Washington eBulletin – August 2019

A Look Ahead

August Recess Begins

With members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate back in their states and districts for the August Congressional recess, now is the perfect time to invite your legislators to your law library; attend town halls or breakfast meetings hosted by your members of Congress; or visit your members’ district offices to educate them about your law library and promote AALL’s legislative priorities–including cosponsoring the Electronic Court Records Reform Act (H.R. 1164/S. 2064), supporting full funding for the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress, and supporting the Senate version of the Save the Internet Act (S. 682). The AALL Advocacy Toolkit provides tips for making these in-district connections. Contact Emily Feltren, AALL director of government relations, for assistance setting up visits and meetings.

In-person meetings are key to effective advocacy, but online connections matter, too. You can take action right now on AALL’s legislative priorities through the AALL Legislative Action Center.

Senate Judiciary Committee Leaders Look to Modernize Copyright Office

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, announced in an op-ed and during an oversight hearing of the U.S. Copyright Office in July that his Subcommittee is establishing a “bipartisan, bicameral working group that will meet regularly with copyright stakeholders to discuss Copyright Office modernization” through roundtables and “introduce legislation based on this feedback by the end of the year.” Sen. Tillis said during his opening statement at the July 30 oversight hearing that he thinks the Copyright Office “may not have the necessary autonomy and authority” to quickly modernize.

AALL supports efforts to modernize the Copyright Office, including through additional appropriations. However, we oppose any efforts to give the Copyright Office more “autonomy” by moving it out of the Library of Congress, as past proposed in the last Congress. AALL will continue to monitor proposed changes and engage with the Library of Congress, Copyright Office, and Congress as a copyright stakeholder.

AALL in the States

Four UELMA Resolutions Adopted at AALL 2019 

Four resolutions in support of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) were approved at the AALL General Business Meeting Monday, July 15 in Washington, DC, including a resolution updating the 2013 AALL UELMA resolution and resolutions celebrating the enactment of UELMA in IowaMichigan, and Texas.

Roundup and Review

  • AALL joined a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 736). The bill passed the House on July 17.
  • Here’s what to expect from the forthcoming net neutrality decision.