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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: New DMCA case: ACLU protects right to study ffiltering software

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 25 Jul 2002 09:50:07 -0400
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: New DMCA case: ACLU protects right to study filtering software
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


    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.


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