Legal Issues

A Case to Define the Digital Age

Here\'s A Businessweek Story on Eldred v. Ashcroft. On Oct. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Eldred v. Ashcroft. It\'s a challenge to the controversial 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), which lengthened copyright terms by 20 years, stretching them to 70 years after an artist\'s death.

A Supreme Court ruling against the CTEA would be the first major victory for digital-rights activists, who want more books, music, and images to enter the public domain. And it would be a grand defeat for corporations, which claim they would forfeit billions in lost revenues.


Technology vs. Civil Liberties?

Teddy writes \"Kind of an interesting story at the Washington Post

As acceptance for biometrics technology has grown, so too has opposition from a broad range of voices, including many like Dick Armey allies.

\"There\'s something about ourselves that is being captured,\" Kshirsagar added. \"This biometric identification will be linked to some kind of database. All of a sudden you have a pretty intrusive look into somebody\'s life.\"


The Opposing Copyright Extension Site

Runner writes \"The Opposing Copyright Extension Site, Maintained by, Dennis S. Karjala, Professor of Law, Arizona State University, is a great place to keep up on the world of Copyright Extension, the \"Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act,\" and such legal matters.
Check it out! \"


Reading between the lines of law unsettling

Thomas J. Hennen Jr. passed along This JSOnline Story that says \"Library associations, civil libertarians, even average book-loving Americans are understandably nervous about whether library and bookstore record searches will be abused. But if it comes to an actual case, you probably won\'t hear a peep. The law imposes a gag on librarians about specific searches. That\'s scary.\"


A Collection Of Internet Law Stories

Wired has Lawrence Lessig\'s Supreme Showdown. This one, How BayTSP is Enforcing the Digital Millennium, a look at a company being used to enforce the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and last but not least A cybersage speaks his mind, is a CNET interview with David Sorkin.


Library wins in settlement

Michael Nellis writes \"The King County Library System settled out of court for seizure by the police of two computers. The police wanted to search the computers for kiddie porn but took them without a warrant. Has The Full Story \"

The settlement states that the computers can be put back into service Wednesday.The city paid $30,000 toward the library system\'s attorney fees and $670 to cover costs incurred by the library system as a result of the lawsuit.

\"We expect we would have the library\'s attorneys challenging everything we try to do,\" police spokesman Paul Petersen said. \"Besides, our computer forensic folks have told us that, with the way the library manages its software, we may not be able to find the information we need.\"


Ensuring Privacy\'s Post-attack Survival - How Far will They Go?

For CNet News, Jeffrey Eisenach and Peter Swire write...
\"The bill to create the new Department of Homeland Security is now before the Senate. The new Department, once created, will enhance the federal government\'s ability to collect and use information about American citizens, or in today\'s favorite catch phrase, to \'connect the dots.\' But which dots will be connected, by whom and for what purpose?\" Read More.


Finally, a Fair Fight with Big Music

Business Week is reporting on a story about telecom giant Verizon refusing to comply with the RIAA to turn over the identity of a subscriber who the RIAA thinks might have illegally downloaded some music. \"The RIAA didn\'t specify why it wanted to know who the user was or what it would do with the information. Perhaps Verizon\'s \"John Doe\" should be charged with bad taste in music, but not with anything else. The RIAA and the music labels believe that if they can fry the big fish, or at least scare them into not supporting the P2P networks, resilient services such as KaZaA and Morpheus will share Napster\'s fate.\" Read More.


9/11 Attacks Mute Cries for Justice & Civil Rights

The Middletown Press is reporting on the fact that since 9/11, civil rights cases are being argued quietly. \"Federal authorities have detained immigrants for months, held secret court hearings, seized computer data from libraries and gathered vast amounts of e-mail and phone records, all in the name of protecting America from more acts of terrorism. But if civil libertarians are grumbling about the possible erosion in individual rights, they are doing it somewhat quietly.\" Read More.


Feds\' Snooping Spurs Critics\' Sniping

This one comes by way of The Pensacola News Journal: \"The FBI won\'t say how many public libraries it has checked to determine who is getting particular books or looking up certain information on computers. But a University of Illinois survey of nearly 2,000 libraries in December and January determined that the agency searched one of every nine of the nation\'s largest libraries for information after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.\" Read More.



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