Why I’m Suing the US Government

Today I filed a lawsuit against the US government, challenging Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Section 1201 means that you can be sued or prosecuted for accessing, speaking about, and tinkering with digital media and technologies that you have paid for. This violates our First Amendment rights, and I am asking the court to order the federal government to stop enforcing Section 1201.

Before Section 1201, the ownership of ideas was tempered by constitutional protections. Under this law, we had the right to tinker with gadgets that we bought, we had the right to record TV shows on our VCRs, and we had the right to remix songs. Section 1201 built an extra barrier around copyrightable works, restricting our prior ability to explore and create. In order to repair a gadget, we may have to decrypt its firmware; in order to remix a video, we may have to strip HDCP. Whereas we once readily expressed feelings and new ideas through remixes and hardware modifications, now we must first pause and ask: does this violate Section 1201? Especially now that cryptography pervades every aspect of modern life, every creative spark is likewise dampened by the chill of Section 1201.

The act of creation is no longer spontaneous.

Our recent generation of Makers, hackers, and entrepreneurs have developed under the shadow of Section 1201. Like the parable of the frog in the well, their creativity has been confined to a small patch, not realizing how big and blue the sky could be if they could step outside that well. Nascent 1201-free ecosystems outside the US are leading indicators of how far behind the next generation of Americans will be if we keep with the status quo.

Our children deserve better.

I can no longer stand by as a passive witness to this situation. I was born into a 1201-free world, and our future generations deserve that same freedom of thought and expression. I am but one instrument in a large orchestra performing the symphony for freedom, but I hope my small part can remind us that once upon a time, there was a world free of such artificial barriers, and that creativity and expression go hand in hand with the ability to share without fear.

If you want to read more about the lawsuit, please check out the EFF’s press release on the matter.

180 Responses to “Why I’m Suing the US Government”

  1. Ben McNelly says:

    Good. I support this, as both a maker and a dad, I can’t imagine a world where my kids can’t strip apart and hack on things to learn and create. “fixing” the VCR and other household electronics is how I got started and hooked on inventing and creating. Recording audio playing on the radio with my tape player and pretending to be a DJ spurred my creative side, and now I produce television shows. I stand behind you 100%.

  2. Andrew Levinson says:

    Thank you sir. You are a champion.

  3. Andrew Fernandes says:

    Thank you for doing this. Your (hacking) work has been an inspiration, and your efforts are highly appreciated!

  4. emperordane says:

    how can we help? Paypal donate link?

  5. Matthew says:

    This entire cause is a sham, beyond belief, a cause that seeks to degrade the value of creative thought and intellectual property.

    Before we get into socioeconomic barrier discussions I am a former disabled homeless person who is how the founder of one of the most powerful environmental activism groups in the country. I started out with nothing and worked myself to where I am, using original and creative thought and at no time have I ever needed anyone’s intellectual property to build myself to where I am.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation, that supports this complete bullshit erosion of the rights of content creators everywhere, does nothing in this world but fight for causes that continually reduce the market value of original ideas.

    They claim to fight for things like “free speech” but what they really fight for is the rights of anonymous hate groups to steal your photos and write nasty messages on them. They fight for the rights of the meek to inherit the Earth so they can then destroy it with their abject failures.

    Look to the recent lawsuit Google v Oracle, where Oracle sued Google over the use of their software in Android. Google avoided billions in liability and it was all thanks to the work of the EFF, who suck off the teat of Silicon Valley and protect their billionaire buddies from financial liability, and then they support “little guys” like this so they can continue their 1% supporting ruse.

    I look forward to watching this mad grab at free intellectual property get slapped down by Washington DC. This is not about fighting the government, this guy is a puppet being used by the power that be in Silicon Valley in order to allow companies like Google to continue to rob, loot, and pillage other people’s intellectual property without financial liability.

    Matthew
    Founder: SuperfundResearch.org

    • Matthew says:

      i support SuperfundResearch.org. i’m gay.

      i think that talking about how copy protection works should be a criminal act. therefore the next generation will have no way of understanding it and continuing to protect original ideas. in only a few generations, all ideas will be free. and gay. we are working towards that world.

      please give me more money, hollywood jews.

    • Dave says:

      So anything you disagree with is a sham? That somehow the rights of content creators override the rights of the consumer to actually own their property?

      Oracle did not sue Google over the use of their software, they sued them over an API – an abstract thing no different then a math equation. If Oracle had won, the ability for you to do things like use a web browser of your choice might well be in question.

      Your OWN website runs on WordPress – open source software made by people like us. And you have the gall to call us, for our dedication and work, thieves? Hell, your site theme is in bootstrap – another piece of FOSS that uses part of an API originally setup in another program and ideas present in other software.

      Oracle made a clumsy cash grab because they wanted a piece of the pie – and the EFF stands for content creators, specifically the ones whose work yours is built off of. The rights of some (very large, very rich, very powerful) content creators do not override the rights of small content creators or consumers.

      How much free software created by people like us, backed by the EFF, got you to where you are today?

      • Jeremiah Cornelius says:

        The beneficiaries are not even “content creators”.

        Capitol Records never created conten, in over 50 years. Ray Charles sure did.

        Who made more money, over the years in their relationship?

        Now, suppose the tens of thousands of artists, less well-known or individually successful than Ray Charles, unable to negotiate even the disadvantageous terms he received?

        Concepts like “intellectual property” and “content creator” are legal manipulations, to ensure inequal rent extraction by large corporations, at the expense of artists, technicians and customers. Do not subscribe to these opressive fictions.

    • Rob says:

      I can see why you are so passionate about this issue — I took a look at your website, and it looks like most of the photos on it have been shamelessly duplicated on other people’s websites. One of them looks like it was made into a commercial postcard.

      • Jeremiah Cornelius says:

        Yes. And this abuse was already covered under EXISTING COPYRIGHT LAW, without resort to overbroad legislation like DMCA that put an imbalance of power in the hands of large corporations, and declared classes of legitimate uses and research as illegal, infringing activity, regardless of intent.

        That is by definition, bad law. It is unconstitutional law, when the activity deemed infringing, is otherwise protected speech.

        • Matthew says:

          I’m not referring to protected speech. EFF has pass laws which allow criminal and civil defamation and if it has its way, they will suspend all civil rights associated with filing suits for speech that is not constitutionally protected.

          For example, I had a hard drive stolen, and an image that was never released was posted on the internet, with non-protected speech, and WordPress refused the DMCA complaint based on “fair use” and forwarded me the suit that EFF filed to make it so that literally stolen property can be used.

          That’s straight garbage.

          • Rosie-Redstar says:

            Stop right there. A DMCA notice is meant for copyright, not taking down whatever you please.

            You stated yourself that the hard drive was stolen and part of it’s content released. With that statement you implied that you knew the request was not proper, as it was fueled by a desire to censor the content in question rather than any apparent concern for copyright.

            This means the request was done in bad-faith so it is therefore invalid and unlawful.

            If you look at it from the perspective of the request itself, it would still be invalid. To take down the content in question, you need the original URL of the official version of the content. Since the work was not published before then, you have no original URL. This means the request can not be processed, as you have no way to prove infringement.

            Either way, you have proved Bunnie’s entire point of the reason behind the lawsuit. The DMCA has become a blunt weapon used to censor and harass others.

            It directly conflicts with both the idea behind the DMCA’s creation and the idea of US law as a whole. The latter part comes into play in two ways.

            First, The very foundation of US law relies on the idea of “Innocent until proven Guilty”. The DMCA allows content to be taken down with mere accusations. Then it requires the accused to prove themselves otherwise.

            Second, the only reason the DMCA exist in the first place happens to be Fair Use. Without Fair Use, the law was deemed unconstitutional due to the First Amendment.

            The problem is that Rights-holders treat Fair Use as an obscure loophole to the law rather than an actual important part of it. The Supreme Court Dancing Baby case ruled that Rights-holders must take Fair Use into account before sending a DMCA request, yet Rights-holders still refuse to do so. This Makes the DMCA fundamentally broken.

            On a side note, you kept bringing up ‘Unprotected Speech’. This makes me wonder, what kind of speech do you think is ‘unprotected’?
            In terms of Law, disregarding Libel; Slander; and similar charges, Unprotected Speech is generally agreed to be Speech that can cause immediate danger to others.

            The classic example is yelling “Fire” in a movie theater. This can cause injury by panicked people rushing out, or even cause an actual fire by disturbed/damaged equipment via the panicking people.

          • William says:

            If you are still around, how about taking the fight here?
            https://torrentfreak.com/google-gets-more-wordpress-com-takedown-requests-than-wordpress-170319/
            You’ll need a Disqus account.
            I would recommend knocking down “thisguy1337” as hard as possible.

    • Ryan says:

      Two points on your comment.

      1) Google v Oracle was not about use of Oracles software. It all hinged upon if APIs are covered by copyright. Google wrote their own software but used the same naming, organization, and (for the most part) functionality as Oracles Java. Analogies are tough, but to me this is the software equivalent of multiple car manufacturers making their own version of a “crossover” vehicle, they all function essentially the same, they all have essentially the same interface (pedals, steering wheel, etc), but everything under the hood and behind the scenes are done their own way. Google did indeed create a knock-off of Oracles Java (the parts under the hood and behind the scenes were their own original code though) but I’m not sure how that differs from every automaker producing an almost identical looking vehicle other than badge and minor trim features.

      2) Even if EFF is a terrible organization it does not mean that pushing for “the right to tinker” is bad. I’m not a huge fan of most of the DMCA and I support carve outs for in home use and hobbyist tinkering. Stopping people from being able to modify hardware that they’ve purchased and to restrict their access to bits that they’ve bought does not prevent or even slow copying, duplicating, pirating, or otherwise taking or using other peoples IP.

      We have lots of laws on the books with significant and harsh penalties for people using IP or facilitating the using of IP that they don’t own – and all of these have significant and severe penalties. For _commercial_ decoding of streams and data you can look at Dishnetwork vs Sonicview (google: 09-cv-1553 sonicview) and the claims list (asterisks are mine): (1) violation of the Digital Millennium Copy right Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § **1201**(a)(1); (2) violation of the DMCA, 17 U.S.C. §§ **1201**(a)(2) & (b)(1);(3) violation of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 605(a); (4) violation of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(4); and (5) violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1) This was for a company that advertised “get free tv” and I’m okay with them getting beat up by section 1201, but if I want to in my house strip hdcp so I can use an older projector – I think that should be okay.

      • Matthew says:

        As the founder of a data mining project which creates data scrapers and builds API’s to expose Superfund sites, and corrupt government officials, an API is not an abstract creation.

        Interestingly, our programmer, who works for Facebook, Alex Hwang, donates his time for free to create the things we need to fight our battles and educate people and I would be pretty pissed if we spent time and money creating an API and then someone else came along and misappropriated it for their own use.

        Do you know why? College for Alex was how many hundreds of thousands of dollars? My hundreds of thousands of miles of travel to over fifteen hundred cities to even begin to figure out what kind of data we need access to, cost how many hundreds of thousands of dollars? Then, you want to be able to come along and take what amounts to well over a half a million dollars in intellectual property and claim it’s abstract?

        How much free software got me where I am today? Zero. I pay for all of my software, from Adobe to Cakewalk, which is what I run my film production company on, and no we are not a part of Hollywood. While I occasionally work on the development of TV shows, I have starved and struggled from day one, made sacrifices for my art, almost died for a documentary I made about homelessness only to have someone come along and steal the scene of me crying in a shower after not bathing for fourteen days and put a laugh track on it, and then have a law that EFF passed cited as a reason that using it to publicly abuse me is “free speech.”

        Or how about when Robin William’s died… I spent several hundred dollars to go to LA to get photos of his monument on the walk of fame. This was during a time when i was very poor and the expense was invasive, only to have a couple of dozen Robin Williams Facebook tribute pages Photoshop out my watermarks and share the photos all over Facebook, generating hundreds of thousands of shares, and no less than a million fans for other people, and I got nothing.

        Then, I went to Reddit to clear the record on who created the image and they downflagged me for “spamming” my own content!

        You claim you want to sample my music. Well, that’s great, how about you ask me since I spent 25 years mastering five instruments and thirty thousand dollars on my recording studio just so you can come along and steal my property and use it to make a remix in which you have to pay me nothing? It seems like to me you want what I have but you don’t want to work or pay for it!

        I’m one of the victims of the file sharing age, of the sampling age, of the digital revolution while people trivialize the issues and claim they are fighting fat cats in Hollywood. Well guess what?

        When you see the credits roll down the screen at the end of a film you see the names of hundreds of struggling Los Angeles families whose livelihoods depend on the financial success of those movies you want free access to. You look at it like you are fighting an entity, or a studio, but what you’re really doing is putting hard working Americans out of work, and killing the value of original thought, or even the simple concept of owning your own thoughts.

        My website runs on WordPress because it was created before WordPress was used to destroy my life and career, and we’ve just not migrated to a new platform, yet. I don’t care about your pity me attitude. Pay for your shit or go work at McDonald’s and save up for it, but stop creating laws which allow you to loot my bank account because you don’t have the talent to be me.

        And in closing, we have IP laws but EFF has passed, or is working to pass laws which allow people to circumvent those IP laws, like the blogger who is stealing all of my content and using it to brand me as a “child molester” and forwarding it around cities where I am fighting environmental causes, just to make sure everyone in the city dies from cancer, and then they use fake names on the DMCA counter requests as EFF has stated that their mission is to repeal the DMCA, and provide complete anonymous ability to steal intellectual property with zero repercussions. The EFF is eroding people’s civil rights in the process.

        This means I cannot sue the person who is telling the world I am a convicted felon when I am not. This means I cannot sue the person who is stealing photos of my cat and writing abusive messages on them. The EFF supports anonymous speech and the only reason they do this is because they want to see a world where creative thought has no value.

        This lawsuit is nothing more than an effort to slowly erode the IP and defamation civil rights of US citizens, and if you are not smart enough to see that then I truly feel for your unfortunate genetics.

        I liken these lawsuits against the DMCA as the same thing as suspending the laws of natural selection and slowly allowing the human race to die off as a result of rampant unchecked stupidity. Just like the commercial says, if you weren’t born with it, go buy some Mabeline, or you know, if we do things your way, just steal it and claim that the mascara company is limiting your freedom of expression by charging you for their product.

        Matt

        • Lol says:

          “…you don’t have the talent to be me.”

          Oh you little child, how misguided…

          • Matthew says:

            So how does this work now?

            You claim I am misguided, as if I am not talented and then I point out that I have worked with some of the most brilliant artists on the planet, like Jordan from Dream Theater, or Sergio Aragones from Mad Magazine and then you come back with how I need to get over myself and claim I am arrogant and egotistical and the I point out that i was just talking about my actual life which many failures seem to feel the need to take a shot at even though I am just talking about my day and then you get mad and accuse me of being a criminal, a schizophrenic, and a troll, and then I point out that YOU are actually the person who is writing those harassing blogs about me that have caused all of this drama and then you go back to your site and threaten to murder me and mutilate my body and then I try to call the police and they say, “Since it’s anonymous there is nothing we can do to protect you” and then I appeal for help from EFF and they say, sorry, we here at EFF feel that threats to violently maim and dismember a human body are free speech and just as American as Apple Pie, itself, so fuck yourself and die! Also, we take donations. Click here!”

            Do I have that right?

            • Hacker2016 says:

              From your comments, which are quite impassioned, it seems like you may actually be schizophrenic. If you’d like to remain a starving artist for the rest of your life, feel free to publish yourself in a narrow market and complain when things don’t go your way. Spending 30,000 of studio time isn’t necessary to master several instruments if you’re not a major recording artist; you simply made a bad decision, and want to feel righteous about it.

              There is a term for efforts and costs that were expended in the past, and it’s called sunk cost. Whether you made a bad business decision in the past or not, the market owes you absolutely nothing to compensate you for that. The same goes for Alex; sure, maybe he spent 150,000 dollars on college, but he could have easily just gone to a community college and paid less than $40k overall (or worked for a scholarship).

              I very rarely comment on these matters, as I support the efforts of artists and creators quite strongly. However, there are *thousands* of people who built for free the platforms and infrastructure you rely on for attention and profit, yet you give them no credit, seeking to push them under the tide in order to satiate your own greed and cover up your mistakes.

              You repeatedly whine about how unjust it is that you aren’t compensated for your “talent.” If you can claim to be uniquely valuable and deserving of free money for whatever you do, why can’t I just claim to be a genius, sit back, and rake in the cash while reclining on my couch?

              I completely support Bunnie and the EFF in this effort. If companies want to install malicious or pervy software in their products, they should be free to do so, but it should be their own responsibility to make the software as difficult to crack as they can, and not lean on the courts to imprison and fine those hackers who are more innovative than the creators of their security measures.

              Basically, the only way this could affect you is if you’re selling a bespoke media player containing your choir music, and you want to sue someone who hacked the media player they bought from you in order to play some other music, or to behave as an alarm clock. It’s obvious you have a vested interest in the vague category of “protecting my IP rights!”, but (a) this change would be very unlikely to apply to you, and (b) you never had enough money to bring suit against someone under 1201 anyway, so your opinion is irrelevant. Cry all you want about Oracle missing profits from Google, I’m not shedding any tears for the big guys.

              Don’t even get me started on the irony of you complaining that taking down 1201 is tantamount to stopping the forces of the free market slash evolution. Bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms exchange DNA (music, creative work) that they uniquely came up, which perform valuable tasks, literally all the time. Ancient cultures, arguably far more evolution-based than ours, had no such thing as copyright and music/songs were spread far and wide without any complaints about credit. If your work has merit, you’ll be credited for it. It’s up to you to prove that you deserve credit for something you published in unrestricted form, to the internet, where nobody knows you’re a dog, and everything is public.

              • do not get involved, he is a troll, really scary troll.

                • wtf says:

                  wtf is your linked site?

                  also that’s horrifying. i hope bunnie removes him and IP bans him.

                  • yeah says:

                    I couldn’t believe what he was saying so I briefly searched about him, and yeah the guy is scary, like he is a famous troll, apparently, the link is a summary about his online and irl “achievements”. Well to be not completely bias he did make a few films however the review for his “best” work 1 star in imdb.

                    • The internet troll with an IMDb, a registered environmental organization in Oregon, and a millions dollars.

                      By the way, I predicted this attack, but while they were using their SEO attack on me, the one where they fill my search results with madness and tell people to Google their own attacks, WordPress stepped in and the source of your fictionalization of who I am was banned from WordPress, over 1000 blogs deleted because your source, the person you got your information from threatened to murder me and mutilate my body and that was a violation of the terms of use so your entire foundation for everything you just said about me, defaming my good name and my powerful organization, was just deleted.

                      Everyone look up at the group of people who just got permabanned from WordPress for issuing death threats, for harassing my 62 year old mother, for threatening my eight year old daughter.

                      Want to know why scum like this are allowed to get away with this kind of attack and defamation? Meet the EFF who fights for their rights to terrorize others and manipulate every human being they come into contact with.

                      Everyone take a long hard look at the group who has destroyed six environmental causes around the US, totaling three million affected people.

                      This is what you stand for Bunnie.

                    • Matthew says:

                      The blog owner censored the comment above this one and is doing so to attempt to defame me and that is just more motivation for me to be in DC tomorrow morning to make sure this case gets crushed into a fine powder.

                      What’s wrong Bunnie, afraid that allowing everyone to know the defamation was deleted for death threats so they don’t see my point and turn on you?

                    • toppest says:

                      This guy literally checks all the boxes. Paranoid schizophrenic, delusions of grandeur, imagined fame/fortune, masturbatory self-congratulation, etc etc. I’m not sure he can even blame it on the mercury he cared as a child anymore.

                    • toppest says:

                      *mercury he vaped

                    • toppest says:

                      Do you want to crush this case into a fine powder so you can snort it, Matthew?

        • Bill says:

          “…How much free software got me where I am today? Zero. I pay for all of my software…” Then you mention you have used WordPress for many years. And I’m sure you have used Linux servers for many years, even if they were not in your house or office. Free software helps everyone, except those who attempt to make money off the work of others who created it.

          • MRE says:

            IF someone has ever even TOUCHED the internet.. or made a telephone call in the last 15 years, they have benefited from free software.

        • JuanPeron says:

          Wait… “Our programmer”?

          On SuperfundResarch you’re listed as a software dev. But here, you cop to the fact that you might be in charge of software, but aren’t competent to write it.

          Your title on the website is horribly misleading if you aren’t a programmer, but everything you’ve written here is misleading-to-dishonest so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

        • Theodore says:

          It looks like you are not entirely clear on what an API is.

          In Oracle vs Google, it means the language you use to ask the operating system to do something. I don’t think that should be copyrightable.

          From what you’ve said, I think the API you’re talking about includes the language used to ask the site to do something, but it also includes the code that performs the request. That second part should be and is copyrightable.

        • Bryan Elliott says:

          “As the founder of a data mining project”

          “at no time have I ever needed anyone’s intellectual property to build myself to where I am.”

          Does not compute.

        • Bryan Elliott says:

          “How much free software got me where I am today? Zero.”

          “My website runs on WordPress because it was created before WordPress was used to destroy my life and career, and we’ve just not migrated to a new platform, yet.”

          Yeah. If you’re going to walk away from free software, you might want to drop jQuery as well. And the Apache server it’s running on. And PHP. And FontForge, as it was used to generate your woff2 files, by proxy of FontAwesome. And a whole lot more – gleaned just from your website.

          Oh, and you use Adobe products? There’s a lot of libraries there that are thanks to the OSS community. Adobe packed them up, added their own magic and sold it to you, but in there is a nice chunk of free software.

          Then, there’s always Chrome and Mozilla. It’s odd your site doesn’t demand that it run on Internet Explorer only, given your disdain for OSS.

          It’s clear _why_ you don’t think you use free software: _you don’t have to think about it_. But the reality is that _most_ of the internet runs on some free variant of unix and a _host_ of free code that acts as glue.

          But hey, you paid for Photoshop. Ain’t that sweet.

          • Matthew says:

            I wasn’t saying free software, I was saying iI don’t use stolen or pirated software. I have never stolen software of code from anyone or anything else to build my career.

            Maybe you need to do that, but I don’t.

            • Solo says:

              “How much free software got me where I am today? Zero.”

              A quote from you.

              • Matthew says:

                Right, you can feel free to manipulate my intentions all you want but I know what I meant. I was referring to pirated software and just said the wrong thing. When I say I didn’t need other people’s intellectual property it’s really manipulative for someone to dig into architecture of products to justify their argument.

                My point is when i need music, I write music, when I need film I make my own film and don’t mash up other people’s shit. When I need to write code i don’t steal someone else’s, we create it from scratch. We do everything that can possible be done from scratch.

                Besides, just from being a part of this conversation I have already been told to hang myself, I had Bunnie not approve the comment that showed that the negative information people were posting about me was deleted and manipulate people’s view of me in doing this, I have been called a child.

                Just for expressing myself? Thanks so much Bunnie. You’re a real hero and then people like me who actually fight for real things that help people get shit on.

                Awesome.

                • kys says:

                  Bunnie is a real hero, and he’s actually done real, productive things with his life. You’re just a wanker manchild.

                • aaron p says:

                  I think you are a bad person, Matthew. You should consider going into PR work. You have a very convincing writing style and I’m completely swayed by your nonsensical rants and rude comments.
                  I went out of my way to write this comment just to wish you a bad day. Think of your motivational speaker potential!

        • rdm says:

          Free software is an integral part of the software you paid for.

          But all that means to you is that the prices is lower (and the quality is higher) than it would have been otherwise.

          That said, just as there are things you can waste your money on, there is also free software which can and will waste your time.

        • bhj says:

          By “free software”, we mean free as in freedom, or speech — open source software.

        • “movies you want free access to” – no one wants free access to movies. I would like to be allowed to view the movies I’ve bought and paid for. If that’s not possible, the false advertising on DVDs needs to be slapped down.

        • Pedro says:

          “only to have a couple of dozen Robin Williams Facebook tribute pages Photoshop out my watermarks and share the photos all over Facebook, generating hundreds of thousands of shares, and no less than a million fans for other people, and I got nothing.”

          If anything you weer the first to post it, so you’re doing something really really really wrong to be the one creating the content, be the first posting it, and not getting anything in return.
          You should look into this first, otherwise, its clear that fighthing the people that later shared your photos don’t really do nothing to your project.

    • Timothy says:

      Matthew,

      “at no time have I ever needed anyone’s intellectual property to build myself to where I am”

      While I very much respect your accomplishments and contributions to the environment and to society, and you are correct that EFF sometimes defends large companies, this statement is not accurate. Your site uses technologies built by countless other “meek” people to function, often distributed under permissive licenses. The back-end is kept secure by cryptographic algorithms developed by other people. You rely on Facebook and Youtube to get your important message across – both of which have profited immensely from the illegal use of other people’s intellectual property (e.g. videos) under current law.

      Please also note that on http://superfundresearch.org/superfund-region-9-data-scraper/ you recommend to your visitors that they download a file onto their local devices and execute the python code it contains. I had to read those files to make sure that there was no malware, since it was an unsigned file without HTTPS. But your code contained no license, and I reverse engineered it. That’s a potential violation of Section 1201.

      Also, users are informed that the code scrapes some sites, e.g. yosemite.epa.gov. But that site belongs to the US government and warns “This information system is provided for U.S. Government-authorized use only… Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in disciplinary action, as well as civil and criminal penalties.” You encourage visitors to scrape it, but is scraping it a violation of CFAA?

      We all have to do our part to push back against these legal limitations on our ability to explore, and to defend ourselves from government intrusions – whether it’s Bunnie’s hardware projects to defend ourselves from surveillance, or your informational project to help us all defend ourselves from toxic waste and government secrecy.

      Thank you both for your contributions.

      • Matthew says:

        Everything you just said was pure word salad misdirection.

        1. I have used software under the guidelines that were provided and at no time have I ever stolen someone else’s intellectual property to build my career. You can add layers to my statement to make me seem disingenuous, but that is a weak argument tactic in any debate and it shows that you can’t debate the actual points of my statement.

        2. I’m glad it’s a violation and if I’d love to sue you for taking apart one of my creations that I worked so hard, from the day I was homeless and covered in dirt sitting in a doorway to today.

        3. That warning is for government employees. Those are public records and part of authorized use is American citizens reading them. Data mining public records is not a crime under any set of laws.

        • Twist of Plots says:

          “Data mining public records is not a crime under any set of laws.”

          Yet.

          It is not a crime, yet.

          • rdm says:

            I do not think the person who wrote that “not a crime under any set of laws” bothered trying to understand the laws of all countries and states.

        • Someone says:

          “How much free software got me where I am today? Zero. I pay for all of my software”

        • Isaac says:

          “I’m glad it’s a violation and if I’d love to sue you for taking apart one of my creations”

          Would you think it reasonable if someone took apart a microwave to see how it worked? It’s protected by copyright. No one is saying that people should be free to pirate. Certainly I don’t feel that is a position the EFF holds.

          Are you familiar with what’s called a man in the middle attack? Essentially because the python file is being downloaded without any security anyone with access any where along the chain of transmission from your server to my computer can modify that file and make it some other program. Is it a bit weird to open something like that up and check that it’s what it says it is? Yea, should it be illegal? No, because it can happen, I’d suspect it has happened and the consequences of running possibly malicious python code could be huge.

          • I don’t appreciate being accused of being a bad person just so you can reverse engineer my hard work. I’m not a company that makes microwaves. I’m a guy whose life and career are being stomped on by the thoughtless vision of the EFF.

            • kys says:

              Fuck off, Matthew. The rope store down the road has a discount sale this week, pop in and off yourself since you’ve clearly nothing better to do.

            • William says:

              In that case how about suing each and every antivirus company in existence? Why? They are in the business of reverse engineering EVERYTHING to find out if it is a virus.

        • Pedro says:

          “I have used software under the guidelines that were provided and at no time have I ever stolen someone else’s intellectual property to build my career. You can add layers to my statement to make me seem disingenuous, but that is a weak argument tactic in any debate and it shows that you can’t debate the actual points of my statement.”

          You missed his point. Or I did.
          While you’re mad about the “sharing”, you had no problem at profitting from other people sharing.

          WordPress took allot of time and people to develop, wich translates into real $.
          He also mentioned how Facebook and Yutube profit from the “sharing”, some even illegal under the current law, but even if you seem to be against the unlawful sharing, you have no issue in using these services.

          So basically, he just points out that you are ungratefull and hypocrit. IF that wasn’t his point, is mine.

    • Steven Wilson says:

      Matthew,

      That is the most un-adulterated bunch of nonsense I’ve seen strung together to try and make an argument. You ignore the ridiculous extension of copyright that defeats the original intent of the Founders to create a “limited” protection for content creation. You pull in the Google/Oracle argument without apparent knowledge of how software is created/used/defined and why the Oracle arguments where such a sham. (I’ve read just about every word of the trial transcripts… and I’m professionally engaged in both hardware and software creation..)

      The DMCA was such an overly broad assertion/extension of the original copyright intent it needs to be severely cut back.

      As long as Mickey Mouse is still copyrighted – the public right to content is being abused.

      • Matthew says:

        As a former software tester at FedEx I am disagreeing with your assessment of The Oracle/Google thing. As someone who is partially funded by and lives part time in Silicon Valley that has been in insider for years, I think you have very little understanding of what is really going on in Mountain View and Menlo Park.

        The founding father also owned people and ruled that human beings could be property.

        Suggesting that the founding fathers had any idea that what they were fighting for, someone’s right to Photoshop a horse penis onto your grandma Bertie’s 109th birthday photo making it look like she is giving a blowjob to a farm animal, I think they would have burned The Constitution, surrendered to the British, and then set up their own gallows to hang themselves in the center of town under a banner that said, “Ye Old Fuck This Shit”

        • 4chan says:

          If you’re that offended by a hypothetical photoshop of a grandma, I pray for your dear little soul, sweet summer child, when you go on the *real* internet.

          Speaking of which, have you even heard of political cartoons? Are you the type of person that would throw a cartoonist in jail for making a comic that mocks the likeness of the leader of your political party?

          • If that cartoon threatened to murder me and cut off my hands and cause harm to my child and it was a credible threat of violence it would not be protected speech under the first amendment, neither is accusing a person of being a convicted felon or a chip abuser when they are not. You are mincing words. I’m not talking about political speech. I’m talking about blatant violations of US laws that the EFF is supporting with its twisted agenda.

            Honestly, and not to self promote here but I lived in the street as a homeless person, while being disabled, to make a documentary and I was hospitalized six times during filming. Before that I was legitimately homeless, I’ve seen things in real life that make 4chan look like a Nickelodeon website, like the guy sleeping next to puking in his own mouth and dying in the middle of the night do you wake up next to a frozen corpse.

            My point is that I’m not offended by grandmas sucking horse cocks. If that what they want to do… Well just use some good mouth wash but do I want someone to make photos of my own grandma deep throating Mr Ed just so they can bully me while the EFF says bovine deep throat granny is fair game? No.

            Screw the EFF. They are public enemy number one to creative minds who use original thought and hard work to create their work from scratch.

            Go to my organization page on Facebook, look at the Burbank video educating the TV industry about ground water pollution in San Fernando Valley. That video is 100% original content with a sound track by Jordan from Dream Theater. Do you know how I got that music piece? I didn’t have to steal it. I went to Jordan offered to promote his name in the post. Therefore, he got street cried out of the deal and done extra fans.

            Now I could have easily sat at home, stole a bunch of video from news pieces, but instead it took me two entire years to make that video, along with research, and as a result I remain an original content creator, I retain my artistic standards and integrity and I put out a beautiful and moving film piece that got 43,000 view is 72 hours in the Burbank market, and it builds reputability, makes it so I can generate funding for other similar film pieces, and I had to use no one else’s hard work to do it.

            A mash up creator would end up with a YouTube video. See the difference when you work for something legit rather than take the short cut the EFF wants to hand everyone, which trivializes everything I’ve worked for?

            • kys says:

              Nope, I won’t give you page views, shitstain.

              • Matthew says:

                Awesome, but let me point something out, since I work nationally, and generate hundreds of thousands of readers every year, your one means nothing to me in terms of self promoting.

                In fact, I’m glad you don’t want to look at it because by doing so you’d be lowering the overall quality of my audience.

                Thanks!

        • wtf says:

          Honestly, I think they’d have loved it. Have you even seen 18th century cartoons? ahhaha

        • toppest says:

          > former software tester at FedEx

          So you got fired from driving the FedEx delivery truck? Wow. What an impressive resume.

    • JuanPeron says:

      Can you explain how that link has anything to do with these claims?

      Anonymous harassment is illegal under harassment laws; no change in Section 1201 is going to give you any power to write nasty messages on stolen photos. The Google v Oracle fight, similarly, is not a Section 1201 case at all. It’s a basic fair use disagreement that’s totally different from anti-circumvention rules. Talking about the Silicon Valley teat is a bit absurd – it’s a political fight between two massive Valley companies, and the only thing that matters to most of us is the legal precedent. This is a fundamentally dishonest summary of what Section 1201 does: it doesn’t determine whether IP is legal, it determines what’s legal to do with individual products you’ve purchased.

      SuperfundResearch appears to be a group dealing with EPA regulations and the Superfund cleanup program. I assume you’re just citing your expertise, because this law has nothing to do with the status of Superfund. I also have no idea how you think this constitutes a “grab at free intellectual property”. It’s an attempt to make free modifications to purchased products, which has nothing to do with building companies and profit on top of other people’s developments. This is aggressive fear-mongering with no clear tie-in to the actual topic at hand.

      • Anonymous harassment is anonymous. You can file a suit to acquire an IP but if you hit a proxy and then your suit dead because there is no responsible party.

        However, with DMCA you can hit them with a claim and they are then forced to file a counter claim and reveal their identity. But they can use a fake name to stalll the process, but that opens up right to identify infringer clauses and makes it easier to catch an anonymous harasser.

        EFF had stated on their own website that their agenda is do repeal the full DMCA which would have the effect of suspending all US defamation and harassment laws.

        This makes an anonymous blogger untouchable and leaves them free to threaten to murder people with no repercussions. The EFF then writes on their site about the dangers of this agenda, in a different article, but when someone’s life and career get ground up in their gears they will literally look you in the face and tell you to kick rocks.

        I’m telling you this from personal experience with EFF. Their agenda is to protect the financial interests of Internet 2.0 Silicon Valley. The moment you become diametrically opposed to them they will put a bullet in your brain and never look back.

        If the EFF wasn’t behind this I might be more receptive but since I know their game, I know what’s really happening here.

        • Jane Badnin says:

          So what you want is complete ban of anonymity on the entire internet, eh? Go back to your Facebook safe space, nobody can hurt you there.

          You’re a stalker, Randite, asshole, liar, and wanker.

    • Jeremiah Cornelius says:

      Great assertion, Matthew.

      I’d like you to cite examples where economic harm outweighs fundamental speech and expression incursions, when embarking on a contrary proposition to the EFF position and original posting.

      It’s clear you are emotionally charged about “ownership”. Do you own any CDs or record albums? Do you now, or have you ever owned a car?

      Bunny and the EFF are advocating that, if you own such a car, you have the freedom to repair it, or take it to the mechanic of choice on the open market. Because, it’s your car – not Ford’s, any longer.

      Be careful, also, of indiscriminately using the term “intellectual property”. This is a recent invention of patent attorneys and copyright lawyers, used originally to inflate the valuation of their corporate employers. These corporate sponsors are massively the beneficiary of the new concept of “intellectual property”. When this terminology is used, one becomes complicit in the allied concepts of corporate personhood and corporate civil rights – positions that have their manifestation in US rulings such as “Citizens United vs FEC”.

      You see, I’m pretty sure that your heart is in the right place, but you may be confused about the actual beneficiaries and their motives. Look clearly into the arguments, even though you may have had a negative personal experience with misuse of material over which you had a period of copyright monopoly.

      • Matthew says:

        Regardless of what anyone thinks, within the next few days I’ll have a post published to our entire base of lawmakers in DC to warn them of the dangers of the EFF, and remember, the EFF was laughed out of DC in the 1990’s, so don’t think they have any power there.

    • Charles says:

      For all the experience you claim to have, your grasp of the API issue seems informed more by your passion than your reason.
      I don’t now who you think ripped you off of what, but clearly you intend to punish everyone and slow the pace of innovation because you didn’t get paid.

    • Trym says:

      >>How much free software got me where I am today? Zero. I pay for all of my software, from Adobe to Cakewalk

      Your livelihood is on the internet, which you access using TCP/IP .. most likely on Windows which reverse-engineered/stolen from BSD in its time..
      So if the DMCA had been in place when this occurred Internet as you know it would most likely never hit mainstream, and you might still be homeless.

      This specific section of the DMCA as it is currently written can make it illegal for Adobe to edit pictures from Canon/Nikon/Your favorite brand cameras (Raw format) or vice-versa,
      Adobe can decide to create a new Camera and make it illegal for you to use any other cameras than theirs with the Adobe programs.

      But more importantly it stops innovation as it makes it illegal for you to modify or improve products that you purchase. A very apt example is if you want to upgrade your car stereo but you are forced to only use Ford’s car stereos in a Ford, and it would be illegal to try to make a better car stereo for Ford cars.

      You are fighting for the right for the largest corporations to do as they please and force consumers to obey their rules, this has nothing todo with content creation and copyright as those are protected under other laws, this is a fight to stop unnecessarily vague laws being misused to create monopoly situations.

      You are allowed to have an opinion, but please educate yourself on the specifics before you try to force others to have yours, as absolutely none of the claims you are specifying about this has anything todo with this case.
      Not saying they are not valid cases, but they are protected under other laws, which are way more appropriate.

      You might be a troll or just really stubborn, and based on some of your later comments you should really ask yourself if you might be an instigator of the threats on you, as it seems you have very extreme opinions about others, but don’t allow others to have them about you.

      • My livelihood is not on the Internet. The Internet could shut off permanently and it would effect my work in real life.

        My point is I have vast experience with EFF and inside Silicon Valley information that makes me wise to their ploys.

        Their agenda is to take out the DMCA one chunk at a time. The difference between your and my opinion is that we are an environmental firm who fights the US EPA, so we have DC connections too, and money, so while you can attempt to personally insult me, I can walk inside the beltway with a wad of cash and lobby to make sure anything the EFF does is stricken down. They were laughed out of DC in the 1990’s. EFF has no power whatsoever on the East Coast.

        All it takes me us a couple of visits to some offices and a massive DC marketing campaign behind my very strong opinion to stop this shit dead in its tracks.

        I ain’t no fucking troll. Never think that. And unfortunately for everyone here, I have money and connections, so what I say, if I say it to the right people, is the way it goes.

        That’s what hard work earns a person. If I had had been like everyone else and stayed home to make YouTube mashups my comments would only be worth a comment on a blog. Instead, I’m afforded the right to work to sway things in any direction I want, which of course is how I became the powerful activist I am today.

        • Trym says:

          How nice for you..

          Noticed you did something that could violate the DMCA you are protecting..

          >>I began picking apart my Axe FX ii XL+ using my sotware testing skills I picked up at FedEx working as a… well.. a software tester, what else? As was discovered early on in my former IT career, I have a decided knack for finding cracks in systems, locating internal errors, isolating bugs

          This is something you are not allowed todo with the current DMCA..
          Did you ask for permission and get written consent to pick apart the Axe FX?

          Even if you improved a flaw in the module you have not only violated the DMCA doing this, but even informing people about the flaw could be subject to DMCA..

          >>I’m anxious to explore this latency issue using timelapse videography, to see if I visually and audibly document the tiny delay in a slow motion environment. I’m sure that if I prove this theory, more Fractal Audio users with come to my site to threaten my mother and try to talk me into committing suicide, but of course, those are exactly the types of people who don’t have the extended sensory perception to be bothered by a little latency, right?

          It is obvious you are in need of help, I recommend you contact a psychiatrist as you are clearly in need of help and I urge you todo this as soon as possible.

          Most people do not wish you any harm but you are clearly suffering some sort disorder.

    • ohh, matthew, man… as you’ve probably noticed by the length of the replies to what you wrote, the people who follow bunnie huang’s postings are extremely technically competent, highly intelligent, highly literate and have been around for a loooong tiiime.

      it’s actually a good thing that you posted what you did, when you did it, because the sheer *overwhelming volume* of responses that you’re going to get, explaining how, why and exactly where everything that you’ve said is so misguided it’s almost impossible to know where to start, will be a “trial by fire” education not only for yourself but for everyone else who reads these comments. and that’s a *lot* of people.

      i wish you well in your endeavours to protect your beliefs and mindset, but i have to warn you that at some point you will need to give up in one way or another – most likely you will just simply run out of time. you seem like a smart person, so i trust that you will not run into ad hominem attacks.

      and, on that, can i ask others not to degrade the conversation either: answering matthew’s perspective rationally is actually critical to ensuring that 1201 has a sound basis for being removed.

      • Matthew says:

        Why would I give up when I have never lost? My organization has taken on everyone from the US EPA to the DoD to Chris Christie.

        Do you understand? I don’t care what you think. I have enough money to make what I want to happen by hitting the bricks in DC and crushing this lawsuit.

        But, you claim these people are extremely technically competent, but as a resident of Silicon Valley, someone who lives in the place where most of these people dream of living, whose funding came first from Google staff and then Facebook, who has been an invited guest at Google four times. Please spare me what your version of “technically competent” means.

        I’m so sorry I have types out long thoughtful messages filled with dead on accurate information. I wouldn’t want all these alleged brilliant minds to hurt themselves, doing something as exhausting as reading.

        Remember, again, everyone, I’m just sitting here at my house, retired at age 40, running a powerful organization as a hobby, and writing TV shows, so you know… I have time to say what I feel and the money to make sure that what I want is the outcome.

        Anyone in this conversation who has money and connections knows I am right about that last statement, at least. And of course, the more you take shots at me, the more I am going to invest in stopping this. Simple.

        • lololol says:

          hahhahahhaha, funny guy, anyway if you are as credible as you say you are, maybe some linkedin as a next heading? So far this is a bluff, trolling, and I really suspect that he knows of one guy who works somewhere in the Palo Alto, low-level. That’s it so far.

    • Ian says:

      Matthew, please do your research regarding the Google v Oracle lawsuit. Google did not infringe on Oracles patents by using Oracles software – they copied the layout of the API, they did not steal any software. At the end of the day, this bullshit rhetoric is only going to dilute your (bullshit) argument.

    • That “mad grab at free intellectual property” includes my legally “purchased” DVD collection. I was shocked and angry to learn from the latest government “clarification” that while I am allowed to “own” the DVDs and look at them longingly on the shelf, it is illegal for me to actually play them. Needless to say, I have stopped purchasing any more DRMed media like DVD or Blueray. (Fortunately, I am allowed to actual listen to my CDs – and even copy them to my Sansa Clip.)

      Eventually, I will work up the gumption to disobey and watch my DVDs – or else I’ll just throw them out.

      DVD sales are blatant false advertising. They need to carry a warning: “Display of this media using equipment not specifically authorized by the MPAA is unlawful.”

    • Bruce says:

      You’re ignorant about the Oracle/Google lawsuit. Oracle sued Google for functions having the same name… max(int x, int y). Google did NOT copy the functions, but used the same name for the function. Oracle has no right to sue Google for that. Most languages have similar, if not the same, names. Do some research before you post bullshit.

    • Matthew,

      You’s a bad fella.

      Bunnie,

      Thank you!

    • Bb says:

      I am glad some one finally is on to the EFF. An attorney is an officer of the court and has a duty to the group as well as the individual. Eventually they will side against the individual if the group will be injured. So individuals will need to organize a non-attorney group to help them in this fight to defend the individual right to private property which includes though, land and time.

      If you need an example ask one of the lead EFF lawyers about the 3rd party executable that all web browsers now contain that check with corporations to see if a website is malicious or not. EFF acknowledges that these may be used for censorship but because they also may protect the viewer of a potential bad webpage they do not take on this issue. This is bad for them to sit on their hands for this issue because it is how all but China censors the internet covertly and because it might help a few people maybe the EFF does not take the issue. That is sell out B.S.

  6. Alexander says:

    Mr Huang, you are a downright war criminal. Your insane notions that innovation is hampered by perpetual wondering whether or not barely literate spooks will beat down your door to assault you with the latest laws passed by the replacement for Cher’s ex-husband are a threat to the social order in a very bad and unconscionable way. There are many people who’s livelihoods depend on bilking people for poor quality content, and these people have enough lobbying dollars to get the US Trade Representative to spend a lot of time on treaties which are in no way in the American Interest, and cannot even be reviewed by US Senators unless they are wearing a magic decoder ring in a special safety bunker, and only then briefly and without their staff.

    Before we get into any socioeconmic barrier discussions, I am reasonably well educated, presently homeless man, who has held many high paying jobs in the past. I started out with nothing, and worked myself up to something, and now I have nothing again, probably because you can’t even host a secure email service in the present ridiculous police state climate without going to secret court, where you can’t get a lawyer.

    Alexander
    Founder:http://html5zombo.com

    • Jay says:

      “Mr Huang, you are a downright war criminal. Your insane notions…” LOL… you know you’re going gods work when the crazies come out of the woodwork!

      Great cause Bunnie!

    • Gatsby says:

      Evidently, not well-educated enough to not be homeless.

      • Jeremiah Cornelius says:

        Alexander is a reasonable pseudo-troll, satirizing the most ridiculous aspects of teh original Matthew comment.

        I thoroughly enjoy ZOMBO COM, tho’. Excellent find.

      • Matthew says:

        I humbly apologize for being exposed to toxic waste in a Superfund toxic waste dump when I was 12, and then later becoming physically ill, and then legally disabled, living on $500 a month, and then later lost my home when I couldn’t afford a place to live.

        Anyone can end up homeless. Maybe you’d like to walk up to a US veteran who is living on the street, that sacrificed his life for you to be able to run your mouth, and tell him how much of an idiot he is, as well.

        Typical of programmers, and the Silicon Valley entitlement syndrome, where people are smart but have absolutely zero worldly perspective.

    • toppest says:

      Top kek. 5/7, 9/11 with rice.

  7. chris says:

    Is there any way to join and make it a class action suite? That way we can all participate!

  8. Mark Grennan says:

    There are few things I would put my money where my mouth is. This is one.
    Start a go fund me or some other account and I will both fund it and spread the word for my maker friends to do the same. (I void Warranties.)

  9. larry says:

    I joined EFF just the other day.Thank you!

  10. larry says:

    I’m still peaved that it’s now criminal to get admin access (root) to your own phone!

  11. Timothy says:

    Matthew,

    “at no time have I ever needed anyone’s intellectual property to build myself to where I am”

    While I very much respect your accomplishments and contributions to the environment and to society, and you are correct that EFF sometimes defends large companies, this statement is not accurate. Your site uses technologies built by countless other “meek” people to function, often distributed under permissive licenses. The back-end is kept secure by cryptographic algorithms developed by other people. You rely on Facebook and Youtube to get your important message across – both of which have profited immensely from the illegal use of other people’s intellectual property (e.g. videos) under current law.

    Please also note that on http://superfundresearch.org/superfund-region-9-data-scraper/ you recommend to your visitors that they download a file onto their local devices and execute the python code it contains. I had to read those files to make sure that there was no malware, since it was an unsigned file without HTTPS. But your code contained no license, and I reverse engineered it. That’s a potential violation of Section 1201.

    Also, users are informed that the code scrapes some sites, e.g. yosemite.epa.gov. But that site belongs to the US government and warns “This information system is provided for U.S. Government-authorized use only… Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in disciplinary action, as well as civil and criminal penalties.” You encourage visitors to scrape it, but is scraping it a violation of CFAA?

    We all have to do our part to push back against these legal limitations on our ability to explore, and to defend ourselves from government intrusions – whether it’s Bunnie’s hardware projects to defend ourselves from surveillance, or your informational project to help us all defend ourselves from toxic waste and government secrecy.

    Thank you both for your contributions.

  12. […] morning Bunnie Huang wrote about his reasons for suing the US Government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act […]

  13. […] morning Bunnie Huang wrote about his reasons for suing the US Government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act […]

  14. Jon Green says:

    In reply to @Matthew:

    You refer to “[…] the EFF, who suck off the teat of Silicon Valley”.

    This is a gross misrepresentation. In fact, Silicon Valley sucks off the teat of the EFF and the Free Software Foundation. Without free/libre software, the whole foundation of more-or-less every operator in Silicon Valley would be undermined, and every business would fall in a pile of sand. Not only are most servers and many gadgets based on Linux, the programming of just about everything programmable relies upon free libraries, programs and (often) compilers, courtesy of the EFF and FSF.

    You add: “what they really fight for is the rights of anonymous hate groups to steal your photos and write nasty messages on them.” You might want to take a look at the First Amendment, particularly where case law guarantees satire, parody and political speech as protected free speech. You may not like it, but that’s what it is: deal with it.

    You clearly base many of your assumptions on the presumption that future content creators will use royalty-based content without paying royalties. But where are royalties payable, or income lost, when (say) the firmware on a Fire Stick is hacked to add more features – and the result is that more Fire Sticks are sold, and more paid-media streamed through them?

    In practice, the media industries are desperate to go to astonishingly Draconian levels to restrict our freedoms to use items we own, to try to tax us (above and beyond reasonable royalties – remember their attempts to impose a creators’ levy on cassette tapes, then writable CDs, and even mooted one on internet usage?), and to spy on our use of our own equipment, just for their own enrichment.

    Notice I said “industries” here: the amount of any additional levies or royalties raised that makes its way back to the actual creators is negligible. If you want to campaign, campaign for a fair shake for the content creators. For every Taylor Swift, there are a few million struggling singers/animators/videographers being milked dry by Big Media – and they deserve better, and more.

    Some aspects of DMCA are entirely laudable. Being able to issue a takedown request on a website using one’s IP without permission (except where protected free speech applies) is quite reasonable. But reverse engineering bans, for example, are several steps too far – and I say that as a technology CEO who’s run a consumer electronics manufacturer, and who’s created more firmware and middleware than almost anyone else he knows, in a 30+ year career.

    Private or non-revenue (to the user) remix/reuse of IP is hardly a bad thing. Ever tried to learn an instrument without using _someone’s_ copyright material? There’d be no more content, because it would be too boring to get started.

    Still, top trolling.

    • Matthew says:

      I just want to get this clear, you are telling me that the threats to murder me and cut off my hands “so the cops can’t identify the body” is “parody” and “political speech?”

      What about the ongoing threats to harm my eight year old daughter, are those protected speech?

      How about publishing all over the country that I am a convicted felon when I am not? That’s actually literal per se libel that I cannot sue over because EFF protects the right to anonymous death threats and libel.

      As a content creator you know nothing about the industry and have no right whatsoever to provide any estimations of its procedures or practices, and only provide your uneducated opinion as if you are stating a written in stone fact.

      And at the end there…. accusing me of trolling, over something that I am very passionate about, the little abusive fuck you at the end but done in a polite way.

      To answer your question, yes, I learned how to play mandolin and drums without the use of other people’s copyrighted materials just like one can learn to program without reverse engineering Windows. Music has it’s own rules and “programming language” and can be fully and completely constructed mathematically by someone who has never even touched an instrument by applying concepts from the rule book. Some of out here don’t think the mechanics of music are “boring,” but you went to the heart of the matter didn’t you?

      You want to be able to pick up a guitar and be a shred God but you don’t want to have to learn that boring old theory to be able to do it, which is a direct example of someone who wants the benefits of something without putting forth the effort, which is exactly my point!

      • 4chan says:

        DMCA 1201 has absolutely nothing to do with you being threatened physically, and you know that.

        Bear with me for a moment. If we followed your set of rules, wherein anyone who expends a large amount of effort and then produces something should be paid for that effort, why shouldn’t I be able to demand that every taxpayer gives me ten dollars because I spent 35 years of my life drying my septic tank and building an art project/house out of dehydrated feces bricks? I put a lot of effort into it, and learned a lot! Nobody could replicate my work, so I should get free handouts!

        Who gets the final say in whether work is artistically valid or not? Do you really want to be told that your music and sunk costs are worthless?

        • ConcernedShitizen says:

          Moreover, how in the everloving FUCK is a conversation about a specific convention of the DMCA discussing modification of PURCHASED hardware related to you and your traumatically shitty music sales business?

          Why do you want us to drag you down into the gutter and make you feel worse about your business decisions, when the only person who can solve them is YOU?

          I’m all for rewarding good content creators, though. I just think the current model, where you can’t determine the value of an artistic good before purchasing it, is a bit ridiculous given that our species is in its 15,000th year of existence.

          • I don’t run a music sales business. I run an environmental and EPA government watch dog group called SuperfundResearch.org that is funded by Silicon Valley. My film work is either documentaries, music videos for Grammy Nominees, or creating major cable network TV pilots and TV shows.

            It seems that the only arguments that any of you have is that either I suck or I’m a criminal and that is why you should be able to steal from me, when neither of those things are true.

            All value of all art is determined by the market, not the users. But the point here is that EFF is working towards fully stripping the DMCA and this is only step one, and I’m the the guy whose going to stop it.

            Insult me. Call me a troll but when this lawsuit goes down in flames remember my name. The EFF isn’t smart enough to lobby people like me. They’re arrogant and that is why they fail.

            • kys says:

              Protip: nobody wants your shitty documentary. That’s why it’s not selling. 1201 is not about art.

              Sorry.

              • Matthew says:

                Pro tip: I’ve never sold any of my films up until the next one. I’ve given them away for free because I can. That way, no one has to steal my art from me.

                The EFF and 1201 are part of EFF’s agenda to take out the DMCA, and again, I know this from dealing with them, personally, and taking the time to read their site, which is something none of you seem to have done.

                Bunnie doesn’t care about the ultimate ramifications of his actions. He’s just as selfish as EFF, and as a result much less impressive that he could be.

                I have no qualms about crushing this lawsuit. Period.

            • Stevey Weavy says:

              The EFF didn’t lobby an internet troll with no real power outside of his schizophrenic imagination? What were they thinking?

              LOL

      • Stevey Weavy says:

        These claims that someone threatened to “murder me and cut off my hands “so the cops can’t identify the body” is entirely false.

        It literally never happened.

        Matthew Berdyck is nothing but a troll and most of you have already surmised he is mentally ill.

        http://cyberpaypack.blogspot.com/

        https://matthewberdyckscreenshots.wordpress.com

        Just read the “superfundresearch.org” tweets and it will become obvious his isn’t a legitimate anything.

  15. […] Green and Huang have posted remarks about the suit on their blogs. Green's, especially, is a detailed rationale for […]

  16. Flipchan says:

    I support You! We should not spend time with a dissambler just to copy a game to another computer in the household etc ,keep it goin!

  17. […] A tinkerer, a security researcher, and a digital rights watchdog just filed a lawsuit against the United States government, challenging the country’s most embattled copyright law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Passed nearly two decades ago, the law governs the space where traditional copyright and modern technology collide. The lawsuit, filed today, contends that Section 1201 of the DMCA violates free speech under the First Amendment. […]

  18. Simba says:

    You are a hero.

  19. […] Huang notes in his blog post about the case, this is a really big issue. It’s both about free speech and what it means to […]

  20. […] A tinkerer, a security researcher, and a digital rights watchdog just filed a lawsuit against the United States government, challenging the country’s most embattled copyright law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Passed nearly two decades ago, the law governs the space where traditional copyright and modern technology collide. The lawsuit, filed today, contends that Section 1201 of the DMCA violates free speech under the First Amendment. […]

  21. […] on DMCA Section 1201: Research and Technology Restrictions Violate the First Amendment” and Bunnie’s post “Why I’m Suing the US […]

  22. Experienced Internet User says:

    Stop feeding the troll.

  23. VS says:

    Thank you for standing up for our first amendment rights. Your knowledge and name recognition will go far.

  24. […] A tinkerer, a security researcher, and a digital rights watchdog just filed a lawsuit against the United States government, challenging the country’s most embattled copyright law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Passed nearly two decades ago, the law governs the space where traditional copyright and modern technology collide. The lawsuit, filed today, contends that Section 1201 of the DMCA violates free speech under the First Amendment. […]

  25. approval says:

    Hurrah! In the end I got a website from where I can really obtain useful information concerning
    my study and knowledge.

  26. William Cotton says:

    Just my $0.02. Whatever happened to the federal law that said manufactures must support their products for 10 years after they discontinue manufacturing? Does this mean that the Section 1201 precludes us from using/reusing abandon devices? Or should we get compensation by manufactures that do not support products for the 10 year post production? This law 1201 seems to penalize only Americans while allowing overseas manufacturing of products to copy, manufacture and profit from our laws. Let’s face the facts anyone with the right skill set can hack/reverse engineer any product so why does the US Government squash our future businesses and threaten to jail our citizens??

  27. […] has written an inspirational essay explaining his reasons for participating in this suit, explaining that he feels it is his duty to […]

  28. You are many times over a hero. Keep it up, bunnie!

  29. Adam Kelly says:

    Bunnie, You have always been a solid hacker, and human being. Good luck, man.

    Guys in the comments. You have been trolled by the best. Just ignore that guy.

    But Please leave Matthew’s comments. They are hilarious!

    • Matthew says:

      I’m not trolling Bunny, I am speaking from a very wise position that almost none of you have earned and that fact that Bunnie doesn’t care what the outcome is, or who it hurts, says a lot about his character.

      Every battle has collateral damage, Bunnie, speaking to you from the perspective of someone who has fought massive battles, and when you overlook the collateral damage of your actions you are no better than the forces you claim to fight.

      Sure I could shut down the building of a pipeline, but then all those workers would lose their jobs. Understand that your victory will be another’s undoing.

      The EFF is using you, for it’s own purposes.

    • someone says:

      personally I was curious of the comments on this but feel I wasted way too much energy reading that fulminating troll that filled most of it… being able to vote on comments seems rather useful now

  30. John47337 says:

    Bravo. People like you who are both capable and moral give me hope to wageslaver like me.

  31. Jonathan says:

    Odd, two alleged ex-homeless coming out of the woodwork who are still homeless inside and taking it out on the intellectual property regime so they can own something, anything.

    bunnie, you’re a hero. Those whose lives depend on artificial information scarcity should go back to being homeless. They will, eventually, if the elites have their way.

  32. Zak Escano says:

    You sir are a champion.
    I hope you are successful.
    Keep fighting the good fight.

  33. Bdale Garbee says:

    Thanks for taking this on, bunnie!

  34. Andre says:

    Quite right. Where do we donate to the war chest?

    I have had it with DMCA etc interference with legitimate repairs, the latest “trick” is to lock out the BIOS to non Windows 10/Linux with a mandatory update which gets installed during the Windows 10 preparation.
    It actually broke my laptop permanently to the point it wouldn’t boot.

  35. Saneesh A says:

    As a life-long tinkerer and techno-dad, my family’s thanks to you. Well done!

  36. […] afoul of the law. “Section 1201 prevents the act of creation from being spontaneous,” said Huang, who added that America will soon fall behind other nations in tech if the law isn’t […]

  37. […] afoul of the law. “Section 1201 prevents the act of creation from being spontaneous,” said Huang, who added that America will soon fall behind other nations in tech if the law isn’t […]

  38. […] Huang notes in his blog post about the case, this is a really big issue. It’s both about free speech and what it means to […]

  39. […] arguments and on how the law affects remix culture. Ars Techica has a good summary too, and Huang explains why he is suing on his “bunnie” […]

  40. Mary Jungman says:

    Fantastic!

  41. JonE says:

    I don’t understand what your problem is with Section 1201; with that said I do think Section 1201 needs to be revamped as technology has improved exponentially in the last eighteen years since 1201 was inacted, but . . . . . . .

    To say that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Section 1201 means that you can be sued or prosecuted for accessing, speaking about, and tinkering with digital media and technologies that you have paid for is absurd.

    If you create something it is yours to do with as you will, but if you take something that someone else has created and modify it and distribute it as your own that is illegal. To say that before 1201 anyone was permitted to copy movies and music is also absurd. If you purchase it and copy it for your own use there is nothing illegal about that. If however, if you copy a movie or music that belongs to someone else that is illegal; always has been, I assume it always will be. You can’t copy something that belongs to someone else and then call it yours, especially if you plan to modify it, redistribute it, or both, whether you make profit from it or not.

    I do not see how 1201 impedes creation one bit, and so I do not understand your objection to it.

    • Positron says:

      “To say that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Section 1201 means that you can be sued or prosecuted for accessing, speaking about, and tinkering with digital media and technologies that you have paid for is absurd.”

      The DMCA Section 1201 bans DRM defeat; the original intent was to stop people from defeating copy protection, but now manufacturers can just put DRM on anything they don’t want you to modify to make those modifications illegal. Want to root your phone that you bought outright because the manufacturer no longer supports it and you want to switch ROMs? Well, that’s outlawed by the DMCA. Fortunately there’s an exception to allow you to do it anyway but those exceptions have to be renewed regularly and it has been revoked in the recent past. Want to break DRM on copyrighted material to use legally under Fair Use? Sorry, there’s no exception for that one. Want to play movies you bought on iTunes on an Android device? Sorry, there’s definitely no exception for that one! The assertion that 1201 prevents tinkering and accessing of purchased media and devices is not only perfectly plausible, it’s something that happens *constantly*.

  42. steve says:

    Well said bunny. I will follow the eff link and chime in on this. Thanks.

  43. Frank Jungman says:

    Great work, bunnie! I’ll support you, however you need me to. I’ve been a supporter of FSF and EFF for a long time. I now realize it is time to financially contribute again.
    If you need a preview of the counter-arguments, take a look at the (likely paid) troll’s post above. I think his name is Matthew and he makes some arguments that seem like they came from Amazon’s lawyers (defending the one-click at all costs to freedom and innovation).
    I couldn’t think of a better representative for this cause, after having to deal with the feds when you wrote a book… :)

  44. […] Why I’m Suing the US Government (Bunnie Huang) — EFF and Bunnie are challenging the bit of the Patriot Act that prevents reverse engineering cryptographically protected things (e.g., firmware). Bunnie makes a great case why it’s important to do this. […]

  45. Eleanor says:

    Team up with farmers. They want this too.
    http://modernfarmer.com/2016/07/right-to-repair/

  46. Emil says:

    Thank you Bunny, you are an inspiration!

  47. Wang-Lo says:

    And here I was thinking that you had run away to China to avoid dealing with this issue. I apologize for not having more faith and trust in you.

    Thank you for helping make the world a better place.

  48. […] and tinkering with digital media and technologies that you have paid for,” Huang wrote in a blog post explaining why he has sued the government. “This violates our First Amendment rights, and I […]

  49. […] hacker and inventor—introduced that he was teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue the U.S. government. Why? He believes the […]

  50. […] hacker and inventor—introduced that he was teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue the U.S. government. Why? He believes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is […]

  51. […] hacker and inventor—announced that he was teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue the U.S. government. Why? He believes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is unconstitutional; that the law hinders […]

  52. […] Huang como Green han publicado cartas expresando sus razones para participar en este importante proceso […]

  53. […] hacker and inventor—announced that he was teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue the U.S. government. Why? He believes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is unconstitutional; that the law hinders […]

  54. […] hacker and inventor—announced that he was teaming up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue the U.S. government. Why? He believes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is unconstitutional; that the law hinders […]

  55. […] اعلام کرد که teaming تا با بنیاد مرز الکترونیک را به شکایت از دولت ایالات متحده . چرا؟ او معتقد است که قانون کپی رایت هزاره دیجیتال خلاف […]

  56. Harrington says:

    Hopefully they aren’t a US citizen. Cause you can’t sue the government without the government’s permission.

  57. […] suit against the US government over Section 1201 of the DMCA. As another plaintiff attests, Section 1201 violates a consumer’s free speech over products that she or he owns. Consumers not only don’t have the right to repair their own possessions, but also […]

  58. […] suit against the US government over Section 1201 of the DMCA. As another plaintiff attests, Section 1201 violates a consumer’s free speech over products that she or he owns. Consumers not only don’t have the right to repair their own possessions, but also […]

  59. […] A tinkerer, a security researcher, and a digital rights watchdog just filed a lawsuit against the United States government, challenging the country’s most embattled copyright law: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Passed nearly two decades ago, the law governs the space where traditional copyright and modern technology collide. The lawsuit, filed today, contends that Section 1201 of the DMCA violates free speech under the First Amendment. […]

  60. Hello “Bunnie”, I am David Alan Binder; your books have captured my attention.

    I love interviewing authors (via email only) of published book(s); drop me a line and let’s talk at ab3ring@juno.com or dalanbinder@gmail.com. It is only about 17 questions or so long.

    My website is located at the following place;
    https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder

    I look forward to hearing from you. It is a simple process I email you questions and you return them with the answers.

    Here is a sample of an interview with Craig Johnson author of Longmire, books plus the A&E Network and Netflix series recently posted to my website:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dalanbinder/blog/0606-294post-craigjohnsoninterviewwithdavidalanbinder

    Let’s talk.
    David Alan Binder
    P.S. The fine print: By filling out the interview questions, you agree to the publishing of the interview on my website.
    Join the Community: People I’ve interviewed are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, David A. Adler author of 250 books, Dandi Mackall author of 450 books (one is a Hallmark movie-My Boyfriend’s Dogs), UCLA Professor of screenwriting – Richard Walter, Bill Crider author of mystery fiction, Craig Johnson for the series Longmire, Robin Burcell (a coauthor with Clive Cussler), Robert Gatewood, authors of Children’s books, thrillers, poetry, historical novels, romance, non-fiction, self-publishers and those with over 20 famous publishing houses, an 11 year old author, Father Goose, Don Knotts’ brother-in-law, editors, two authors that have a TV special for Hallmark and Teachers, PHD’s, Lawyers, Doctors, Educators, and Professors, Self-Help gurus, writers for articles, journals, magazines and technical writers, all sorts and types of award winners, a singer, plus authors in the UK, Canada, India, Scotland, Ecuador, Australia and (38 states) USA (7 countries). Over 180 authors of collectively almost 3000 books!

  61. plasticrelic says:

    You have my support!

  62. […] Why I’m Suing the US Government […]

  63. Verde_Eques says:

    Hello Bunnie,

    Just wanting to add a voice of encouragement here. Thank You for standing up and being proactive towards these issues. It is incredibly easy for people under pressure or attack from more powerful entities, to fall into submission or even acts of lateral aggression towards their peers. Therefore, I have to commend your insight, courage, and fortitude in addressing issues beyond your personal needs. I would like to stay informed as to the progress of your venture(s), as they may become very relevant to future endeavors. Again, Thank You for all you’re doing!

    ~lp

    PS. People need to pay more attention to what you said, imo.
    “The act of creation is no loner spontaneous. …
    Our children deserve better.”

  64. Devin C says:

    Hi Bunnie,

    I’m a fan of your past works with all of the creative tinkering and problem solving that you’ve documented over the years. I believe you’re doing the right thing in fighting for our rights as technologists trying to build a better world to live in. I’ll be rooting for you in your cause. Please keep believing in the people who support you, because they believe in you as well! I hope to introduce myself to you one day, but til then I’ll be following your works!

  65. Sarah P says:

    Thank you for doing this. Do you have an organization to back you? I suggest you start a charitable one and post it so that people can link you to financial support. Also if you aren’t already, I would hook in to organizations like EFF and get publicity through The Intercept which would be interested in your story.

    Best of Luck in your endeavor! I suspect it will be quite a process and I would be willing to support how I can.

  66. […] Suing the US gov’t with the EFF over Section 1201 of the DMCA […]

  67. Edwin says:

    What is the status on this and is there a way to follow this as it unfolds?

    I’m sure lots of people would be interested to follow along, judging by the number of responses above!

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