December 5, 2016

The Right to Link is Challenged Under EU Law

Court of Justice of the European Union main building
Photo credit: Transparency International EU Office

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the chief judicial authority of the European Union, on September 8 issued a landmark ruling in a case called GS Media v. Sanoma (C-160/15), concerning hyperlinking and potential copyright infringement. This interesting case expands upon a theme that has been present in Europe for some time—a copyright crackdown on linking, news snippets, and other content.

Sci-Hub Controversy Triggers Publishers’ Critique of Librarian

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The website repository Sci-Hub, which enables users to freely download scholarly articles that normally require institutional subscriptions or individual payments, has found itself at the center of a series of conflicts over the past year. Many publishers are increasingly angry at the theft of copyrighted material, with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) going so far as to censure an academic librarian for his comments on Sci-Hub during a panel at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Orlando in June.

Judge Dismisses Final Lawsuit Between Orland Park PL, Bloggers

Orland Park Public Library, IL

On May 16 U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. dismissed a second amended complaint filed by Bridget Bittman, former public information director of the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL), IL, against New Jersey–based blogger Dan Kleinman, who describes himself as a “library watchdog” on his website SafeLibraries

Cincinnati PL Board Votes Not To Support Coverage of Gender Confirmation Surgery

Rachel Dovel
Photo credit: Nat Kutcher

In a decision that could have reverberations for library employees across the country, the board of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) announced at its June 14 meeting that the library will not add a rider to its health plan that would cover gender confirmation surgery for Rachel Dovel, who has worked at the library for more than a decade. The seven-member board cited the rider’s additional costs, which would be passed on to the library and its employees.

GSU e-Reserves Decision | Peer to Peer Review

Kyle_Courtney

The infamous Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press v. Patton) emerged last month from its long winter slumber to give us yet another 200+ page decision which librarians, lawyers, and publishers have begun to parse and analyze. And, like me, they are probably asking themselves: What does this decision actually mean?

KY Appeals Court: Library Taxes Legal

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Library officials across Kentucky exhaled with relief on Friday, March 20, after the state Court of Appeals ruled that systems in two northern counties correctly and legally set their annual tax rate based on a decades-old law that allows revenue to be raised without voter approval. The decision reversed two lower-court verdicts and means the Campbell and Kenton County systems will not have to roll back their tax rates 35 years or more, which would have triggered staff layoffs, branch closures, and other draconian cuts.

Suit Convinces Eighth PL to Revise Meeting Room Policy to Allow Religion, Politics

Lawrence Public Library, MA 
Photo credit: Daderot. Licensed under CC0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lawrence_Public_Library_-_Lawrence,_MA_-_DSC03595.JPG#/media/File:Lawrence_Public_Library_-_Lawrence,_MA_-_DSC03595.JPG

A public library in Lawrence, MA., has changed its meeting room policy, eliminating restrictions against religious or political expression in that space, after the city settled a lawsuit brought by Liberty Counsel, a non-profit Christian organization that has championed a number of high-profile conservative political causes in recent years.

Ousted Queens Library Director Files $2 Million Suit

Tom Galante

Former Queens Library (QL) president Thomas W. Galante filed a $2 million suit against his former employer on November 1. Galante, who was placed on administrative leave by the library board of trustees in September 2014 and fired in December for alleged misconduct and mismanagement of library funds, is claiming breach of employment, among other points.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Retain Control of Alamo Library Collection—for Now

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
Compliments of DRT Library

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) in September won at least a temporary victory in an ongoing battle for the control of the historical items held at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library—now known as the Alamo Research Center (ARC)—located in the historical Alamo complex in San Antonio. The dispute over the collection’s ownership began in July, when the Texas General Land Office (GLO) assumed ownership of the Alamo complex. On September 22 the 407th Judicial District of Bexar County granted the DRT a temporary injunction against the GLO until ownership of the 38,000 books, maps, and flags, artwork, and manuscripts collected by DRT over 70 years can be assessed.

U.S. Appeals Court Rules Google Book Scanning Is Fair Use

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The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled on October 16 that Google’s library book scanning project is protected by fair use and so does not constitute copyright infringement. The decision, which rejects the latest challenge in Authors Guild v. Google, a class-action lawsuit first filed in 2005, also held that Google’s provision of digital copies of the scanned books to participating libraries is non-infringing.