Category Archives: Advocacy

ALA, ACRL Submit Comments to Dept. of Ed on Open Licensing

Today, ALA and ACRL submitted joint comments applauding the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule for “Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs” (proposed § 3474.20) which would amend regulations so that all Department grantees who are awarded direct competitive grant funds are required to openly license content to the public. We have long supported initiatives that seek to make federally funded research openly accessible to the public. Earlier this year, ACRL joined in a letter calling on the White House to open up access to federally funded educational resources. The Department’s proposed rule is an important step towards making curricular resources more readily accessible to our campus communities.

Take Action for School Libraries by Dec. 2

The final language of the Every Student Succeeds Act was released on Monday, November 30, and school libraries are included in many important ways. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the act later this week (likely on December 2nd or December 3rd) and passage is most definitely not guaranteed. Contact your Representative to let them know how essential this bill is to our children’s education and futures.

Talking points:

  • Vote Yes on the Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Report.
  • School libraries are critical to our children’s future and the Conference Report includes critical language to support effective school library programs.
  • This language is historic: For the first time in half a century Congress has underscored the importance of effective school library programs by expressly including them in multiple parts of this watershed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

If you are not going to call, but need a form email:


As you know the vote for the Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Report is scheduled for later this week. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote YES!

School libraries are critical to our children’s future and the Conference Report includes critical language to support effective school library programs.

This language is truly historic. For the first time in half a century Congress has underscored the importance of effective school library programs by expressly including them in multiple parts of this watershed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


[insert your name and contact info]

Learn more:

To find contact information for your Representative, visit this ALA page and search for your zip code. More information is available on the ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch blog and ALA’s Action Center.

Take Action For School Libraries

I am excited to share that Congress finally may be poised to act definitively on ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) very soon. According to the ALA Washington Office, we could know as early as next week whether watershed language for school libraries included in the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177) makes it into the final “Conference Report” on ESEA that is being hammered out now between House and Senate negotiators from the two chambers’ quite different bills.

While we are hopeful that libraries will have something to be very thankful for this Thanksgiving or just after the holiday, we aren’t done yet! As soon as the ALA Washington Office learns what is actually in the new compromise bill language, they will be posting an alert to the Legislative Action Center with instructions for how you can help (including talking points you can use to call and email Congress). That will be our opportunity to make sure that every Member of the House of Representatives hears from librarians – thumbs up or thumbs down as the case may be – before they vote on the ESEA Conference Report as early as December 2. At that time, we will be calling on each of you to reach out not only to your individual Representative, but also to encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to take action as well.

The more voices that speak up on behalf of school libraries, the better! Please keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for the upcoming alert. Thank you!

Ann Campion Riley
2015-16 ACRL President

LCA pleased Librarian of Congress expands film clip exemption

Library Copyright Alliance LogoWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) welcomes today’s decision issued by the Librarian of Congress to broaden the exemption for the use of film clip excerpts, including extending the exemption permitting creation of film clip compilations for educational purposes to K-12 students and extending the exemption for use in media courses to include Blu-ray discs. The Librarian also extended the exemption to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and digital and media literacy programs offered by libraries and museums. Further, the Librarian renewed existing education exemptions.

Under Section 1201(a)(1) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Librarian of Congress may grant exemptions to the anti-circumvention provision following a triennial rulemaking process. In this latest round of exemptions, the Librarian of Congress, acting on the Register of Copyright’s recommendations, ruled positively to requests made by Library Copyright Alliance members – the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) along with other educators and associations.

The DMCA established a provision that prohibited the disabling of scrambling systems or other technological protection measures without the prior authorization of the rights holder. At the same time, the DMCA also established a mechanism to periodically check if this provision prevented users of copyrighted works from making lawful uses of works, such as fair uses.

As a result of today’s decision, K-12 students can use screen capture technologies to copy clips from motion pictures and television programming for use in class assignments.  Previously, circumvention of screen capture technologies for educational purposes was limited to college faculty and students and K-12 educators. For K-12 educators and college faculty and students in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of clips, the exemption extends to circumvention of Content Scrambling System (CSS) employed by rights holders on DVDs. Additionally, the new exemptions expand exemptions for college and university faculty and students in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of clips to apply to circumvention of Advanced Access Control System (AACS) on Blu-ray discs.

The LCA in its comments demonstrated that the use of film clips for educational purposes is in fact common and valuable in many disciplines. The exemptions will be in force for the next three years.

LCA also is gratified by the Librarian of Congress’s renewal of the exemption to circumvent protections that block the read-aloud/screen-reader function on e-books, critical in ensuring access to literary works for those with print disabilities.  Additionally, LCA welcomes the new exemption permitting circumvention of video games for preservation purposes by libraries, archives or museums.

While LCA appreciates the granting of these important exemptions, the specific rules imposed are unnecessarily complicated and will ultimately lead to confusion. Accordingly, LCA will continue to work with its partners in the Re:Create coalition for broad reform of Section 1201 of the DMCA and the triennial rulemaking process to make it less burdensome and more expansive in its positive effects for students, educators, library patrons and the public at large.

About the Library Copyright Alliance

The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries—that collectively represent over 100,000 libraries in the United States, employing over 350,000 librarians and other personnel. An estimated 200 million Americans use these libraries more than two billion times each year.


Jonathan Band
Legal counsel
Library Copyright Alliance

Library Copyright Alliance issues statements, offers guidance

Library Copyright Alliance Logo The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA, whose members are the American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, and Association of College and Research Libraries) continues to address copyright issues that affect libraries and our users. In recent weeks, LCA has worked for the library community in the following ways:

Libraries Laud Appeals Court Affirmation that Mass Book Digitization by Google is ‘Fair Use’
On October 16, 2015, members of LCA applauded the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Authors Guild v. Google that Google Book’s mass digital indexing of books for use in creating a searchable online library constituted a legal “fair use” of copyrighted material rather than an infringement.

Updated Google Books Litigation Family Tree
On October 16, 2015, after Second Circuit ruled that the Google library project is a fair use, LCA updated its popular litigation family tree.

Responded to Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement
On October 15, 2015, LCA responded to the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator’s request for comments on the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, calling for striking a balance between protection and access, basing policies on data, eliminating counterfeit goods, and implementing public access and open education policies.

Responded to the U.S. Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry on Mass Digitization Pilot Program
On October 9, 2015, LCA responded to the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry on a five-year pilot which would test the efficacy of an extended collective licensing model for the non-profit, educational use of protected works in mass digitization collections. LCA called for reconsideration of the program and cited its impracticability and inappropriate policy choices.

LCA Comments on South African Copyright Amendment Bill
On September 15, 2015, commented on the bill, advocating for the adoption of a flexible fair dealing clause.

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