EFF in the News
Julie Samuels, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, did point out that Allen is taking an unusual approach. Usually, someone trying to enforce patents will go after smaller players who have fewer resources to defend themselves, to establish a record of settlements and licensing agreements to bolster their position against larger players.
In this case, Allen went after the biggest companies in the industry, who have legions of attorneys and plenty of money to wage a long fight.
"You typically don't sue Google and Facebook upfront like that," she said. "They've shown they're willing to fight these things. It's an interesting strategy. It seems like something else is going on. They did this in a very loud way."
"Well, it's not what I would have written," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's legal director. "I think the letters are much better than they were, but I don't think [DGW] has done a great job of explaining what is happening"...
When asked what people who find themselves accused by Voltage should do, Cohn advised them to go to EFF's site where they can find information about attorneys, many of whom charge a fee, but have experience in this field.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation made these two issues central to its own opposition to the US Copyright Group's methods. Appearing two months ago before Judge Rosemary Collyer, EFF's Corynne McSherry argued that both jurisdiction and joinder were improper in cases that lumped thousands of accused file-swappers into a single lawsuit.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has received “several dozen” inquiries from Righthaven defendants seeking legal representation, said Eva Galperin, the EFF’s referral coordinator.
“We’re up to our armpits in Righthaven defendants,” she said in a telephone interview.
"Wouldn't it have been nice if that photo service had stripped the data from your friend's photos?" said Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Or if they'd asked her, 'Are you sure you want this published?' first. Unfortunately, there aren't any easy answers for consumers right now."
A better solution is to clean up the certificate authority lists and revoke the rights of organizations who could abuse it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, where I used to work, recently published an open letter to Verizon asking them to consider publicly revoking the certificate authority that the company granted Etisalat. But that still leaves the hundreds of other certificate authorities that could turn rogue and start spying on the Web's secure systems.
The digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said this week that it's seeking to help bloggers and other defendants who are being sued by the copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven.
When Righthaven finds such material from a client, it acquires rights to the material and sues the online publisher that used it. Faced with substantial Copyright Act damages, defendants often settle for lower amounts. The EFF's announcement states that the "lawsuits are of particular concern because they sometimes target the operators of political websites who re-publish newspaper stories, chilling political speech."
"Location is a stream of information that is quite potent and quite personal and allows people to get a real read on your life," said Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco. "The question people should ask themselves is, is that something they want to do?"