Online Newsletter

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 25       August 15, 2002     ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 225th Issue of EFFector:

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Hollywood Tries to Skip Over Consumers' Concerns

Los Angeles - Judge Florence Cooper today granted five ReplayTV owners a voice in the court debate over their rights to record television programs and to skip commercials using digital video recorders (DVRs). The federal court denied the entertainment industry motion to dismiss the ReplayTV owners' lawsuit and agreed to combine the consumer lawsuit with an entertainment industry lawsuit filed last fall to ban ReplayTV DVRs.

"We're pleased the court has recognized that the debate about digital video recorders must include the customers who purchase and use the devices," said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Intellectual Property Attorney Robin Gross.

"[T]he issue of whether the Newmark Plaintiffs' use of the ReplayTV DVRs' send-show and commercial-skipping features constitutes fair use will most likely figure prominently in both the ReplayTV action and the Newmark action," wrote Judge Cooper in her opinion.

Responding to the entertainment industry's lawsuit against DVR manufacturers, EFF petitioned the court on behalf of the five ReplayTV owners to declare legal their use of the digital devices also known as personal video recorders (PVRs). EFF seeks to ensure that the legal debate over DVRs will include consumers' concerns along with those of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries.

The entertainment industry claims that commercial skipping infringes copyright and digital recording aids piracy.

"I'm not a crook if I skip commercials or share a news interview of myself with my mom using the SendShow feature rather than sending her a videotape," said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.org and a ReplayTV owner. "I shouldn't have to worry about getting prosecuted, but the Turner Broadcasting CEO tells us that taking a bathroom break is criminal. We even have Senators urging Attorney General Ashcroft to prosecute people who share files."

Along with Newmark, ReplayTV customers filing the lawsuit with legal representation by the EFF are: Keith Ogden, owner of a financial broker firm in San Francisco; Shawn Hughes, a small business owner in Georgia; Seattle journalist Glenn Fleishman; and southern Californian video engineer Phil Wright.


For this release:

Court order denying dismissal and combining the ReplayTV cases:

For more information on the ReplayTV customers' suit:

For more information on the entertainment industry's suit:

EFF Fair Use FAQ:

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Janis Ian Urges Artists Speak Out, Support Free Downloads

San Francisco - Grammy-winning songwriter and recording artist Janis Ian today challenged the music industry by celebrating peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing as a boon to musicians.

Ian, who is in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of her current concert tour, recently published "The Internet Debacle," a pointed critique of the music industry's disregard for musicians and consumers who want to distribute and acquire music online. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) applauds Ian's actions and hopes that others will see the Internet as an aid, not a threat, to musicians.

In the article, Ian assails the major record labels' argument that P2P file-sharing is harming artists.

"Free Internet downloads are good for the music industry and its artists," explains Ian. "Every act that can't get signed to a major, for whatever reason, can reach literally millions of new listeners, enticing them to buy the CD and come to the concerts."

She adds that during the heyday of Napster she saw a marked increase in CD sales from her website. She attacks technological and political measures meant to harm consumers by restricting their right to copy and back up their legally purchased music.

Ian will play on August 17 in San Rafael, CA.

During her 17 album career, Ian has earned nine Grammy nominations and three awards. Her best known songs include 1967's "Society's Child" and 1975's "At Seventeen." More recently, her 1993 album "Breaking Silence" was nominated for a Grammy Award as Contemporary Folk Album of the Year. Her songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Bette Midler to Cher, from Glen Campbell to Vanilla Fudge, and from Joan Baez to Etta James.


For this release:

Janis Ian's "Internet Debacle" article:

Janis Ian's follow-up article:

Janis Ian's tour information:

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Support Free Expression and See Barney-Wheaton Deathmatch

Thursday, August 22nd, 2002/ 9pm - afterhours

San Francisco - Join the hottest DJs of the electronic dance music scene, celebrity boxers, and the foremost cyberspace activists as we party to protect the future of music. The Electronic Frontier Foundation presents CAFE 2002 - a Benefit for EFF's Campaign for Audio-Visual Free Expression at 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 22nd, 2002 at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. Admission is on a sliding scale and begins at $10.

The night features world-class DJs, live acts, and producers from all parts of the fast-growing electronic music community and a special treat: celebrity boxing with Wil Wheaton and Barney the purple dinosaur! Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stand By Me fame, will take on Barney in a celebrity boxing matchup for the history books. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit EFF's CAFE project, helping to preserve your freedom to express yourself in innovative ways.

For more information, see:

Or contact:

Katina Bishop
Director of Education and Offline Activism
Electronic Frontier Foundation
415-436-9333 x101

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Did you love/hate him on Star Trek: The Next Generation? Did you laugh/cringe in sympathy at the leeches scene in Stand By Me? Need one last signature to round out your autograph collection of childhood movie stars?

Do we even need to ask how you feel about Barney the purple dinosaur?

RSVP quickly for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) VIP Party with Wil Wheaton immediately preceding CAFE 2002: a Benefit for EFF's Campaign for Audio-Visual Free Expression.

Join Wheaton and the foremost cyberspace activists for drinks in the upstairs room of the DNA Lounge, San Francisco's leading dance club. Enjoy free drinks, good company, and excellent music. Take the battle against Barney and his legal thugs into your own hands with a swing at EFF's ferocious Barney pinata.

Former technology entrepeneur and cypherpunk Sameer Parekh, now an electronic musician and event promoter, will play a mix of fresh minimal techno and electro for your aural edification.

All proceeds from the event will directly benefit EFF's CAFE project, helping to preserve your freedom to express yourself in innovative ways. Tickets are $50 (includes cost of CAFE 2002 and two drinks).

When: August 22, 2002 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The DNA Lounge 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

To reserve your ticket, contact:
Katina Bishop
EFF Education Director
415-436-9333 x101

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On September 5, 2002, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether a California court has jurisdiction over Matthew Pavlovich, an Indiana college student who is a resident of Texas, for his hosting of an Internet mailing list. Pavlovich maintained the mailing list for the LiVid programming group, which provides a unified development and user resource center for video and DVD-related work for the Linux operating system. One of the group's projects was to create a DVD player for computer systems that run Linux. As part of that effort, DeCSS, a program that decrypts the copy protection on DVDs, was published on the group's mailing list. The entertainment industry has sued Pavlovich in California court, and last year a California appellate court ruled Pavlovich was within the state court's jurisdiction since he published information that relates to the entertainment industry, which is based in California.

EFF and Pavlovich's legal team argue that Pavlovich is outside of California's jurisdiction since he was a college student in Indiana with no contacts to California when DeCSS was published on the LiVid list. The hearing on September 5 will take place in San Francisco.


For more info on the case:

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Deep Links
Deep Links is a new department in the EFFector featuring noteworthy news items, victories and threats from around the Internet.

Lawrence Lessig's Second-to-Last Speech on Copyright
Lawrence Lessig gave one of his last public speeches on copyright at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. He will be taking time off of the speaking circuit to prepare for the Eldred v. Archroft case, which he is arguing before the Supreme Court this fall. Copies of the speech are available in many formats here:

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The "Total Information Awareness System"
A colorful diagram of John Poindexter's scary plan to eliminate terrorists.

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Can the Digital Hub Survive Hollywood?
Cory Doctorow on how innovation and technology suffer at the hands of the content industry.

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EFFector is published by:

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Ren Bucholz, Activist

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