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When that court announced its decision last September, ApolloMedia President Clinton Fein told the Associated Press he was pleased that "it is constitutionally protected to send indecent communications with an intent to annoy." However, he and ApolloMedia argued that the wording of the law should not include "indecent" material if the government does not plan to enforce that clause. Fein also told The Wall Street Journal that the law, originally developed to restrict harassing telephone calls, was inappropriately applied to e-mail, which is less disruptive to the recipient than a ringing telephone. He argues that the lack of case law regarding online communications should not prompt judges to apply laws regulating older technologies to the Internet.

Security, Speech Rights Clash Online,

ENTREPRENEUR. Yet the Net's role as a staple conduit of communication makes any attempts at regulating it tricky.To put it all in perspective, we convened five people who are affecting the course of this debate... Clinton Dean Fein, whose Annoy.Com site is challenging some remaining provisions of the CDA. thomas weber, wall street journal

Clinton Fein is the President of Innoventions, Inc. (formerly Apollomedia Corporation); a San Francisco based multimedia technology and consulting company whose business is entirely devoted to designing and building community oriented content with a strong focus on social networking and metadata strategy.

In 1986, Fein co-founded Positive Systems, Inc., a New York Based consulting and database design firm, applying Artificial Intelligence to the financial and insurance industries. It later became Wall Street Expert Systems, servicing such clients as Equitable Life Insurance, Solomon Brothers and Paine Webber.

Following a move to Los Angeles, and applying his expertise to the entertainment industry, he began reporting directly to the President of Orion Pictures, as part of the creative team for numerous films, among them Academy Award-winning, Dances With Wolves and The Silence of the Lambs.

In 1994 Fein co-founded ApolloMedia releasing the first ever CD-ROM to be threatened with First Amendment violations and pioneering digital activism through its e-post feature - the first ever technology allowing the user to communicate with their elected representatives electronically. Conduct Unbecoming based on the book by renowned investigative reporter Randy Shilts, examined the issue of gays in the military. Ahead of its time for practical purposed, it won the prestigious Critics Choice Award and was dubbed "evolutionary" by Rolling Stone Magazine.

As a staunch First Amendment advocate, Fein teamed with Michael Traynor of Cooley Godward LLP and William Bennett Turner of Rogers, Joseph, O'Donell and Phillips filing a lawsuit against Janet Reno, former Attorney General of the United States, challenging the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) on January 30, 1997. The lawsuit was filed concurrently with the launch of the company's "" web site. The CDA was signed into law by President Clinton in February 1996, which made the communication of anything "indecent with the intent to annoy", a felony punishable by a fine and up to two years imprisonment.

The critically acclaimed web site has evoked global reactions from Yugoslavia to the West Bank for its unapologetic and hard-hitting, in-your-face approach to political and social issues, and its irreverent use of technology. The site allows visitors to participate in unmediated and unfiltered threaded discussions ranging from gun control to abortion and the military.

ApolloMedia's suit was heard by a special three-judge panel on October 20, 1997. Nearly a year later, in a divided ruling, the court upheld the government's construction of the statute, that the word "indecent" is limited to "obscene" material. The court found that the right to communicate indecent material with intent to annoy someone over the Internet is constitutionally protected, which was ApolloMedia's primary goal. The court stopped short, however of declaring the statute itself unconstitutional, choosing instead to interpret its meaning narrowly. Obscenity is not constitutionally protected at all, and never has been.

While ApolloMedia was victorious in establishing that "indecent" communications with an intent to "annoy" are indeed constitutionally protected, they were not successful in striking down the provision as unconstitutional. ApolloMedia appealed to the United States Supreme Court on December 7, 1998. The Supreme Court summarily affirmed on April 19, 1999.

Clinton Fein graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 1986, with a BA in Industrial Psychology.

Fein is actively involved in numerous extra-curricualr and social activities. He is currently President of the Board of The First Amendment Project (FAP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition. FAP provides advice, educational materials, and legal representation to its core constituency of activists, journalists, and artists in service of these fundamental liberties. He sat on the Board of the San Francisco Partnership's Multimedia Task Force, an organization set up to encourage investment in San Francisco's Internet and multimedia industry, and served as a conduit between the city and digital media industry. He also sat on the Board of Directors for the Information Technology Coalition (ITC) and on the advisory board of "SFY2K - Solutions for Small Business", a comprehensive community outreach and education campaign sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Microsoft Corporation to help San Francisco's small businesses address their unique issues surrounding Y2K.

In December 1997, Fein's criticisms of the government's attempts to regulate speech on the Internet were published by theWall Street Journal, who profiled him as 'a player' in their Names on the Net Special Feature. His work is frequently referred to and covered by major news organization from CNN to the New York Times in the United States to publications around the globe.