Legal Issues

GSU E-Reserves Trial To Begin Next Week

Despite a flurry of last-minute briefs, as of today the most significant copyright trial since the Kinko's coursepack litigation, Cambridge University Press et al v. Patton et al, is still on track to begin on Monday, May 16. The case revolves around the practice known as electronic reserves at Georgia State University. And while initial reports have characterized publishers as facing a difficult road, a pre-trial memorandum filed by publishers' attorneys on April 29 outlines a case that could be stronger than previously thought.

Full story at Publishers Weekly


Library leaflet lawsuits are filed; Tea Party Alliance, ACLU work together

Via The Record Searchlight: "The North State Tea Party Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California Friday filed separate lawsuits against the city of Redding and the City Council, each claiming the Municipal Library's new leafleting policy is unconstitutional and should be overturned. "We are working together, even though there are separate lawsuits, for the same end result," said Tim Pappas, the Shasta County assistant public defender who on his own time represents the North State Tea Party Alliance." Full story

Ex-Revere Library Director Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzelment

Follow up to our story from mid-March, here...

Boston Herald reports: The former director of Revere’s public library has pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $200,000 from the city (however, he did admit in this article to being a 'shopaholic') .

Robert Rice Jr. was released without bail at his arraignment Wednesday on charges of larceny, fraud and embezzlement, but was ordered to surrender his passport.

Authorities say the 45-year-old Rowley resident used city money to buy items, which he either kept for himself or resold online. The items he allegedly bought with city funds included a replica of a Thompson submachine gun and a camera which prosecutors say he described on purchase orders as books.

The alleged thefts took place between 2005 and his resignation in January 2009.

What standards vendors use to measure the underlying quality of their product?

On editing & updating standards
"What is important about these excerpts (and in my opinion, I don’t believe these systems or approaches to be unique to West) is that they get to an underlying issue not being asked of lawyers and legal researchers generally, that is, what do you, the consumer, consider to be a quality update to a legal treatise? It’s rare to find lawyers talking about such things, and law librarians had a perfect opportunity to do so at the recent AALL Vendor Colloquium, but instead limited their focus to pricing and subscription models, vendor communications, digital v. print, etc. Honestly, what difference does all of that make if you don't know what standards vendors use to measure the underlying quality of the product?"

E-Reserves Lawsuit / Kindlefish

Judge Sets Trial Date in Georgia State University E-Reserves Lawsuit

Kindlefish Turns Kindle Into Worldwide Translator

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) wants to rescind all IMLS and LSTA moneys

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has submitted an amendment to S. 493, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Reauthorization Act of 2011, which would rescind all unobligated funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and send them back to the U.S Treasury. This would include funds to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and would cost libraries over $100 million in federal funding for FY2011. Needless to say this would be devastating to libraries throughout the country.


Carrying Guns @ Your Library

A court order that bars people from openly carrying a firearm onto Capital Area District (Lansing MI) Library property will stand until at least June.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on Tuesday broadened a Feb. 16 ruling to now keep anyone from openly toting firearms on the library's grounds. Her previous restraining order had applied only to members of Michigan Open Carry or associated people.

"I wish I could say that you could all carry weapons wherever you wanted, but I can't say that," Aquilina said during a hearing attended by gun rights advocates and library officials. "I do believe the library can regulate whether weapons come in or don't come in the library."

Library officials requested an injunction to bar people from openly carrying firearms on the premises in February, after four incidents since December where people believed to be members of Michigan Open Carry brought firearms into the building. Lansing State Journal reports.

Unlocking the Future of Public Libraries: Digital Licensing that Preserves Access

Article in The University of Baltimore Intellectual Property Law Journal
Cite: 16 U. Balt. Intell. Prop. L.J. 29
Author: Kristen M. Cichocki

Abstract: The traditional role of the public library as a content intermediary is being altered by recent changes in contract practice between publishers and libraries, alterations to copyright law, and new applications of technology to digital content.

This article will examine how licensing contracts for digital content, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the application of digital rights management are all calling into question the role of the public library in the digital future. The article will then discuss possible approaches to reframing publisher-public library licensing agreements in order to mitigate the negative impact of certain contractual terms and promote uses of content expected by libraries, keeping in mind the difference in scale and distribution between real and digital space.

New OverDrive DRM terms: "This message will self-destruct"

New OverDrive DRM terms: "This message will self-destruct"
"This goes a step worse so that each digital "copy" effectively self-destructs after a set number of reads in your system or consortium. That is to say, if you wanted to help blunt the crushing demand for a popular title, this would only help you slightly, if at all. And only one user at a time. And only if your users are faster than the rest of the consortium. After that you (and the rest of your consortium) are straight out of luck. Guess you should have bought more print copies?"

Kindle e-book piracy accelerates

Kindle e-book piracy accelerates

How much will price play into all this? Well, you already have plenty of folks out there who think it's outrageous for publishers to price an e-book at $12.99 or $14.99 when the hardcover is first released. And some of those folks may feel justified in downloading pirated versions of books in protest--or just because they say they don't like getting ripped off. And while some pricing decisions by publishers are clearly bad, pricing may be a smaller part of the piracy equation than you might think. What a surprising number of people have told me is that they pirate stuff for the same reason that a lot of people like the Kindle: it's all about instant gratification.

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