|FROM ||Mike Richardson - Jounal Committee NYLXS
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] News article on iwon.com (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:16:46 -0700 (MST)
From: Michael L. Richardson
Subject: News article on iwon.com
Apr 9, 6:23 PM (ET)
By JUSTIN POPE
BOSTON (AP) - A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit that
challenged the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act by seeking permission
for a Harvard student to probe Internet filtering software used in schools
and public libraries.
The lawsuit was brought last summer by the American Civil Liberties Union on
behalf of Ben Edelman, a Harvard Law School student who has argued that such
software often blocks far more than pornography and other objectionable
sites.Edelman had asked a Seattle company called N2H2 for a list of sites its
software blocks, but was rebuffed. He then went to court to seek permission
to reverse- engineer N2H2's product, saying he needed court permission
because the controversial 1998 law forbids the dissemination of information
that could be used to bypass copyright-protection schemes.
Edelman said that without such protection from potential lawsuits he could
not proceed with research he called essential.
"It's highly desirable that these products are accurate, that when they say
they're blocking pornography, they're really blocking pornography, not
people running for Congress who talk about the evils of pornography," he
said Wednesday. "Yet the research to date indicates they make a lot of
N2H2 claimed that providing such information to Edelman would compromise
trade secrets, and that Edelman had no legal standing to be granted such
permission because there was no imminent threat he would be sued.
U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns agreed, writing in a ruling issued
Wednesday that "there is no plausibly protected constitutional interest that
Edelman can assert that outweighs N2H2's right to protect its copyrighted
material from an invasive and destructive trespass."
Chris Hansen, the ACLU attorney who argued the case, said the ACLU was
discussing options for other ways to challenge the law.
N2H2 spokesman David Burt said the company was pleased with the ruling.
"We think that researchers and other people who want to learn about filters
already have means for doing that," Burt said. "I think it's pretty clear
that people who want to analyze and criticize filters can use tools that do
not involve decryption."
On the Net:
NYLXS: New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....
NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc