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[dvd-discuss] New DMCA case: ACLU sues filtering software maker N2H2
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- Subject: [dvd-discuss] New DMCA case: ACLU sues filtering software maker N2H2
- From: Declan McCullagh <lists(at)politechbot.com>
- Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 10:38:59 -0400
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ACLU lawsuit targets copyright law
By Declan McCullagh
July 25, 2002, 6:30 AM PT
WASHINGTON--The American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a lawsuit
on Thursday in an attempt to overturn key portions of a controversial
1998 copyright law.
The suit asks a federal judge to rule that the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA) is so sweeping that it unconstitutionally
interferes with researchers' ability to evaluate the effectiveness of
Internet filtering software.
By suing on behalf of a 22-year-old programmer who's researching the
oft-buggy products, the civil liberties group hopes to prompt the
first ruling that would curtail the DMCA's wide reach.
After the DMCA was used to intimidate Princeton professor Ed Felten
and his colleagues into self-censoring a presentation last year, the
law became an instant magnet for criticism. But so far, every judge
has upheld the DMCA's broad restrictions on the "circumvention of
copyright protection systems."
This case will be different, the ACLU hopes, because it features a
sympathetic plaintiff, Ben Edelman, and because it involves the
socially beneficial act of critiquing software that is frequently used
in public schools and libraries. Edelman had testified as an expert
witness in a case the ACLU brought against a federal law that
compelled public libraries to install filters.