Joe Mullin, EFF

Joe Mullin

EFF

Oakland, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • Unknown
Past:
  • EFF
  • Ars Technica
  • Ars Technica UK

Past articles by Joe:

EFF

Court Rules That “Patent Troll” is Opinion, Not Defamation

Free speech in the patent world saw a big win on Friday, when the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that calling someone a “patent troll” doesn’t constitute defamation. The court’s opinion is good news for critics of abusive patent litigation, and anyone who values robust public debate around... → Read More

EFF

Experts Warn Congress: Proposed Changes to Patent Law Would Thwart Innovation

It should be clear now that messing around with Section 101 of the Patent Act is a bad idea. A Senate subcommittee has just finished hearing testimony about a bill that would wreak havoc on the patent system. Dozens of witnesses have testified, including EFF Staff Attorney Alex Moss... → Read More

EFF

EFF Tells Congress: Don’t Throw Out Good Patent Laws

At a Senate hearing today, EFF Staff Attorney Alex Moss gave formal testimony about how to make sure our patent laws promote innovation, not abusive litigation.Moss described how Section 101 of the U.S. patent laws serves a crucial role in protecting the public. She urged the Senate IP... → Read More

EFF

Texas: Don’t Let the Legislature Gut Your State’s Free Speech Laws

A bill is moving forward in the Texas Legislature that would make it easier to bring baseless lawsuits against Internet users in the state who review businesses, speak anonymously, or otherwise exercise their First Amendment rights. If you’re a Texan, we need you to contact your lawmakers and speak... → Read More

EFF

Video: How Justus Decher Beat a Patent Troll, With Help From Alice

Thousands of patent lawsuits are filed each year, and most of them deal with computer technology and software. Nearly 90 percent of those high-tech patent lawsuits are filed by shell companies that offer the public no products or services whatsoever. These patent-assertion entities, also known as “... → Read More

EFF

Stupid Patent of the Month: A Patent on Using Mathematical Proofs

In some fields, software bugs are more than the proverbial pain in the neck. When software has to ensure that an airplane lands safely, or that a pacemaker keeps operating, there’s no room for error.The idea that mathematical proofs could be used to prove that software is error-free has been around... → Read More

EFF

Appeals Court Tells Georgia: State Code Can’t be Copyrighted

In a democracy, people should have the right to read, and publish, the law. In theory, that should be easier than ever today. The Internet has vastly improved public access to the “operating system” of our government—the local, state, and federal statutes and regulations we are expected to abide by... → Read More

EFF

New North American Trade Deal Has Bad News for Canadian Copyright

Earlier this week, the U.S. Trade Representative announced a replacement deal for the North American Free Trade Agreement, the nearly 25-year-old trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Amid the long list of tariff-free products and restriction-free cheese names in the new trade deal... → Read More

EFF

California Law Could be a Big Step Forward for Police Transparency

Government can’t be accountable unless it is transparent. Voters and taxpayers can only know whether they approve of the actions of public officials and public employees if they know what they’re doing. That transparency is especially important when it comes to the actions of local police, who... → Read More

EFF

It’s Time For California to Finally Give Internet Access to Youth In Detention and Foster Care

In modern society, getting young people an education isn’t optional. For youths who are under the care of the state—whether in foster care, or in the juvenile justice system—it’s the state that must be responsible for making sure they get a proper education.While incarcerated youths don’t lose... → Read More

EFF

If It Doesn't Have Paper Backups and Automatic Audits, It's Not an Election Security Bill

Right now, the U.S. Senate is debating an issue that’s critical to our democratic future: secure elections. Hacking attacks were used to try to undermine the 2016 U.S. election, and in recent years, elections in Latin America and Ukraine were also subject to cyber attacks.It only makes sense... → Read More

EFF

Stupid Patent of the Month: Upaid Sues “Offending Laundromats” For Using Prepaid Cards

When patent trolls threaten and sue small businesses, their actions draw the public’s attention to the worst abuses of the patent system. In 2013, a company called MPHJ Technology got called out in a U.S. Senate hearing as a “bottom feeder” engaged in “garden-variety extortion” after it sent out... → Read More

EFF

California Should Provide Public Access to Police Body Cam Footage

These days, more police officers are using body-worn cameras, or BWCs. That's why it's more important than ever we have clear guidelines around the public's right to access those police recordings. To that end, EFF is supporting A.B. 748, a bill currently pending in the California legislature... → Read More

EFF

Following Copyright Law Should Be Enough—Even When Payment Processors Say it Isn’t

Imagine running an online business for 17 years, only to have your ability to collect payments suddenly turned off. No real explanation. It’s happened to Roz and Nir Arbel now—twice.The Arbels run an online community called Soulseek. Originally intended to be a dating service, Soulseek today... → Read More

EFF

Stupid Patent of the Month: Facebook Joins the Online Dating Arms Race

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it will wedge its way into an already-crowded corner of online commerce. The social networking site plans to use its giant storehouse of personal data to create a dating service, promising to help users find “meaningful relationships,” not... → Read More

EFF

Congress Will Finally Make Its Research Reports Public

The recent omnibus bill passed by Congress contains a nugget of good news for those interested in access to publicly funded research.Open access activists have long been asking for reports by the Congressional Research Service, or CRS, to be made publicly and easily available. CRS creates a vast... → Read More

EFF

EFF Helps SEACC Stand Up To Mining Company, Protects Fair Use Rights

When a mining company sent a cease and desist letter aimed at a critical documentary, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) worked with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to help them respond. Hecla Mining Company claimed that SEACC had infringed Hecla’s copyright by using short... → Read More

EFF

How FOSTA Could Give Hollywood the Filters It's Long Wanted

Some of the biggest names in the U.S. entertainment industry have expressed a recent interest in a topic that’s seemingly far away from their core business: shutting down online prostitution. Disney, for instance, recently wrote to key U.S. senators expressing their support for SESTA, a bill that... → Read More

EFF

Stupid Patent of the Month: Buying A Bundle of Diamonds

This month’s Stupid Patent shows what happens when the patent system strays outside its proper boundaries. US Patent No. 8,706,513 describes a “fungible basket of investment grade gems” for use in “financial instruments.” In other words, it’s a rating and trading system that attempts to turn... → Read More

EFF

House Vote on FOSTA is a Win for Censorship

The bill passed today 388-25 by the U.S. House of Representatives marks an unprecedented push towards Internet censorship, and does nothing to fight sex traffickers. H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), allows for private lawsuits and criminal... → Read More