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ALA to host copyright policy discussion in Washington, D.C.

The way we access and use information in the digital age is fundamentally mediated by copyright policy. For several decades, this policy has been largely shaped by commercial interests. However, in the last three years, several court decisions have been more protective of public access to information and accommodating to the needs of the education, research, and library sectors. Is this a real trend and will it continue?

On November 18, 2014, the American Library Association (ALA) will host “Too Good to Be True: Are the Courts Revolutionizing Fair Use for Education, Research and Libraries?,” a symposium that will explore copyright policy in a digital and networked environment. During the discussion, a diverse panel of copyright policy experts from the library and publishing fields will attempt to make sense of key court cases such as UCLA v. AIME, Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, and the high profile U.S. Supreme Court case Kirtsaeng v. Wiley. These experts will discuss the prospects these decisions may create for public policy development over the next few years informed by the 2014 midterm elections and the upcoming 2016 general election. RSVP for the event.

This event is offered under the rubric of the Policy Revolution! Initiative of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Central to this initiative is strengthening the library community’s engagement and visibility in national public policy. Look for additional outreach activities in 2015.

Panelists include:

Mary Rasenberger is the newly appointed Executive Director for the Authors Guild. Mary has worked in the area of intellectual property, technology, and copyright law for 25 years. Prior to joining the Authors Guild, Mary was a partner at Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard where she counseled publishing, media, entertainment, internet, and other technology companies, as well as authors and artists in all areas of copyright and related rights, including licensing, litigation, infringement analysis, policy, enforcement and digital rights. From 2002 to 2008, Mary worked for the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress as senior policy advisor and program director for the National Digital Preservation Program. Mary also worked at other major New York law firms and for BMG Music.

Jonathan Band has represented a wide range of clients, including technology companies and library associations, on domestic and international copyright policy matters for more than 25 years. He has filed amicus briefs on behalf of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) in numerous important cases, such as Kirtsaeng v. Wiley, Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, Authors Guild v. Google, and the recently decided Georgia State e-reserves case. He also has represented the Library Copyright Alliance in connection with the Marrakesh Treaty for the print-disabled and the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s ongoing review of copyright.

Brandon Butler is the practitioner-in-residence at the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL). At the clinic, Professor Butler supervises student attorneys who represent clients in a variety of IP matters. Before joining the WCL faculty, Brandon was the director of Public Policy Initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). While there, he worked on a host of issues ranging from fair use to network neutrality to the PATRIOT Act. He is a co-facilitator, with Professors Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide, of the “ARL Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries,” released in January 2012.

RSVP now if you would like to attend the no-cost event.

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Alan Inouye

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