In a sardonic new editorial, the Register asks whether the EFF is harming the very causes that it's supposedly fighting for.
This isn't coming out of left field. The EFF has lost numerous cases that could have been won
, and in doing so is helping to creating precedents that make fights for civil liberties harder to wage.
Grokster shuts down
after their Supreme Court defeat [pdf
] this summer, Grokster has chosen to settle its case with MGM et al., admit to wrongdoing, and stop distributing its software. Their website
now displays the message: "There are legal services for downloading music and movies.
This service is not one of them.".
Another victoy for Hollywood in the intellectual property war. Who's next?
The Supreme Court's Big Day
The court chose not to review the controversy surrounding "reporter's privilege"
in withholding the names of confidential sources; meaning reporters may continue to be jailed or fined for refusing to name sources in court.
, the Court decided 6-3
that cable providers did not have to allow competitors to access their lines (the way DSL companies do). FCC opponents had been hopeful the Court would find the other way, opening new markets for competition and service options.
The Court ruled one of two
Ten Commandment displays are unconstitutional. The decalogue display on a courthouse wall in Kentucky was found 5-4
to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was serving a religious purpose. However, the Ten Commandments display on the grounds of Texas' state capitol were found to be constitutional.
The Court finally decided the MGM v Grokster case
. The Court found unanimously
that the file sharing service can be held liable
for the copyright infringement of their users.
Federal judge rules Morpheus, Grokster not liable for Internet piracy.
Well that is until the big pocketed music industry finds a favorable judge and wins the appeal.
Morpheus is broken.
The Netherlands-based provider of the technology used by Kazaa and Grokster upgrades their system, but leaves out Streamcast Networks' (formerly Music City) Morpheus network, and suddenly, everyone is locked out. Kinda punches a giant hole in their EFF-backed battle with the RIAA, which hinges on the assertion that their network is 'decentralized' and impossible to stop.