[free-sklyarov] [mech@eff.org: EFFector 14.20: ALERT: FTAA treaty DMCA-ized; Felten case ; anonymity]

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Thu Aug 16 12:51:43 PDT 2001

----- Forwarded message from Stanton McCandlish <mech at eff.org> -----

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 12:22:26 -0700
From: mech at eff.org (Stanton McCandlish)
Subject: EFFector 14.20: ALERT: FTAA treaty DMCA-ized; Felten case ; anonymity

    EFFector       Vol. 14, No. 20       Aug 16, 2001     editor at eff.org

   A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation     ISSN 1062-9424

    In the 180th Issue of EFFector (now with over 28,600 subscribers!):

     * ALERT: Hollywood Exports Technology Ban Overseas Despite US Abuse
     * Scientists Support Professor's Copyright Law Challenge
     * Court Protects Online Anonymity of Corporate Critics
     * Administrivia

   For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/

   To join EFF or make an additional donation:
   EFF is a member-supported non-profit. Please sign up as a member

ALERT: Hollywood Exports Technology Ban Overseas Despite US Abuse

  EFF Calls on Public to Intervene in Treaty Process

    Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT

    (Issued: August 16, 2001 / Deadline: August 22, 2001)


   [Para una versión español de esta alarma, que puede ser distribuida
   libremente, vaya a este URL (For a Spanish version of this alert,
   which may be freely distributed, go to this URL):
     http://www.eff.org/alerts/20010816_eff_ftaa_alert.es.html ]

   While Russian graduate student Dmitry Sklyarov potentially faces five
   years in prison under the first criminal prosecution of a
   controversial new US law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
   passed at the request of Hollywood in 1998, its backers are now busily
   exporting overseas its dangerous legal theories of excessive copyright
   protection at the price of civil liberties. Worldwide public
   intervention is immediately necessary to restore freedom of speech as
   a value promoted by free societies.

   The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) treaty process, which is
   under executive power, works to establish trade agreements between 34
   countries in the Western hemisphere including the US. FTAA
   nation-signatories pass legislation in each of their national forums
   that conforms with the treaty's principles. Currently the group is
   negotiating language to include in an international treaty between the
   34 countries that deals with enacting new copyright rules, among other
   issues. The FTAA organization is considering treaty language that
   mandates nations pass anti-circumvention provisions similar to the
   DMCA, except the FTAA treaty grants even greater control to publishers
   than the DMCA.

   The public must intervene to express disapproval of the FTAA's
   proposed anti-circumvention measures in order to correct this trend in
   copyright law. FTAA is currently accepting public feedback on the
   proposed treaty language until August 22. Contact the U.S. Trade
   Representative (or your country's representative) and urge the removal
   of the anti-circumvention measures from incorporation into the final
   FTAA treaty. Already existing theories of liability under US copyright
   law adequately protect the legitimate interests of copyright holders
   without the need to impose anti-technology restrictions on the entire
   public. Rather than adopt even more draconian measures that ban
   socially beneficial technologies in a fantasy of protecting
   copyrights, such as the proposed anti-circumvention measures to FTAA
   attempts, foreign countries should learn from the disastrous US
   experience with the DMCA. They should wisely steer away from such
   over-reaching measures.

    What YOU Can Do:

   EFF calls upon the citizens of the 34 countries affected by this
   treaty, including the US, to submit comments by August 20 (22 at the
   latest) urging the group to remove the provisions from the treaty that
   outlaw the act of circumvention and forbid providing tools for
   circumvention of technological protection measures restricting use of
   copyrighted works. These measures violate the U.S. Constitution's
   guarantee of freedom of speech under the First Amendment, similar
   guarantees in other national constitutions and laws and in the UN
   Universal Declaration of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary
   to exercise lawful uses, including fair use. While protecting
   copyright is important, passing measures that also censor much lawful
   speech goes too far, without ever achieving its objective. The next
   meeting of the FTAA Negotiating Group on Intellectual Property Rights
   is Aug. 22 in Panama, and public comments will be most effective if
   received before this date. This means it should be mailed by Aug. 18
   at the latest, in the US, and even sooner from other countries.
   (Unfortunately, the FTAA site does not provide mechanisms for
   Web-submitted comments.)

   Comments, to be received by the FTAA organization by August 20, should
   be submitted to: 

   Gloria Blue, Executive Secretary, Trade Policy Staff Committee
   Attn: FTAA Draft Text Release
   Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
   1724 F. St., NW, Fifth Floor
   Washington DC 20508 USA

   Non-US writers should also send a copy to their own country's
   intellectual property government officials; list available at:

    Sample Letter:

   This is just an example. It will be most effective if you send
   something similar but in your own words.

     Dear Ms. Blue, Trade Policy Staff Committee, and Negotiating Group
     on Intellectual Property Rights:

     I write to express my grave concern regarding the draft FTAA
     treaty's extreme intellectual property provisions.

     These measures, based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act
     (DMCA) give far too much power to publishers, at the expense of
     indivdiuals' rights. The DMCA itself is already under legal
     challenge in the US, has gravely chilled scientists' and computer
     security researchers' freedom of expression around the world for
     fear of being prosecuted in the US, and resulted in the arrest of a
     Russian programmer. The FTAA provisions, which serve no one but
     American corporate copyright interests, are even more overbroad
     than those of the DMCA.

     These provisions would require signatory nations to pass new
     DMCA-style laws that ban, with few or no exceptions, software and
     other tools that allow copy prevention technologies to be bypassed.
     This would violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of freedom of
     speech under the First Amendment, and similar guarantees in other
     national constitutions and laws and in the UN Universal Declaration
     of Human Rights, since such tools are necessary to exercise lawful
     uses, including fair use, reverse engineering, computer security
     research and many others.

     I urge you to remove these controversial and anti-freedom
     provisions from the FTAA treaty language. The DMCA is already an
     international debacle. Its flaws - and worse - should not be
     exported and forced on other countries.

     [Your full name]
     [Your address]

   Non-US writers should mention their own country's constitution and/or
   laws protecting freedom of expression, of coruse.

   Copies may also be sent by e-mail to some key people in the FTAA
    kalvarez at ustr.gov (Kira Alvarez - Intellectual Property)
    walter_bastian at ita.doc.gov (Walter Bastian - E-Commerce)
   Non-US contacts available at:


   Much like the DMCA, the current draft of the FTAA agreement forbids
   the act of circumventing a "technological protection measure" that
   controls the use of a copyrighted work. It also bans making or
   providing tools that could help another to use a copyrighted work.
   Unlike the DMCA, however, the language currently proposed for the FTAA
   treaty doesn't include even a single exemption that would permit
   activities like lawful reverse engineering, protecting privacy, fair
   use rights, encryption research, and countless other reasons a person
   might need to override the publisher's controls. (And the DMCA only
   includes a few very narrow exemptions to the general ban on
   circumvention, but they have so far proven completely useless to
   everyone who has attempted to rely on them.)

   Even though copyright law gives individuals rights such as fair use,
   the DMCA and FTAA's proposed anti-circumvention provisions outlaw all
   tools that are necessary to exercise those rights, effectively killing
   fair use in the digital age. These measures ensure works are prevented
   from taking their place in the public domain, denying the public what
   rightfully belongs to it under the law. The guarantees of free
   expression under the First Amendment, other constitutions & laws in
   other countries, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
   Rights, rightly prevent publishers from having complete control over
   the way in which copyrighted works can be used. But the DMCA and its
   counterpart in the FTAA treaty ignore this principle and would grant
   publishing companies the power to turn individual rights into "product
   features" that can be disabled at the whim of the publisher.

   Since its passage, the DMCA has thus far been used to: censor a
   journalist reporting on a controversial software program; attempt to
   squelch the research of a Princeton professor who discovered the
   vulnerabilities of the music industry's favored technology; and arrest
   a foreign computer programmer for developing software that allows
   lawful purchasers of electronic books to view them in ways not
   supported by a competitor's viewing software. Because it wishes to
   consistently abuse these powers throughout the world, rather than
   merely in the United States, Hollywood and the rest of the copyright
   industry are now attempting to export this legal regime throughout the

   It is truly ironic that the United States, once the beacon for
   promoting the principles of freedom of expression, is now
   systematically infecting other countries with this dangerous public
   policy choice that will restrict more speech than any law before it.
   FTAA's anti-circumvention provisions represent US imperialism at its
   worst. They seek to impose restrictive laws on both the US and other
   countries, in order to prevent established US businesses from facing
   both domestic and foreign competition. These competitors would offer
   the public much better deals than these businesses wish to offer,
   which is why the small number of companies that control music, movie
   and book distribution seek to have these competitors outlawed. The
   anti-circumvention provisions' terrible effects on freedom of speech,
   scientific advancement, and actual computer security, as well as on
   public libraries and access to knowledge, are merely "incidental"
   damage, suffered by society for the benefit of these businesses.

   To view the proposed FTAA treaty language, see:
     http://www.ftaa-alca.org/ftaadraft/eng/draft_e.doc [MS-Word]

   For more information on the FTAA treaty process, see:

    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, privacy, and openness in the
   information society. EFF is a member-supported organization and
   maintains one of the most linked-to Web sites in the world:


     Will Doherty, EFF Online Activist / Media Relations
     wild at eff.org
     +1 415 436 9333 x111

     Robin Gross, EFF Intellectual Property Attorney
     robin at eff.org
     +1 415 436 9333 x112

                                  - end -



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----- End forwarded message -----

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | Its really terrible when FBI arrested
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/ | hacker, who visited USA with peacefull
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF) | mission -- to share his knowledge with
     http://www.freesklyarov.org/      | american nation.  (Ilya V. Vasilyev)

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