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[dvd-discuss] New DMCA case: ACLU sues filtering software maker N2H2


   ACLU lawsuit targets copyright law
   By Declan McCullagh
   July 25, 2002, 6:30 AM PT

   WASHINGTON--The American Civil Liberties Union plans to file a lawsuit
   on Thursday in an attempt to overturn key portions of a controversial
   1998 copyright law.

   The suit asks a federal judge to rule that the Digital Millennium
   Copyright Act (DMCA) is so sweeping that it unconstitutionally
   interferes with researchers' ability to evaluate the effectiveness of
   Internet filtering software.

   By suing on behalf of a 22-year-old programmer who's researching the
   oft-buggy products, the civil liberties group hopes to prompt the
   first ruling that would curtail the DMCA's wide reach.

   After the DMCA was used to intimidate Princeton professor Ed Felten
   and his colleagues into self-censoring a presentation last year, the
   law became an instant magnet for criticism. But so far, every judge
   has upheld the DMCA's broad restrictions on the "circumvention of
   copyright protection systems."

   This case will be different, the ACLU hopes, because it features a
   sympathetic plaintiff, Ben Edelman, and because it involves the
   socially beneficial act of critiquing software that is frequently used
   in public schools and libraries. Edelman had testified as an expert
   witness in a case the ACLU brought against a federal law that
   compelled public libraries to install filters.