Legal Issues

Publisher Dow Jones Accused of Defamation Against Aussie Businessman

From NewsRoom, someone writes...

\"An Australian businessman has won the right to have an internet defamation case against US publishing giant Dow Jones heard in Melbourne. Dow Jones argued the case should by heard in the United States, because that\'s where the company\'s internet site server is. However, the Victorian Supreme Court judge ruled in his 75-page judgement that \"publication\" occurred where the story was read, not where it was stored. The case has significant implications for internet publishers, as it could mean they are required to comply with the laws of any country in which content may be viewed.\" more...


Skylarov indicted Tuesday

Dmitri Skylarov was indicted Tuesday despite his attorney\'s attempts to reach a plea bargain. The AP news story is available at the Washington Post. The Electronic Freedom Foundation\'s reaction is here. ElcomSoft\'s Software has legitimate \'fair-use\' applications. Music CD\'s are being copy protected. These are negative indicators for the future of fair use, a principle that keeps libraries in business. Could a fight for digital rights be the next civil rights movement?


Library Says Trespassers will be Prosecuted

If you aren\'t at the Picayune, (MS) Public Library conducting public library business, don\'t bother coming, or you may be arrested. The library has received numerous complaints over the years and some patrons feel threatened by interlopers who are there for no other reason than to just hang-out. more... from The Picayune Item.


ISP Monitors User Downloads for Copyright Violations

[email protected] Australia has announced that it will terminate the service of any user detected downloading
copyrighted material:

[email protected] Australia users are up in arms over the telco\'s random raids on their broadband accounts in search of pirate activity, with many saying it\'s an invasion of their privacy. The ISP informed users of its [email protected] broadband service that it would terminate customer accounts found to be downloading pirate software or copyright material. . . .

More from ZDNet. Thanks to Slashdot .


Censorship in action

Niels Ferguson, a professional cryptographer has written, Censorship in action: why I don\'t publish my HDCP results, which takes a look at why the DMCA is bad news.

\"There are lawyers who claim that a scientific paper like mine is a circumvention technology within the meaning of the DMCA, because it explains the weaknesses of a system. I have been advised by a US lawyer who works in this field that if I publish my paper, I might very well be prosecuted and/or sued under US law. \"

No, he\'s not American.


The FTAA vs. Intellectual Freedom

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a call to the public to
protest the inclusion in the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) treaty of language that grants even
greater control to publishers of intellectual property than the Digital Millenium Copyright Act:

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 public comment period ends 8/22. The complete press release can be found here . Thanks to Slashdot.


Racist\'s case settled

The lawsuit filed against the Schaumburg Township District Library by Illinois white supremacist Matthew Hale has been settled. Hale sued after the library revoked permission for him to use a meeting room for a speech. He will now be appearing at the library on a Saturday evening, after closing time.


Sklyarov Interviewed by New York Times

The Times caught up with Dmitri in Cupertino, where he\'s awaiting phase two of litigation :)

Dmitri Sklyarov rarely reads electronic books. \"There are almost no e-books in Russian,\" said Mr. Sklyarov, the 26-year- old Moscow cryptographer who was arrested in Las Vegas last month under a 1998 digital copyright law. \"I prefer paper books. They\'re much easier to carry with me, and can be read anywhere.\"

In fact, most people still prefer paper books. Unlike music and film, books have yet to be popularly accepted in digital format. Nevertheless, the nascent market has heightened the publishing industry\'s sensitivity to the potential for digital piracy, enough so that it has initiated the first criminal case under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. And Mr. Sklyarov is the first to be charged.

[More (registration is required.)]


The current state of \'fair use\'

In this interview, Lawrence Lessig, Stanford law professor and supporter of consumer\'s rights, discusses the current state of \'fair use\' in the context of peer-to-peer networks. Lessig is one of the more notable critics of the DMCA. He will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming O\'Reilly Conference on Peer-to-Peer and Web Services.


Academic Face/Off on DMCA

Brian Surratt writes \"This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses two Carnegie Mellon professors who are on opposite sides of the DMCA debate. David S. Touretzky (Anti-DMCA) is notable for maintaining the Gallery of CSS Descramblers at his college at CMU, Michael I. Shamos, was paid $30,000 by the Motion Picture Association to conduct experiments and provide testimony to support DMCA in court. The saga is far from over... \"



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