ACRL Advocacy Update

In recent weeks ACRL has joined other library associations in advocating for the interests of college and research libraries and librarians as follows:

On October 28, 2021, ACRL joined an amicus brief by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (together with the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Freedom to Read Foundation among other public interest groups, small tech companies, and representatives of the start-up community) in support of a petition for rehearing in Hepp v. Facebook et al. The U.S. Court of Appeals for 3rd Circuit issued a detrimental ruling that Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act does not immunize against the right of publicity claims. As internet intermediaries, the library community has a strong interest in the determination of this case. Libraries frequently provide access to online content, both inside the physical library and remotely through the library’s website or mobile apps. This includes hosting interactive computer services that are governed by Section 230, including services that provide user-generated content.

On September 30, 2021, LCA submitted comments regarding the procedures for libraries and archives to opt out of proceedings before the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) under the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (“CASE”) Act. LCA strongly disagrees with the Copyright Office’s proposal that the preemptive opt-out not apply to library  employees operating within the scope of their employment. It would have made no sense for Congress to shield the authorized entities from liability for making and distributing accessible format copies, while leaving the authorized entities’ employees exposed. Likewise, it would have made no sense for Congress to enable libraries to opt out preemptively from CCB proceedings, while leaving the libraries’ employees subject to the CCB’s jurisdiction.