Congressman Dennis Kucinich
For Immediate Release
Friday, November 21, 2003
Kucinich Requests House Judiciary Committee Hearing
On Diebold’s Abuses Of Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Sends Letter to Chairman Sensenbrenner and Ranking Member Conyers
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), today, sent a letter to the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee requesting that the Committee hold a hearing to investigate abuses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by Diebold Inc., one of the nation’s largest electronic voting machine manufacturers.
Recently, Diebold has waged an intimidation campaign to repress circulation of employee e-mails that raise concerns about the security of its electronic voting machines. Since early October 2003, Diebold has sent more than a dozen cease-and-desist letters to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and universities that host websites that either posted Diebold employee e-mails or merely hyperlinked to other websites with the e-mails.
Diebold invoked the DMCA to pressure many ISPs and universities into removing websites and hyperlinks. These cease-and-desist letters were inappropriate.
Kucinich states in his letter,
“There is a compelling argument that the fair use doctrine precludes copyright liability for posting the e-mails. The archive is predominantly factual and was reproduced to inform the national public debate on election reform, specifically, on the machines used to count our votes. The e-mails do not harm any market of Diebold’s, except in the sense that admitted problems may cause municipal and state purchasers to subject the machines to greater scrutiny.
Yesterday, Kucinich unveiled a new section on his website at www.house.gov/kucinich to educate the public on the perils of the current electronic voting systems, and Diebold in particular.