Legal Issues

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Library security guards may soon have the authority to arrest unwieldy patrons in Los Angeles. Read about it here. From the Los Angeles Times\"Under the bill by Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sylmar), library security officers could arrest people, execute search warrants and gain access to law enforcement computers that provide individuals\' criminal background.\" -- Read More

COPPA Shot Down

Pretty much every new site on the web is carrying a story on COPPA being unanimously ruled unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled The Child Online Protection Act violated the First Amendment right to free speech. Appeals court Judge Leonard Garth said \"Sometimes we must make decisions that we do not like, we make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result.\"

More Workers Stealing From Libraries

Michigan Live has this article on another staff theft at a library. This time, it was via an unauthorized bonus. Yeah, when I want to steal money, libraries definitly come to mind first.\"When Don Dely gave himself an unauthorized bonus of $4,876 last August, it took Ann Arbor District Library administrators three months to discover the misuse of public funds.\" -- Read More

20% of children online solicited for cybersex

The Star Tribune has this scary article about a study that concluded that 1 in 5 children who are online get solicited for cybersex...3% of which happens in libraries.
\"The congressional study, the first scientific examination of risks to children online, also found that 1 in 4 children encountered pornographic pictures while researching homework topics or checking their e-mail. Of the 1,500 children, ages 10 to 17, surveyed in the study, teenage girls were most likely to be victims of sexual approaches, while teenage boys were most likely to accidentally come across porn\" -- Read More

Supreme Court to review FCC subsidies

A Story from ZDnet tells us how the US Supreme Court is about to hear an important case on FCC subsidies used to help schools and libraries connect to the internet.the FCC has operated a $2.25 billion annual federal program to subsidize Internet connections for schools, libraries and rural health care facilities. Sounds Nice doesn\'t it? -- Read More

Free speech wins again!

Brian writes

\"On May 22, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law requiring cable TV operators either to completely scramble channels like Playboy and Spice or to transmit those channels only during late-night hours. Justice Kennedy\'s majority opinion in U.S. v. Playboy Entertainment Group (http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/98-1682.html) is a must-read for librarians, as it includes a beautiful affirmation of free speech and individual responsibility.... -- Read More

UCITA passed in MD

InfoWorld Has an Article on the UCITA, a potentially damaging law.

\"Although totally outgunned by the deep pockets of the software lobby, the anti-UCITA forces, headed up by 4Cite (For a Competitive Information and Technology Economy, the anti-UCITA coalition to which InfoWorld belongs), did a heroic job of fighting against the bill while it was debated in the Maryland Legislature. And enough Maryland legislators got the message that several amendments to significantly defang UCITA were given consideration, particularly in the Senate.\" -- Read More

Napster + ILL + Copyright = Docster

(as seen at oss4lib.org)

If you\'re a librarian and you haven\'t thought through what napster means yet, get thinking. Many folks are perturbed about how easy it is to violate copyright using napster. \"Docster: Instant Document Delivery\" describes a napster-like system for libraries which builds copyright compliance in from the start.
btw Blake suggested reposting this here -- so it isn\'t entirely shameless promotion on my part. :)

DMCA Threatens Libraries?

TechReview
has a very provocative Article on how the
DMCA
and E-Books are going to change what we
all take for granted now.

\"We still have the same old freedoms in using
paper books. But if e-books replace printed books, that
exception will do little good. With “electronic ink,” which
makes it possible to download new text onto an
apparently printed piece of paper, even newspapers
could become ephemeral. Imagine: no more used
book stores; no more lending a book to your friend; no
more borrowing one from the public library—no more
“leaks” that might give someone a chance to read
without paying. (And judging from the ads for Microsoft
Reader, no more anonymous purchasing of books
either.) This is the world publishers have in mind for us.
\" -- Read More

Creationist wins suit library

JS Online in Milwaukee, has This Story on legal troubles brought on trying to exclude from the library religious services or instructional meetings.

\"The City of West Allis, WI violated a man\'s First Amendment rights when it refused him permission to use the public library\'s Constitution Room for a presentation about creationism, a federal judge ruled in a decision made public Tuesday.

\"The Library\'s Constitution Room is a designated public forum, and no compelling state interest has been advanced to support the exclusion of plaintiff from using it,\" U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman wrote in his decision. -- Read More

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