The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is calling for nominations for the 2011 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. This annual award honors individuals or groups who embody the spirit of the U.S. copyright law as voiced by the framers of our Constitution: “to advance the knowledge of science and useful arts” (U.S. Constitution, art 1, sec 8).
Please send letters of nomination outlining a candidate’s qualifications for this award to Carrie Russell, Director, Program on Public Access to Information, ALA OITP, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, First Floor, Washington, DC 20009, or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include examples of how the nominee has contributed to the pursuit of the fundamental tenets of copyright law. Nominees who have worked or collaborated with libraries will be given special consideration. Nominations will be accepted through March 15, 2011.
Patterson was a foremost legal thinker, writer and champion of users’ rights. He was a pioneer who exposed the restrictive nature of new interpretations and unnecessary expansions of contemporary copyright law. For librarians, Patterson was a key legal figure who articulated how corporate interests have sidetracked the true purpose of copyright — to advance learning and to ensure that knowledge is broadly disseminated to the public. Through numerous books, articles, and briefs, Patterson highlighted and justified the importance of the public domain and fair use.
The award was founded by the ALA in 2002; a list of past awardees can be found on OITP’s Web site.