EFF in the News
This moves us toward a world where contracts of adhesion strip consumers of a whole host of important rights," says Corynne McSherry, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "This conflicts with the spirit of [the Supreme Court’s decision in] Bobbs-Merrill. Bobbs-Merrill stands for the principle that there is a limit on copyright. The 9th Circuit panel essentially says Bobbs-Merrill is controlling precedent, but you can get around that with magic words."
As Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it:
"The documents that were released this week would not have been stopped by shutting down a website."
When it comes to device fingerprinting, “we have no convenient options for privacy,” said Peter Eckersley, staff scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group. “All the things we can do are inconvenient to the point of being really impractical.”
In a study this year, Mr. Eckersley found that about 91% of nearly 1 million computer users surveyed could be fingerprinted simply by visiting a website.
Typically, the standard in most civil cases is simply a "preponderance of the evidence" suggesting that the facts are mostly likely true, as EFF fellow Michael Barclay explained in a blog post yesterday.
When it comes to patents, however, a more stringent standard has been used, requiring that the defendant present "clear and convincing" evidence instead.
That more stringent standard "unfairly burdens patent defendants, especially in the free and open source software context," Barclay wrote. It also "undermines the traditional patent bargain between private patent owners and the public and threatens to impede innovation and the dissemination of knowledge."
EFF says that whether the claims by the adult-film companies are true or not, someone accused may feel forced to settle to avoid any questions about their sexual preferences. In addition, EFF also argued that the porn studios are wrong to include thousands of people into a single suit and to sue them in courts far from their homes. This is the same complaint that the group has with the litigation campaign started this year by independent film studios, including Voltage Pictures, makers of the Oscar-winning film, "The Hurt Locker."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is leaping to the defense of adult video aficionados who have found themselves targeted by what the group says is a concerted effort by copyright trolls to cash in on the natural reluctance of porn watchers to be publicly identified.
Happily, Townsend's account was reinstated this week after intervention from the Electronic Frontier Foundation convinced YouTube and the petitioners to reconsider their positions.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has updated its popular web browser security tool to guard against attacks waged by the Firesheep script-kiddie snoop kit.
EMI says the brief filed last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups supporting MP3tunes’s argument that it’s not responsible for what music its users store on its servers should be barred because it is “a pure advocacy piece, not a ‘friend of the court.’” Amicus curiae briefs are often filed by interest groups and the government in cases that could set major precedents, in order to illustrate the broader ramifications of the case.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the law "a reckless scheme that will undermine global Internet infrastructure and censor legitimate online speech."