EFFector Online Newsletter

EFFector       Vol. 15, No. 32       October 10, 2002     ren@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

In the 231th Issue of EFFector:

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Representatives Rick Boucher and John Doolittle recently introduced the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (DMCRA, H.R. 5544), which would introduce labelling requirements for usage-impaired "copy-protected" compact discs, as well as several amendments to 1998's infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCRA would:

~ Require clear, visible labels for "copy-protected" audio compact discs that identify their limitations and applicable return policies.

~ Restore consumers' fair use rights by amending Section 1201 of the DMCA to allow circumvention of copy protection for non-infringing uses of the material. For example, it would allow someone to bypass the copy protection on a lawfully purchased DVD in order to view it on a computer running Linux.

~ Protect innovative, multi-purpose technologies. The DMCRA codifies a doctrine, outlined by the Supreme Court in its 1984 "Betamax" decision, which states that technologies with "substantial non-infringing uses" cannot be stifled by copyright holders.

Use your voice to protect your digital fair use rights! After several years on legislative defense, this is your opportunity to let Congress know that we want positive changes to the DMCA. Tell your friends, tell your family, but first TELL CONGRESS!

Take action here:

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Representative Zoe Lofgren recently introduced the Digital Choice and Freedom Act (DCFA, H.R. 5522), which would reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), restrict shrink-wrap licenses that harm the public's rights, explicitly allow backups and format-shifting for copyrighted materials, and protect the public's rights in copyright on several fronts.

Among other things, Lofgren's bill would:

~ Allow consumers to make backup copies of digital works.

~ Explicitly allow format shifting of legally obtained material amongst digital devices.

~ Codify a "first sale" right for digital media, which would allow the public to sell, lend, or give away digital media products that they have lawfully obtained.

~ Permit the circumvention of "content protection" technologies in order to make noninfringing uses of copyrighted works.

Use your voice to protect your rights! After several years on legislative defense, this is your opportunity to let Congress know that we want positive changes to our unbalanced copyright law. Tell your friends, tell your family, but first TELL CONGRESS!

Take action here:

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EFF congratulates its Board Member, Stanford Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, on his argument Wednesday before the Supreme Court in the closely-watched Eldred v. Ashcroft case. Prof. Lessig is arguing that the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, which extended the term of copyright by 20 years, is unconstitutional. EFF supports his efforts and hopes that he is successful in his effort to preserve the public domain.


To monitor the latest developments, visit the Eldred v Ashcroft web site:

For the latest coverage of the argument, try Google News:

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Amicus Brief supports public interest litigation; Court hearing on Tue October 15, 2002

The next stage in EFF's ongoing battle to gain access to critical documents in a case involving the rights of five ReplayTV owners takes place next Tuesday at a court hearing in Los Angeles.

Last week Effector reported that EFF had filed court papers opposing an attempt by Hollywood entertainment companies to prevent EFF attorneys from accessing documents which EFF believes are important to preparing the five ReplayTV owners' case.

The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society and seven other public interest groups wrote an amicus brief in support of EFF this week. The amicus parties, which include S.C.I.S., Earthjustice, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the First Amendment Project, Privacyactivism and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, expressed strong concern that the order being sought by the entertainment companies in this case would have significant detrimental implications for public interest litigation and advocacy organizations across the political spectrum. The amicus parties also argue that denying public interest organization attorneys access to discovery documents raises serious First Amendment issues. Both the EFF and the entertainment companies have also filed supplemental papers, including declarations from four of the ReplayTV owners represented by EFF and the Rothken Law Firm.

The court hearing 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. EFF supporters in L.A. are encouraged to attend in appropriate court attire.


Directions to the court:

EFF and Entertainment Companies' Supplemental Memoranda:

Amicus Brief:

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Anonymizer allows web surfers to use the Internet, you guessed it, anonymously. Using full-time SSL along with a number of innovative features, Anonymizer protects you from almost all conceivable monitoring while you surf the Internet. EFF members (new and current) are invited to try Anonymizer for free. If you are already an EFF member, just click on the URL below, enter in your email address, and you will be sent an email with instructions for setting up your free trial. If you are not already an EFF member, join today!


Current members:

Join EFF!:

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

Robbing the Future
Dan Bricklin, co-inventor of Visicalc, discusses how DRM will "break the chain" of archival techniques that has existed for thousands of years.

Tuning Out the Customer
Fortune.com's David Kirkpatrick on how the media industry's defensive posture on digital piracy is damaging their long-term interests.

You've Got Dissent!
Chinese dissident use of the Internet and Beijing's counter-strategies.

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EFFector is published by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation
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Ren Bucholz, Activist

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