Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




EFF And Stanford Law Clinic Sue Diebold

from the SLAPP dept

As Diebold continues to send out cease-and-desist letters to shut down whistle-blower sites that show just how insecure Diebold's electronic voting software is, the EFF and Stanford Law Clinic are representing two Swarthmore students (and an ISP) to sue Diebold to get them to stop issuing cease-and-desist letters, saying that they are specious legal threats. In the case of the ISP, Diebold sent a DMCA cease-and-desist takedown letter because someone on their sites simply linked to the documents. There are any number of problems with what Diebold is doing. They're trying to force down sites that simply link to information, which goes too far. They're trying to stifle whistleblowing activity that exposes their voting software's flaws (something that is important to be made public, as Diebold has a large share of the electronic voting machine market). Finally, they're using the DMCA for all of this, in a way that it was clearly not intended to be used. The idea behind the DMCA (as flawed as the thinking may be) was to stop someone from taking content and reselling (or giving it away) it as their own - undercutting the market. No one is trying to do that in this case. The information being brought out isn't designed to compete with Diebold, but to expose them for having notoriously weak security on a product that clearly needs to be very secure.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2003 @ 2:14pm

    No Subject Given

    Anyone know of instances of any non-evil uses of the DMCA? All I read on the news is this sort of baseless bullying with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      LittleW0lf, 3 Nov 2003 @ 2:26pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Anyone know of instances of any non-evil uses of the DMCA?

      Kinda depends on your definition of "evil", doesn't it?

      In my opinion, and shared by a number of people, the DMCA is an entirely evil law, with no redeaming values. Like the Ring of Power, no good can come from it, as anyone who attempts to use it solely for good will find their will bent towards evil. But unlike the ring of power, it does not render things invisible (though MPAA/RIAA are trying very hard...) and it does not prolong the user's life (and in many cases, it shortens the life when customers get angry that their money is going to prosecute them for things they should legally be able to do with the products they purchased.)

      It is my hope that Frodo (the EFF,) will rid us once and for all by casting the DMCA into the volcanic pits of Mount Doom (the courts.)

      But then again, I am sure the RIAA/MPAA would have us believe that the DMCA is not an evil law, and is not being used for evil, just like Sauron would have us believe that the Ring of Power was good and could only be used for good purposes, like turning invisible or living longer....

      Anyone tired of the Lord of the Rings references yet?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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