Legal Issues

Librarians Under Siege

This article was in the August 5th \"The Nation,\" but here is a link to it on Working for Change. Laura Flanders writes... \"It used to be a matter of flashing a badge and appealing to patriotism, but these days federal agents are finding it a little harder to get librarians to spy ... this time around, top librarians are on the warpath to protect reader privacy.\" Read More


Copyright as Cudgel

Lee Hadden passed along This One from that says when Congress brought copyright law into the digital era, in 1998, some in academe were initially heartened by what they saw as compromises that, they hoped, would protect fair use for digital materials. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

Recent actions by Congress and the federal courts -- and many more all-too-common acts of cowardice by publishers, colleges, developers of search engines, and other concerned parties -- have demonstrated that fair use, while not quite dead, is dying.


Your Grocery List Could Spark a Terror Probe

It seems the data people create using store\'s preferred-customer cards is being used by government agents hunting for potential terrorists. They think federal authorities are plugging the information into algorithms, using the complex formulas to create a picture of general-population trends that can be contrasted with the lifestyles of known terrorists. If your habits match, expect further scrutiny at the least. Full Story.

\"Privacy may seem like a luxury in a nation at war, but that moral concept lies at the heart of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. That\'s why so many people are willing to fight for it.\"


All About The CRS Reports

LLRX writes \"Frequent contributor Stephen Young provides an historical introduction to Congressional Research Reports (over 1,000 written reports published yearly), and a variety of avenues online to obtain copies of the small number of these documents actually made available to the public.
See the July 15 issue of \"


Libraries: The new cyberbattleground

SomeOne points to this Great Story that tells those who didn\'t know already, we [Librarians] are emerging as vocal advocates in a debate over who should have rights to what in the information age. It\'s an interview with the ALA legislative counsel, Miriam Nisbet.


Boucher Outlines \'Fair Use\' Fight

Slashdot pointed the way to This One on U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher, who is moving to strengthen \"fair use\"
provisions under federal copyright law, said he is introducing a bill that
would essentially restrict the record industry from selling copy-protected

He also said he would introduce a bill within the week that would update the
U.S. Copyright Office\'s Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), which he has criticized as being mired in outdated laws that tilt against Webcasters regarding royalties on
streaming music.


Libraries wait for warrants

This One from WI says A survey of 1,020 libraries by the University of Illinois in
January and February showed 85 libraries nationwide had been
visited by federal agents seeking information on patrons related to
terrorism. Specific information on which libraries were contacted was
unavailable because of gag provisions in the federal law that
broadened the federal government\'s investigation powers after the
Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Washington Post has a story as well.

Hermit points to The Study, or at least the googlechache.


Disney challenges town library\'s new mouse logo

A Sad Story from FL says Walt Disney Co. officials have until July 30 to decide whether to challenge the Genesee District Library\'s mascot for an alleged similarity to Mickey Mouse.

Last summer, the library submitted a trademark registry request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for \"Book Mouse,\" a blue, large-eared rodent wearing red-rimmed glasses and a backpack. Book Mouse appears on bumper stickers and in coloring books, and even marches in local parades.

Library attorney Patric Parker said \"I don\'t think we cut into their movie profits this last year.\"

Free The Mouse.


The Children\'s Online Protection Act Round Up

Mary Minow has A Story over at that has an extensive Q&A on The Children\'s Online Protection Act.


As sales stagnate, royalties for used CDs proposed

From the San Diego Union Tribute, with thanks to Metafilter:

The industry worries that the expanding used market is cannibalizing new-CD sales, as well as promoting piracy by allowing consumers to buy, record and sell back discs while retaining their own digitally pristine copies.

One proposed remedy being debated by record label executives is federal legislation requiring used-CD retailers to pay royalties on secondary sales of albums.

A cover story in last week\'s issue of the music trade publication Billboard quoted several executives who said they favor the establishment of an agency that would exert a flat royalty rate – say, 6 percent or so – on retailers\' sales of CDs sold over and over again.

Full article. Although a similar proposal by the music industry was rejected last year, this would still seem to merit attention given the downturn in book sales, and libraries\' reliance on the right of first sale and related laws to do business . . . I\'m sure the AAP will be next in line if the music moguls are successful this time around. Also worthwhile is Michael Fraase\'s Controlling Copyright Through Technology: When Elephants Dance (Thanks to wood s lot for this one.)



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