Electronic voting system
criticized - Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc.
Election Systems sells electronic voting systems used in states including
California, Georgia, Ohio and Texas. Diebold demands that webmasters
remove internal documents, that include conversations that
cast doubt on the company's ability to sell secure software and criticize the
company's software, security, certification and sales practices, or stop
hyperlinking to the documents.
cease and desist letters earned Diebold a lawsuit by an ISP (The Online Policy
Group) with a client (Indymedia) who linked to the documents and by two
Swarthmore students whose school--acting as their ISP--had removed copies under
takedown threat. They pledged to seek a court order spelling out that publishing
or linking to the Diebold e-mails doesn't amount to copyright infringement. EFF
is representing the Online Policy Group.
ISP with knowledge that hyperlinks on its site direct users to potentially
infringing material is not immunized from liability," Diebold's filing said.
"It is now well established that hyperlinks directing users to websites
containing infringing material themselves infringe the underlying copyright."
But Diebold soon backed off and told a judge it won't sue websites that post
information about possible flaws in its touch-screen machines. Lawyers who
represent the Online Policy Group indicated that they had not finished pressing
their case against Diebold, that they wanted more: They are seeking a court
order that says publishing or linking to the Diebold files on the Web does not
violate copyright law, and that ISPs should not face penalties for hosting Web
sites that do.
hearing is scheduled Feb. 9.
congressional representative Dennis Kucinich, who is seeking the Democratic
Party's presidential nomination, also provides links to the Diebold e-mail
correspondence from his House of Representatives Website.
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