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The executive board of the American Library Association (ALA) voted
yesterday to initiate legal action challenging the recently enacted
Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), signed into law on December
21. The decision came after more than a week of intense discussion
among leaders and members during the association\'s annual Midwinter
Meeting. The ALA contends the act is unconstitutional and creates an
infringement of First Amendment protections.
\"Copyright laws have always provided for fair use exceptions for nonprofit educational and research use, and criticism, to name just a few exceptional areas. Opponents of UCITA fear the effective extinction of such fair use rights under UCITA. Librarians also fear they will have imposed on them contract clauses that prohibit lending materials or that prohibit activities or uses that libraries may make in carrying out their preservation efforts.\"
The fallout over the Children\'s Internet Protection Act continues here in the U.S.
Wired has a Story\"This is the first time since the development of the local, free public library in the 19th century that the federal government has sought to require censorship in every town and hamlet in America,\" said Greg Hansen, an ACLU attorney, in a statement.\"
One more story can be found at ZD Net
Dennis S. Karjala a Professor of Law @ Arizona State
University has put together a good resource for all those
interested in Copyright Law. Check Out His
\"On October 7, 1998, both the House and the Senate
passed S. 505, the \"Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension
Act,\"extending the already-too-long term of copyright
protection by another 20 years. The legislation purports to
cover even works already in existence--a windfall gift to
special interests of what rightfully belongs to the public.
Our President, a self-proclaimed supporter of the little
guy, signed the bill on October 27, 1998. Like the Congress,
President Clinton has sold out the interests of the American
people to a few owners of valuable copyrights from the
1920\'s and 1930\'s. This web site shows how and why this
action was a tragic mistake. It also supplies news on a
judicial challenge to the constitutionality of the term
extension legislation, and contains materials opposing
longer copyright terms generally in the hope that, when this
issue arises again (around the year 2015 or so), those
seeking to defend the public interest will have some
December 13, 2000 (That\'s TODAY!)
1:00-4:00 p.m. EST
UCITA, the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, is a proposed
state law that seeks to create a unified approach to the licensing of
software and information. Two states--Maryland and Virginia--have passed
UCITA, and it will be under consideration in many other states in the near
future. Several aspects of UCITA pose problems for higher education and
If anyone else is going, and would like to report in the conference, please let us know!
I would love to hear what people think of this! -- Read More
\"These measures may also allow copyright owners to control use and disposition of copies of digital works long after the copyrights have passed into the public domain.... This unlimited control is contrary to the core principle of the first sale doctrine.\"
CNET and Wired both have stories on todays mandatory hearings on the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). James G. Neal and Rodney Peterson reps for the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association, and Special Libraries Association have a Summary of Intended Testimony posted, it is a PDF, so you\'ll need acrobat. They say the DMCA undermines libraries abilities to provide access to materials for people and the law gives too much control to publishers.
In 1988 Henry H. Barschall did a study that found nonprofit society-based journals offered work equal to or better than commercial journals, and are cheaper. Commercial publisher Gordon & Breach didn\'t like what was said, and has filed suite. Gordon & Breach has now spent millions of dollars and eleven years pressing a false-advertising claim against two nonprofit competitors.
\"Has pursuing a course of continuous litigation against both the scientific and the academic library communities hurt business for G&B\'s journals? \"Probably it has,\" Gordon admits. But, he adds, \"it\'s impossible to see how it has. As you know, library budgets have been cut in the last few years.\" \"