Seth Finkelstein | 1 Dec 08:48 2005

EFF: DMCA Rulemaking Process Is Broken

[And as one of the few people who has *successfully* gone through the
DMCA rulemaking process, I thoroughly agree with EFF's sentiments! Moreover,
I'm not doing it again for renewal, the personal cost is too high.]

DMCA Triennial Rulemaking: Failing Consumers Completely

November 30, 2005

  December 1 is the last day to submit proposals (by 5pm EST) to the
  Copyright Office seeking a 3-year DMCA exemption for noninfringing
  activities that are otherwise squelched by "digital rights
  management" (DRM) restrictions.

  As we mentioned back in October, Congress has instructed the U.S.
  Copyright Office to consider every three years whether we need
  temporary exemptions to the DMCA's blanket ban on circumventing
  "technological protection measures" (aka DRM) used to lock up
  copyrighted works.

  EFF has participated in each of the two prior rulemakings (in 2000
  and 2003), each time asking the Copyright Office to create
  exemptions for perfectly lawful consumer uses for digital media that
  are encumbered by DRM restrictions. For example, we asked that DVD
  owners be allowed to skip those "unskippable" ads at the beginning
  of DVDs. We asked that people who bought copy-protected CDs be
  allowed to get them to play on their computer. We asked that
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 1 Dec 12:54 2005

HuffPo: UN/WIPO plan to regulate distribution of information on the Internet -- every transmitter to become an owner

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [A2k] in HuffPo: A UN/WIPO plan to regulate distribution
of information on the Internet -- every transmitter to become an
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 19:24:42 -0500
From: James Love < <at>>
To: a2k discuss list <a2k <at>>


November 30, 2005
A UN/WIPO plan to regulate distribution of information on the
Internet -- every transmitter to become an owner

James Love

A UN Agency is debating a sweeping new form of regulation for the
Internet. The call for this new regulation is being led by the
United States government and the European Commission, pushed by
highly paid lobbyists for a trade association that includes
Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Real Networks and a handful of other

The United States government negotiators represent the two
agencies. The United States Copyright Office, headed by Mary Beth
Peters. The United Patent and Trademark Office is run by former
Republican hill staffer John Dudas.

The US negotiators are not trying to impose US law on the rest of
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 3 Dec 04:32 2005

UK Chancellor Announces Independent Review of Exclusive Rights Policies

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [A2k] Chancellor announces independent review of IP
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 16:44:48 +0000 (GMT)
From: Gavin Hill <silver_morning2003 <at>>
To: a2k <at>, drn-discuss <at>

(Apologies for cross posting - link

At the Enterprise Conference on 2 December 2005, the Chancellor
announced that, as part of the Pre-Budget Report 2005 package, he
was asking former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers to lead an
Independent Review to examine the UK’s intellectual property
framework, reporting to the Chancellor, the Secretary of State
for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport in Autumn 2006.

The review will provide an analysis of the performance of the UK
IP system, including inter alia,

the way in which Government administers the awarding of IP and
their support to consumers and business;

how well businesses are able to negotiate the complexity and
expense of the copyright and patent system, including copyright
and patent licensing arrangements, litigation and enforcement;

and whether the current technical and legal IP infringement
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 3 Dec 22:22 2005

The Hipatia Manifesto


Hipatia  - Free knowledge in action for the people of the world

About Hipatia

Software without borders. Knowledge without frontiers, that is
Hipatia. We strive to have free knowledge, in action for towns
and villages of the world.

Hipatia came up as a spontaneous coordination of people from all
around the world that share a vision and a goal. And the vision
is to have a global knowledge society based on freedom, equity
and solidarity. Manifesto of Hipatia outlines this vision in

Hipatia people want to:

    * promote freedom of (and free sharing of) knowledge, as is
the right of all human beings to access, use, create, modify and
distribute knowledge freely and openly;
    * realize, favour and/or promote the sustainable diffusion of
human knowledge.

To make this goals reality hipatia people promote:

    * public policies, human and social behaviours and outlook
that favour free accessible, sustainable and sociable technology
and knowledge;
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 4 Dec 12:59 2005

Peter Junger on Software Patents, SCOTUS and Federal Circuit

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Software Patents
Date: Sat, 03 Dec 2005 14:59:16 -0500
From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger <at>>
To: CYBERIA-L <at> LISTSERV.AOL.COM, cyberprog <at>
CC: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson <at>>

Here is an entry from my blog: 
that I think may be of interest to members of the Cyberia and
Cyberprof lists.  I would be especially internested in seeing
arguments against the position that I express here.

My apologies to those who receive more than one copy because of
the cross posting. 

                        Software Patents

    When I was in law school in the mid-fifties of the last 
    century I never took---nor wanted to take---a course in 
    patent law, but I did learn somehow one bit of legal folk 
    wisdom about patents that was current at that time: ''All 
    patents are valid and enforceable, except for those that have 
    been reviewed by the Supreme Court; no patent that has been 
    reviewed by the Supreme Court is valid or enforceable.''

    Since the creation of the Federal Circuit in 1982, however, 
    the Supreme Court has had occasion to decide very few patent 
    cases because all the patent cases that would in the old days 
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 5 Dec 11:10 2005

Carlos Gutierrez/Condi Rice Letter on Internet Governance


Read the letter that won the internet governance battle

By Kieren McCarthy

Published Friday 2nd December 2005 09:07 GMT

The World Summit in Tunis last month was overshadowed by the
global argument over internet governance.

Its biggest controversy came with the proposition put forward by
the EU a month earlier that there be a new inter-governmental
body that oversee ICANN. The US government - which currently
enjoys unilateral control over the internet infrastructure - was
furious and launched an enormous lobbying campaign, both public
and private, across the board to retain its position.

Most significant among all those lobbying efforts was a letter
sent from the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to the UK
foreign minister Jack Straw acting in the role of presidency of
the EU.

In the letter, Rice used strong language for a diplomatic
missive, to stress how seriously the US administration was taking
the issue and how determined it was to retain ICANN in overall
charge of the internet. European diplomats privately confessed
that the letter had a significant impact on their position.

(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 5 Dec 20:47 2005

Info Freedom Activists Demo in Hyde Park

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Upd-discuss] Anti-copyright activists demonstrate in
London's Hyde Park
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 06:36:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Zapopan Martin Muela-Meza <zapopanmuela <at>>
To: Lib InfoSociety
<lib-info-society <at>>,Progressive Library
International Coalition <lib-plic <at>>,Shef LIS Com
<sheffield-lis-communication <at>>,Union Public
Domain <upd-discuss <at>>,Rekombinant
<rekombinant <at>>

[From Jennifer de Beer]

Copyright activists let off steam in London
Ingrid Marson
October 17, 2005, 14:00 GMT,39020645,39230999,00.htm
After Hours: Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow and free software
activists denounce copyright law in London's Hyde Park

A group of copyright activists took over Speakers' Corner in
London's Hyde Park on Sunday to expound the evils associated with
strict copyright law and point out some potential solutions.

An informal group of copyright activists meet on a regular basis
at the famous London landmark to voice their opinions. On Sunday,
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 5 Dec 22:56 2005

Brennan Center's Fair Use Report Released

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Publib] Brennan Center's Fair Use report is out -
Please post!
Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 10:41:57 -0600
From: "Don Wood" <dwood <at>>
To: "PUBLIB" <publib <at>>

"Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright

from the Free Expression Policy Project at the Brennan Center for
Justice, NYU School of Law

Executive Summary

""Fair use" is a crucial part of our copyright system. It allows
any of us to quote and reproduce parts -- or sometimes all -- of
copyrighted works, if the use advances creativity and democratic
discussion. There are similar free expression safeguards in
trademark law. Together, they assure that the owners of
"intellectual property" cannot close down the free exchange of
ideas. These safeguards in our copyright and trademark systems
are at risk today. Threatening "cease and desist" letters cause
many people to give up their fair use rights. Even more
troublesome are "take-down" notices sent by copyright owners to
Internet service providers, which pressure them to remove online
speech without any court having ruled that it is illegal.
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 6 Dec 22:38 2005

Stop the Xcasting Treaty

NY Fair Use is organizing a trip to meet with the US Delegation
to WIPO on the Broadcasting Treaty in the next few weeks.  Please
notify us of your wish to take part. Also in attendance, pending
scheduling availability, will be James Love/Manon Ress of CPTech,
EFF International Affairs Director Gwen Hinze, Richard Stallman
of FSF, John Mitchell of InteractionLaw, and Marshall Eubanks,
and others.

See the links below for information on the WIPO Broadcasting
Treaty, which would serve in effect as an international
"broadcast flag treaty."  These links include many comments by
developing nations and numerous non-governmental organizations
speaking for the public interest, presented to little avail at
the recent WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related

The US Delegation to WIPO, led by the US Patent and Trademark
Office, is ramrodding this treaty through.

See the comments of the spokesperson for the National Association
of Broadcasters at the just-concluded WIPO meeting on this
treaty.  This is the apparent outlook of the proponents of the
xcasting treaty:

This is not the accustomed situation of competing for the
endorsement and support of legislators against more well-heeled
parties.  In this instance we are dealing with a concerted effort
to render the fundamental precepts embodied in our copyright
(Continue reading)

Seth Johnson | 7 Dec 15:27 2005

Philippe Aigrain at Oct 6 Hearing on transposition of the European Directive on Copyright in French law

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [A2k] Philippe Aigrain at Oct 6 Hearing on transposition
of the European Directive on Copyright in French law
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 07:47:14 -0500
From: Manon Ress <manon.ress <at>>
To: ecommerce <at>,a2k discuss list
<a2k <at>>

Philippe Aigrain at a Hearing on 6 October 2005 in the "On-line
distribution of works" commitee of the High Council of Literary
and Artistic Property

[Context for non-French readers: CSPLA is the committee advising
the French government on copyright issues. The special committee
on "on- line distribution of works" had a general mandate, but
most of its work was situated in the perspective of the coming
transposition in French law of the European directive on
Copyright and Neighbouring Rights in the Information Society.]

Good morning. I am grateful to your committee and its Chair for
having accepted to hear me. For more than 20 years I have been a
research scientist, working mostly on tool developments for the
critical reception of image and sound media. I became by force a
philosopher of law in your domain of competence, in particular in
relation with my work in the European Commission services, and it
is with this philosophical perspective that I am addressing you
today. Finally, I am today an entrepreneur, trying to provide
(Continue reading)