Vol. 2013, Issue 12
A Look Ahead
Upcoming Hearings on GPO, Copyright as Congress Comes to a Close
As the first session of the 113th
Congress winds down, the Government Relations Office (GRO) doesn’t expect to see much legislative progress before the end of the year. However, a few committees have announced work on AALL’s top policy priorities. Here’s what’s coming up:
On Thursday December 4 at 10:30am EST, the Committee on House Administration
will hold a hearing on “GPO in 2023: Keeping America Informed in a Post-Print World
.” The hearing will focus on the vision for the Government Printing Office (GPO) in the next ten years, with testimony from Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. AALL continues to advocate for GPO to ingest and harvest more federal agency content, as expressed in our recent letter
to Public Printer Vance-Cooks. We also promote the importance of a strong Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). To that end, GPO will host its FDLP Virtual Conference, “Expanding the Forecast Framework: Engage and Discuss
,” online between December 3-5 and December 10-12, and we encourage you to attend. The agenda
includes a welcome by Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish and sessions led by members of the Depository Library Council, including AALL member Kate Irwin-Smiler. Register online
to access the conference site, session handouts, and recordings following each program.
In the sphere of copyright reform, the House Judiciary Committee
recently held a hearing on “The Rise of Innovative Business Models: Content Delivery Methods in the Digital Age
,” where Center for Democracy & Technology’s David Sohn urged Congress to protect fair use, reform the statutory damages provisions of the Copyright Act, and simplify the Act. The Committee has announced
that its next round of copyright hearings, which will be held over the coming months and into next year, will focus on digital business models, the scope of copyright protection (Sections 102 and 106), the scope of fair use (Section 107), and the notice and takedown provisions (Section 512). After these initial hearings, the Committee plans to proceed “roughly in numerical order through the sections of the Copyright Act.” In addition, on December 12, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force, led by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will hold a conference to hear stakeholder views and to initiate discussion on the Task Force’s recent green paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, And Innovation in the Digital Economy
.” Director of Government Relations Emily Feltren will be in attendance. AALL’s Copyright Committee has been keeping abreast of copyright developments on their blog
, including a recent analysis
of the November 14 decision in the Google Books case (Author's Guild v. Google
), a victory for fair use and innovation.
Learn more about the progress made in the first session of the 113th
Congress and what’s in store for 2014 at our December 11 online advocacy training, “2013 Advocacy in Review: Lessons Learned and Strategies Ahead”
(more information below). As legislation advances, we’ll update our 113th Congress Bill Tracking Chart
Register Now for
“2013 Advocacy in Review” on December 11
Join the GRO staff on Wednesday, December 11 from
12:00-12:30pm EST as we conclude our year-long online advocacy training series
with “2013 Advocacy
in Review: Lessons Learned and Strategies Ahead.”
We'll asses the progress
made and future of AALL's policy priorities this Congress, including: public
access to government information; balance in copyright law between rights
holders and users; protection of privacy; and access to justice. Learn what to expect at the federal and state
levels in 2014 and how you can be involved. This training is complimentary for
AALL and chapter members and will be archived. Advanced registration
is required by December 10.
for 2014 Public Access to Government Information and Oakley Advocacy Awards
The Government Relations Committee is now accepting
nominations for its two prestigious awards. Each year, AALL recognizes
individuals and/or groups with our Public Access to Government Information
(PAGI) and Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Awards. The PAGI
is given annually to recognize individuals or organizations that
have made significant contributions to protect and promote greater public
access to government information. Past recipients include Aaron Swartz, Awarded
Posthumously, Internet Activist, co-founder of Demand Progress (2013); Michele
Timmons, Revisor of Statutes, Minnesota Office of the revisor of statutes and
chair of the Drafting Committee for the Uniform
Electronic Legal Material Act
(2012); Citizens for Responsibility and
Ethics in Washington (CREW) (2011); and the Legal Information Institute (LII)
at Cornell Law School (2010). The Oakley Advocacy
is given to recognize an AALL member or group for outstanding
advocacy work contributing significantly to the AALL policy agenda at the
federal, state, local, or international level. Past recipients include Timothy
L. Coggins, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services & Professor
of Law, University of Richmond School of Law Library, Richmond, VA (2013); Barbara
Bintliff, reporter for the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act
(2012); Joan Bellistri,
director and Law Librarian, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library in
Annapolis, MD (2011); and the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries
(ORALL) County Law Library Special Interest Group (2010).
If you would like to nominate an individual or group for one
or both of these awards, please send your nominations to Government Relations
Committee chair Susan
by February 1, 2014. More information, including judging
criteria, is available on the awards
for each award.
AALL in the States
LLAW Letter on
The Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin (LLAW) recently
sent a letter to the Wisconsin Congressional delegation detailing how the lack
of access to government information affected constituents during the federal
government shutdown. You can find a copy of the letter that was sent to Rep.
Paul Ryan (WI-01) here
. The letters included specific, anonymous
anecdotes by LLAW members on their experiences during the shutdown.
LLAM Works to Put
UELMA on General Assembly’s Agenda
Submitted by Mary Jo
Lazun, Government Relation Chair of the Law Library Association of Maryland
Many counties in Maryland have open forums to allow
community organizations to make an “elevator pitch” to their delegations. Last
Tuesday, LLAM members Joan Bellistri, Paul Lagasse, and I attended the Anne
Arundel County delegation’s forum in order to give them a quick introduction to
the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act
(UELMA). The delegates examined our packet of materials and appeared to be
engaged by what we shared, including a four-minute talk based a sample speech
from the AALL’s UELMA Resources
page. Following our presentation, delegates asked questions and we also had the
opportunity to chat about the importance of preserving born-digital legal
materials. We referenced the Chesapeake Project linkrot study that revealed
that after five years, over 50% documents with .gov domain were no longer
available at their original URLs.
Forums like this are a great (and easy) opportunity to
educate our delegates and senators about UELMA. Keep an eye out for similar
forums in your area.
Roundup and Review
- GPO emphasizes the need to harvest, archive, and
provide access to electronic content in its working paper on Preservation.
- Petition to reform
ECPA: tell the government to get a warrant.
- EFF has put together a compendium
of all disclosed NSA spying documents.
- The House USA
FREEDOM Act has over 100 cosponsors. If your representative hasn’t yet
signed on, you can ask them to
- 64 federal courts now publish
opinions on FDSys.