Legal Issues

Defining Fair Use

Defining Fair Use.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries” — a 32-page document, based on interviews with dozens of librarians, outlining the principles and limitations it believes are relevant to eight common scenarios. The guidelines also recommend additional actions libraries can take to insulate themselves against legal challenges.

White House Petition To Reform Copyright Law For Libraries

Throughout our country's history, libraries have provided education and entertainment to all. In the library all economic classes have an equal opportunity to access information.
we petition the obama administration to:

Reform copyright law to allow libraries to keep digital copies of ebooks and other media.

The movement to digital media has seriously disrupted this model. Content owners continue to exert more and more control over their works. No longer are they willing to sell "copies" to libraries. Some allow libraries to rent very restricted versions. Others refuse to deal with libraries at all.

We need to bring back the first sale doctrine for libraries, allowing them to copy and archive digital media without violating the DMCA.

Not doing so will ensure that only those with means have access to the wealth of human knowledge.

see:

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/my-mind/we-need-copyright-20

The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality

The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality
Allen Yu: "While I cheer on the defeat of SOPA-PIPA (copyright is really broken; many also consider SOPA-PIPA to be truly evil), I also have no false hopes that my interests on the Net can be best guaranteed by the likes of Google or Wikipedia or Facebook. For now, I am celebrating RELIEF not FREEDOM ."

U.S. House Drafts SKILLS Act to Support School Librarians

U.S. House Drafts SKILLS Act to Support School Librarians
Three House lawmakers introduced legislation this week that could strengthen and ensure school librarians' continued role as educators in the nation's K-12 schools.

Who Gets to See Published Research?

Who Gets to See Published Research?
The battle over public access to federally financed research is heating up again. The basic question is this: When taxpayers help pay for scholarly research, should those taxpayers get to see the results in the form of free access to the resulting journal articles?

Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works

Supreme Court Says Congress May Re-Copyright Public Domain Works
Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

Topic: 

Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"

Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"
The Daily Show featured not one but two segments on SOPA last night, and with Wikipedia "dark," Jon Stewart had a dickens of a time figuring out just what the hell SOPA means. (What was he supposed to do to learn things, "go to the library like a common masturbator?") And so Stew-Beef reluctantly turned to the "notoriously unreliable news" for answers, discovering, to his horror, that this law could send violators to jail for up to five years for merely streaming copyrighted material.

Can First Sale Doctrine exist in a digital age?

Can First Sale Doctrine exist in a digital age?
If publishers could get together and agree on a service like this which would allow the right of first sale to exist on digital files it would go a long way towards not only adopting digital media but literally "buying" in. This is, of course, assuming you do not already prefer physical books, are not a collector of books and said books are not first editions, signed copies, leather bound, etc. In those instances this discussion is moot.

What do you think about digital books? Would a legal re-selling service make you more likely to buy e-books?

Great Librarian SOPA and Protect-IP Links

SOPA and Protect-IP Links

The harm that does to ordinary, non-infringing users is best described via a hypothetical user: Abe. Abe has never even so much as breathed on a company’s copyright but he does many of the things typical of Internet users today. He stores the photos of his children, now three and six years old, online at PickUpShelf* so that he doesn’t have to worry about maintaining backups. He is a teacher and keeps copies of his classes accessible for his students via another service called SunStream that makes streaming audio and video easy. He engages frequently in conversation in several online communities and has developed a hard-won reputation and following on a discussion host called SpeakFree. And, of course, he has a blog called “Abe’s Truths” that is hosted on a site called NewLeaflet. He has never infringed on any copyright and each of the entities charged with enforcing SOPA know that he hasn’t.

The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall

The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall
With a number of issues floating around libraryland at the present moment, there has been talk in some of the my social circles about what to do about them. Specifically, how to approach tackling them as it relates to library vendors who have expressed support for legislation that has the potential to impede or block access to information (directly or as collateral damage). As the ALA Midwinter Meeting is just around the corner, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for librarians to meet with company representatives to discuss their concerns about current contentious legislation (such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Research Works Act (RWA)) as well as ongoing concerns (such as library eBook lending). Lest some perseverate or advocate for delaying action, our professional conferences are the best venue to voice our concerns face-to-face for the wide array of actions that have the potential to interfere with information access and exchange. This is not the time to waiver on our values and principles.

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