|Weekly News Digest
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EFF Aims to Get Appeals Court to Reverse Decision in DMCA Case
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia “block enforcement of onerous copyright rules that violate the First Amendment and criminalize certain speech about technology, preventing researchers, tech innovators, filmmakers, educators, and others from creating and sharing their work.” Specifically, EFF wants the court “to reverse a district court decision in Green v. DOJ, a lawsuit [EFF] filed in 2016 challenging the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) on behalf of security researcher Matt Green and technologist Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang. Both are pursuing projects highly beneficial to the public and perfectly lawful except for DMCA’s anti-speech provisions.”
Green is working on a book about his project making “Apple messaging and financial transactions systems more secure by uncovering software vulnerabilities, an endeavor that requires finding and exploiting weaknesses in code.” Huang’s company, Alphamax, LLC, is “developing devices for editing digital video streams that would enable people to make innovative uses of their paid video content, such as captioning a presidential debate with a running Twitter comment field or enabling remixes of high-definition video.”
“Section 1201 [of DMCA] makes it a federal crime for our clients, and others like them, to exercise their right to free expression by engaging in research, creating software, and [publishing] their work,” says Kit Walsh, EFF’s senior staff attorney. “This creates a censorship regime under the guise of copyright law that cannot be squared with the First Amendment.”
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