Diebold (partially) de-fanged

by Tom on December 3, 2003

It seems that those whacky funsters over at Diebold have given up on their attempts to use the DMCA to prevent ISP’s from hosting copies of the stash of hugely embarrassing internal emails which has found its way onto servers all over the place.

You’ll recall that Diebold is the company that makes cheating, sorry, voting machines whose principal function it is to help ‘Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year’, sorry, voters to register their preference by a secure electronic means that removes the need for all that nonsense to do with chads, recounts and Supreme Court Justices.


For once the good guys had the better lawyers, or at least the less preposterous side of the argument, notwithstanding a spokesdroid’s claim that Diebold has ‘simply chosen not to pursue copyright infringement in this matter’. The Register has it right on the money here:

Diebold argued that the emails were protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the draconian 1998 legislation written by copyright lobbyists. Since copyright was a concept sanctioned in US law to protected the ‘useful arts’, this was a novel interpretation of the founding fathers’ original intents.

An inference that one might draw upon review of the emails in question is that Diebold are technically incompetent cowboys with great connections and a fabulous marketing department. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide whether such an outfit has any place in deciding who gets to govern the USA.

{ 1 comment }


Keith M Ellis 12.03.03 at 11:13 pm

It doesn’t seem “on the money” to me. Everything one writes in the US is implicitly copyrighted, and discrimination based upon “creativity” is obviously a quagmire.

Quite aside from the horridness of the DMCA, and the significant problems with Diebold, unless there are FOMA or legal discovery implications in this, I have little quarrel with the authors of the emails or Diebold asserting their publishing rights over this material.

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