Legal Issues

A Couple DMCA Updates

Larry Schwartz sent us This CNET Story that says HP is using both the controversial 1998 DMCA and computer crime laws, and has threatened to sue a team of researchers who publicized a vulnerability in the company\'s OS. reports that Benjamin G. Edelman, a first-year student at Harvard University\'s law school, is the latest academic researcher to challenge the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Mr. Edelman, last month filed a lawsuit against N2H2 Inc., a Seattle-based Internet filtering company, in U.S. District Court in Boston. The suit asks a judge to prevent N2H2 from suing Mr. Edelman under the digital-copyright law should he decide to bypass the company\'s encryption, which prevents him from discovering its complete list of blocked Web sites.


Librarians Under Siege

This article was in the August 5th \"The Nation,\" but here is a link to it on Working for Change. Laura Flanders writes... \"It used to be a matter of flashing a badge and appealing to patriotism, but these days federal agents are finding it a little harder to get librarians to spy ... this time around, top librarians are on the warpath to protect reader privacy.\" Read More


Copyright as Cudgel

Lee Hadden passed along This One from that says when Congress brought copyright law into the digital era, in 1998, some in academe were initially heartened by what they saw as compromises that, they hoped, would protect fair use for digital materials. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

Recent actions by Congress and the federal courts -- and many more all-too-common acts of cowardice by publishers, colleges, developers of search engines, and other concerned parties -- have demonstrated that fair use, while not quite dead, is dying.


Your Grocery List Could Spark a Terror Probe

It seems the data people create using store\'s preferred-customer cards is being used by government agents hunting for potential terrorists. They think federal authorities are plugging the information into algorithms, using the complex formulas to create a picture of general-population trends that can be contrasted with the lifestyles of known terrorists. If your habits match, expect further scrutiny at the least. Full Story.

\"Privacy may seem like a luxury in a nation at war, but that moral concept lies at the heart of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. That\'s why so many people are willing to fight for it.\"


All About The CRS Reports

LLRX writes \"Frequent contributor Stephen Young provides an historical introduction to Congressional Research Reports (over 1,000 written reports published yearly), and a variety of avenues online to obtain copies of the small number of these documents actually made available to the public.
See the July 15 issue of \"


Libraries: The new cyberbattleground

SomeOne points to this Great Story that tells those who didn\'t know already, we [Librarians] are emerging as vocal advocates in a debate over who should have rights to what in the information age. It\'s an interview with the ALA legislative counsel, Miriam Nisbet.


Boucher Outlines \'Fair Use\' Fight

Slashdot pointed the way to This One on U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher, who is moving to strengthen \"fair use\"
provisions under federal copyright law, said he is introducing a bill that
would essentially restrict the record industry from selling copy-protected

He also said he would introduce a bill within the week that would update the
U.S. Copyright Office\'s Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), which he has criticized as being mired in outdated laws that tilt against Webcasters regarding royalties on
streaming music.


Libraries wait for warrants

This One from WI says A survey of 1,020 libraries by the University of Illinois in
January and February showed 85 libraries nationwide had been
visited by federal agents seeking information on patrons related to
terrorism. Specific information on which libraries were contacted was
unavailable because of gag provisions in the federal law that
broadened the federal government\'s investigation powers after the
Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Washington Post has a story as well.

Hermit points to The Study, or at least the googlechache.


Disney challenges town library\'s new mouse logo

A Sad Story from FL says Walt Disney Co. officials have until July 30 to decide whether to challenge the Genesee District Library\'s mascot for an alleged similarity to Mickey Mouse.

Last summer, the library submitted a trademark registry request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for \"Book Mouse,\" a blue, large-eared rodent wearing red-rimmed glasses and a backpack. Book Mouse appears on bumper stickers and in coloring books, and even marches in local parades.

Library attorney Patric Parker said \"I don\'t think we cut into their movie profits this last year.\"

Free The Mouse.


The Children\'s Online Protection Act Round Up

Mary Minow has A Story over at that has an extensive Q&A on The Children\'s Online Protection Act.



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