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ALA Seeks Nominations for L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award

ALA seeks nominations for the Patterson Copyright Award of those who have made significant and consistent contributions to the pursuit of balanced copyright principles while working in the area of information policy, law, libraries or library education.

The Patterson Copyright Award honors deserving individuals 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). Nominees for the Patterson Award are persons who follow and draw attention to the fundamental tenets established by Congress when crafting the U.S. Copyright law:

* The creation of new knowledge and the arts are encouraged;

* The creation and dissemination of knowledge is the purpose of copyright;

* Congress is granted the power to encourage creation of new works, but only via a very specific method, by granting authors and inventors exclusive rights;

* The exclusive rights granted should be for a limited time;

* Authors and inventors can benefit financially from copyright but this is a side effect of encouraging the dissemination of knowledge, and not the direct intent of copyright; and

* The rights of authors and inventors are granted by Congress and are not intrinsic or natural.

Last year’s winner was Prudence S. Adler, Associate Executive Director, Federal Relations and Information Policy for the Association of Research Libraries.

Please email letters of nomination outlining a candidate’s qualifications for this award to Carrie Russell at, or mail them to:

Carrie Russell
Copyright Specialist,
ALA, Office for Information Technology Policy
1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, First Floor

Washington, DC 20009

Letters of nomination will be accepted through December 15, 2006.

The L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award is awarded annually. Winners receive a crystal trophy. Nominations will be reviewed by an award jury consisting of ALA members. Recipients will be awarded during the 2006 ALA Annual Conference. Nominees for this award need not be limited to librarians.

For more information, please visit the Award page. For questions or concerns, please contact Carrie Russell at

Please redistribute this notice as widely as deemed appropriate.

Ray Patterson was a foremost legal thinker, writer and practitioner who championed users’ rights. He was a pioneer who drew attention to the restrictive nature of aggressive enforcement, new interpretations and unnecessary expansions of copyright law. By recognizing those who follow in his footsteps, we celebrate his life accomplishments and contributions.

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

One Comment

  1. Very entertaining clause. It will be necessary to visit you on a thicket!

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