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Current Topic: Internet Civil Liberties

The Register: 198 small webcasters sue the RIAA for illegal practices in the CARP negotiation
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:34 am EDT, Aug 28, 2003

] The Webcaster Alliance alleges that this and an earlier
] agreement with Yahoo! "had the intent and effect of
] restraining competition in the market for domestically
] recorded sound recordings and in the market for the
] Internet distribution for such sound recordings."

This much is true, as the Library of Congress has found, and as Yahoo testified in Congress. There is probably enough meat here for a case. This is not "a publicity stunt." This is THE fundamental arguement that years of RIAA drama centers around. Will the future of music be determined by large, centralized interests, by a distributed network of independent entities, or by a combination of both. The RIAA would prefer that the second and third options be illegal.

The Register: 198 small webcasters sue the RIAA for illegal practices in the CARP negotiation

EFF: California Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech in DVD Case
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 10:58 am EDT, Aug 26, 2003

] "We are heartened that the court acknowledged that trade
] secret injunctions must be subject to a high level of
] First Amendment scrutiny," said David Greene, Executive
] Director of the First Amendment Project who argued the
] case on behalf of Bunner. "We are confident that, having
] looked at the facts, the Court of Appeal will remove the
] restriction on Bunner's right to republish publicly
] available information.

The EFF has a very different spin on the DVD case then the media's take.

EFF: California Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech in DVD Case

TWU - The Web Union [v3.0]
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 8:32 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2003

] TWU believes in freedom from frivolous (and automated!)
] lawsuits. In that spirit, we are presenting the
] following false list of "pirated software". NONE OF THIS
] SOFTWARE IS REAL. If you download it, you will find that
] the files merely contain an endless string of "zero
] bytes": Nothing at all. The sole purpose of this page is
] to attract automated lawsuits, and demonstrate how
] foolish the whole process of "e-Suing" is.

TWU - The Web Union [v3.0]

A good example of a bad DMCA subpoena
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:45 am EDT, Aug 12, 2003

] The short of it is, their DMCAbot(TM) found
] /distfiles/, picked out the
] words "Pac" and "Man", and is now threatening us under
] the DMCA for distributing a pirated version of Pacman.

In this case they simply asked that the material be taken down, but this is all that it takes to get someone's personal contact information.

A good example of a bad DMCA subpoena

The FBI's insidious CALEA strategy
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 11:36 am EDT, Aug 11, 2003

] FCC Chairman Michael Powell has indicated that he would
] like to move more Internet access services into the
] category of "information services," which have fewer
] regulations and likely would not be subject to CALEA.
] That alarms DSL providers such as EarthLink, which fear
] that deregulation means that former Baby Bells such as
] Verizon and BellSouth will raise their rates for access
] to the copper wire that runs to telephone subscribers'
] homes.

As CALEA was originally written, it would have required anyone building any kind of network to provide the FBI with access at the location of the FBI's choice. I.E. run a cable between two computers in your house, and you'll have to run a third cable to Kansas for the FBI. And, as originally written, you pick up the tab for it.

Well, the phone companies managed to get the feds to agree to pick up the tab, and the EFF managed to get the law to only apply to telecom services and not information services. Of, course, the EFF did this by agreeing to support the law if it only applied to telecom. This was the endorsement the FBI needed to get the law passed, and the internet community was very unhappy with this compromise. The result was that the EFF split in two. Part of it (the anti-compromise piece) retained the name EFF and moved to San Francisco (it was felt that actually living in Washington had corrupted them), the other part (pro-compromise) stayed in Washington and became known as the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).

Now, the impracticalities of connecting small computer networks to some sort of central monitoring center aside, when I, and I think most people, read the resulting compromise, it was clear that CALEA applied to POTS telephone service and that is all.

While it was inevitable that this would come up again, additional Congressional action is required. The way that they are attempting to avoid this oversight by confusing the issue with that of telecom competition is clearly dishonest, and I am very disappointed to see Earthlink, of all companies, gleefully jumping on the bandwagon.

The FBI's insidious CALEA strategy

Tennessee Digital Freedom Forum - Post Amendment, problems linger
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 10:51 pm EDT, Apr 24, 2003

My post on the Super DMCA after amendment. Registration Required.

Tennessee Digital Freedom Forum - Post Amendment, problems linger

TN Digital Freedom - Down With The TN Super-DMCA Bill
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 7:57 pm EDT, Apr 24, 2003

] We are a group of Tennesseans who are dedicated to
] preserving your online freedoms. We are specifically
] trying to counteract the new "Super-DMCA" legislation
] proposed by the MPAA. In TN, this legislation has
] been proposed through two bills, namely SB213, and HB457.
] Our organization has taken shape very (very) quickly,
] and there is still a lot to be done. We need your help
] if we are going to be able to fight this successfully!

TN Digital Freedom - Down With The TN Super-DMCA Bill

Slashdot | Princeton CS Prof Edward W. Felten (Almost) Live
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 2:04 pm EDT, Apr 17, 2003

] Geeks will look at proposed network regulation and
] immediately ask "How will this affect interoperability?"
] or "Is this consistent with the end-to-end principle?"
] but non-geeks will look at the same proposal and think of
] different questions. They know what interoperability is,
] but it's just not at the front of their minds.

Slashdot | Princeton CS Prof Edward W. Felten (Almost) Live

ACLU loses digital copyright battle | CNET
Topic: Internet Civil Liberties 10:37 am EDT, Apr 10, 2003

] "There is no plausibly protected constitutional interest
] that...outweighs N2H2's right to protect its copyrighted
] property from an invasive and destructive trespass," U.S.
] District Judge Richard Sterns wrote.

Reverse Engineering is illegal.
DMCA 1 Future of Humanity 0

ACLU loses digital copyright battle | CNET

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