Present: Wendy Seltzer: Harvard graduate lawyer and founder of the Open Law Initiative Noah Sussman - Senior web designer for Deltathree Sean Aurita Joe Katz Forest M*rs Vagn Scott - Regular NYLUG member and co-leader of the Free-Dmitryanti-adobe protests L O - Regular NYLUG member, founder of GNUBBIES, graduate of NYU, Japanese translator JoeAnn Cripps - Regular NYLUG member Seth Johnson Ruben Sair - Regular NYLUG member, founder of http://www.nyfairuse.org CEO of Brooklyn Linux Solutions _________________________________________________________________ Ruben Safir presided over the meeting until the issue of officers and leadership can be decided upon. The meeting was called for a 7:30PM but came underway at around 8:00 PM. Introductions were made, and each attendee was asked what they thought was an apropriate means to lobby for the defeat of the DMCA. The following is a summary of the initial comments by attending members: Wendy Seltzer - We need to explain the problem to people and its effect on the libraries and public culture. Wendy noted that she feels that a repeal of the DMCA is very unlikely, and that she has more faith in the courts to disembowl the statute. Noah Sussman- Agrees with Wendy. He adds that the arguments need to be simplified. They need to be done in 3 paragraphes or less. Sean Aurita - We need to get help from EFF, and other organizations currently working on similar issues. Forest M*ars - Idenfity commercial interests that are opposed DMCA in order to mobilize broad support for its repeal. Joe Katz - The First Amendment is the most important aspect of the DMCA's violations. Computer code is speech and needs complete freedom. Without this, large powerful corporations and government will control all speech. He wants to oppose the DMCA in terms of the first amendment and he sees this as the key to opposition. Ruben asked Wendy how the Southern District Court ruled on computer code as speech argument in the DeCSS case. Wendy explained that in the DeCSS case Judge Kaplan said that while computer code is speech, when it's functional and can be used for a purpose other than pure expression, then the speech can be curbed. Vagn Scott - Raising the profile of the issue is very important and he suggests a degree of street theater. He emphasised that the public needs to know who we are, and we need a constant public presence. Press release memos need to be developed. Repeat the same information over and over again, and then check for credibility, do metrics, reevaluate tactics and pamphlets for effectiveness. L O- L has several specific ideas and a complex idea on how we can be effective. It will take some time for her to fully explain it, and Ruben felt the need to shorten her presentation from what was needed to do a full explanation of her idea. He owes her some time on the floor. However, the essential details of her presentation include: 1) Lobbying - Many groups are lobbying on seperate issues, and we should try to be the technology wing of these groups: such as the American Library Association, etc. 2) We want to start tying things under an umbrella tecnhical spokesperson. Expand our circle of people and contacts. JoeAnn Cripps- Money needs to be raised to buy advertising. We should see what is possible with public service anouncements, postings.. and a possible weekly comics strip to help push the agenda. Seth Johnson - Seth started Information Producers Initiative to try to encourage the people to become producers of information, intellectual works, and culture. He sees this as dovetailing with the Anti-DMCA Lobby. Public interest is that we all become producers, instead of consumers. The DMCA encourages us to become consumers. In writing these minutes, I would add to this that I have previously stated that the difference between a consumer and a citizen is "Fair Use". Ruben - When Ruben begins speaking the meeting momentarily breaks down. Ruben states that the purpose of the meeting is to focus on the practical steps needed to repeal the DMCA or to legislatively enhance Fair Use. The group has trouble agreeing if we are organizing for lobbying. This puzzles Ruben. Joe Katz disagrees with an agenda focused on Fair Use and sees only a possible Free Speech issue. Ruben reitierates that the reason for the meeting is to promote a legislative agenda, and explains that if members are not present to help evolve a practical lobby with a legislative agenda to weaken the DMCA, then they are at the wrong meeting. The causes a varied amount of posturing amoung people at the table. Order is restored and Wendy is asked what she thinks is obtainable goals in defeating the DMCA. Wendy does not think repeal the DMCA is an obtainable goal. She points out that other groups exist which prove that either the goal is not possible or that they are not working on this issue. L responds that this is why it is necessary to find allies in these other groups, especially the libraries. The libraries are trying to carve out protections for libraries, and other groups for their focus, but we need to create an umbrella. Ruben points out that the Home Recording group has had various victories in their lobbying efforts, including some clauses being added into the DMCA, especially the Fair Use clause (which is being ignored by the courts). Ruben now throws the following question out to the group: What practical steps and arguments can we make which would convince Congressmen in our area that it is in the best interest of their constituents to oppose the DMCA? Wendy reminds the group that the Senate passed the DMCA something like 90 to 1. Ruben reminds Wendy, that while this is true, Ashcroft, one of the bills sponsers, clearly thought he was passing a bill with stronger Fair Use protections. We then had a moment debating if Napster was good or bad for our cause. Happily this was brief. We decided that the organization should adopt the name New Yorkers for Fair Use. We plan to start outreach to Congressman Boucher. We are going to try to align organziations which have financial reasons for opposition to the DMCA. Amoung possible groups are newspapers, libraies, software developers, ISP's. We need to release monthly new releases and the protests need weekly material for handbills. The group generally agreed we need to focus on freeing Dmitry. Ruben asked, what do we do if he's released this week?