“To the casual observer, the e-book revolution has produced two bumper crops: smutty trilogies à la “Fifty Shades of Grey” and lawsuits. First there were the authors (as represented by the Authors Guild), who sued Google Books for digitizing their work without permission. Then the Department of Justice sued five publishers and Apple for adopting a policy known as the agency model. Finally, a trio of independent booksellers filed a class-action suit last week against the six largest book publishers and Amazon, accusing them of collaborating to create a monopoly on e-book sales and shutting small retailers out of the market. The booksellers — Fiction Addiction of Greenville, S.C., Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, N.Y., and Posman Books of New York City — are demanding the right to sell what they term “open-source and DRM-free” e-books, files that can be read on a Kindle or any other e-reading device. The publishers are accused of entering into “confidential agreements” with Amazon making this impossible.”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) share a commitment to freedom of opinion and expression of ideas and are strongly opposed to any effort to intimidate individuals in order to suppress information or censor ideas. We further share the belief that a librarian must be able to offer his or her assessment of a publisher’s products or practices free from such intimidation.
Consequently, we are highly supportive of Dale Askey and of McMaster University as they confront the lawsuit brought against them by Edwin Mellen Press. We strongly disapprove of the aggressive use of the Canadian court system to threaten Mr. Askey with millions of dollars in liability over the contents of a blog post. We urge Edwin Mellen Press to withdraw this suit and use more constructive means to address its reputation.”
via Association of Research Libraries
“Moscow is preparing a lawsuit against the US Library of Congress over rare books claimed by a US-based Hasidic group. The move comes amid ‘outrage’ over a US court ruling to fine Russia US$50,000 daily until it surrenders the texts. Russia’s Foreign Ministry is planning to fight the Washington court’s ruling, which reads that Russia must pay $50,000 daily until it agrees to hand over the so-called Schneerson Library to US-based Jewish organization Chabad-Lubavitch (Agudas Chasidei Chabad). The Schneerson Library, a collection of thousands of rare religious Hasidic books and documents, was started by Rabbi Joseph I. Schneersohn in the Russian city of Lyubavichi (present-day Belarus) in the early 20th century. Part of it was nationalized by Soviet Russia because there were no legal heirs in the Schneerson family.”
“Librarian questions quality of a publishing house. Librarian publicly criticizes said press on his personal blog. Two years later, librarian and current employer get sued for libel and damages in excess of $4 million. That’s been the progression of events for Dale Askey, associate university librarian at McMaster University in Ontario, where he’s been working since 2011. At the time of his blog post, in August 2010, Askey was a tenured associate professor at Kansas State University, where librarians are granted faculty status. He said his comments about Edwin Mellen Press, since removed from his blog, pertained to his work, assessing materials for potential inclusion in Kansas State’s library collection in a time of diminishing resources”
via Inside Higher Ed
“The San Francisco Law Library filed a lawsuit today against the City and County of San Francisco, alleging that since 1995 the city has violated a City Charter provision that requires it to provide proper funding and adequate space for the Law Library. For decades, the Library shared part of the fourth floor of City Hall with the Superior Courts and had additional space in the building. There it served its mission by providing free and public legal resources to the courts, lawyers and self-represented litigants alike. Following the 1989 earthquake, when City Hall closed in 1995 for retrofitting, the city moved the Library to a temporary space designed for the two year retrofit period at the Veterans War Memorial building that was and continues to be insufficient.”
via Rock Hill Herald Online
“Russia on Thursday harshly criticized a U.S. court ruling fining it $50,000 a day for holding onto tens of thousands of religious books and manuscripts stolen from Jews during the Russian revolution and World War II. Russia’s State Library and the Russian military archive have refused to give up the books, some hundreds of years old, even after a U.S. court ruled that the Brooklyn-based Chabad-Lubavitch group is the rightful owner. The country says the books are part of its national heritage. Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court ruled Wednesday that Russia should pay the fine until it complies with his 2010 order to return the collection to the Jewish group.”
“The powerful company that assigns ISBN numbers to books hurt a publisher by falsely claiming that all its books are out of print, the publisher claims in court. A.P. Lee & Co. sued R.R. Bowker LLC, several of its employees, and BookMasters, a distributor, in Franklin County Court. Bowker has “the U.S. monopoly on granting ISBNs to publishers” and also “publishes ‘Books in Print,’ touted by Bowker as the most trusted and authoritative source of bibliographical information available,” Lee says in its complaint.”
via Courthouse News Service
“With a new round of filings hitting the docket last week, the Authors Guild appeal of Judge Harold Baer’s landmark copyright decision in the the HathiTrust case is underway. The broad appeal raises a handful of key questions on which the Guild is seeking review by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, including whether the district court erred in finding the scan plan to be fair use.”
via Publishers Weekly
“Voters will be allowed to use Memphis library cards as photo identification in the November 6 election, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a blow to Republicans who wanted only ID issued by the federal and state governments to be allowed. Tennessee is among a number of states that have passed laws requiring voters to show photo ID. Republicans say the laws are needed to deter fraud, while Democrats say they are aimed at depressing turnout by voters who typically support their party.
The Tennessee law, which took effect at the beginning of the year, requires people to show a driver’s license, state-issued handgun carry permit, a U.S. passport or another form of government-issued ID to vote. Student IDs are not acceptable.”
“The Author’s Guild has suffered another major setback in its fight to stop Google’s ambitious book-scanning project. The Guild lost a key ally when Google settled with a coalition of major publishers last week. Now a judge has ruled that the libraries who have provided Google with their books to scan are protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine. While the decision doesn’t guarantee that Google will win—that’s still to be decided in a separate lawsuit—the reasoning of this week’s decision bodes well for Google’s case. Most of the books Google scans for its book program come from libraries. After Google scans each book, it provides a digital image and a text version of the book to the library that owns the original. The libraries then contribute the digital files to a repository called the Hathitrust Digital Library, which uses them for three purposes: preservation, a full-text search engine, and electronic access for disabled patrons who cannot read the print copies of the books.”
via Ars Technica
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