[This message is being cross-posted to LAW-LIB and the AALL Member Listserv.
Please excuse the duplication]
For Immediate Release
November 1, 1999
Contact: Mary Alice Baish
It is very possible that H.R. 354, the "Collections of Information
Antipiracy Act," which we strongly oppose, may go to the House floor this
week or next. H.R. 354 tilts the historic balance between publishers or
distributors of information and users in favor of industry -- and in ways
that will harm the American public and raise costs for our libraries.
We need immediate action from every member of AALL and our Chapters. Please
call your Representative and urge opposition to H.R. 354. Our opponents
are in high gear trying to get more cosponsors for this bad database bill,
and are even telling members of Congress that H.R. 354 will protect
non-profit educational, scientific, and research use of the materials. That
is simply not true.
The library community must be equally vocal in opposing this legislation.
Calls to your Representative asking them to oppose H.R. 354 are needed
Tell your Representative that H.R. 354 risks altering our nation's
fundamental policy of open access to information. More specifically, H.R.
- defines many terms in overly broad and ambiguous language;
- establishes a whole new legal protection regime for collections of factual
information outside of copyright law;
- does NOT exclude primary legal materials (AALL's amendment is in the
Commence Committee legislation, H.R. 1858, which we support);
- is overly restrictive of traditional scholarly communication, and would
new barriers to a wide range of currently reasonable and customary
- would give publishers of collections of information unprecedented control
the downstream use of factual information;
- and contains language that could result in the perpetual protection of a
or collection of information, potentially diminishing the public domain.
FYI, the House switchboard number is 202-225-3121, and you can contact your
Representative by e-mail at http://congress.org/elecmail.html
Please redistribute this alert to our Chapters and to any other listservs as
appropriate. It's going to take calls from every librarian in the country
to stop this bill, and it's wonderful to know that we can count on the
support of each and every member of AALL and our Chapters to pick up the
phone and make that important call as soon as possible.
If you prefer to send a message to your Representative via e-mail, please be
sure to include AALL's Issue Brief on the Rule of Law at:
Thank you very much,
Mary Alice Baish
Mary Alice Baish
Associate Washington Affairs Representative
E.B. Williams Law Library
Georgetown University Law Center
111 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-1417