Legal Issues

Class Action Suit Filed Against Jimmy Carter Book

Readers are often warned not to judge a book by its cover, but what about its publicity? That is the basis of a class-action lawsuit against former President Jimmy Carter and his publisher Simon & Schuster over his 2006 book “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid,” which was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

Full story

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Costco, Omega and Libraries

The Library Copyright Alliance today released “The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries.” Prepared by Jonathan Band, the concise, informative paper examines the much-discussed Costco v. Omega non-decision, which left in place a controversial 9th Circuit ruling that could have significant consequences for library lending practices.

Read the Press Release here. Includes a link to the paper.

Now It's OK to Be The Chocolate Library

Remember our story about a month or so ago about how New York State clamped down on a chocolate boutique for using the name "The Chocolate Library"? Well, they've changed their minds. From the New York Times:

This fall the education department — which regulates the use of the words library, school, academy, institute and kindergarten in certificates of incorporation and company names — rejected owner Byron Bennett’s application. The thought was that the store might be confused with one of those places that lends out books or provides free Internet access.

But after a call from Diner’s Journal, officials reconsidered. Mr. Bennett received a letter from the department on Monday telling him that he could amend his business’s incorporated title, Chocolate 101, to reflect the name on his shop’s awning. The shop is located in the East Village at 111 St. Mark's Place.

What’s next for Mr. Bennett? Books, naturally. Before the ruling he had held off selling books about the origins and history of chocolate and how to cook it. He also plans to set up a kiosk where customers can research the international selection of chocolates he sells. He hopes to reach his goal of carrying 100 brands of chocolates.


Greenwich CT seeks Recovery of Benefits Paid in Librarian's 2009 Denver Crash Death

From the Denver Post: Officials in Greenwich have launched a legal battle to recover benefits paid to the family of a librarian who died on a Denver highway in 2009, contending that the town is entitled to a slice of a pending lawsuit settlement.

The move comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the deaths of librarians Kathleen Krasniewicz, 54, and Kate McClelland, 71, following a collision involving a pickup driven by a drunken woman and the taxi van in which the librarians were passengers.

An attorney representing Greenwich has filed a motion in Denver District Court, seeking to stop the payment of a proposed settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Krasniewicz's family against the pickup driver, her father, the man at the wheel of the taxi and Freedom Cabs Inc.

Instead, the town is seeking the money to offset benefits it has paid to Krasniewicz's family and medical bills incurred as doctors fought to save her life.

"I couldn't believe what they were doing to me and doing to my wife," Krasniewicz's husband, James, said Wednesday. "My reaction? How can I fight the town of Greenwich? There's no way. They have a law that says they can do this. Some laws are not right, I would say."

The Right to Read

Article: A Fundamental Right to Read: Reader Privacy Protections in the U.S. Constitution

Article can be found at 82 U. Colo. L. Rev. 307 (2011)

Not available free online. If you have access to Lexis or Lexis Academic or subscribe to the University of Colorado Law Review you can read the article.



A law professor I know sent me this email. I believe this prof has a slightly left of center political view just to give a little context on the sender.


Agree or not, you all might enjoy reading the following three paragraphs, the first three paragraphs of a concurring opinion by Scalia, published yesterday.

Professor X

Cite as: 562 U. S. ____ (2011) SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment

No. 09–530
[January 19, 2011]
JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS joins, concurring in the judgment.

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Rancho Mirage Friends and Foundation Settle Major Financial Dispute

The Friends of the Rancho Mirage (CA) Public Library will hand almost all of its $2.2 million in assets over to Rancho Mirage and dissolve itself, under the terms of a settlement agreement which will end the city’s lawsuit against the organization. Report from My Desert News.

The city is to get $310,000 from the Friends’ account within a week to cover Library programs, improvements to the Community Room and other items included in the city’s funding request to the Friends from last August. About $1.8 million will be transferred to the Rancho Mirage Public Library Foundation, which the city formed as a replacement library fundraising arm when it filed suit in September.

The settlement ends a dispute which erupted in the fall of 2008, when the Friends board gave approval to buying a $25,000 sponsorship of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a transaction never made after some board members raised objections.

This led to the city’s discovery that the Friends board had changed its bylaws, without notifying city officials, to eliminate an annual, automatic transfer of funds. The city had overlooked the end of the fund transfers.

The Friends board said most of the money it had in the bank was designated by donors to be in an endowment, set aside to draw interest, and not spent itself.

Restoring FTC Oversight of Publisher Trade Practices

Michael Ginsborg offers his ideas on how a coalition of library associations and and allied organizations might engage the FTC to end unfair business practices of legal, scientific, medical, and technical publishers at Initial Thoughts on a Plan to Restore FTC Oversight of Publisher Trade Practices


If you believe in things like libraries and used-book stores

Story on NPR about a recent court decision about the resale of promo music CDs. Legal issue involves the first sale doctrine and the piece has this line in it - "First Sale is incredibly important if you believe in things like libraries and used-book stores."

'For Promotional Use Only - Not For Resale' — Oh Yes It Is


Blog Gives Superheroes and Supervillains Their Day in Court

A new blog addresses questions like whether Superman’s heat vision is protected by the Second Amendment.

Full article in the NYT


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