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Library Copyright Alliance Applauds Introduction of Unlocking Technology Act

hacking an iphoneimage © Bjørn MolstadThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) applauds the introduction in the US House of Representatives on May 9, 2013, of H.R. 1892, the Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill guarantees that legitimate uses of digital works and technologies will not run afoul of copyright law, even if they require breaking digital locks. Prompted by the recent uproar over cell phone unlocking, the bill recognizes that issue as a symptom of a much larger problem and would fix that problem permanently.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Supports Georgia State University in Amicus Brief

georgia-state-university-libraryGSU Library
image © Jason Puckett
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed a “friend of the court” brief (PDF) late yesterday in support of Georgia State University (GSU) in the appeal of Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In its brief, LCA argues that GSU’s e-reserves policy is consistent with widespread and well-established best practices for fair use at academic and research libraries, and that these uses have no negative effects on scholarship. LCA was represented by Jonathan Band and attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The case is on appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

 
 

Impact of Supreme Court Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley: LCA Releases Issue Brief

textbook-stackimage © Chrystal Parsons

In "The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley on Libraries" (PDF), Jonathan Band explains the recent copyright decision on the scope of the "first sale" doctrine, its context, and its likely consequences for libraries in the US. In short, the Supreme Court's opinion is a landmark victory that strengthens the legal foundation of library lending, and the Court's extensive reliance on the Library Copyright Alliance's amicus brief shows the importance of library engagement in policy debates. Continued vigilance will be necessary, Band explains, as rights holders disappointed with the Court's majority opinion could go to Congress for a change to the law.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley—Total Victory for Libraries and Their Users

textbook-stackimage © Chrystal ParsonsToday the US Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, a lawsuit regarding the bedrock principle of the “first sale doctrine.” The 6-3 opinion is a total victory for libraries and our users. It vindicates the foundational principle of the first sale doctrine—if you bought it, you own it. All who believe in that principle, and the certainty it provides to libraries and many other parts of our culture and economy, should join us in applauding the Court for correcting the legal ambiguity that led to this case in the first place. It is especially gratifying that Justice Breyer’s majority opinion focused on the considerable harm that the Second Circuit’s opinion would have caused libraries.

 
 

LCA Submits Reply Comments to US Copyright Office Regarding Orphan Works NOI

lca-orphan-works-reply-commentsThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) today filed reply comments (PDF) with the US Copyright Office in response to the office’s October 22, 2012, Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about the current state of play with orphan works and mass digitization.

 
 

Letter from US Department of Justice Declining to File Amicus Brief in Cambridge University Press v. Mark Becker (Feb. 22, 2013)

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided not to participate in the appeal of the case Cambridge University Press v. Mark Becker as amicus curiae. The case concerns the use at Georgia State University (GSU) of electronic course reserves (e-reserves) and electronic course sites to make excerpts from academic books available online to students enrolled in particular courses. It was widely reported that the US Copyright Office requested that the DOJ file an amicus brief either on the side of the publishers or as a neutral party. On February 22, 2013, the DOJ sent this letter to the court stating that the US Attorney General had decided not to file an amicus brief in the case.

pdf ltr-doj-re-gsu-ereserves-22feb13.pdf

 
 

Motion by US Department of Justice to Extend Time in Which to File Amicus Brief in Cambridge University Press v. Mark Becker

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is evaluating whether to participate in the appeal of the case Cambridge University Press v. Mark Becker as amicus curiae. The case concerns the use at Georgia State University (GSU) of electronic course reserves (e-reserves) and electronic course sites to make excerpts from academic books available online to students enrolled in particular courses. It was widely reported that the US Copyright Office requested that the DOJ file an amicus brief either on the side of the publishers or as a neutral party. On January 25, 2013, the DOJ requested an extension of the time they have to file an amicus brief.

pdf gsu-extension-motion-usgov-jan2013.pdf

 
 

First Sale: The Public View & Fast Facts for Libraries

ori-public-view-jan2012-newsTwo organizations in which ARL partners recently released informational resources about the first-sale doctrine and the Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. Wiley & Sons:

The Public View: Two-Minute “Person on the Street” Video by Owners’ Rights Initiative

First-Sale Fast Facts for Libraries: One-Page Summary by Library Copyright Alliance (PDF)

 
 

Briefing: Success of Fair Use Codes of Best Practices

Does the approach of creating a code of best practices, anchored in professional practice, actually work to expand the utility of fair use? What has happened to others who used codes of best practices to gain access to their rights?

This topic is discussed at length in Aufderheide and Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use (University of Chicago Press, 2011), but some specific examples include:

 
 

Briefing: Copyright Education, Academic Integrity Codes, and Fair Use

Does your university offer intellectual property education to incoming students, or have an academic integrity policy that addresses copyright issues? These are important areas where librarians can be of service in offering balanced information about copyright and fair use.

 
 
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