[Libs-Or] ALA Joins Coalition to Protect Library Lending Rights

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 13:28:12 PDT 2012


*ALA Joins Coalition to Protect Library Lending Rights*
Posted on October 23, 2012 by Jazzy Wright

[image: Owners' RIghts Initiative]
the American Library Association announced that it has joined--as a founding
member--the Owners' Rights Initiative (ORI)--a coalition of retailers,
libraries, educators, Internet companies and associations working to
protect ownership rights in the United States.

The coalition was formed to champion "first-sale rights," or ownership
rights, as the issue will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case
of Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley & Sons, Inc. on October 29, 2012. The Supreme
Court's decision could have adverse consequences for libraries and call
into question libraries' abilities to lend books and materials that were
manufactured overseas.

Read the Owners' Rights Initiative statement below to learn more about the
coalition and the case:

*You Bought It, You Own It! Owners' Rights Initiative Launches to Protect
Consumers' Rights*

*Coalition of businesses, associations, educators and libraries join
together to protect ownership rights and global commerce*

Today, a diverse coalition of retailers, libraries, educators, Internet
companies and associations joined together to launch the Owners' Rights
Initiative (ORI) to protect ownership rights in the United States. ORI is
committed to ensuring the right to resell genuine goods, regardless of
where they were manufactured. The organization believes that this right is
critical to commerce and will engage in advocacy, education and outreach on
this important issue.

"The sudden erosion of ownership rights is becoming an alarming trend in
the United States due to recent federal court decisions. Our position is
simple: if you bought it, you own it, and you can resell it, rent it, lend
it or donate it, and we believe the American people fundamentally agree.
ORI will serve as a powerful voice to advocate for ownership rights while
educating consumers, businesses and policymakers about this critical
cause," said ORI Executive Director Andrew Shore.

For over 100 years in the United States, if you bought something, you owned
it and could resell it. Once the copyright owner makes the first sale, the
right of ownership, and therefore the right to distribute, is transferred
to the purchaser- a common law right referred to as the 'first sale
doctrine.' Today, this fundamental ownership right is at issue in the
Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley case, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on
October 29, 2012.

The case centers on a graduate student, Supap Kirtsaeng, who bought
authentic textbooks - published by John Wiley & Sons - through friends and
family in Thailand and sold them online in the United States. Kirtsaeng was
sued by the book publisher, who claimed that the right of first sale did
not apply because the books were manufactured overseas, and he was
therefore not authorized to sell the books.

"It is hard to conceive that Congress intended to incentivize manufacturers
to move operations overseas, force American consumers to pay higher prices,
make it hard for us to donate our own stuff to charity, and cripple the
ability of libraries to lend books--without saying anything like that in the
law," said Marvin Ammori, a legal advisor to ORI and an Affiliate Scholar
at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society. He explained that
if the high court rules in favor of Wiley's interpretation, "it could be
illegal for American consumers and businesses to sell, lend, or give away
the things they own- but only if the company happened to have manufactured
the goods overseas and put a little copyrighted logo or text on them. But
being able to sell your own property is a fundamental liberty recognized
for centuries and a pillar of a market economy. Where a product was
manufactured should be irrelevant for this fundamental right."

ORI members are concerned that loss of basic ownership rights through a
misinterpretation of copyright law could have significant, adverse
consequences for global commerce and could impact consumers, small and
large businesses, retailers, libraries and more. The founding members of
ORI are:

   - American Free Trade Association
   - American Library Association
   - Association of Research Libraries
   - Association of Service and Computer Dealers & the North American
   Association of Telecommunications Dealers (AscdiNatd)
   - Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
   - Chegg
   - eBay Inc.
   - Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
   - Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
   - Impulse Technology
   - Internet Commerce Coalition
   - International Imaging Technology Council (ITC)
   - Network Hardware Resale
   - Overstock.com
   - Powell's Books
   - Quality King Distributors, Inc.
   - Redbox
   - United Network Equipment Dealers Association (UNEDA)
   - XS International

Hillary Brill, senior global policy counsel to eBay Inc. said, "The Supreme
Court now has an opportunity to protect the right of small businesses and
individuals to sell legitimate goods across borders, which will benefit
consumers, businesses and the overall Internet-enabled economy. At eBay, we
are passionate about using technology to open world markets. Ownership
rights are fundamental to commerce. They provide both opportunities for
entrepreneurs and small businesses to engage in global trade and provide
more options for consumers at competitive prices."

Joseph Marion is the President of the Association of Service and Computer
Dealers International and the North American Association of
Telecommunications Dealers (AscdiNatd), an ORI member association
representing business that sells used and refurbished telecommunications
and computer equipment. Marion explained that businesses in his industry,
which employs over 100,000 people in the United States, would be
jeopardized if they lost the right to freely import and resell products.
"This threat is very real. Manufacturers would be able to eliminate
competition and control downstream distribution of products by simply
moving manufacturing overseas," Marion said.

A Supreme Court decision against Kirtsaeng would also have implications for
organizations that lend copyrighted goods, including libraries and
companies like Redbox, which rents movies. "Anyone who has ever borrowed
books or other materials should be paying attention to this case," said
Corey Williams, associate director of government relations from the
American Library Association. "Libraries rely on the protections of the
first sale doctrine in order to lend books. It is critically important for
the Supreme Court to recognize the impact this case could have on libraries
and the public that they serve."

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), an ORI member, further
explained the impact of the case on students and educators. "University
libraries collect and preserve materials of all kinds from all over the
world to support teaching, learning, and research for our students, faculty
and members of the public," Prue Adler, associate executive director of ARL
said. "The materials we own and collect are held in trust for the public
and for future generations."

Alfred Paliani, President of the American Free Trade Association and
General Counsel of Quality King Distributors, Inc. a large distributor of
consumer products and the prevailing party in Quality King v. L'Anza, the
Supreme Court decision that upheld the first sale doctrine in the context
of copyrighted merchandise produced in the United States said that, "the
cross-border flow of legitimate, secondary and discount goods into the
United States is a critical component of free market. AFTA and Quality King
have been fighting this battle for over 20 years and welcome so many strong
advocates to the fight."

Andrew Shore, executive director of ORI added, "Ownership rights are
fundamental and they matter to everyone: students, educators, large
companies, small businesses, anyone who has every bought a good from a
retailer or wholesaler or online seller, anyone who rents books or movies,
anyone who wants to resell their items online or at a yard sale or give
their property away to charity. Regardless of what the Supreme Court
decides in this case, we are committed to fighting for ownership rights
over the long term."

More information about ORI can be found at www.ownersrightsinitiative.org.


*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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