Peggy Hoon honored with 2008 Patterson Copyright Award

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WASHINGTON — Peggy Hoon is the 2008 recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award: In Support of Users’ Rights, which was established to recognize the contributions of an individual who pursues and supports the Constitutional purpose of U.S. copyright law, fair use, and the public domain.

Ms. Hoon currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Copyright Administration at North Carolina State University. In that role, Ms. Hoon helps shape the university’s policies and regulations with regard to copyright, and she has shared that knowledge with countless other libraries and universities, through a busy speaking schedule and strong presence on the Internet.

Ms. Hoon has also prepared position statements on several pieces of federal legislation, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act. Further, numerous public interest groups that fought the Federal Communications Commission’s broadcast flag rule are beneficiaries of Ms. Hoon’s statement to the court. Her affidavit challenging the rule established standing for the petitioners (including ALA), which allowed the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the case on its own merit and ultimately rule against the broadcast flag.

As one of the nominating letters stated: “Her achievements are both broad and deep, and they reflect her sustained commitment to users’ rights in the exchange of ideas and information. Numerous libraries have established the position of scholarly communication librarian or officer in the past decade, indicating the importance and viability of the model. Peggy Hoon has enriched our knowledge and clarified our understanding of a complex subject in a way that makes her an outstanding [recipient] of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award.”

The award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, on Monday, June 30, 2008.

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The Patterson Award, which is partially funded by the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is named after L. Ray Patterson, a key legal figure who explained and justified the importance of the public domain and fair use. He helped articulate that copyright law was negatively shifting from its original purpose and overly favoring rights of copyright holders. His book, The Nature of Copyright: A Law of Users’ Rights is the definitive book on the constitutional underpinnings of copyright and the critical importance of the public domain.

Sponsored by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the OITP Copyright Advisory Committee, the Patterson award is a crystal trophy.

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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