Abstract: The Authors Alliance Partner Program (A2P2; https://www.authorsalliance.org/a2p2-home/) is a recent addition to the educational content of the Authors Alliance. This nonprofit advocacy organization aims, “to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.” Their new initiative provides prêt-à-porter instructional material with the express purpose of supporting the scaling of rights-related programming—a goal that distinguishes A2P2 from other well-established and deeply valuable copyright-focused resources. While copyright touches nearly all we do in libraries, outreach in this area often primarily falls to scholarly communication or copyright librarians. As Schmidt (2019) notes, “providing copyright information services in the library has become part of the standard operations of academic libraries in the U.S.” We must, consequently, train ourselves up and stay current on copyright issues, as well as instruct our peers and our communities on copyright- and author rights—related issues (Reeves 2015; Norris et al. 2019; Secker et al. 2019). We need to build resources on topics that are nuanced, evolving, and carry risk. These efforts take time, care, and confidence. For professionals who may well have varied and competing job responsibilities, time and confidence certainly may be at a premium (Charbonneau and Priehs 2014). While one could easily despair, there’s help to be had. Enter, A2P2.
“Authors Alliance is gathering feedback from authors about Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) in order to strengthen our advocacy work and better represent your interests. Several of our members have already shared their views on how CDL helps authors and researchers, and we are now asking you to add your voice by completing this short form. …”
“Authors Alliance is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly. We create resources to help authors understand and enjoy their rights and promote policies that make knowledge and culture available and discoverable.
Under the Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) digitize-and-lend model, libraries make digital copies of scanned books from their collections available to patrons (the hard copy is not available for lending while the digital copy is checked out, and vice versa). A library can only circulate the number of copies that it owned before digitization. Like physical books, the scanned copies are loaned to one person at a time and are subject to limited check-out periods.
Authors Alliance supports CDL because the CDL model helps authors share their creations with readers, promotes the ongoing progress of knowledge, and advances the public good—objectives that are consistent with the mission of Authors Alliance and the purposes of copyright law.
Now, we are gathering stories from authors about their thoughts on and experiences with CDL in order to strengthen our advocacy work and better represent your interests. This form is for authors who want to share their thoughts about CDL with us….”
“Yesterday, Authors Alliance, joined by the Library Copyright Alliance and the American Association of University Professors, filed a comment with the Copyright Office for a new three-year exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) as part of the Copyright Office’s eighth triennial rulemaking process. Our proposed exemption would allow researchers to bypass technical protection measures (“TPMs”) in order to conduct text and data mining research on both literary works that are published electronically and motion pictures….”
“Authors Alliance, joined by the Library Copyright Alliance and the American Association of University Professors, filed a petition with the Copyright Office for a new three-year exemption to the DMCA as part of the Copyright Office’s eighth triennial rulemaking process. Our proposed exemption would allow researchers to bypass DRM measures in order to conduct text and data mining research on both literary works that are published electronically and motion pictures. Further details can be found in the full text of the petition, available here.
Text and data mining allows researchers and others to gain new insights into language and culture, scientific inquiry, and civic participation. For example, text and data mining can be used to examine the evolution of language over time or to identify important but overlooked findings in scientific papers….”
“Last month, we reported in detail on our petition to the U.S. Copyright Office to renew exemptions to the DMCA for lawful uses in multimedia e-books. Now, together with Professor Bobette Buster and the Organization for Transformative Works, we have also filed a petition to modify the exemption to Section 1201 as part of the Copyright Office’s seventh triennial rulemaking process.
The new petition, filed today, requests the following:
Lawful circumvention of DRM for use in fiction multimedia e-books (the current exemption is restricted to nonfiction multimedia e-books);
Allowing circumvention of DRM for use in multimedia e-books on other subjects besides film analysis (the current exemption allows for uses in film analysis only);
Removing limitations that refer to screen-capture technology….”
“Authors Alliance welcomes the opportunity to respond to this request for information on Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research.1 Authors Alliance is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.2 We create resources to help authors understand and enjoy their rights and promote policies that make knowledge and culture available and discoverable. We strongly support removing price and permission barriers to access the results of federally funded research because doing so: • Is consistent with most scientific authors’ wishes; • Supports learning, teaching, research, and practice; and • Creates a more hospitable environment for scientific advancement….”
“Yesterday, a group of commercial publishers filed suit against the Internet Archive, arguing that making electronic copies of books available through Open Library and the National Emergency Library constitutes copyright infringement. The lawsuit takes aim at the Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) model and the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.
This suit conflates two distinct approaches to lending works, each with different copyright implications. Regardless of how one feels about—and the legality of—the National Emergency Library (a temporary response to the urgent pandemic crisis), Authors Alliance fully supports Controlled Digital Lending and believes the attempt to challenge it in the courts is without merit.
Under the CDL digitize-and-lend model, libraries make digital copies of scanned books from their collections available to patrons (the hard copy is not available for lending while the digital copy is checked out, and vice versa). A library can only circulate the same number of copies that it owned before digitization. Like physical books, the scanned copies are loaned to one person at a time and are subject to limited check-out periods. The Internet Archive relies on CDL to make many of its scanned books available through the Open Library.
The National Emergency Library expands on the CDL model by eliminating waitlists for books through at least June 30, 2020. The Internet Archive launched the National Emergency Library in March after libraries across the country closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving their physical collections inaccessible to patrons. Unlike books made available through CDL, books available through the National Emergency Library are not subject to the “owned-to-loaned” ratio….”
“Media sources report that the Trump Administration is considering a policy to make the results of federally funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and use. Current policy requires results of federally funded research be made available in pre-print form within 12 months of publication. The rumored policy would eliminate the 12-month embargo. As an organization with a mission to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly, Authors Alliance strongly supports such a policy.
Many of our members are authors who rely on taxpayer dollars to fund their research and want the results of that research to be immediately available for potential readers to readily locate and access without being turned away by paywalls. Immediate and free online availability increases their works’ visibility, helping it to reach readers and benefit the public. Absent a federal policy, many authors simply do not have the bargaining power necessary to demand from publishers the level of access they want for their research. …
A policy requiring the outputs of federally funded research be made immediately available would maximize the value of investment in research by ensuring that more readers can access research results than if the works were available through restricted means alone. For these reasons, Authors Alliance supports a policy that would ensure that the public is not made to pay both to create and to read research and would open up opportunities for others to build upon research, accelerating the pace of innovation and discovery.”
“We seek a Staff Attorney who believes in our mission and will expand our capacity to develop resources, participate in policy conversations, and engage our membership. The Staff Attorney must be a passionate advocate for the positive role that authors can play in advancing access to knowledge and culture. …”