ALA -- Nearly half of the readers of this blog come from the States. Anyone living in the US should know that the FCC's Broadcast Flag rule will prevent librarians from being able to distribute or make available copies of broadcast television programs on the internet. It will also require librarians to purchase new electronic equipment so that public and school libraries can be Flag-compliant. The ALA has argued that the FCC had no authority to promulgate the Broadcast Flag rule. Last week, the court issued an order that required the ALA to submit evidence proving its standing to sue the FCC. In order to provide the court with the evidence it needs--and to defeat the Broadcast Flag, which will sharply limit how libraries might be able to use broadcast materials, perhaps in ways we might not yet have even conceived--the ALA needs affidavits.
Simply said, the ALA needs to hear from people who believe the Broadcast Flag harms them. Submitting an affidavit is simple, straightforward, and not very time-consuming. If you are a member of the ALA and you believe it is important to protect the First Amendment rights of librarians, you need to consider your answers to a few simple questions.
Do you archive television broadcasts for use by library patrons or other educational or research purposes?
Do you use portions of television broadcasts in distance learning courses, or make broadcast portions available to teachers at your institution for this purpose?
Do you make portions of television broadcasts available via your library's or your school's website for any educational, research, or commentary reasons?
Do you record television broadcasts at your library for any other type of educational purpose?
Do you have equipment that you use to archive, record, or manipulate copies of television broadcasts that you would replace if it no longer allowed you to archive, record, or manipulate the television broadcast in the same way you do today?
Even if you're not a librarian, you could educate one to the importance of this issue.
American Library Association information: http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/WOissues/copyrightb/broadcastflag/broadcastflag.htm.
Jenny Levine -- "Volunteers needed urgently"