EFF in the News
When Facebook was incorporated five years ago, it was a “private space for communication with a group of your choice,” writes Kurt Opsahl, senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public.
Viacom accused Google and YouTube in March 2007 of encouraging copyright infringement and now much of the film industry is telling the judge that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions don't protect YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006, from responsibility for the infringement on the site.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Library Association filed their own amicus documents on behalf of Google, which on Tuesday defended its legal position.
Nonetheless, critics such as privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) say Facebook makes it hard for users to restrict the information they share.
Luckily, the people over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation made a video (see below) about completely opting out of this feature (a four-step process) because Facebook just wasn't going to make this easy.
If you ever wanted a one stop shop for false DMCA takedowns, YouTube has no shortage of these. We previously covered YouTube in our previous edition of False Accusations and YouTube is once again being mentioned in this edition.
The page located on EFF details 19 cases of false DMCA takedowns. The cases show perfect examples how tight copyright laws can have a negative impact on free speech. We don’t mean, “I uploaded this feature length film, it’s free speech” but rather, “I produced this clip and someone didn’t like it, so they use copyright to take down my video!”
Certainly, the fact that Apple has a reputation for a relationship with its developers that’s dismissive and autocratic is nothing new. In March, the Electronic Frontier Foundation posted the “iPhone Developer Program License Agreement,” a document that Apple would prefer you didn’t know too much about. The EFF obtained a copy of the agreement by filing a Freedom of Information Act request to NASA, which had created an iPhone app.
In her analysis of the draft Gwen Hinze of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote it would "facilitat[e] an ISP practice of Internet user disconnection on the basis of copyright holder allegations of copyright infringement."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opshal takes us on a quick tour of Facebook’s eroding privacy protections over the years. It starts at 2005, when “thefacebook.com” would only display your personal information to other members of the groups you belonged to, to this year’s all-you-can-eat information buffet, where Facebook prohibits you from make some information private and by default shares your data with third-party Websites unless you tell it specifically not to.
Privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Watchdog, and the Center for Digital Democracy say the bill's enforcement provisions are too weak. Internet companies and the groups that represent them, on the other hand, say the legislation will kill the Internet econcomy.
"Consumers should not have to sit idly by when the devices they have purchased are retroactively downgraded without their consent. We look forward to seeing how this lawsuit turns out," the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group, said in a statement.