Legal Issues

ACLU v. Copa v. Aschcroft

If you speak leagalease, Tim says there is a copy of the DOJ \"Petition for Writ of Certiorari\" that went to the Supreme Court
about going after the
the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). This
proceeding is now titled Ashcroft v. ACLU.
HTML Version and the PDF Version


The original on the case is here:Third Circuit\'s opinion.

Bad Laws Down In Australia

So you thought the US was the only one passing stupid laws? (UCITA), well Here\'s A Story on one in Australia. This one may be even worse for libraries than the UCITA.

\"Libraries will have exemptions similar to the ones they already hold for distributing information but they will not be able to build up searchable collections, or provide material in competition with commercial providers.\"

Aligning Against UCITA

Slashdot told me Infoworld is running This Story on UCITA.

There\'s a new coalition called Americans for Fair
Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT), formed by merging several anti-UCITA groups. If you are in the states of California, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Arizona or Texas you need to be aware of this law.

AFFECT\'s website is at http://affect.ucita.com, check it out.

Copyright or Copy Wrong?

Wired has a Story on The DMCA and the looming showdown in the US congress. Orrin Hatch wants to open up hearings to discuss the effects of the Napster ruling.

\"I have been troubled by the possible practical problems that may arise from this decision,\" Hatch said. \"I am troubled as a strong supporter and prime author of much of our copyright law and intellectual property rights.\"

Libraries becoming battlefield over Internet pornography

A Story from the Washington Times talks about
what they call the \"cultural war raging inside America\'s
libraries\", piting Conservative groups that watn
unrestricted access to Internet indecency in the nation\'s
public schools and libraries threatens to create virtual
sanctuaries of smut across the land against the
American Library Association and others who say
patrons have a right to view pornographic material.

\"There is no constitutional right to view this kind of
obscenity in public places like our towns\' libraries,\"
says Janet LaRue, senior legal studies director at the
Family Research Council (FRC).\"

UCITA on legislative agenda in four states

UCITA was passed in Maryland and Virginia last year, things are only getting worse, Arizona, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Texas are scheduled to take up the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) this year. UCITA is opposed by leading bar associations, the attorneys general of more than 20 states, consumer groups, and everyone else with more than 2 active brain cells. CNN has the Full Story.

How things would work in a copyright-free universe

The National
Post
has a rather I
nteresting Story
on copyright. Ilana Mercer
says the copyright system shoul be abolished because
there can be no justification for the use of force against
legitimate property owners.

\"And force is, very
plainly, what flows from the enforcement of the law.
Since ideas should not be treated as property, laws that
target those who have not violated person or property
are wrong.\"

I can\'t say I agree or disagree, but it is a very well
thought out argument.

Library Web Suit Revived

SF Gate has a story on a woman whose 12-year-old son downloaded pornography at a CA public library, has reinstated her lawsuit that would require parental consent for minors to access the Internet at libraries.

\"We have to do a little more to protect children from themselves than to protect adults from themselves,\"


UPDATE from SF Gate. Hearing Was Held.
A panel of three justices of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco did not indicate when or which way it would rule. But one justice noted that a Virginia library was subjected to a successful suit when it blocked pornographic access and was ordered to reinstate full access.

John Gilmore on Content Protection

As seen on the Freenet page and elsewhere, this essay by John Gilmore (of the EFF) explains why you should care about the efforts of industry to protect content through arbitrary technical means. Read it and send a copy to your colleagues. :)

Copyright: Your Right or Theirs?

Wired has a Story on The DeCSS Case and the The DMCA

\"A copyright is a right to own and exploit your work. The copyright law is a property right of your creations,\" said Lehman. \"That includes the right to stop anyone from getting your copyrights. That is a fundamental right of the creator. Most creators don\'t do that, and want people to have access because they want to earn a living off that. That was the idea of the DMCA.\"

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