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<nettime> EFF: ISP Rejects Diebold Copyright Claims Against News Website
jaromil on Fri, 17 Oct 2003 10:53:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> EFF: ISP Rejects Diebold Copyright Claims Against News Website

re all,

here it comes a public release from the Electronic Frounteer Foundation
about a legal threat opened by Diebold against italy.indymedia. Diebold
intimidated the ISP hosting the italian indymedia website (plus many
other indymedia portals) requiring the shutdown of the whole server 2
days ago because of a post on the newswire of the portal.
24hours was the given time for a reaction after this threat, the prompt
solidarity of the whole indymedia network lead to this communicate,
enforced by EFF and IMC legals.

the case is being discussed in open forums as italy-legal and imc-legal
indymedia mailinglists. a good overview is given by this post:

to have more information on the Diebold case you can look for 'diebold'
on slashdot.org
and on wired.com search engines: 

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 16, 2003


Wendy Seltzer
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   wendy {AT} eff.org
   +1 415 436-9333 x125 (office), +1 914 374-0613 (cell)

Will Doherty
   Executive Director
   Online Policy Group
   press {AT} onlinepolicy.org
   +1 415 826-3532 (please leave message)

ISP Rejects Diebold Copyright Claims Against News Website

EFF Defends Right to Publish Links to Electronic Voting Memos

San Francisco - Defending the right to link to controversial
information about flaws in electronic voting systems, EFF
announced today it will defend an Internet Service Provider
(ISP) and a news website publisher against claims of
indirect copyright infringement from the electronic voting
machines' manufacturer.

On October 10, 2003, electronic voting company Diebold,
Inc., sent a cease-and-desist letter to the nonprofit Online
Policy Group (OPG) ISP demanding that OPG remove a page of
links published on an Independent Media Center (IndyMedia)
website located on a computer server hosted by OPG.

Diebold sent out dozens of similar notices to ISPs hosting
IndyMedia and other websites linking to or publishing copies
of Diebold internal memos. OPG is the only ISP so far to
resist the takedown demand from Diebold.

"What topic could be more important to our democracy than
discussions about the mechanics and legitimacy of electronic
voting systems now being introduced nationwide?" said EFF
Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "EFF won't stand by as
corporations like Diebold chill important online debate by
churning out legal notices to ISPs that usually just take
down legitimate content rather than face the legal risk."

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed by
Congress in 1998 provides a "safe harbor" as an incentive
for ISPs to take down user-posted content when they receive
cease-and-desist letters such as the ones sent by Diebold.
By removing the content, or forcing the user to do so, for a
minimum of 10 days, an ISP can take itself out of the middle
of any copyright claim. As a result, few ISPs have tested
whether they would face any liability for such user activity
in the first place. EFF has been exposing some of the ways
the safe harbor limits online speech through the Chilling
Effects Clearinghouse.

"We defend strongly the free speech right of our client
IndyMedia to publish links to Diebold memos relevant to the
public debate about electronic voting machine security,"
explained OPG Executive Director Will Doherty. "Diebold's
claim of copyright infringement from linking to information
posted elsewhere on the Web is ridiculous, and even more
silly is the claim that we as an ISP could be liable for our
client's web links."

For this release:

Cease-and-desist letter Diebold sent to OPG:

IndyMedia Web page subject to Diebold cease-and-desist

Security researchers discover huge flaws in e-voting system:

Link to Chilling Effects on DMCA safe harbor provisions:

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 and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at

About Online Policy Group:

The Online Policy Group (OPG) is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to online policy research, outreach, and action on
issues such as access, privacy, the digital divide, and
digital defamation. The organization fulfills its motto of
"One Internet With Equal Access for All" through programs
such as donation-based email, email list hosting, website
hosting, domain registrations, colocation services,
technical consulting, educational training, and refurbished
computer donations. The California Community Colocation
Project (CCCP) and QueerNet are OPG projects. OPG focuses on
Internet participants' civil liberties and human rights,
like access, privacy, safety, and serving schools,
libraries, disabled, elderly, youth, women, and sexual,
gender, and ethnic minorities. Find out more at

About IndyMedia:

Indymedia is an international network working to build a
decentralized, non-commercial media infrastructure to
counter an increasingly consolidated corporate media.
Indymedia collectives have spread rapidly since the WTO
protests in Seattle 1999, with IMC groups now working
throughout North & South America, the Middle East, Europe,
Africa, Asia and Oceania, accessible through


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