prior to a March 8 vote on a
controversial proposed directive on Intellectual Property
Enforcement. EFF is asking Europeans to seek an amendment
that would limit application of the directive to intentional
commercial infringements of intellectual property rights.

"EFF is urging its members to ask their MEPs to seek an
amendment to the proposed European Intellectual Property
Enforcement directive because it does not distinguish
large-scale commercial infringement and counterfeiting
enterprises from unintentional, non-commercial infringement
by individuals," said EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "If the
European Parliament adopts this directive, a person who
unwittingly infringes copyright -- even if it has no effect
on the market -- could potentially have her assets seized,
bank accounts frozen, and home invaded."

An action alert available on the EFF website makes it
possible for Europeans to contact and voice their concerns
to key members of the European Parliament.

Links:

Contact:

Gwen Hinze
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

   gwen@eff.org

Related Issues:
February 19, 2004

1-800 Contacts Can't See the Big Picture

New York, NY - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday asked a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court decision involving the right to provide online advertisements during web browsing.

Online contact lens distributor 1-800 Contacts, Inc., won an initial trademark violation lawsuit against WhenU.com, Inc., in October 2002, claiming that WhenU.com's SaveNow software confused potential customers by generating ads related to the words and web addresses people enter into online search engines and web browsers. WhenU.com appealed the lower court's ruling in December 2003 explaining that its ads -- known as pop-ups, pop-unders, and other types -- are all generated in a manner that does not confuse web users.

"If I'm walking to my neighborhood drugstore to purchase contact lenses and on the way I see a pharmacy with lenses at half the price, I should be able to stop by and take a look at the competition before making my purchase," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "The lower court failed to consider common sense in making its decision to prevent WhenU from placing ads near other company's websites, and we believe the appeals court will recognize that competitive non-deceptive advertising online is not a violation of trademark law."

EFF filed an amicus brief in the case with the assistance of Professor Eric Goldman of Marquette University Law School.
Links:

* For the EFF amicus brief and more information on 1-800 Contacts v WhenU and other trademark cases

Contact:

Fred von Lohmann
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
fred@eff.org

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