image © CoyauOn Friday, April 11, 2014, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and other organizations, joined an amicus brief authored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Garcia v. Google. The brief urges the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its decision in this copyright case in which a 2-1 panel ruled in favor of Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actors in the film Innocence of Muslims. Garcia claimed a copyright interest in her performance after being tricked into appearing in a five-second clip of the film and subsequently sought takedown of the film from YouTube, which is owned by Google.
On October 31, 2013, ARL joined more than 40 associations in signing this amicus brief in support of the University of Texas in its appeal of the ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. The case challenges the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Texas.
Google BooksAfter eight years of litigation, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.
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.
On December 19, 2003, reversing the rulings of the lower court, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Verizon. In a case with significant implications for users of file sharing systems, the decision stopped the RIAA from gaining access to names of individuals that the RIAA suspected of illegally downloading music from the Internet. The suits filed by the RIAA have focused on section 512(h), the subpoena provision of the DMCA, that allows any copyright owner or representative to "request the clerk of any US district court to issue a subpoena" to force an Internet service provider (ISP) to identify "an alleged infringer."
In April 2014, the Association of Research Libraries signed on to the Garcia v. Google amicus brief. In the brief, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urges a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision to order Google to take down a controversial video while a copyright lawsuit is pending as the decision sets a dangerous precedent that could have disastrous consequences for free speech.
April 11, 2014 EFF Press Release
Google BooksOn November 14, Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the digitization of millions of books from research library collections was a fair use and dismissed the Authors Guild case against Google and its Library Project, saying that the project “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration of the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.” In his decision, Judge Chin cited a November 2012 amicus brief (PDF) submitted by the Library Copyright Alliance (comprised of the Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries). The Authors Guild has stated that they disagree with the decision and plan to appeal.
image © Scott LengerOn August 30, ARL joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and 47 other organizations in submitting an amicus brief (PDF) to the US Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. In the brief, the amici urge the Supreme Court to overturn Michigan’s ban on considering race in college and university admissions.
In this case, we are asked to decide whether ß43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U. S. C. ß1125(a), prevents the unaccredited copying of a work, and if so, whether a court may double a profit award under ß1117(a), in order to deterfuture infringing conduct.
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image © Scott LengerARL and 36 other members of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat placed an advertisement (PDF) in yesterday's New York Times declaring that diversity in higher education remains a national priority. Last week, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al., a closely watched case challenging the University of Texas’s consideration of race as part of its admissions policy. The Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit had not applied the correct level of scrutiny to the policy and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for review. In its decision the Supreme Court maintained the legal principle that the educational benefits of a diverse student body are a compelling governmental interest.