Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes Digital Lockdown

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 14, 2003

Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes Digital Lockdown

Some States Pass, Others Consider Copyright Legislation

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today released a detailed analysis of the dangers posed by digital copyright bills in individual states.

The product of stealth lobbying efforts by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), these new measures are aimed at criminalizing the possession of what the MPAA calls "unlawful communication and access devices," but which are so broad that they could ban critical security and privacy tools online as well as restrict what machines you can connect to the cable, satellite, and Internet lines in your home.

Because the bills are more extreme versions of the nationwide Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), pundits refer to them as "super- DMCA" legislation.

Even before these activities crossed activists' radar, seven states (Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wyoming) had already enacted them into law. Similar bills have been introduced and are currently pending in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas.

"The 'super-DMCA' measures represent special interest legislation that dramatically expands the reach of the federal DMCA, which has already put fair use, innovation, free speech and competition in peril," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Communication service providers -- meaning ISPs, cable companies, and providers of digital entertainment services -- can use this legislation to restrict what you can connect to your Internet connection and cable or satellite television lines and can ban a variety of tools critical to protecting the anonymity and security of Internet users."

EFF strongly opposes these state super-DMCA bills as unnecessary and overbroad. The proposed bills represent the worst kind of special interest legislation, sacrificing the public interest in favor of the self-serving interests of one industry.


For this release:

EFF analysis of state "super-DMCA" bills:

EFF state-level "Super DMCA" initiatives archive:

EFF white paper on unintended consequences of the DMCA:


Fred von Lohmann Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Electronic Frontier Foundation +1 415 436-9333 x123 (office)

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world at