File Sharing Pits Copyright Against Free Speech"
New York Times (11/03/03) P. C1; Schwartz, John
Diebold Election Systems' recent allegations that
college students and other grass-roots proponents are
violating copyright statutes by posting on the Internet
company documents related to the security of their
electronic voting machines -- and advocates'
counter-argument that they are merely exercising their
free speech rights -- demonstrate that the scope of the
copyright conflict extends far beyond intellectual
property holders' aims to preserve their licensing
structure, according to legal scholars.
"We're so focused on the micro-view--whether EMI is
going to make a buck next year -- but there is so much
more at stake in our battle to control the flows of
information," explains New York University's Siva
Critics such as Swarthmore student Nelson Pavlosky
contend that Diebold's sending cease-and-desist letters
to people who posted the e-voting machine memos online
clearly illustrates how corporations are abusing
copyright law to muffle freedom of speech.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lawyer Wendy
Seltzer says that Diebold has evoked the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act "because they don't want the
facts [about their e-voting machines' security problems]
out there." The EFF is offering students targeted by
Diebold informal advice and helping them secure legal
assistance. Meanwhile, hackers posted insecure software
from Sequoia Voting Systems last week, prompting the
company to issue a statement that the software is an
older version that has since been changed.
However, the concerns of Rebecca Mercuri of Harvard
University have not been assuaged by such claims, and
she notes that the fact that Diebold and Sequoia's
e-voting code was unprotected raises security questions.
Johns Hopkins researcher Aviel D. Rubin believes voting
machine companies should stop selling insecure products
and halt their campaign against students, whom he argues
are merely trying to uphold democratic principles.
 NY Times Article
Audio Link : http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=1490901
On Tuesday, online activist group the Electronic
Frontier Foundation will file suit in a California
federal court, seeking to enjoin Diebold from
claiming copyright infringement over the release of
company emails and memos. Activists have been trying
to drum up opposition to electronic voting systems,
which they say are insecure and plagued with
technical problems. NPR's Rick Karr reports.