EFF in the News
Apple has told the US Copyright Office that jailbreaking an iPhone should be illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA).
Apple's defense of its practice of locking down the iPhone to software and services provided only by itself and its partner AT&T came in response to petitions for DCMA exemptions that were proposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in December 2008.
Apple recently told the U.S. Copyright Office that it believes iPhone jailbreaking is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and infringes on its copyright, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The EFF is trying to get the Copyright Office to grant a DMCA exemption on behalf of iPhone owners who have chosen to jailbreak their iPhones, or bypass the restriction Apple places on standard iPhones that only allows the installation of applications from approved sources: the App Store. In its response to the Copyright Office, Apple disagreed that such an exemption was proper because the very act of jailbreaking the iPhone results in copyright infringement.
Apple has remained pretty quiet, on the whole, concerning the fact that people "jailbreak" their iPhones to allow them to run non-Apple-approved software on the devices (or to use them on other mobile carriers). However, in responding to an attempt by the EFF to get jailbreaking (and other phone unlocking efforts) declared clear of any potential copyright claims, Apple has now officially said they believe that jailbreaking the iPhone is infringing on their copyright. This is troubling for a number of reasons.
Last December, the Electronic Frontier Foundation proposed an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would make legal jailbreaking phones--the process of hacking phones to allow running third-party applications from other sources. Exemptions to the DMCA can be proposed to the Copyright Office every three years, and are valid for three years. In response, Apple has now filed a 27-page argument (PDF link) that jailbreaking should not be given an exemption.
In the lead-up to FTC "Town Hall" meetings on digital rights management, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a statement calling on the U.S. government to "mitigate the damage that digital rights management technologies cause consumers."
The world’s biggest record companies sued college students, a 12-year-old girl and a dead woman and still failed to stamp out music piracy. Now they’re turning to Internet service providers...
“There has been an international push by the rights holders to pursue a similar strategy across the world,” said Danny O’Brien, international outreach coordinator for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates expanded digital rights for consumers. “The end goal is the same: co-opt Internet service providers as copyright cops.”
Artist Shepard Fairey says that he has distributed more than 300,000 copies of his iconic poster of President Obama with the word "Hope" written underneath and that it has inspired countless other versions. Now, the 38-year-old Los Angeles street artist, who says he used an Associated Press photograph as a "visual reference" for his piece, is in the middle of a copyright battle that goes to the heart of how media is made, remixed and mashed up.
Given the notoriety of Fairey's iconic poster, "it is kind of the perfect storm," said Michael Kwun, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco digital advocacy organization. "It raises questions about what we as a culture and a legal society feel is proper."
At dawn on January 20, some of the earliest of millions of inauguration-goers stationed along Pennsylvania Avenue might have caught a glimpse of a truck—or three—backing up to the White House to take deliveries of history: calendars, disks, executive orders, hard drives, memos, notes, photographs, tapes, and any other records former President George W. Bush had not turned over to the United States National Archives and Records Administration by then...
“Increasingly there is a broad array of alternative modes of communication that all of us use in all aspects of our lives, and the concept of one e-mail account that’s used exclusively for one purpose is really starting to erode due to mobility and a variety of other factors,” says David Sobel, who litigates FOIA cases as a senior counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that seeks to protect civil liberties threatened by emerging technologies.
A rodeo association has agreed to pay $25,000 to an animal welfare group to settle a lawsuit over the improper removal of videos from YouTube that showed roped calves being dragged off to die and tasers being used on tame horses to get them to buck...
The group that posted them, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sued the rodeo group last summer. The group sued for misrepresentation, alleging that the videos could not have infringed any copyright because the rodeos themselves weren't copyrightable, the EFF said.
In a settlement announced today, a rodeo association has agreed to pay the animal rights group SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) $25,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed this summer in which SHARK accused the cowboys of abusing the takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to silence criticism...
The dispute resolution stipulations—which EFF's announcement describes as providing a "new model for handling takedown notices"—may actually be the most interesting aspect of the agreement.