Privacy - the disappearing web

Electronic Frontier Foundation Bulletin:

EFFector     Vol. 15, No. 31      October 3, 2002      ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation-ISSN 1062-9424

In the 230th Issue of EFFector:

* Hollywood Slams Electronic Frontier Foundation
* Electronic Frontier Foundation Supports Digital Fair Use Bills
* Internet Community Supports Verizon's User Privacy Defense
* FISA Appeals Court Accepts Amicus Brief from Civil Liberties
* EFF Supports ACLU Effort to Protect Anonymity of Online Speech in
  Landmark Case
* Deep Links: So Scary It's Funny: Ed Felten's "Fritz's Hit-List"
* Administrivia

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* Hollywood Slams Electronic Frontier Foundation

Tries to Limit Legal Representation in ReplayTV Case

Los Angeles - Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorneys
yesterday rejected an attempt by Hollywood entertainment companies to
prevent access to critical court documents in a case involving the
rights of five ReplayTV owners.

Craig Newmark of craigslist.org, and four other ReplayTV customers,
are suing the companies to clarify their rights to record television
programs and to skip commercials using digital video recorders
(DVRs). Hollywood representatives have publicly stated that skipping
commercials is "stealing."

The current dispute arises from the entertainment companies' attempt
to deny the ReplayTV owners effective representation from EFF, their
chosen counsel.

The entertainment companies are seeking a broad court order
prohibiting EFF attorneys from reviewing -- or using in any way
during the case -- the vast majority of the documents the court has
ordered the companies to provide as part of the usual legal discovery
process. The companies claim that EFF is a "competitor" with
Hollywood because of public statements about copyright law policy and
advocacy to Congress on pending and current technology legislation,
including the proposed Consumer Broadband Digital Television
Promotion Act.

"If EFF's advocacy on behalf of consumers hurts Hollywood, it's only
because it convinces Congress and the public not to pass laws that
Hollywood favors," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "This is about
the marketplace of ideas, not commercial competition."

"Apart from the obvious harm this ruling would have on the five
ReplayTV owners in this case, a rash decision here could have much
broader consequences," noted EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "If the
court restricts EFF's representation in this case on the basis of its
other speech activities, the court will set a disturbing precedent
that could apply to other public interest law organizations and even
to commercial attorneys who speak to the press and Congress about the
issues involved in their cases."

The court hearing on the request is scheduled for 9:00am PDT on
October 15, 2002, before Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick in the
Central District of California, Court Room 20, 3rd Floor, 312 N.
Spring Street, Los Angeles.

For this release:

Most recent court filing in Newmark v. Turner case:

Other documents related to Newmark v. Turner case:

Location of Newmark v. Turner court hearing:

For more information on the entertainment industry's suit:

EFF Fair Use FAQ:


* Electronic Frontier Foundation Supports Digital Media Bills

Legislation Balances Copyright Owner and Consumer Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) supports new
legislation from Rep. Rick Boucher and Rep. Zoe Lofgren regarding
copyright issues in the digital realm.

Here are specific statements from EFF related to the newly proposed

On Boucher's bill:
EFF strongly supports Rep. Boucher's Digital Media Consumers' Rights
Act of 2002.

The bill's CD labeling provisions will make certain that consumers
know what they are getting when they buy music CDs. If record labels
choose to sell "copy protected" CDs that offer consumers less for
their money than the CDs they are accustomed to, these dysfunctional
CDs should, at a minimum, be prominently labeled.

The bill also amends the DMCA to make it clear that technological
protections should not trump the public's traditional fair use rights
under copyright law. Since the DMCA's passage in 1998, it has been
used not against copyright pirates, but instead to chill the
legitimate activities of scientists, journalists, and computer
programmers. Rep. Boucher's bill will go a long way toward restoring
in the digital world the traditional balance between the rights of
the public and those of copyright owners.

EFF strongly supports the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act of 2002
and will encourage its 7,000+ members, as well as the 27,000
supporters who receive its weekly newsletter, to support it as well.

On Lofgren's bill:
"EFF welcomes Rep. Lofgren's bill as an important step toward
creating a fair and balanced copyright law for the digital age."

For this release:

For more information on the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act:

Press release from Rep. Lofgren on "Digital Choice and Freedom Act of
2002" (H.R. 5522):


* Internet Community Supports Verizon's User Privacy Defense

Recording Industry Tries to Subvert Online User Rights

Washington, D.C. - The Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) recently tried to subvert the legal process and trounce on the
privacy rights of Internet users by invoking an invalid subpoena on
an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The subpoena sought to turn over
user information of an individual allegedly engaged in peer-to-peer
(P2P) file sharing. The ISP - Verizon Online - refused to comply with
the subpoena and the RIAA recently sued to enforce the subpoena.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed the first amicus brief
in the matter in defense of the privacy of Internet users. Other
industry and consumer groups followed suit.

On Friday, Oct. 4, oral arguments will be heard at 9:30 AM at
Courtroom 21 (4th Floor) in the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia. Members of the Internet user community and
providers of Internet service, including parties who filed briefs in
the case, will present their views on what will be the first case of
its kind in this exclusive briefing. This case is about personal
privacy, but it also raises important First Amendment and due process
issues affecting all Internet users.

For this advisory:


* FISA Appeals Court Accepts Amicus Brief from Civil Liberties

Washington, D.C. - The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of
Review recently accepted a brief of amicus curae submitted by a
coalition of civil liberties organizations, including EFF. This is
the first time that a case has been appealed from the lower Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in the quarter-century since
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act established both courts.
Until the brief was accepted, it was unclear who would be arguing
against the Department of Justice in favor of citizens' rights.

The case began in May after the mysterious Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court (FISC), which hears all FISA wiretap requests in
secret, rejected a DOJ proposal to allow FISA to be used for criminal
investigations and to allow prosecutors to direct and control FISA
surveillance. Instead, the FISC modified the DOJ proposal, reciting a
history of government abuse that included serious errors in at least
75 cases.

The ACLU-led coalition includes EFF, the Center for Democracy and
Technology, the Center for National Security Studies, the Electronic
Privacy Information Center, and the Open Society Institute.


* EFF Supports ACLU Effort to Protect Anonymity of Online Speech in
Landmark Case

EFF joined Public Citizen and the Electronic Privacy Information
Center in an amicus brief supporting the ACLU's appeal in a libel
case brought by Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin.
The target of the claim is an unnamed AOL user who criticized Melvin
about three years ago for allegedly lobbying the governor over a
judicial appointment. The first "Doe" case to reach a state's highest
court, Melvin v. Doe is of special interest because it involves
public criticism of a public official, a core concern of the First
Amendment. The ACLU is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to
require people who bring defamation lawsuits to prove they have
suffered actual economic harm before they can learn their critics'
identities. The trial court ordered AOL to reveal Doe's identity, but
no disclosure will occur before the appeal is reviewed.

Online anonymity has come under much pressure from "Doe" lawsuits
recently. AOL, which also submitted an amicus brief, said that it had
handled about 432 "Doe" subpoenas in 2001. Paul Levy of Public
Citizen wrote the brief on behalf of Public Citizen, EFF, and EPIC.

The ACLU's legal brief is online at:

The AOL legal brief is available on the ACLU website at:

The Public Citizen legal brief is available online at:


* Deep Links
Deep Links features noteworthy news items, victories, and threats
from around the Internet.

So Scary It's Funny: Ed Felten's Fritz Hit-List
Professor Ed Felten on the unintended consequences of Sen. Hollings'

Record Companies Pay States Millions to Settle Antitrust Case
A battle over cd price-fixing ends with record companies paying over
$67 million in refunds to consumers.

Liquid Audio Sells Patents, Including DRM for Music, to Microsoft
Software company Liquid Audio sells Microsoft its patent porfolio,
complete with DRM schemes for digital music.

Profits from Piracy
Interesting piece on Microsoft's decision to reduce pressure on
Chinese piracy as a business tactic.

RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music
The Onion makes us cry from laughing so hard.


* Administrivia

EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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+1 415 436 9333 (voice)
+1 415 436 9993 (fax)

Ren Bucholz, Activist

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