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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Copyright Office posts DMCA exemption petitions
November 25, 2014 | 6:17 pm

A few weeks ago I discussed the need for a DMCA exemption for e-books, in light of the US Copyright Office requesting petitions for such exemptions. The Copyright Office has now posted all 44 petitions it received as PDFs. There are a number of interesting petitions there—not least of them my own. Now that I read my petition again, I see a few typos and other tweaks I wish I could go back and fix (and they miscategorized it under “Audiovisual Works – Multimedia E-Books,” rather than “Literature Distributed Electronically”), but on the whole I’m satisfied with it....

Games Workshop, self-publishing author battle over ‘space marines’
February 9, 2013 | 1:19 pm

spots-marineSelf-publishing has a lot of advantages and just as many countervailing drawbacks. The biggest advantage is, of course, you get to be your own boss and can publish whatever you want to, without some publisher taking a cut of the money. But the dark side of this freedom is that it can leave you vulnerable if some big company with money and lawyers decides it doesn’t like what you’re doing. And even if their claims are completely outlandish, it will cost you money you don’t have—more money than your book will ever make—to fight them, and you don’t have any guarantee...

Latest Humble Bundle offers digital music – so why not e-books?
July 26, 2012 | 6:48 pm

jonathancoultonsgreatesthitI’ve covered the Humble Indie Bundles here before—bundles of independent computer games sold at a pay-what-you-want price, in support of the developers and charities (usually Child’s Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation). I’ve discussed the potential relevance to e-books, but the Humble Bundle’s latest move has possibly even more relevance—they’ve made the jump from games to digital music. The latest Humble Bundle is the Humble Music Bundle, which includes albums from MC Frontalot, They Might Be Giants, Christopher Tin, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Jonathan Coulton, and, for beating the average donation ($7.87 at the time of this writing), OK Go....

Righthaven defendant may recover legal costs from Righthaven parent Stephens Media
March 15, 2012 | 9:15 am

A brief follow-up to my latest post about copyright troll Righthaven’s travails: Wendy Davis at the Daily Online Examiner reports that the EFF has helped one of Righthaven’s defendants, the Democratic Underground, file suit against Stephens Media, the company that launched Righthaven and licensed or sold it its copyright, to obtain a declaratory judgment that the posting of a five-sentence excerpt from a 50-sentence article counted as fair use and therefore Stephens had no right to sic Righthaven on them. After Stephens conceded, the judge ruled against the company, and the Democratic Underground and EFF are now eligible...

EFF mostly satisfied over Amazon Silk privacy concerns
October 19, 2011 | 11:15 am

Following up to the privacy concerns about Amazon’s “Silk” browser, the EFF spoke with Amazon and asked some questions about privacy-related matters. The EFF’s Dan Auerbach reports coming away from the conversation mostly satisfied with Amazon’s measures, with only a couple of major privacy concerns remaining. Amazon explained that Silk does not intercept encrypted traffic—HTTPS browsing sessions go directly from the Kindle Fire to the website without passing through Amazon’s EC2 servers. As for logging of requests that do pass through EC2, Amazon explains it only logs the URL of the page, a timestamp, and a session-identification token. There...

California Reader Privacy Act signed into law
October 4, 2011 | 11:51 am

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that the California Reader Privacy Act has been signed into law. The act “will establish privacy protections for book purchases [including e-book purchases] similar to long-established privacy laws for library records.” While the EFF trumpets this as a victory for reader privacy, Death and Taxes Magazine points out that it is still superseded at the federal level by the Patriot Act. Given that elsewhere the EFF reports a US attorney demanded the book purchase records of 24,000 customers from Amazon, this is troubling. It seems doubtful the EFF will have much luck counteracting...

File-sharing case prompts push for copyright reform
April 6, 2011 | 9:20 am

An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses a recent file-sharing case in which Joel Tenenbaum was convicted of illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs.  His original verdict was an award of  $67,500 in damages to the music companies... a tenth what the jury voted to award the music companies, and an amount still under appeal by both sides. But for copyright-reform advocates, a lawsuit filed against Mr. Tenenbaum by the music industry has provided an instrument to sound alarms about a broader issue: how fear of enormous damages can chill innovation that involves even a minimal...