Memorandum in Support of Application for a Temporary Restraining Order
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Cindy A. Cohn, Esq. (SBN 145997)
Wendy Seltzer, Esq.
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Telephone: (415) 436-9333 x108
Facsimile: (415) 436-9993
Attorneys for Plaintiff
ONLINE POLICY GROUP
Jennifer Stisa Granick, Esq. (SBN 168423)
STANFORD LAW SCHOOL
CENTER FOR INTERNET & SOCIETY
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
Telephone: (650) 724-0014
Facsimile: (650) 723-4426
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
NELSON CHU PAVLOSKY and LUKE THOMAS SMITH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ONLINE POLICY GROUP, NELSON CHU PAVLOSKY, and LUKE THOMAS SMITH,
DIEBOLD, INCORPORATED, and DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS, INCORPORATED,
Plaintiffs Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Ex Parte Application for
a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction
Plaintiffs Online Policy Group (OPG), Nelson Chu Pavlosky, and Luke Thomas Smith submit
this memorandum of points and authorities in support of their application, pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to
Show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction restraining Defendants Diebold Election Systems, Inc. and Diebold,
Incorporated (collectively, Diebold) from issuing further unfounded legal threats to discourage or block
publication of certain information critical of the companys electronic voting machine product.
This case arises out of an unvarnished attempt by a large corporation to
stifle public criticism of its product through a claim of copyright infringement. It
is made more egregious by the fact that the product at issue is
fundamental to our democracy voting machines.
Defendant Diebold makes electronic voting machines. Its machines are currently being purchased and
used by election officials across the nation, including in Alameda County. Yet as
election officials race to purchase these machines, a growing public chorus of concern
has arisen, led by computer security specialists, that these machines are not sufficiently
secure for something so important as our electoral process. This discussion is taking
place in the mainstream media,(FN1) at public forums,(FN2) and, most relevant to this
case, on the Internet.
The facts are as follows: As part of ongoing public discussions about the
electronic voting process, certain individuals not a party to this action discovered an
electronic e-mail archive containing day-to-day discussions among Diebold employees about the companys electronic
voting machines (e-mail archive). This e-mail archive includes many individual e-mails and discussion
threads that collectively educate the public about problems with the Diebold electronic voting
machines. Among the messages are internal discussions about security problems and ways to
solve, or in some cases, obfuscate those problems. For instance, in response to
a question about preparing for a product demonstration in El Paso County, Colorado,
a Diebold agent responded:
For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam [sic] them both so
they look the same, and then just do the upload fro [sic] the
AV. That is what we did in the last AT/AV demo.
(Seltzer Decl., Exh. B);
see also Smith Decl., ¶8; Pavlosky Decl., ¶7.
After the initial dissemination of the e-mail archive by unknown third parties, many
other web users engaged in this debate posted and linked to copies of
the e-mail archive on the Internet. Plaintiffs Pavlosky and Smith, founding members of
the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons (SCDC), posted copies of the e-mail
archive on the SCDC website. Pavlosky Decl., ¶ 8; Smith Decl., ¶ 11. Others, including
San Francisco IndyMedia, the San Francisco branch of the international independent media collective,
linked to the e-mail archive in the course of their coverage of the
electronic voting controversy. Plaintiff Online Policy Group (OPG) provides Internet connectivity to SF
IndyMedia. Weekly Decl., ¶ 8. Plaintiffs thus stand in varying relations to the posting
of the e-mail archive but share an interest in publishing or supporting publication
of the e-mail archive. All have had their ability to publish or link
to these critical documents prevented or threatened by Defendants.
Diebolds response has not been to counter the concerns and criticisms raised in
these discussions, but instead to invoke copyright law to squelch them. Using provisions
of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Diebold has sent a flurry of
1. To the Internet service providers (ISPs) of those posting the e-mail archive, see
the threat to Swarthmore regarding the SCDC website, Pavlosky Decl., ¶ 9, Exh. A;
Smith Decl., ¶ 6;
2. To the ISPs of those hyperlinking to the archive, see the threat to
OPG for hosting IndyMedias linking site. Weekly Decl., ¶ 9, Exh. B;
3. And, most egregious, to the upstream provider for the ISP that merely provided
Internet access to an entity that linked to the information, see the threat
to Hurricane Electric for OPGs hosting of Indymedias links. Weekly Decl., ¶ 14; Ng
Decl., ¶ 8, Exh. A.
The threats to the Plaintiffs here were just a few of the many
issued by Diebold. See Seltzer Decl., Exh. J. In each of these demands,
and others across the country, Diebold asserted to ISPs that their users posting
or linking infringed Diebold copyrights and that the ISPs receiving the threats risked
liability if they did not remove the posts or disable the links. Moreover,
in the case of OPG and Hurricane Electric, since neither had the technical
ability to disable only certain links from the IndyMedia website, the threats essentially
demanded termination of access to the Internet.
These threats have been effective. For Plaintiffs Pavlosky and Smith, the threats have
resulted in the removal of material from their website by their ISP, Swarthmore
College, and an edict from the College forbidding students even to link from
sites on the campus network to the discussion site Why-War.com that links to
the e-mail archive. Pavlosky Decl., ¶¶ 10-12; Smith Decl., ¶ 12. For OPG the threats
have resulted in disruption of its relationship with its upstream provider, Hurricane Electric,
including a reasonable apprehension that OPG will face termination of its Internet access
if Hurricane receives further threats from Diebold regarding OPGs hosting of websites that
link to or publish the e-mail archive. Ng Decl., ¶ 21; Weekly Decl., ¶ 19.
Copyright law does not countenance such abuse. The postings are a protected fair
use of thinly copyrighted material and they are important contributions to a deeply
political debate. Even assuming the postings were infringing, copyright liability does not extend
to ISPs that merely host websites with links to infringing material. Yet through
the DMCA, Diebold continues to bully Internet service providers into terminating user connections
and limiting users freedom to participate in this debate. If Diebold is not
immediately enjoined from making such unfounded threats, it will continue to cause service
providers to censor the speech of their users or face the loss of
their own upstream connectivity.
A preliminary injunction will be granted upon a showing of either (1) a
combination of probable success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable harm;
or (2) serious questions regarding the merits and that the balance of hardships
tips sharply in favor of the moving party. Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. v.
Connectix Corp., 203 F.3d 596, 602 (9th Cir. 2000); Cadence Design Systems, Inc.,
v. Avant! Corp., 125 F.3d 824, 928 (9th Cir. 1997).
A. Plaintiffs have Demonstrated Serious Questions on the Merits.
Plaintiffs claim intentional interference with contractual relations, misrepresentation of infringement under 17 U.S.C.
§ 512(f), and copyright misuse. Finding a basis for a preliminary injunction under any
one of these theories will support the issuance of a temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction.
Diebold is engaged in an intentional, ongoing effort to use unfounded legal claims
to block dissemination of and commentary on embarrassing disclosures in its e-mail archive.
To that end, it has threatened and continues to threaten the contractual relations
by which its critics get Internet access. These actions not only trigger liability
under the DMCAs own statutory protection against misrepresentations, they stretch the thin copyright
Diebold might have in the e-mail archive past the breaking point and therefore
warrant holding that copyright unenforceable. Plaintiffs, as well as all others similarly situated,
are entitled to immediate injunctive relief to allow them to continue their respective
provision of links or access to lawful, non-infringing, newsworthy material.
1. Posting of the E-Mail Archive Is Protected Fair Use.
The Copyright Act provides, the fair use of a copyrighted work
such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
or research, is not an infringement of
copyright. 17 U.S.C. § 107. The fair use defense affords considerable latitude for scholarship
and comment, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539,
560 (1985). Fair use serves as a critical First Amendment safeguard to copyright
law. Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S.186, 219 (2003). OPG subscriber IndyMedia is a
news organization whose links to the e-mail archive give background to its ongoing
discussion of the e-voting controversy. Weekly Decl., ¶ 8. IndyMedia linked to the e-mail
archive as part of news reports on the risks of election tampering or
erroneous election results that may arise from use of Diebolds voting machines. SCDC
is a student-run public interest group that posted the e-mail archive to educate
web visitors, including students, about the mechanisms by which many would exercise their
fundamental right to vote. Pavlosky Decl., ¶ 7. The student plaintiffs wanted to let
readers evaluate for themselves the security of these e-voting systems. Smith Decl., ¶ 9.
The First Amendment plainly protects speech about this very essence of our democracy
the right to a free and fair election. [S]peech concerning public affairs is
more than self-expression; it is the essence of self-government. Garrison v. Louisiana, 379
U.S. 64, 74-75 (1964). Even if Diebold has an enforceable copyright in the
archive, the posting serves the public interest and should be deemed fair and
non-infringing on all four factors of the Section 107 analysis.
(a) The Purpose and Character of Defendants Uses:
The first of the Section 107 factors concerns the character of the use,
including whether the use is for commercial or non-profit purposes. See e.g., Meeropol
v. Nizer, 560 F.3d 1061, 1069 (2d Cir. 1977) ([I]t is relevant whether
or not the Rosenberg letters were used primarily for scholarly, historical reasons, or
predominantly for commercial exploitation.). Plaintiffs use falls squarely on the non-commercial side of
the line. Both IndyMedia and SCDC are non-profit, non-commercial associations who derived no
economic advantage from the posting; OPG, IndyMedias host, is non-profit and charges nothing
for its hosting services. Weekly Decl., ¶¶ 2, 4.
The first factor also inquires into the transformative character of the use. See
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579 (1994). Posting of the
e-mail archive in the context of discussion about democracy and the mechanics of
elections is transformative in that it uses the day-to-day discussions as documentation, otherwise
unavailable to the public, of the e-voting systems.
(b) The Nature of the Copyrighted Work: Predominantly Factual.
The law generally recognizes a greater need to disseminate factual works than works
of fiction or fantasy. Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. The Nation Enterprises,
471 U.S. at 563. Accordingly, the scope of fair use is greater when
informational as opposed to more creative works are involved. Marcus v. Rowley, 695
F.2d 1171, 1176 (9th Cir. 1983). See also Sony Corp. of America v.
Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 455 at n.40 (1984) (Copying a
news broadcast may have a stronger claim to fair use than copying a
motion picture.) Facts themselves are wholly outside of copyright protection. Feist Publications Inc.
v. Rural Telephone Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340 (1991).
The e-mail archive is a collection of questions to and answers from Diebold
support staff, feature requests, bug reports, and update notes, one-line headers with attachments,
and forwards of copyrighted news articles from outside sources. See Seltzer Decl., Exh.
B. Very little of the archive is expressive or creative in nature. None
of it appears to have been created based on the promise of copyright
protection. Works that are creative in nature are closer to the core of
intended copyright protection than are more fact-based works. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster,
Inc., 239 F.3d 1004, 1016 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Campbell, 510 U.S. at
586). These archives are far from that core.
(c) The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used:
No More Than Necessary.
The third factor asks whether the amount and substantiality of the portion used
in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, § 107(3)
are reasonable in
relation to the purpose of the copying. Campbell, 510 U.S. at 586. As
the Supreme Court noted in Campbell, [w]e recognize that the extent of permissible
copying varies with the purpose and character of the use. Id. (citing Sony,
464 U.S. at 449-450 (reproduction of entire work "does not have its ordinary
effect of militating against a finding of fair use" as to home videotaping
of television programs) and citing Harper & Row, 471 U.S. at 564 ([E]ven
substantial quotations might qualify as fair use in a review of a published
work or a news account of a speech but not in a scoop
of a soon-to-be-published memoir).
Here, plaintiffs have copied and/or linked to a portion of Diebolds vast e-mail
archive, which should be considered in relationship to the body of Diebolds e-mail
correspondence to determine whether to analyze it as an entire work. Since a
Diebold spokesperson has asserted that the documents quoted are being taken out of
context or deliberately corrupted, the context of the entire email archive is needed
to rebut that assertion.
Further, even should the e-mail archive be construed as constituting the entirety of
Diebolds work, this by itself cannot support Diebolds claim of infringement. As noted
above, the Supreme Court decision in
Sony, 464 U.S. 417, stands for the
proposition that copying an entire work does not necessarily preclude fair use. Given
the critical and transformative use of the material here, Plaintiffs have taken no
more than necessary to support their claim that Diebolds electronic voting machines may
be insecure and subject to manipulation.
(d) Effect Upon Potential Market: None.
The last element in a fair use analysis is the impact of the
use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 17
U.S.C. § 107(4). This factor considers whether unrestricted and widespread conduct of the sort
engaged in by the defendant
would result in a substantially adverse impact on
the potential market for the original. Campbell, 510 U.S. at 590 (citing M.
Nimmer, D. Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright § 13.05[A], p. 13-102.61). This last factor is
undoubtedly the single most important element of fair use. Harper & Row, 471
U.S. at 566. See Sony, 464 U.S. at 450 ([A] use that has
no demonstrable effect upon the market for, or the value of, the copyrighted
work need not be prohibited in order to protect the authors incentive to
While courts have been creative in finding markets for works and licensing of
works, there is no plausible argument that any market exists for Diebolds internal
e-mail archives. Diebold may argue that the market for its e-voting systems is
harmed, but that is outside the scope of this test. As in cases
involving effective parody, critical use of copyrighted material that diminishes the market value
of the original does not satisfy this fourth fair use element. See e.g.,
Campbell, 510 U.S. at 591-92 (We do not, of course, suggest that a
parody may not harm the market at all, but when a lethal parody,
like a scathing theater review, kills demand for the original, it does not
produce a harm cognizable under the Copyright Act. Because parody may quite legitimately
aim at garroting the original, destroying it commercially as well as artistically, B.
Kaplan, An Unhurried View of Copyright 69 (1967), the role of the courts
is to distinguish between [b]iting criticism [that merely] suppresses demand [and] copyright infringement[,
which] usurps it. Fisher v. Dees, 794 F. 2d 432, 438 [(9th Cir..
1986)].)). Thus, there is no argument for copyright damages based upon the fear
that publication of the e-mail archive might lead some to conclude that Diebolds
product is inferior.
(e) Secondary and Linking Liability.
Finally, if the posting of the e-mail archive is fair use, the linking
to and hosting of those postings is plainly non-infringing as well. Secondary liability
for copyright infringement cannot exist absent direct infringement by a third party. A&M
Records, Inc., 239 F.3d at 1013 n.2 (citing Religious Tech. Ctr. v. Netcom
On-Line Communication Servs., Inc., 907 F.Supp. 1361, 1371 (N.D.Cal. 1995)).
2. Fair Use Notwithstanding, Linkers and Their Hosts Are Not Liable.
Even if the Court withholds decision whether the underlying posting of the e-mail
archive is fair use, OPG, as host of a site that merely linked
to that posting is still entitled to emergency relief. Defendants claim against OPG
for tertiary liability is far removed from the underlying claimed infringement: OPG provides
co-location space and connectivity to SF IndyMedia, which in turn provided only a
hyperlink to the allegedly infringing documents. The claim against Hurricane, OPGs host, is
still further attenuated. Providing a mere location pointer to a newsworthy document neither
infringes copyright nor materially contributes to infringement. [H]yperlinking does not itself involve a
violation of the Copyright Act
since no copying is involved. Ticketmaster v. Tickets.com,
54 U.S.P.Q.2d 1344, 2000 WL 525390 at *2 (C.D. Cal. 2000). At most,
the hyperlink is a textual pointer indicating to web readers where to find
a copy. The link is not a conduit.(FN4)
3. Defendant Has Intentionally Interfered with Plaintiffs Contracts.
Plaintiff OPG has a contractual relationship with Hurricane Electric for its Internet connectivity.
That relationship, and OPGs benefits from it, are currently disrupted by Defendants unfounded
copyright threats against Hurricane for the hosting or linking activities of downstream customers.
OPG need not wait until its relationship is forcibly terminated, but is entitled
to have the interfering conduct enjoined now to protect OPGs and its clients
Internet connectivity. Likewise, Pavlosky and Smiths relationship with their ISP, Swarthmore College, is
currently disrupted by the limitations Swarthmore has imposed on its students posting and
The elements of a cause of action for intentional interference with contractual relations
are (1) a valid contract between plaintiff and a third party; (2) defendants
knowledge of this contract; (3) defendants intentional acts designed to induce a breach
or disruption of the contractual relationship; (4) actual breach or disruption of the
contractual relationship; and (5) resulting damage.
Quelimane Co., Inc. v. Stewart Title Guaranty
Co., 960 P.2d 513, 530 (Cal. 1998) (quoting Pacific Gas & Elec. Co.
v. Bear Stearns & Co., 791 P.2d 587, 589 (Cal. 1990)). Wrongfulness independent
of the inducement to breach the contract is not an element of the
tort of intentional interference with existing contractual relations. Quelimane Co., Inc., 960 P.2d
OPG has a contract with Hurricane Electric for the provision of Internet connectivity
and services, which has been in effect since June 2002. That contract, attached
as Exhibit A to the Declaration of David Weekly, is valid and subsisting.
Ng. Decl., ¶ 3; Weekly Decl., ¶ 7. Pavlosky and Smith have valid contractual arrangements
with Swarthmore College for their internet connectivity. Pavlosky Decl., ¶ 5, and Smith Decl.,
Defendant admits knowledge of the OPG-Hurricane contract in its e-mail to Hurricane, which
expressly notes that OPG is Hurricanes subscriber, requesting that Hurricane act in accordance
with your 17 U.S.C. 512(i)(1)(A) policy that provides for the termination in appropriate
circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service providers network who are
repeat infringers. Ng Decl., Exh. A. The same is true for Swarthmore College
and its students Pavlosky and Smith.
Defendants demand that Hurricane assist in removing the identified infringing material from OPGs
account or act to terminate OPG as a subscriber or account holder was
intended to disrupt that contractual relationship.(FN5) Ng Decl., Exh. A. The same is
true for Diebolds demands of Swarthmore. Pavlosky Decl., Exh. A. Diebold may argue
that its primary intent was elsewhere, but that is irrelevant. [T]he tort of
intentional interference with performance of a contract does not require that the actors
primary purpose be disruption of the contract.
Quelimane Co., Inc., 960 P.2d at
531. Intentional interference may be found even where the actor does not act
for the purpose of interfering with the contract or desire it, but knows
that the interference is certain or substantially certain to occur as a result
of his action. Id. Because Defendant did not intend that its letters should
be ignored, but rather that Hurricane and Swarthmore would share them with their
respective customers and students and preferably act upon them to disrupt or terminate
those users Internet service, it acted with the requisite intent.
The interference tort does not require that the contract be breached; disruption is
sufficient. The limitations placed on OPGs and the Swarthmore students service that it
not post or allow its users to post the Diebold e-mail archives is
significant disruption, especially since OPG is an Internet service provider whose mission is
to support freedom of speech online and equal access to the Internet. Ng.
Decl., ¶¶ 19-20; Weekly Decl., ¶¶ 15, 19; Pavlosky Decl., ¶¶ 13-15; Smith Decl., ¶¶ 13-16, 18.
Moreover, it is clear that it is the contractual relationship, not any term
of the contract, which is protected against outside interference. Pacific Gas & Elec.,
791 P.2d at 590. Even were it within the rights of Hurricane or
Swarthmore to impose acceptable use policies on the activities of their respective customers
and students, it is not within Diebolds rights to impose its own version
of those policies on OPG or Pavlosky and Smith through pressure on their
ISPs. Likewise, if Hurricane were to terminate the contract because it received a
subsequent notice, that termination would be actionable against Diebold even if within Hurricanes
OPG, Pavlosky, and Smith have already been damaged by the limitations on their
conduct; they are entitled to an injunction before they are harmed further. OPG
need not wait until its Internet access has been terminated and approximately 1000
websites have been cut off from the World-Wide Web, to file suit. See
Pacific Gas & Elec., 791 P.2d at 593 n.9, Injunctive relief is available
to restrain unjustified interference with contractual relations when damages would not afford an
adequate remedy. Since OPG and SCDC undertake none of their activities for money,
money damages plainly could not compensate them, OPGs 77,700 individual users, or SCDCs
student members for the loss of connectivity.
Finally, unfounded cease-and-desist demands are not legally privileged, as the 10th
Circuit held en banc in a case with strong analogies to this one.
Cardtoons, L.C. v. Major League Baseball Players Association, 208 F.3d 885 (10th Cir,
2000) (en banc). That court allowed the tortious interference claim of the producer
of parody baseball cards whose print run was disrupted by a cease-and-desist letter
from the Players Association to the printer claiming violation of the players property
rights. Id. Here, as in Cardtoons, Diebold asserted rights it knew it did
not have. See also Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd., 797
F.2d 70, 77-78 (2d Cir. 1986) (upholding punitive damages for coercive assertion of
inapplicable trademark rights, finding the claims amounted to abuse of judicial processes and
harm to the public as a whole).
4. Defendants Conduct Amounts to Misrepresentation Under DMCA,
17 U.S.C. § 512(f).
The DMCA offers copyright claimants an expedited mechanism by which to get infringing
material removed from the Internet. In exchange, Section 512(f) imposes liability upon those
who misrepresent that protected activity is infringing and thereby interrupt connectivity or disable
access to non-infringing material. SCDC Plaintiffs were harmed when Defendants baseless threats led
Swarthmore University to disable access to the Diebold archives they were hosting.
Specifically, the statute provides:
Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section (1) that material or
activity is infringing [
] shall be liable for any damages, including costs and
attorneys fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright
owner\'s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such
misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in
removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing
17 U.S.C. § 512(f). Defendants misrepresented that fair use reproduction of the e-mail archive
was infringing to induce the takedown of the SCDC Plaintiffs archive, and many
others. As Diebold admits, it used ill-fitting copyright claims because it wanted to
take advantage of the DMCAs expeditious removal procedure: [W]e want those links to
be removed. Looking at it from a legal perspective, we were advised the
DMCA was the best resource for getting that done. All were really requesting
that the links be removed from the site, although it does seem that
the ISPs wind up taking down the whole site. (Diebold spokesman Mike Jacobsen,
See Seltzer Decl., Exh. H).
5. Defendants Claims Are Barred by Copyright Misuse.
Finally, Diebolds claims are barred by the doctrine of copyright misuse, which the
courts of this Circuit have used to prevent copyright holders from leveraging copyrights
monopoly into other areas. Copyright is not intended to promote the suppression of
criticism. By misrepresenting the terms on which copyrighted works are available to the
public, Defendants forfeit the right to enforce any copyright they might have in
the e-mail archive.
The doctrine of copyright misuse forbids the use of the copyright to secure
an exclusive right or limited monopoly not granted by the Copyright Office. Practice
Management Information Corp. v. American Medical Assn, 121 F.3d 516 (9th Cir. 1997)
(quoting Lasercomb America, Inc. v. Reynolds, 911 F.2d 970, 977- 79 (4th Cir.1990)).
The Ninth Circuit has adopted a broad public policy version of the test
that goes beyond the doctrines origins in the patent and antitrust context: whether
plaintiffs use of his or her copyright violates the public policy embodied in
the grant of a copyright, not whether the use is anti-competitive. In re
Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 191 F.Supp.2d 1087, 1103 (N.D. Cal. 2002) (permitting discovery
on misuse defense; citing Practice Mgmt., 121 F.3d. at 521). See generally Brett
Frischmann & Dan Moylan, The Evolving Common Law Doctrine of Copyright Misuse: A
Unified Theory and Its Application to Software, 15 Berkeley Tech.L.J. 865, 888-893 (Fall
Defendants have used the thin veneer of copyright in their collected e-mail archive
in an attempt to suppress publication of the archive as critical commentary. Defendants
have falsely asserted to Internet service providers that their users activities, posting or
linking to the archive, violate copyright, and that the service providers themselves violate
copyright by providing hosting or connectivity to such users. None of these extravagant
claims can stand, and the misstatement should bar Diebold from asserting even any
narrower copyright to which it might be entitled.
B. The Balance of Hardships Tips Sharply in Favor of the First Amendment Rights
of the Plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief because the balance of hardships tips sharply
in their favor. First, the Swarthmore students are currently unable to publish or
link to the e-mail archive by the fears of their ISP, Swarthmore College.
Pavlosky Decl., ¶¶ 11, 12; Smith Decl., ¶ 12. Those fears are the direct result
of Diebolds legal threats. Additionally, OPGs ISP has indicated that it will consider
terminating OPGs contract completely if it continues to receive cease-and-desist letters
or if OPG agrees to its clients request to host the e-mail archive
directly. Ng Decl., ¶ 19.
If publication of the e-mail archive constitutes fair use and Diebold is permitted
to continue to chill its publication by threatening Plaintiffs and others, they will
be unable to fully exercise their First Amendment rights to criticize Diebold, specifically
by using evidence of Diebolds own admissions of wrongdoing and security problems as
part of the public debate. Moreover, the public will lose the benefit of
that evidence if Diebold is allowed to continue its campaign of threatening publishers,
their ISPs, the linking websites, their ISPs and the upstream ISPs of the
primary ISPs. Indeed, with such a campaign, Diebold could successfully reduce or even
eliminate public discussion about the admissions of security problems and the covering up
of those problems detailed in the e-mail archive.
On the other hand, even if Diebold has legitimate copyright claims in its
e-mail archive, and even if those claims can plausibly be extended to threaten
OPG (who merely hosts a website that linked to but did not copy
or distribute that archive) Defendant faces only a slight delay in notifying the
parties involved in the publication, hosting, or linking to that material. Further, the
e-mail archive itself has no independent financial value. It does not contain software,
schematics or any other material at the core of a traditional copyright claim.
Its continued availability is thus of substantial benefit to the public but only
minimal copyright-cognizable harm to Defendants.
C. Plaintiffs Will Suffer Irreparable Injury if Diebold Is Not Enjoined.
It is well established that irreparable injury exists when the First Amendment rights
of individuals are lost. Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976) (The
loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes
irreparable injury); 11A Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller and Mary Kane, Federal
Practice and Procedure, § 2948.1 at 161 (2d ed. 1995) (When an alleged deprivation
of a constitutional right is involved, most courts hold that no further showing
of irreparable injury is necessary). Here, there is no question that the e-mail
archive constitutes protected expression for purposes of the First Amendment and that the
express aim of the Diebold threats is to prevent publication of that expression.
Based upon the foregoing, Plaintiffs respectfully request that their Ex Parte Application for
Temporary Restraining Order, and Order to Show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction as to
Diebold be granted.
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION
Cindy A. Cohn, Esq.
Wendy Seltzer, Esq.
454 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA
Telephone: (415) 436-9333
Facsimile: (415) 436-9993
See, e.g., John Schwartz, Computer Voting Is Open to Easy Fraud, Experts
Say, N.Y. Times, July 24, 2003 at A16; Nelson Hernandez & Lori Montgomery,
Md. Democrats Want Outside Voting Machine Audit, Wash. Post, October 21, 2003, B01;
Rachel Konrad (Associated Press), Diebold issues threats to publishers of leaked documents, San
Jose Mercury News, October 28, 2003; Steven Levy, Black Box Voting Blues, Newsweek,
October 2003; AP, Worries grow over new voting machines\' reliability, security, CNN.com, October
30, 2003 (Exhs. C-F, I to Seltzer Decl.)
For instance, on October 30, 2003, Congressman Rush Holt quoted documents from
the e-mail archive at issue here in his radio interview with Amy Goodman
on Democracy Now concerning critical flaws in Diebolds electronic voting machines.
Democracy in America Survive Electronic Voting? archive online at <http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/10/30/1624227>.
See Kristin Smith, Swarthmore students refuse to comply with Diebold Co., Delaware
County Daily Times, October 24, 2003 at 7, Seltzer Decl., Exh. G.
The single case to impose contributory infringement liability for linking involved a
defendant who had first posted infringing copies of a work on his own
website, then, during the litigation, substituted hyperlinks to unauthorized copies elsewhere in an
effort to evade liability.
Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 75 F.Supp.2d 1290
(D.Utah,1999). This is not such a case.
See also the letter from Diebold to OPG, attached to the Diebold-Hurricane
letter: The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our clients
rights and to seek your agreement to the following: To disable or remove
the information location tool(s) identified in the attached chart. In addition to disabling
or removing any hyperlink, the disabling or removal should include destroying the usefulness
as an information location tool of any textual directory or pointer information contained
therein. Ng Decl., Exh. A.
PLAINTIFFS MEMO IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR A TRO AND OSC RE: PRELIMINARY
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