Legal Issues

Dale Askey Support Facebook Page

Attention Librarians and Library Lovers: We Need Your Support!

Dale Askey is an Associate University Librarian at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He is being sued for $4,000,000 by Edwin Mellen Press because he critiqued the quality of the information they produce. If Mellen wins the case, the professional right to academic freedom possessed by librarians, professors and others in the academic community will be in jeopardy. Let’s spread word about the injustice that Dale Askey is facing, and let’s not let one company’s interest in profiteering outweigh our need for academic freedom.

To show your support for Dale Askey, please visit the Facebook support page we created. You can find more information about the lawsuit on the page and updates will be provided as they arise. Be sure to “like” the page and ask all of your librarian colleagues to “like” it as well. The more supporters the page receives, the more likely a major news media company will present this issue on radio or television. Here is the page link:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dont-Punish-Dale-Librarian-Being-Sued/313371185432030

DRM Lawsuit Filed By Independent Bookstores Against Amazon, 'Big Six' Publishers

Three independent bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big Six publishers (Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) to court in an attempt to level the playing field for book retailers. If successful, the lawsuit could completely change how ebooks are sold.

Full article

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #232

Welcome back! After hopefully debugging a problem with feed generation that has possibly left subscribers hanging for about five weeks, we have a new episode. Previous episodes remain available for manual download and an experimental initiative is underway to additionally deposit copies with the Internet Archive, California's digital virtual library.

In light of the Dale Askey and Jeffrey Beall cases in Canada for libel, we talk in this episode about the dangerous possibility of challenges erupting in those cases to the notion of librarianship actually being a profession. The case is laid out as to how librarianship may not necessarily be considered truly a profession in contemporary terms on a level with medicine or law. Following that a new miscellany is presented and the show is concluded with USDA Radio's Susan Carter presenting a feature about the Agriculture Department's Rural Utilities Service working to bridge the Digital Divide in parts of the United States.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. The purchasing requests list can be found via our Amazon Wishlist.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Fair use is a "very gray area"

Fair use is a "very gray area," says Julie Ahrens, who runs the Fair Use Project at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society.

"There are lots of things that are not clear."

"I get things where people are like, 'Are you sure I can do this?' And the best I can say is, 'Yes, you should be able to,' " she says.

Famed quotation isn't dead -- and could even prove costly

Topic: 

Book Scanning As Fair Use: Google Makes Its Case As Authors Guild Appeals Hathitrust Fair Use Ruling

Two new developments in the two big cases concerning book scanning and fair use: first up, we've got the somewhat unsurprising news that the Authors Guild is appealing its rather massive loss against Hathitrust, the organization that was set up to scan books from a bunch of university library collections. As you may recall, Judge Harold Baer's ruling discussed how the book scanning in that case was obviously fair use. It was a near complete smackdown for the Authors Guild.

Government Requests For Info And Censorship Are Increasing Rapidly

Google's latest transparency report is out and the notable bit of info is that governments continue to increase how often they're seeking info about users. The increase there is a steady growth which is immensely worrisome. There's also an equally troubling increase in the attempts to censor content via Google, though in that case, it was relatively flat until the first half of this year when it shot way, way up.

Via TechDirt...

SCOTUS shows concern for libraries

Supreme Court seeks a way around "perpetual copyright" on foreign goods
"If you were the lawyer for the Toyota distributor, [or] if you were the lawyer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or you are the lawyer for a university library," said Breyer. "Your client comes to you and says, 'My God, I just read the Supreme Court opinion. It says that we can't start selling these old books, or lending them, or putting them in our word processor, or reselling the Toyota, [or] displaying the Picasso without the permission of the copyright holder.' What, as their lawyer, do you tell them? Do you tell them, 'hey, no problem?' Or, do you tell them, 'you might become a law violator?' Or, do you tell them, 'I better litigate this?' What do you tell them?"

Notably, Olson didn't back away from the more extreme consequences of his client's win at the 2nd Circuit. If Wiley wins, he said, institutions like museums and libraries might need to get licenses from copyright owners for their activities.

Libraries, Copyright and Fair Use

"I bet you don’t know that librarians have, right from the start, been at the forefront of the digital information age. Librarians recognized the potential for providing even more information-based services with the advent of Internet based hypermedia. Libraries and librarians have also been stalwart in protecting the intellectual property of content creators and at the same advocating for ‘fair use’ of information all kinds. I’m pretty sure that a very important court decision slipped under your radar this week. So you’re hearing it first on Carpe Librum."

Michigan libraries can't ban guns, court of appeals rules

Though it said the idea of people openly carrying weapons into libraries is “alarming,” libraries can’t ban weapons, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled today.
In a 2-1 decision, the court said it’s up to the state, not local government units, to regulate matters related to firearms.
“Certainly, at a time where this country has witnessed tragic and horrific mass shootings in places of public gathering, the presence of weapons in a library where people of all ages — particularly our youth — gather is alarming and an issue of great concern,” Judges Jame Beckering and Henry William Saad said in the majority opinion.
However, guns are a matter for the state to regulate while complying with the federal constitution, the judges said.

Kindle Book Credit

Amazon has been sending out this email as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states.

Dear Kindle Customer,

We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.

Thank you for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team

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