Legal Issues

European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research

Sabrina I. Pacifici writes "European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research is
Marylin J. Raisch's extensive guide which includes: treaties establishing the European Union, legislation, case law, periodical literature and other sources, implementing legislation at the national level, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, citation issues, and "a guide to the guides." See the October 15 issue of


ACLU Acts Against Patriot Act

Wired points the way to a new campaign from The American Civil Liberties Union "Keep America Safe and Free".

"The Bush administration has presented Americans with a false dichotomy that we must choose between being safe or free," said ACLU national spokeswoman Emily Whitfield. "We're saying there doesn't have to be a choice. We can stay safe and free at the same time."


Making My Own Music

Jen Young passed along Making My Own Music that sheds some more light on Eldred v. Ashcroft. The author says copyright extension actually restricts creativity by narrowing the shared universe of works artists can build upon. He adds instead of seeing new ideas as a positive development, corporate copyright holders view it as something that must be quashed.


The Copyright Office requests written comments on DMCA

Legal Librarian writes \"Here\'s The Form.
The Copyright Office is preparing to conduct proceedings mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides that the Librarian of Congress may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. The purpose of this rulemaking proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention.
This notice requests written comments from all interested parties, including representatives of copyright owners, educational institutions, libraries and archives, scholars, researchers and members of the public, in order to elicit evidence on whether noninfringing uses of certain classes of works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected by this prohibition on the circumvention of measures that control access to copyrighted works.



Section 508 Goes To The Library

Marian clued us in to this research paper in the latest number of Information Technology and Disabilities addressing the question of accessibility. From the introduction:

\"This article will discuss the importance of accessibility to electronic and information technologies in libraries. The context and requirements of Section 508, including which organizations the law applies to, will be discussed, with emphasis given to its application to libraries. The article will outline the roles and requirements of other Federal laws and organizations relevant to electronic and information technology accessibility. Potential problems that must be considered in the implementation of Section 508 standards will be examined. Finally, this article will discuss the methods by which libraries can adopt the standards of Section 508 to implement accessibility.\"

Don\'t miss the excellent bibliography.


Wired: Justices Doubt Free Speech Link

This Wired Story looks like bad news. They say the U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday expressed measured skepticism that copyright law and the First Amendment are intertwined. Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, said Congress will most likely overturn the CTEA on its own even if the court upholds it.
See also: Fencing Off the Public Domain, for more the public domain and copyright. also has more.


Eldred v. Ashcroft Oral Arguments

This Slashdot Thread has a nice summary of the Eldred v. Ashcroft case. They point to Lawmeme and Yahoo News for some first hand accounts.


Web site fights copyrights, royalties

Jen Young pointed us to This CNN Story on Eldred V. Ashcroft, which will be heard on Wednesday. It's a nice overview on the case if you need to catch up. The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 was sponsored by late Rep. Sonny Bono and quickly became known as the "Mickey Mouse Extension Act" because of aggressive lobbying by Disney, whose earliest representations of its squeaky-voiced mascot were set to pass into the public domain in 2003.


I Know It When I See It - The Bad Stuff

Sabrina Pacifici writes \"Constitutional, Federal and State Legal Definitions of Child Pornography, Obscenity and \"Harmful to Minors\" of Interest to California Libraries
Mary Minow reviews the federal and California state laws on pornography, child pornography, obscenity, and the recent \"harmful to minors\" laws (the Online Protection Act and the Children\'s Internet Protection Act). This article is in the October 1, 2002 issue of\"


A Case to Define the Digital Age

Here\'s A Businessweek Story on Eldred v. Ashcroft. On Oct. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Eldred v. Ashcroft. It\'s a challenge to the controversial 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), which lengthened copyright terms by 20 years, stretching them to 70 years after an artist\'s death.

A Supreme Court ruling against the CTEA would be the first major victory for digital-rights activists, who want more books, music, and images to enter the public domain. And it would be a grand defeat for corporations, which claim they would forfeit billions in lost revenues.



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