In a major boost to our legal battle against the MPAA, Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan has joined our team and will be arguing the case in front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on May 1. She joins Martin Garbus and the team from the Electronic Frontier Foundation who worked on the initial trial and continue to work diligently on the appeal.
Sullivan brings an impressive combination of legal expertise and technical knowledge to this critical point of our case and it demonstrates not only that we intend to win, but that there are many experts in the field who understand the importance of the DeCSS case - and are willing to help.
The appeal will take place in New York on Tuesday, May 1 at 10 am before a panel of judges at the Federal Courthouse. It will be open to the public but will likely only last a couple of hours. A final decision could take days or months.
The following press release has just been issued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shari Steele, EFF Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan Joins Defense Team for 2600
Will Argue Landmark Internet Free Speech and Copyright Case
April 2, 2001 -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today announced
that Kathleen Sullivan, noted Constitutional scholar and Dean of Stanford
Law School, will join the defense team for 2600 Magazine. Sullivan will argue
this landmark case about free speech and copyright on the Internet before the
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on May 1, 2001.
Sullivan, who is the Dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law, the Stanley
Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford University and founder of the Stanford
Center for Internet Society explained, "Maintaining a public domain for freedom
of speech is one of the most important challenges of the digital information age, and this case is potentially a landmark in that struggle."
The case arises from 2600 Magazine's publication of and linking to a
computer program called DeCSS in November, 1999 as part of its news
coverage about DVD decryption software. DeCSS decrypts movies on DVDs that
have been encrypted by a computer program called CSS. Decryption of DVD
movies is necessary in order to make fair use of the movies as well as to
play DVD movies on computers running the Linux operating system, among
other uses. The Studios object to the publication of DeCSS because they
claim that it can be used as part of a process to infringe copyrights on
Universal Studios, along with other members of the Motion Picture
Association of America, filed suit against the magazine in January 2000
seeking an order that the magazine no longer publish the program. In the
case, formally titled Universal v. Remeirdes, et. al., the District
Court granted a preliminary injunction against publication of DeCSS on
January 20, 2000. By August 2000, after an abbreviated trial, the Court
prohibited 2600 Magazine from even linking to DeCSS.
"The District Court held that 2600's publication of DeCSS was illegal even
though it was part of a news story, even though the program itself was
protected expression, even though no copyright infringement had occurred
and even though it acknowledged that the program has legitimate,
even constitutionally protected uses," said Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of
the EFF, "Dean Sullivan understands how restrictions that may appear to
restrict only technology can in reality restrict speech."
"I'm very pleased to have so prominent a scholar and appellate advocate as
Dean Sullivan join the team," said Martin Garbus of Frankfurt, Garbus, Kurnit
Kelin & Selz, P.C., who led the trial team.
"This is a thrilling development for all of us. Having the combined force
of both Garbus and Sullivan not only increases our confidence but should
aptly demonstrate just how important this case really is," said
Emmanuel Goldstein, publisher of 2600 Magazine.
In its reply brief filed March 19, the EFF noted that the censorship of a news
story is improper under the First Amendment. The Studios' claim that they were
simply trying to prevent copyright infringement was undercut by their admission
that the Studios believe they have the right to control the players for DVDs.
The case is based upon a claimed violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which contains provisions that prevent the "providing" of technologies that can circumvent technical protection measures placed on DVDs.
Information on Dean Sullivan is available at http://lawschool.stanford.edu/faculty/sullivan/
More information about this case is available on the EFF website at http://www.eff.org/pub/Intellectual_property/Video/MPAA_DVD_cases/20010319_ny_eff_appeal_reply_brief.html
The Electronic Frontier Foundation ( http://www.eff.org ) 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.
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