The Electronic Frontier Foundation today has aimed a demonstrably potent weapon -- the spotlight of public shame -- at those corporations and individuals who abuse copyright claims to stifle free speech.
From an EFF press release:
"Free speech in the 21st century often depends on incorporating video clips and other content from various sources," explained EFF Senior Staff Attorney and Kahle Promise Fellow Corynne McSherry. "It's what The Daily Show with Jon Stewart does every night. This is 'fair use' of copyrighted or trademarked material and protected under U.S. law. But that hasn't stopped thin-skinned corporations and others from abusing the legal system to get these new works removed from the Internet. We wanted to document this censorship for all to see."
EFF's Takedown Hall of Shame at www.eff.org/takedowns focuses on the most egregious examples of takedown abuse, including an example of a YouTube video National Public Radio tried to remove just this week that criticizes same-sex marriage. Other Hall of Shame honorees include NBC for requesting removal of an Obama campaign video and CBS for targeting a McCain campaign video in the critical months before the 2008 election. The Hall of Shame will be updated regularly, as bad takedowns continue to squash free speech rights of artists, critics, and commentators big and small.
Other hall inductees include: radio blowhard Michael Savage; election bungler Diebold, Inc.; endlessly discredited "paranormalist" Uri Geller; and even the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which apparently has donned a black hat on such matters.
The Hall of Shame is part of EFF's "No Down Time for Free Speech" campaign.
The EFF has been exceptionally active of late when it comes to launching Web sites that focus on specific issues; for example: TOSBack, which tracks changes in Web site terms of service so that you don't have to; Surveillance Self-Defense, which offers advice on keeping prying eyes off of your electronic information; and, of course, its longstanding and highly effective Patent Busting Project.
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