Today the House of Representatives adopted the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017” (H.R. 1695) to make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. American Library Association President-Elect James Neal released the following statement in response:
“The American Library Association (ALA) opposes H.R. 1695, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017. As this bill moves to the Senate, ALA urges all senators to take special note of what the bill isn’t. Despite the arguments of its proponents, it isn’t related to modernization of the Copyright Office, which it will impede. It isn’t about protecting or advancing the long-term interests of all Copyright Office stakeholders, just its most powerful ones. And, by oddly outsourcing appointment of the Legislative Branch’s own copyright advisor to the Executive Branch, it isn’t the way for Congress to get the nonpoliticized counsel about fairly balanced copyright law on which the economy and public interest depend.
“The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed the Librarian of Congress just nine months ago because she is an expert in modernizing complex information systems in libraries and a proven manager of them: exactly what the Copyright Office needs. ALA urges the Senate to let Dr. Hayden build her own team, including the Register of Copyrights, to accomplish that mission without further delay. H.R. 1695 isn’t the way to get there. We urge the Senate to reject it.”
On March 23, 1017, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation entitled the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.” The bill would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. Under current law (17 USC 701), the Librarian of Congress selects the Register.
“On behalf of three nationallibraryassociations, EFF today urged a federal appeals court for the second time to protect librarians’ and students’ rights to make fair use of excerpts from academic books and research.
Nearly a decade ago, three of the largest academic publishers in the world— backed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) trade group— sued Georgia State University (GSU) for copyright infringement, insisting that GSU owed licensing fees for the use of excerpts of academic works in its electronic reserve system. Such systems are commonly used to help students save money; rather than forcing students to buy a whole book when they only need a short excerpt from it, professors will place the excerpts “on reserve” for students to access. GSU argued that posting excerpts in the e-reserve systems was a “fair use” of the material, thus not subject to licensing fees. GSU also changed its e-reserve policy to ensure its practices were consistent with a set of fair use best practices that were developed pursuant to a broad consensus among libraries and other stakeholders. The practices are widely used, and were even praised bythe AAP itself. ”
CMLE Guest Blogger: Carli Spina If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or contact me on Twitter where I’m @CarliSpina.
In my last post, I explained what Creative Commons licenses are. But how can you make use of these licenses and incorporate items that are licensed under them in your library? Perhaps not surprisingly, an array of resources have emerged to make it approachable to use Creative Commons licenses and to aggregate Creative Commons-licensed items. The resources suggested below are not the only ones available on this topic, but hopefully they will help to get you started with a variety of Creative Commons resources.
Take a moment to mourn the material we can not access, that we can not freely share with our patrons, and that may never be accessible to us!! (How many of our patrons would have enjoyed having a free copy of Green Eggs and Ham?)
Current copyright law is too often a tragedy for libraries, and for the communities we serve. Look at this list, published every year by this organization, and consider some ways you might work within copyright laws to help your patrons. And then be a voice of advocacy in your community to loosen these too-tight federal laws!!