ALA announces 2010 winner of L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award

Contact: Jenni Terry
Press Officer
ALA Washington Office
202-628-8410
jterry@alawash.org

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2010 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and its Copyright Advisory Subcommittee have named Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) specializing in intellectual property matters, this year’s winner of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. 

The annual award recognizes contributions of an individual or group that pursues and supports the Constitutional purpose of the U.S. Copyright Law, fair use and the public domain. The award is named after L. Ray Patterson, a key legal figure who explained and justified the importance of the public domain and fair use. Fair use is a key exception of the copyright law that allows for the use of a copyright without prior authorization and helps to promote learning, new creativity, scholarship and criticism. 

In his role at EFF, von Lohmann has represented programmers, technology innovators, and individuals in a variety of copyright and trademark litigation, including MGM v. Grokster, decided by the Supreme Court in 2005. He is also involved in EFF’s efforts to educate policy-makers regarding the proper balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest in fair use, free expression, and innovation. 

Chair of the OITP Copyright Advisory Subcommittee Patrick Newell said the committee’s primary objective is to help librarians understand the copyright law and the importance of fair use as an essential exception in the law that ensures balance between the rights of users of information and the interests of rights holders. 

“Fred is a tireless advocate for openness of information and seeking the proper balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest in fair use, expression and innovation,” Newell said. 

An overview of von Lohmann’s work is available on EFF’s Web site.

An award reception honoring von Lohmann will be held on June 25 during the ALA’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. 

Additional information on the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award is on the ALA Web site.

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