H.R. 354 Vote Coming Up

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ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office
Newsline
Volume 9, Number 6
February 8, 2000

In this issue:

Urgent Action Alert: Vote on Problematic Database Imminent; Ask
Your Representative to Vote Against H.R. 354 and For H.R. 1858
Today

Here we go again...! As early as the week of February 14, Rep.
Howard Coble\'s (R-NC) problematic database bill, H.R. 354, the
Collections of Information Antipiracy Act (which ALA opposes),
could come up for a vote in the House....Be sure to read on...Passage of H.R. 354 is
one
of the top legislative priorities for the House Judiciary
Committee this session. Last session, with the help of strong
library advocates, we were able to successfully stop a vote on
H.R. 354. Your help is urgently needed again!

For more information, see the newly revised database Issue Brief
at http://www.ala.org/washoff/copyright.html. If you have any
questions, or if you want to share feedback from your
congressional office, please contact Miriam Nisbet, legislative
counsel for ALA\'s Office of Government Relations, at 800-941-8478
or mnibset@alawash.org.

ACTION NEEDED:

Library supporters are urged to call their representative in the
House (the U.S. Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121) as
soon as possible with the following dual message:

1. Vote AGAINST H.R. 354, the Collections of Information
Antipiracy Act

-- Ask your representative to pressure House leadership to stop or
postpone a vote on H.R. 354. If it should come up for a floor
vote, ask your representative to vote AGAINST H.R. 354.

-- Emphasize that the library and broader user communities DO
NOT
support H.R. 354, nor do recent changes to the bill meet our
concerns. (According to some advocates, congressional offices
were
told that H.R. 354 now meets library concerns. This is NOT true!)

2. Vote FOR H.R. 1858, the Consumer and Investor Access to
Information Act

-- Ask your representative to vote FOR H.R. 1858, sponsored by
Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-VA), if it should come up for a floor vote.
H.R. 1858 is supported by virtually every major national library
and education association, the research and scientific community
and many high-technology industry groups.

BACKGROUND:

Why ALA opposes H.R. 354, the Collections of Information
Antipiracy Act --

H.R. 354 is a far reaching, overly broad bill that:

-- does not protect fair use;
-- would protect facts, which copyright has never protected;
-- would allow a producer or publisher unprecedented control over
uses of information including downstream, transformative use of
facts and government-produced data contained in the database
-- could hinder the progress of science, education, and research

Why ALA supports H.R. 1858, the Consumer and Investor Access
to
Information Act --

H.R. 1358, the preferred database bill, would:

-- preserve the fair use of information and keep factual
information in the public domain;
-- prevent unfair competition in the form of parasitic copying;
-- promote the progress of science, education, and research;
-- protect value-added publishers and their products; and
-- provide safeguards against monopolistic pricing

FURTHER INFORMATION:

ALA Testimony: The testimony of James Neal for several library
groups on both H.R. 354 and H.R. 1858 is available at
http://www.ala.org/washoff/neal2.html

Joint Statement: The joint statement endorsed by ALA and other
library groups in support of a narrowly tailored approach such as
H.R. 1858 is available at
http://www.databasedata.org/Statement/statement.html

Text of the Bills: The text of each bill, together with Chairman
Bliley\'s remarks, plus other information about the bills, are
available at a Web site maintained by a coalition dedicated to
working with Congress towards balanced and narrowly tailored
database protection, is available at
http://www.databasedata.org/Statement/statement.html

******
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