Legal Issues

Blind patrons sue Philadelphia Free Library over Nook e-Readers

Blind patrons sue Philadelphia Free Library over Nook e-Readers
With the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, four blind patrons of the Free Library of Philadelphia—Denice Brown, Karen Comorato, Patricia Grebloski, and Antoinette Whaley—have filed suit (case number: 12-2373) against the library because they cannot access one of the library’s programs for which they are eligible. The Free Library of Philadelphia has instituted and announced plans to expand a program in which free NOOK Simple Touch e-readers, which are manufactured and sold by Barnes & Noble, are loaned to patrons over the age of fifty. Unlike some other portable e-readers that use text-to-speech technology and/or Braille to allow blind people to read e-books, the NOOK devices are completely inaccessible to patrons who are blind. The library’s conduct violates Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Google Argues for Dismissal of Authors’ Book-Scan Lawsuit

Google Argues for Dismissal of Authors’ Book-Scan Lawsuit
Google asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an organization representing authors over the search engine company’s project to digitally scan millions of books, saying the group can’t represent the copyright holders.

Friends Groups Need Not Be Affiliated in Hawaii

There’s trouble in paradise… Hawaii is seeing controversy from an unlikely source: Friends of the Library organizations.

Over a year ago, State Librarian Richard Burns informed local Friends groups that they must become affiliates of the statewide Friends of the Library organization (also referred to as FLH or the “Big” Friends) or they would no longer be allowed to raise funds on state property, according to the Hawaii Reporter.

In response, the Friends of the Aina Haina Public Library, which does not want to join the statewide group, began a process which eventually led them to seek a change from the state legislature. The resulting bill, HB1054, passed both the Hawaii State Senate and the House on May 1, and will now go to the governor for signature.
If You Won’t Be Friends with the Big Friends, You Can’t Be Friends At All?

The source of the conflict is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which grants the FLH exclusive rights to raise funds on state property (in a system that’s unique in the country, Hawaii’s libraries are all state-run.)

Be Very Afraid: The Cable-ization of Online Life Is Upon Us

Be Very Afraid: The Cable-ization of Online Life Is Upon Us

Imagine what’s possible from Comcast’s perspective: If you can slice and dice traffic, play definitional chess (“that’s not the internet, that’s a specialized service!”), and be the only game in town, you’ll get to replicate the cable model by making sure that every successful online application owes its success in part to you and pays you tribute.

Sacramento Public Library whistleblower settles suit for $343,000

Sacramento Public Library whistleblower settles suit for $343,000
The clerk who blew the whistle on a Sacramento Public Library Authority kickback scheme that sent three people to prison settled her retaliation lawsuit against the agency for $343,000, it was disclosed Monday.

Lawsuit dismissed against 'Cups of Tea' author

Lawsuit dismissed against 'Cups of Tea' author
A U.S. District Court judge has rejected every claim presented by plaintiffs who said they were deceived when they shelled out $15 for Greg Mortenson's book, "Three Cups of Tea," assuming the contents were entirely true.

A dark day for the future of books

A dark day for the future of books
If the Justice Department prevails with its antitrust lawsuit, the decision might have unintended negative consequences for those who write, publish, sell and enjoy e-books. The government's intention to protect consumers could end up backfiring on consumers by harming retailers, authors and publishers.

Copyright in Scholarly Publishing

Copyright in Scholarly Publishing is a series of posts from Freedom To Tinker. You might like to read Contract hacking and community organizing: "This is a game of chicken that the publisher cannot win. If the authors feel strongly and get their gumption together, they will prevail. The best course for publishers is to avoid playing this game of chicken, by adjusting their copyright contracts to fit the progress of open-access policies in the 21st century. I believe that the good nonprofits (such as ACM and IEEE) are heading in this direction, and Usenix is already there."

Sunday Dialogue: Books in a Digital Age

Letters to the Editor of the NYT about the DOJ lawsuit against publishers.

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