My CPHack Mirror
November 18th, 2000
On Friday, the New York Times had an article entitled "Lifting the Curtain on Web Filter Strategies" about the case. It pretty much outlines how we got where we are now, explains our legal position, and, thankfully, includes Chris Hansen's mention of the Chidren's Internet Protection Act.
October 31st, 2000
The ACLU press release
is out. I'm feeling especially thankful right now to all of you that ignored
your cease-and-decist orders and kept on going with your mirrors. Thanks,
October 30th, 2000
Michael wrote on
Slashdot about the
contained within the DMCA. These exceptions are a Very Good Thing(tm), and make
a world of a difference to our case. More news before long.
My mirror is back up. Bennett & Lindsay's should
be along anytime now.
June 30th, 2000
This morning I found that Only Solutions, a
German trademark-search company, had scanned this site for nearly every file
that makes up the CPHack package (if you can call it that.) Actually, I
found that somebody had scanned my site -- Michael
Sims figured out that it was Only Solutions. Fortunately, I truly did
remove all CPHack files from my site, so they didn't find anything. But I'm
guessing that some mirror maintainers simply unlinked the files (Does that
could as removing them? I don't know.), which could land them in hot water
if Only gets to them before they remove 'em. So if you run a quasi-removed mirror,
take this as a cue.
I wonder who hired Only for this? I suspect JSB,
the new owners of Cyber Patrol, as I have no idea why Mattel would spend any time
or money on a lame-duck product.
Matthew Skala has put up a "Cyber
Patrol Break FAQ," which does a great job of describing the case, both
where it's been and where it's at. It's very interesting, and absolutely worth however
long it takes to read it.
June 27th, 2000
Mattel has sold Cyber Patrol to
JSB Software Technologies, whoever they are.
JSB paid an astounding $100M USD for the division. This UK company has already
I have absolutely no idea of where this leaves our case.
Our oral argument before the Court of Appeals is scheduled for Wednesday, August
2nd. Also, Charles R. Nesson, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan L. Zittrain and Diane Cabbell,
affiliated with Harvard's
Berkman center, and joined by the ACM Committee on
Law and Computing Technology, has filed an
(sorry, it's only available as a PDF) in support of our case. Looks like Lawrence
Lessig made this happen. Thanks, Lawrence. :)
I've added Mattel's Brief of Appellees [HTML,
RTF] and our Reply Brief of Appellants
[HTML, RTF] to the site.
Standard disclaimers regarding HTML created in a word processor apply.
June 7th, 2000
We've filed our brief in the Court of Appeals. You can read it as a
RTF file or as the world's
ugliest HTML document (saved in Word -- no time to do a proper conversion.)
June 1st, 2000
The staff of Messaging Online wrote
a screenplay entitled
the Cyber Patrol, The Movie" that's pretty bloody funny.
Declan McCullagh will be played by
Matt Damon, Eddy Jansson by Leonardo DiCaprio and Bennett, Lindsay and I will
be played by, believe it or not, the boys of
May 27th, 2000
Bennett Haselton, founder of Peacefire,
has slapped filtering companies, including Mattel, on the side of the head
with a big, wet salmon.
reporting on the great stunt
that he pulled. Bennett took anti-gay speech from the websites of
Dr. Laura Schlessinger,
Focus on the Family, the
Family Research Council, and
Concerned Women for America and put them on
free websites at Tripod,
None of the source websites were blocked by
any major filters. He then, under a pseudonym, submitted his own sites to the
filtering companies (SurfWatch, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, Bess, WebSENSE and
SmartFilter), most of whom proceeded to block the sites for containing hate
When these companies were contacted by the press and asked about their
conflicting standards, none of them had a respone beyond stammering. Mattel
wouldn't even talk to Wired's Declan McCullagh. The ever-thorough Bennett has
all of his communications with the filtering companies.
I wonder how Mattel & company will deal with this little gaffe. I'm
guessing a lawsuit.
May 17th, 2000
Bernice Yeung has written a fairly extensive piece for the
San Francisco Weekly:
in Toyland: Two hackers piss off Mattel and spawn an Internet
legal imbroglio. She reviews the history of the case with a clarity
that I haven't seen any many articles.
Also, everybody's favourite lawyer, Irwin B. Schwartz, has an article
in the "Public Forum" of the Boston Globe called
copyrights safe on the Net". It's pretty predictable. A personal
high point for me is where he says that people like us cost US businesses
I assume that he's lumping us "Merry Men" in with crackers,
script kiddies and warez distributors. It's funny, where Schwartz sees losses
to businesses because of us, I see losses to consumers because of Mattel's
crappy program. I guess it's all a matter of who signs your paycheque.
May 12th, 2000
Fairfax I.T. has
about squidly.org's cease-and-decist order. squidly.org
is in Australia, and therefore has absolutely no interest in complying with U.S. court
April 27th, 2000
Eben Moglen, the general counsel of the FSF,
has written a great summary of the case, entitled
Curbs Speech" in The Harvard Crimson.
April 24th, 2000
that Cyber Patrol,
which provides content filtering for AOL, is in trouble again. Turns out
that they block Democratic sites, but not Republican ones. Neither
contain what could be classified as offensive comments. (Well, those
Republican sites leave me feeling offended, but that's different...)
April 20th, 2000
Wes Mills offers the latest episode of the Schwartz and Nystrom Follies:
The post office advised me today that Schwartz/Nystrom sent me another
certified letter, addressed to "wyvern.org" and my po box #. As
requested, the Post Office refuses any certified mail not addressed to
me or names on my box (i used to get certified mail for the
now-bankrupt business that held my box), so they returned it because
wyvern.org is neither a valid company name on my box, nor mine.
April 14th, 2000
Declan McCullagh's got a story covering the latest events
over at Wired: "ACLU's
Filter Appeal Rejected."
Wes Mills, a fellow CPHack-er, related
this story this morning:
Well, the post office finally found all my back mail (I hadn't checked
my PO Box in about a week), and in there was a certified letter from
Schwartz/Nystrom. I refused it. Why? There was $0.27 postage due.
HAH! The postal carrier said "you can pay the $0.27, or refuse it." I
said to bounce the letter. My theory is, if they can't make sure they
got the amount right, I'm not gonna do their accounting for them. :)
You know, I'm feeling better and better about this case...
April 13th, 2000
Judge Harrington has denied our motion for a stay. He said
that we don't have the standing for a stay because it's not
clear how the order applies to us.
So, first Judge Harrington says that the restraining order
applies to mirror sites. Then, when we file for a stay, it
doesn't apply. What gives?
April 12th, 2000
I finally got across town and picked up the package that's been waiting
for me at the post office. It was pretty much another copy of the permanent
injunction, plus a cover
letter that specifically lists waldo.net and cp.waldo.net, and tells me
that I'd best follow Judge Harrington's orders.
I like Irwin Schwartz's signature. I almost signed the certified-mail card
"Richard Nixon," but decided against it. On the copy of the permanent injunction,
there's a stamp that says that this is certified accurate by Tony Anastas, who
signs his name "Paul Gallagher." Maybe I should have signed my card like that,
since it seems to fly for Mattel.
April 10th, 2000
I got yet another subpoena notice on Saturday. Another cute little postcard
that indicates that I'm welcome to come by the post office (again, across
town) and pick up a package from Schwartz and Nystrom. ("Sorry We Missed
You!") I'd have thought that one subpoena would do it, but I guess not.
I'll have to borrow a car from somebody and go pick it up. Thanks to the
ACLU and EPIC,
these trips across town are the biggest inconvenience of this whole process.
It seems plain to me that we're in the right, and that we'll win; it's not
like we'll back down. I wonder how long it will be until Mattel realises this and
Hey, Mattel: You make a shoddy product. Deal with it. Legally, we can keep
saying that until UCITA goes into effect.
April 5th, 2000
A federal appeals court has
ruled that source code is protected under the First Amendment. This is
a very big deal. Not just for this case -- it's a really big step
for our courts to take. I'm excited.
Also, I picked up my subpoena yesterday. Drove all the way across town in
a borrowed Volvo to wait in line at the post office to get a subpoena. I
wish I could have waited to get it on a silver platter, but I needed it in
order to proceed with the case. It was just a printout of the e-mail.
As an extra-special bonus, I got part of somebody else's subpoena in an
unrelated case. It was printed upside-down on the back of on of my
photocopied sheets of the legal filings.
Yup, I can tell that we're up against some real professionals here.
We're appealing. (Hence my need to get the subpoena.) The ACLU's
just went out a few minutes ago. We're asking Judge Harrington
to stay his order while we appeal. If he rejects our request, we'll the
First Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay.
C|Net's Patricia Jacobus has picked up the story with
appeal Cyber Patrol copyright ruling." It's a very basic overview of
the recent events. She apparently doesn't read my site, or she'd know that
Lindsay Haisley still isn't in his early 20s, but, instead, his late 50s.
Wired's got a basic story, too:
Appeals Mattel Ruling."
April 4th, 2000
I got a notice in my mailbox last night: The USPS tried to deliver
a certified letter, but I wasn't home. (Imagine that: Not home in the
middle of the day!) Of course, the sender is Schwartz and Nystrom,
the law firm used by Mattel. Darn, I hope that they don't keep
missing me. I sure don't want to miss that subpoena.
April 3rd, 2000
Lawrence Lessig has a
interesting article over at The
Industry Standard abut CPHack, the DMCA and the First Amendment. He provides
a good case overview and has some quality insight to the legal questions that
this case raises.
Also, some folks have started mirroring not just the CPHack code, but also
the actual list of blocked sites. This
certainly puts an interesting twist on things, doesn't it? Give the list
Finally, Computerworld has
on the reverse-engineering issues raised by the case. Except for mistaking Lindsay
Haisley's site for that of The Anomymizer, it's a pretty straightforward article.
Mattel, a year after buying
The Learning Company (owner of
Microsystems, maker of Cyber Patrol), is
to unload it. Gosh, I hope that this doesn't affect our case. I just fear
for the job of Larry K. (See March 21st entry.)
March 31st, 2000
For a company that claims to be in the business of filtering out offensive
material on the Internet, it's funny how they seem to be contributing it.
William H. Geiger III, who runs the
CPHack Mirror List, sent me his
log files from this morning. Microsystems Software, the manufacturer of
Cyber Patrol (who is owned by The Learning Company who is owned by Mattel),
looks at our sites a lot. Which is to be expected. Here is an excerpt
from William's logfile from this morning:
larryk.microsys.com - - [31/Mar/2000:09:50:28 -0500] "GET /censorship/
HTTP/1.1" 302 226 "http://www.peacefire.org/" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;
MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)"
Do you consider this to be offensive? I sure do. And the real irony is
that good old Larry K. will probably use this as a reason to block my site.
On account of the foul language.
larryk.microsys.com - - [31/Mar/2000:09:50:28 -0500] "GET /goaway.html
HTTP/1.1" 200 86 "http://www.peacefire.org/" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;
MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)"
larryk.microsys.com - - [31/Mar/2000:09:50:43 -0500] "GET
/goaway.html/favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 404 229 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;
MSIE 5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)"
larryk.microsys.com - - [31/Mar/2000:09:50:43 -0500] "GET /favicon.ico
HTTP/1.1" 404 217 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98;
larryk.microsys.com - - [31/Mar/2000:09:50:43 -0500] "GET
/goaway.html/fuckyou HTTP/1.1" 404 225 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE
5.0; Windows 98; DigExt)"
Looks to me like Mattel is running scared.
March 30th, 2000
Richard Stenger has written a pretty solid piece for CNN entitled
bans mirror sites that skirt Cyber Patrol, or does it?." He
even quotes me, unattributed, from March 28th's 4:41apm entry, which is kind of
surreal. (Unfortunately, in retrospect, the sentence that they quoted is stupid
and redundant. It makes the point, but why did I write it like that?)
We're mulling over the case. There's a lot to think about, so things
won't be as rushed as they've been for the last week and a half. When
there's news, you'll find it here. I'm not holding out on you, I promise. :)
BTW, I'm still not mirroring the source, as you can tell. As soon as
I get the all-clear from the ACLU, it's going back up.
God, I love The Register. They just
don't beat around the bush like some publications. Thomas C. Greene's
in Mattel ruling" is a quick read that sums up the recent ruling better
than anything else that I've read.
March 29th, 2000
Ruling Confuses Hackers" does a really great job of explaining
what's going through our heads right now. I'm entirely uncertain
of what to make of these recent events.
Patricia Jacobus, who has been covering this case for
related to the most recent events. After reading the story, I'm left
wondering if she's not writing about a wholly different case. I didn't see
ruling that described the mirror sites as working with Jansson or Skala,
The AP has a
more accurate piece. Also, check out the
March 28th, 2000
I woke up to find Declan McCullagh's piece,
Suit Takes GNU Twist" in Wired.
I've got to be honest: I'm giddy. Of course, Mattel has said that Skala
and Jansson would be in "big trouble" if they purposely deceived
Mattel. As McCullagh points out, though, the language of the agreement
that Jansson signed was extremely loose, permitting just such an event
as this to occur.
Jansson and Skala are my new heroes. :)
Check out the thread
on Slashdot. People raise some interesting points about the nature of contract law,
copyright law, licensing law, and where the GPL fits in with all of this.
Bennett (my other new hero :) has discovered that the source was distributed with
the Windows executable. Previously, it had been suspected that the program may
not be GPL-able because the Windows executable had been distributed sans source.
But Bennett found the source in the ZIP file, meaning that there's no legal
obstacle to declaring the program GPLd and, therefore, it is not ownable by
To quote Nelson, from The Simpsons: "Ha-ha!"
Elinor Abreau has a
piece about the settlement in The Standard. It's
not up-to-speed on the GNU twist, but I figured I should mention it.
ABC News is
on the settlement, as well as the new issues surrounding the GPL.
Judge Harrington has ordered all sites "in active concert or participation"
with Skala and Jansson to remove their sites. Mattel is going to serve that permanent
injunction to every mirror site. Funny, I'm not working with Skala or Jansson, so
I guess you could hardly say that I'm working with them. Yet, no doubt, I'll
be served. Declan McCullagh has
You can see the permanent injunction in
HTML or as a
guess I'd be a "purveyor of pornography" and a "merchant of death and
CNN has a story, though it doesn't include the afternoon's events, entitled
Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar." It delves into the GPL a bit, and they
even interview the FSF. Skala is quoted in here
as saying that the topic of the GPL never came up, and that he has transferred his
copyright to Mattel, GPL or no GPL.
Though it's from yesterday, I want to toss up a link to
boston.com's article from yesterday, entitled
reaches agreement with hackers of Cyber Patrol."
March 27th, 2000
The Boston Globe has
editorial imploring Judge Harrington to side with us. This is, IMHO, well worth
reading. The Globe breaks this case down so much more simply than I ever could.
So, I've been looking at some of the sites that Cyber
Patrol blocks. (Bear in mind
that they have a human-created list -- nothing automated. All of these sites
are checked by employees and authorised by employees.) My favourites from last night's
Well, I liked rita.com. It's blocked
for "Violence / Profanity, Partial Nudity, Full Nudity, Sexual Acts / Text, Gross
Depictions / Text, Questionable / Illegal & Gambling." When I saw that list of
offenses, I knew that I just had to see the page. Turns out that it's Rita M. Starceski's
website. Rita is a single mother that lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Most of her website
is her account of what it's like to be a single mother, with links to support resources for
single mothers and lots of photos of Nicholas, her 1-year-old baby. (Who is very cute,
I might add.) No violence, no profanity. There is what might pass for
partial nudity. (But if that's all it
takes, why isn't Coppertone's site blocked?)
My other favourite blocked sites are st10.yahoo.com
and st15.yahoo.com. These are, as best I can tell,
simply additional servers to handle the store.yahoo.com
load. They're blocked for containing "Partial Nudity." (Hey, if I'm wrong about
this store.yahoo.com mirror thing, could somebody e-mail me?)
Anyhow, there are lots of other wrongly-blocked sites, but these are my favourites right
Declan McCullah has a new article,
Filter Fiasco to Court," that provides an updated overview of the case.
The LA Times has a story entitled
Case Pits Copyright vs. Free Speech." Another overview of the case, though
Microsystems' spokesman gets increasingly condescending in this one. I'm sure that
Lindsay Haisley, a defendant in the case (later
note: only in the sense that he's running a mirror site; none of us are legally
defendants, of course), appreciates being referred to as a member of the
"boys 17 to 25" group. Lindsay is 58 years old.
Mattel has settled with the authors of cphack, but they want a permanent court order
shutting down all mirror sites. The ACLU has asked Judge Harrington to disclude
mirror sites from the order. Judge Harrington will have a decision Wednesday. In the
meantime, the restraining order, which was set to expire today, continues. Declan
McCullaugh, not surprisingly, has
the first story
about the most recent events. (6:50pm update: It's important that I mention this.
This article reports that cphack authors Skala and Jansson have given up all rights
to cphack to Mattel.)
Of all possible outcomes of today's hearing, this was not one that I had considered.
Consequently, I'm just not sure of what to make of it.
CNN has a pretty
straightforward story. (They
even link to all of our sites.) I'm amazed at how well my server has stood up. It's been
Slashdotted six ways from Sunday without blinking. Yay, Linux.
story," as does Slashdot.
Accusations of a payoff are flying around /. -- people think that Skala and Jansson got
big money from Mattel in order to settle. From where I stand, it seems that any way out
of this mess would look good, payoff or no payoff. Offered a legal way to end the mess,
I can certainly understand why they'd back down. I wish that they hadn't. But I can
Bennett Haselton has noticed that the Windows version of cphack reports, under
the "About" box:
Cyber Patrol Hack v0.1.0
Released under the GNU Public License
Once a program is GPLed, that's that.
The authors surrendered all rights to their program. So can they, legally, transfer those
rights to Mattel? That's up to the lawyers to fight out, I guess.
I recommend that you read Matthew Skala's website, as
well as his post to Slashdot.
He explains, quite logically, why he decided to settle with Mattel. It was obviously the best thing for
him to do without martyring himself.
a story relating to today's events.
Nothing exciting, but Lindsay Haisley continues to be referred to as one of "three young Web
operators." ("Hi there, I'm Waldo. I operate the web. I am the IETF.") Also, the author
mistakenly states that Microsystems has specifically gone after me, Lindsay and Bennett. We have
in fact, just offered ourselves up, thanks to the ACLU. They haven't gone specifically after
Time for bed. Just one more chapter of Barron's "French The Easy Way"...and I should
really finish chapter 12 of Steve Ouallin's
"Practical C Programming". And I
wonder why I'm so tired in the morning. :)
March 26th, 2000
Declan McCullagh's politechbot reports that more
subpoenas are still going out, including some on
I'd like to remind everybody that the court hearing is Monday at 2:00pm
in the Federal Court in Boston, Judge Harrington's courtroom. It's open to the public.
Please consider going if you're in the area, and please be extremely nice. Shock 'em:
dress up. :)
Check out Rob Lemos' piece,
Cyber Patrol Tactics," which is pretty sympathetic to our case. (Lemos writes
most of ZDNet's hacker-related stories.) It's also worth reading Elinor Abreu's piece in
The Industry Standard,
Sues Hackers." It's a straightforward piece that covers all of the bases and
presents a great overview of the case.
I know that tomorrow is The Big Day, but it doesn't feel like it. I guess because I
don't actually have to be up on Boston. I don't feel so nervous anymore. I had
butterflies in my stomach all last week, and couldn't quite settle down. I actually
managed to relax a bit this afternoon and not think about the case. All thanks to
the ACLU covering my butt. I'd like to think that, for the most part, tomorrow
will be business as usual. I know that my
clients would appreciate that. :)
March 24th, 2000
The ACLU's press release is
out. It lists David Sobel -- yes,
the David Sobel -- as
being one of the legal representatives of The Peacefire Three. The hearing
will take place on Monday, March 27th at 2:00pm in the U.S. District Court in
The AP is running a story
that says that Judge Harrington has permitted these subpoenas to be delivered via
e-mail. If the AP knows something that the rest of us don't, then I wish that they'd
share it with the rest of the class.
Hey, here's a thought: Maybe we should try and become known as, say, "The
Peacefire Six Hundred And Forty Two". It wouldn't be accurate, but it sure
sounds a lot bigger and tougher, doesn't it?
And ya' know what? I actually slept pretty well last night.
Our papers were filed today -- civil action # 00-10488-EFH. You can download
the Motion of
Nonparties to Quash Subpoenas and the
Motion for Preliminary Injunction from EPIC's
site. (Update: See them as HTML:
Motion To Quash and
Opposition to Motion.)
Keith Dawson has coined a new term: spampoena.
It's the latest addition to his Jargon Scout webpage.
spampoena: an overbroad subpoena of dubious validity
"served" by email to unnamed recipients throughout
cyberspace. The first spampoena was just sent out in the
Cyber Patrol / CPhack case, and we may dearly desire that,
quashed forthrightly, it will be the last ever served. A
judge in Boston, in a hearing at which no defense attorney
was present, granted a subpoena requiring that a Canadian
and a Swede remove certain content from their Web sites. The
lawyer for Cyber Patrol's parent company requested and
reportedly received permission to serve copies of the
subpoena by email to hundreds of unknown others in all parts
of the world. Several hundred of the spampoenas have been
mailed (and fewer received).
FeO2, an organization that I
helped to found and now sit on the board of, is mirroring
the code now. Thanks to everybody out there that's mirroring cphack! I know that there's
hundreds of sites out there, but we need more! 500 defendants were named in the DeCSS case, so
we'll have to get at least that many.
My name is on the front page of Slashdot. Incrediblé!
The story pretty much
consists of the ACLU press release, but I
very much look forward to seeing some of the comments. Slashdot folks are a bright bunch.
March 23rd, 2000
Things are starting to heat up. The ACLU is getting rolling, and I hope that they'll
issue a press release tomorrow. We're starting to line up interviews, and there's
been some very sympathetic
press. Keith Dawson has dubbed us The
Peacefire Three, which cracks me up. I never thought that I'd be part of a
"The $OrgName [0-9]" group. You know, like The Chicago Seven. Also, there's
some very exciting news regarding an attorney that's going to be involved with this
case. I don't think that I can give any names yet, but the idea that this individual
would ever know who I am is incredible to me; I'm having trouble with the idea that
they'd want to represent me in court. More on that when I can say something. Spirits
C|Net has a
story. Being by C|Net, it's somewhat less than accurate, but it's a good start.
March 22nd, 2000
Brian Ristuccia knew just what to do with
Good call. :)
The ACLU is backing me. I'm happy. Thanks, ACLU.
March 21st, 2000
The ACLU is delaying their decision until tomorrow morning. It looks good -- I
have a feeling that they'll take the case & represent me.
WVIR, a local TV station, interviewed me today.
Unfortunately, their story makes me look like some sort of a pornographer, but it's
a start. They'll do a bigger, more interesting story once the word comes from
On High as to whether I'll get ACLU backing.
I really feel like a crash test dummy in all of this. I strapped myself in and
slammed myself into a wall, screaming "free speech!" in lieu of
wearing a seatbelt. Not surprisingly, my head popped off.
March 20th, 2000
Just got into work to find I'd been served with a temporary restraining order
and a subpoena
(via e-mail, without my name appearing on it) by Microsystems Software for
posting this code. Pending analysis of this order, by an attorney, I've
taken down the mirror.
For a copy of the program, see the
mirrors list. If you are interested in doing so, you can grab the source
code and the programs from one of the mirrored sites and put up your own mirror.
Be sure to e-mail Open PGP to let them
know where your mirror is so that they can link to it.
The ACLU is interested. I'm supposed to get a call back from an attorney
in a few minutes. I don't know if they'll take the case, but they're certainly
quite interested. Keep your fingers crossed.
There's a pow-pow going on at the national ACLU offices about the case; they
should have a decision by the end of the day, tomorrow at the latest.
Talked with ACLU further. They're working hard, but they will not have a decision
until late tomorrow. If they do not back us, we're absolutely screwed. There's no
way around it. It's so easy to commit an act in the name of free speech; defending
that act is considerably more difficult. I know that I've done the right thing.
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