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<nettime> Dear World: Don't Be Like the Americans
Bruce Sterling on Fri, 17 Aug 2001 17:41:54 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Dear World: Don't Be Like the Americans

     EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 20       Aug 16, 2001     editor {AT} eff.org

    A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

     In the 180th Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,600 subscribers!):

      * ALERT: Hollywood Exports Technology Ban Overseas Despite US Abuse
      * Scientists Support Professor's Copyright Law Challenge
      * Court Protects Online Anonymity of Corporate Critics
      * Administrivia

    For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/

    To join EFF or make an additional donation:
    EFF is a member-supported non-profit. Please sign up as a member

ALERT: Hollywood Exports Technology Ban Overseas Despite US Abuse

   EFF Calls on Public to Intervene in Treaty Process

     Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

     (Issued: August 16, 2001 / Deadline: August 22, 2001)


    [Para una versión español de esta alarma, que puede ser distribuida
    libremente, vaya a este URL (For a Spanish version of this alert,
    which may be freely distributed, go to this URL):
      http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010816_eff_ftaa_alert.es.html ]

    While Russian graduate student Dmitry Sklyarov potentially faces five
    years in prison under the first criminal prosecution of a
    controversial new US law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
    passed at the request of Hollywood in 1998, its backers are now busily
    exporting overseas its dangerous legal theories of excessive copyright
    protection at the price of civil liberties. Worldwide public
    intervention is immediately necessary to restore freedom of speech as
    a value promoted by free societies.

    The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) treaty process, which is
    under executive power, works to establish trade agreements between 34
    countries in the Western hemisphere including the US. FTAA
    nation-signatories pass legislation in each of their national forums
    that conforms with the treaty's principles. Currently the group is
    negotiating language to include in an international treaty between the
    34 countries that deals with enacting new copyright rules, among other
    issues. The FTAA organization is considering treaty language that
    mandates nations pass anti-circumvention provisions similar to the
    DMCA, except the FTAA treaty grants even greater control to publishers
    than the DMCA.

    The public must intervene to express disapproval of the FTAA's
    proposed anti-circumvention measures in order to correct this trend in
    copyright law. FTAA is currently accepting public feedback on the
    proposed treaty language until August 22. Contact the U.S. Trade
    Representative (or your country's representative) and urge the removal
    of the anti-circumvention measures from incorporation into the final
    FTAA treaty. Already existing theories of liability under US copyright
    law adequately protect the legitimate interests of copyright holders
    without the need to impose anti-technology restrictions on the entire
    public. Rather than adopt even more draconian measures that ban
    socially beneficial technologies in a fantasy of protecting
    copyrights, such as the proposed anti-circumvention measures to FTAA
    attempts, foreign countries should learn from the disastrous US
    experience with the DMCA. They should wisely steer away from such
    over-reaching measures.

     What YOU Can Do:

    EFF calls upon the citizens of the 34 countries affected by this
    treaty, including the US, to submit comments by August 20 (22 at the
    latest) urging the group to remove the provisions from the treaty that
    outlaw the act of circumvention and forbid providing tools for
    circumvention of technological protection measures restricting use of
    copyrighted works. These measures violate the U.S. Constitution's
    guarantee of freedom of speech under the First Amendment, similar
    guarantees in other national constitutions and laws and in the UN
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary
    to exercise lawful uses, including fair use. While protecting
    copyright is important, passing measures that also censor much lawful
    speech goes too far, without ever achieving its objective. The next
    meeting of the FTAA Negotiating Group on Intellectual Property Rights
    is Aug. 22 in Panama, and public comments will be most effective if
    received before this date. This means it should be mailed by Aug. 18
    at the latest, in the US, and even sooner from other countries.
    (Unfortunately, the FTAA site does not provide mechanisms for
    Web-submitted comments.)

    Comments, to be received by the FTAA organization by August 20, should
    be submitted to:

    Gloria Blue, Executive Secretary, Trade Policy Staff Committee
    Attn: FTAA Draft Text Release
    Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
    1724 F. St., NW, Fifth Floor
    Washington DC 20508 USA

    Non-US writers should also send a copy to their own country's
    intellectual property government officials; list available at:

     Sample Letter:

    This is just an example. It will be most effective if you send
    something similar but in your own words.

      Dear Ms. Blue, Trade Policy Staff Committee, and Negotiating Group
      on Intellectual Property Rights:

      I write to express my grave concern regarding the draft FTAA
      treaty's extreme intellectual property provisions.

      These measures, based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act
      (DMCA) give far too much power to publishers, at the expense of
      indivdiuals' rights. The DMCA itself is already under legal
      challenge in the US, has gravely chilled scientists' and computer
      security researchers' freedom of expression around the world for
      fear of being prosecuted in the US, and resulted in the arrest of a
      Russian programmer. The FTAA provisions, which serve no one but
      American corporate copyright interests, are even more overbroad
      than those of the DMCA.

      These provisions would require signatory nations to pass new
      DMCA-style laws that ban, with few or no exceptions, software and
      other tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed.
      This would violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of freedom of
      speech under the First Amendment, and similar guarantees in other
      national constitutions and laws and in the UN Universal Declaration
      of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful
      uses, including fair use, reverse engineering, computer security
      research and many others.

      I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom
      provisions from the FTAA treaty language. The DMCA is already an
      international debacle. Its flaws - and worse - should not be
      exported and forced on other countries.

      [Your full name]
      [Your address]

    Non-US writers should mention their own country's constitution and/or
    laws protecting freedom of expression, of coruse.

    Copies may also be sent by e-mail to some key people in the FTAA
     kalvarez {AT} ustr.gov (Kira Alvarez - Intellectual Property)
     walter_bastian {AT} ita.doc.gov (Walter Bastian - E-Commerce)
    Non-US contacts available at:


    Much like the DMCA, the current draft of the FTAA agreement forbids
    the act of circumventing a "technological protection measure" that
    controls the use of a copyrighted work. It also bans making or
    providing tools that could help another to use a copyrighted work.
    Unlike the DMCA, however, the language currently proposed for the FTAA
    treaty doesn't include even a single exemption that would permit
    activities like lawful reverse engineering, protecting privacy, fair
    use rights, encryption research, and countless other reasons a person
    might need to override the publisher's controls. (And the DMCA only
    includes a few very narrow exemptions to the general ban on
    circumvention, but they have so far proven completely useless to
    everyone who has attempted to rely on them.)

    Even though copyright law gives individuals rights such as fair use,
    the DMCA and FTAA's proposed anti-circumvention provisions outlaw all
    tools that are necessary to exercise those rights, effectively killing
    fair use in the digital age. These measures ensure works are prevented
    from taking their place in the public domain, denying the public what
    rightfully belongs to it under the law. The guarantees of free
    expression under the First Amendment, other constitutions & laws in
    other countries, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
    Rights, rightly prevent publishers from having complete control over
    the way in which copyrighted works can be used. But the DMCA and its
    counterpart in the FTAA treaty ignore this principle and would grant
    publishing companies the power to turn individual rights into "product
    features" that can be disabled at the whim of the publisher.

    Since its passage, the DMCA has thus far been used to: censor a
    journalist reporting on a controversial software program; attempt to
    squelch the research of a Princeton professor who discovered the
    vulnerabilities of the music industry's favored technology; and arrest
    a foreign computer programmer for developing software that allows
    lawful purchasers of electronic books to view them in ways not
    supported by a competitor's viewing software. Because it wishes to
    consistently abuse these powers throughout the world, rather than
    merely in the United States, Hollywood and the rest of the copyright
    industry are now attempting to export this legal regime throughout the

    It is truly ironic that the United States, once the beacon for
    promoting the principles of freedom of expression, is now
    systematically infecting other countries with this dangerous public
    policy choice that will restrict more speech than any law before it.
    FTAA's anti-circumvention provisions represent US imperialism at its
    worst. They seek to impose restrictive laws on both the US and other
    countries, in order to prevent established US businesses from facing
    both domestic and foreign competition. These competitors would offer
    the public much better deals than these businesses wish to offer,
    which is why the small number of companies that control music, movie
    and book distribution seek to have these competitors outlawed. The
    anti-circumvention provisions' terrible effects on freedom of speech,
    scientific advancement, and actual computer security, as well as on
    public libraries and access to knowledge, are merely "incidental"
    damage, suffered by society for the benefit of these businesses.

    To view the proposed FTAA treaty language, see:
      http://www.ftaa-alca.org/ftaadraft/eng/draft_e.doc [MS-Word]

    For more information on the FTAA treaty process, see:

     About EFF:

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
    organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
    in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
    government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
    information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
    maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:


      Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
      wild {AT} eff.org
      +1 415 436 9333 x111

      Robin Gross, EFF Intellectual Property Attorney
      robin {AT} eff.org
      +1 415 436 9333 x112

                                   - end -

     Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

             Scientists Support Professor's Copyright Law Challenge

Electronic Frontier Foundation Exposes "Chilling Effect"

     For Immediate Release: Monday, August 13, 2001


      Lee Tien, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
        tien {AT} eff.org
        +1 510-290-7131 (cell)

      Robin Gross, EFF Intellectual Property Attorney
        robin {AT} eff.org
        +1 415-637-5310 (cell)

      Monica Ortiz, USENIX Press Liaison
        monica {AT} usenix.org
        +1 415-990-5513 (cell)

    Trenton, NJ - Seventeen of the world's top scientists today supported
    Princeton University Professor Edward Felten and his research team's
    challenge to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on free
    speech grounds. Prominent academics, cryptographers, software
    programmers, and scientific conference organizers explained to a
    federal court the stifling effects of the DMCA on scientific research
    and freedom of expression.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represents the research team
    in a lawsuit filed June 6 asking a federal judge to declare that the
    scientists have a First Amendment right to publish their research both
    at the USENIX Conference in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. USENIX,
    fearful of threats that had been made against the organizers of the
    prior conference, has joined the suit.

    In his latest declaration to the court, Professor Felten explained, "I
    understand that Defendants advocate an interpretation of the DMCA that
    would outlaw analysis of systems that might be used to control the use
    of copyrighted materials.... [S]uch an interpretation would
    effectively prevent analysis of critical systems, and so would have a
    disastrous effect on education, research, and practice in computer

    He further commented, "Not only in computer science, but also across
    all scientific fields, skeptical analysis of technical claims made by
    others, and the presentation of detailed evidence to support such
    analysis, is the heart of the scientific method. To outlaw such
    analysis is to outlaw the scientific method itself."

    The case arose after scientists from Princeton University, Rice
    University, and Xerox tried to publish research that reveals flaws in
    the recording industry's control systems for digital music at an April
    2001 conference. The recording industry claimed that a 1998 law called
    the DMCA prohibited the presentation of the research paper. In a
    series of e-mails and conference calls to the researchers, their
    universities, and conference organizers, recording industry attorneys
    intimidated the researchers into withdrawing their paper from the
    April conference. Hours after the paper was withdrawn, representatives
    of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued a press
    release claiming that they had never intended to prevent scientific

    Last month, the RIAA asked the court to dismiss the current lawsuit
    after sending a letter to the court stating that it would allow the
    conference to go forward, so no case or controversy exists for the
    court to decide. The EFF legal filing today rebuts that claim and
    reveals the chilling effect felt throughout the scientific community
    since Congress passed the DMCA and the recording industry started
    threatening researchers.

    In legal declarations supporting the researchers, scientists worldwide
    expressed concern about traveling to the United States, where the FBI
    has already arrested and jailed a programmer for allegedly writing
    software or conducting research that could help someone use a
    copyrighted work in ways disallowed by the publisher.

    Niels Ferguson, a prominent Dutch cryptographer who recently
    discovered major flaws in a commercial high-definition video system,
    told the court, "Despite the fact that I performed all the work in
    Amsterdam, I could face arrest if I visit the US after my research had
    found its way into the jurisdiction. My research is silenced since I
    cannot talk about my scientific results to my colleagues and peers, as
    is now the case since the DMCA became law in the US. Scientific
    freedom is not only threatened under this law, it is demonstrably

    The DMCA prohibits providing information that other people may use to
    circumvent the technological protection measures placed on digital
    files. In this case, the recording industry developed watermark
    technologies to help control how consumers can use digital music.

    Professor Felten's team discovered that it was easy to circumvent the

    "The recording industry has done untold damage by their threats to
    Felten and the other researchers, their universities, and the
    conference organizers. The resulting chilling effect on the broader
    scientific community continues unabated," said Robin Gross,
    intellectual property attorney for EFF. "We on the Felten legal team
    will work to ensure that industry can no longer use the DMCA to
    threaten freedom of speech and scientific progress."

    The eventual presentation of the Felten research team's SDMI Challenge
    results, Aug. 15, 2001, USENIX Security Conference, Washington DC, is
    available as an archived webcast at:

     The New Documents:

    Declaration of Professor Ed Felten (Princeton University):

    Declaration of the USENIX Association:

    Declaration of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM):

    Declaration of the Computing Research Association (CRA):

    Declaration of Prof. Andrew W. Appel (Princeton U.):

    Declaration of cryptographer Matt Blaze (AT&T Laboratories):

    Declaration of British programmer Alan Cox (Red Hat UK Ltd.):

    Declaration of Scott Craver (Princeton U.):

    Declaration of Howard Ende (General Counsel for Princeton U.):

    Declaration of Dutch cryptographer Niels Ferguson (MacFergus BV):
    Ferguson on the DMCA: "Censorship in action: Why I don't publish my
    HDCP results":

    Declaration of John McHugh (general chair of the Information Hiding

    Declaration of computer security researcher Michael Reiter (Bell
    Labs/Lucent Technologies):

    Declaration of cryptographer Bruce Schneier (Counterpane Internet

    Declaration of Asst. Prof. Dan Wallach (Rice U.):

    Declaration of Min Wu (Princeton U.):

    [More declarations coming soon.]

     More Key Documents:

    RIAA/SDMI April 2001 letter threatening Professor Felten and his team:

    Professor Felten's website:

    Listen to an audio file of the press conference held when the case was
    launched [MP3]:

    EFF's & Professors' First Amended Complaint:

    EFF's & Professors' Original Complaint:

    RIAA's Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss [PDF file]:

    EFF/Felten Opposition Brief against motion to dismiss:

    For more information on the August USENIX Security conference:

     About EFF:

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
    organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
    in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
    government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
    information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
    maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:

     About USENIX:

    The USENIX Association, an organization representing some 10,000
    computer research scientists is dedicated to the free exchange of
    scholarly information through its many conferences and publications.
    See its website at:

                                   - end -

Court Protects Online Anonymity of Corporate Critics

   Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Yahoo! Forum Posters

     Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

     For Immediate Release: August 13, 2001


      Lauren Gelman, EFF Public Policy Dir.
        gelman {AT} eff.org
        +1 415-436-9333 x106 or +1 202-487-0420 (cell)

    San Jose, CA - On Friday, August 10, attorneys from the Electronic
    Frontier Foundation (EFF) successfully defended the speech rights of
    two anonymous Yahoo! message board posters. A California State court
    found that the right of Internet posters to speak anonymously
    outweighed a company's desire to unmask their identities.

    The case involves a subpoena issued by Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.,
    of Oklahoma (PPLS) requesting the identity of eight posters on
    Yahoo!'s "Pre-Paid" message board, an online forum for discussions
    related to the company. EFF represents two of the J. Does PPLS
    subpoenaed to unmask their identities as part of a dispute between
    PPLS and another (identified) person.

    PPLS argued that it needed the Does' identities to determine whether
    the Internet posters had to comply with a voluntary injunction
    preventing former sales associates who work for a competitor from
    revealing PPLS's trade secrets. EFF senior staff attorney Lee Tien
    argued that the messages cited by PPLS indicated only that the Does
    were critical of the company and how it treats its associates.
    Revealing the identity of these anonymous speakers would give PPLS the
    opportunity to punish the anonymous posters simply for criticizing the

    Ruling from the bench, the Honorable Neil Cabrinha of the Santa Clara
    County Superior Court quashed the subpoena to Yahoo! requesting the
    posters' identities. Judge Cabrinha agreed with EFF that the messages
    did not appear to violate the injunction, and therefore the First
    Amendment protection of anonymous speech outweighed PPLS's interest in
    learning the identity of the speakers.

    "This is a great victory for anonymous speech," said EFF's Tien. "I
    believe Judge Cabrinha's ruling will signal other companies that
    judges will not permit corporate executives to abuse the courts in
    ferreting out their critics."

    "EFF will continue to step in and fight for the right of individuals
    to speak anonymously," said Lauren Gelman, EFF's director of public
    policy. "We expect to see many similar decisions recognizing that
    First Amendment protections do not disappear just because someone
    chooses to speak online."

    The documents filed in the case (PPLS v. Sturtz) are available at:

    More information on the similar In re: 2TheMart.com case can be found

   About EFF:

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties
    organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded
    in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and
    government to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the
    information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
    maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:

                                   - end -

EFF Thanks LabTam Finland for Generous Software Donation

    The EFF wants to thank the folks at LabTam Finland for their generous
    software donation of their WinaXe product. WinaXe is a Windows program
    that allows Windows to run as an Linux X-windows terminal. This allows
    the Windows users to run Unix gui applications and even run an entire
    Unix desktop on their laptop computers. By using this product our
    users can run Windows and Linux at the same time and can cut and paste
    information between the two operating systems. And a single Linux
    server provides the desktop for all our Linux users. LabTam website:

    The EFF appreciates companies like LabTam who make useful software and
    donate licenses to EFF. This helps us become more effective in our
    struggle to protect civil liberties.


    EFFector is published by:

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation
    454 Shotwell Street
    San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA
    +1 415 436 9333 (voice)
    +1 415 436 9993 (fax)

    Katina Bishop, EFF Education & Offline Activism Director
    Stanton McCandlish, EFF Technical Director/Webmaster
    editors {AT} eff.org

    To Join EFF online, or make an additional donation, go to:

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