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November 19, 2003
Kucinich Posts Diebold's E-Voting Memos
Donna Wentworth points out (Kucinich Posts Excerpts from Diebold Memos) that Representative (and Presidential Candidate) Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has now posted excerpts of the infamous Diebold memos on his website on a page devoted to voting rights (Voting Rights). It should be noted that Diebold is now claiming that the juiciest excerpts from the leaked memos are copyright violations as well (Letter from Cindy Cohn to Judge Fogel [PDF]). While Diebold might have a colorable claim that posting all the memos is a copyright violation, there is no reasonable claim that publishing the excerpts is not fair use. It will be interesting to see how Diebold responds to Kucinich's postings.
Kucinich also condemns Diebold's use of the DMCA to silence those who have posted these memos:
Diebold has been using coercive legal claims to intimidate internet service providers and even universities to shut down websites with links to its memos and remove the memo content. Under copyright laws, however, universities are exempt, and posting links to the memos is not considered a violation of the law. By abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Diebold has intimidated numerous internet service providers to comply with its requests. The damage is two-fold: 1) limiting the publicâs information about the security of its voting machines, and 2) expanding corporate control over our most free medium of expression, the Internet.
Right on, Kucinich! Will any other presidential candidates or representatives join the campaign against Diebold? Let's hope so!
UPDATE 1745 PT
Doug Simpson brings up some good points on his Unintended Consequences blog (Congressman Posts Diebold Document Excerpts). He discusses the "Speech and Debate" clause of the US Constitution (U.S. Const. art. I, Â§ 6, cl. 1):
The Senators and Representatives ... shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged from Arrest ... and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
And notes the analogies of the present case with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company v. Williams 62 F.3d 408 (D.C. Cir 1995), a case involving tobacco industry documents leaked to Congress. The case is a very good introduction to the issues involved in the "Speech and Debate" clause. I second Doug's comment that, "I'd like to be a fly on the wall when those [a notice-and-takedown letter] arrive[s at house.gov's ISP]."
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Civil Liberties | Digital Millennium Copyright Act | E-Voting | Freedom of Expression
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