By Kathy Walsh Nufer | Post-Crescent | October 26, 2010
Archive for October, 2010
From Jonathan Kelley and the Office of Intellectual Freedom | October 26, 2010
For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/26/2010 – 12:18
Contact: Jonathan Kelley firstname.lastname@example.org
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
CHICAGO – The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has announced the nominating committee for its April 2011 election. Committee members are: Robert P. Doyle, Chicago (chair); James G. Neal, New York; and Judith Platt, Washington, D.C.
Six positions on the FTRF board of trustees will be filled in the election to be held April 1 – May 1, 2011. The persons elected in the 2011 election will serve a two-year term on the board, beginning at the close of the 2011 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and continuing through the end of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Trustees are required to attend two one-day meetings per year, which are held in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting.
Nominations should be sent by Dec. 17, 2010 to: Freedom to Read Foundation, Attn: Robert P. Doyle, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. In addition, nominations may be e-mailed to email@example.com. FTRF members also may be slated for candidacy by petition by submitting 25 signatures of current FTRF members in support of the candidate. The executive director of the Foundation must receive names of petition candidates and the required signatures to support each no later than January 31, 2011. Only FTRF members are eligible to seek election to the board.
The Freedom to Read Foundation, a sister organization of the American Library Association, was founded in 1969 to promote and defend the right of individuals to freely express ideas and to access information in libraries and elsewhere. FTRF fulfills its mission through the disbursement of grants to individuals and groups, primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation, and through direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press.
hometownstation.com | October 21, 2010
Written by Christopher Glotfelty
While a nonprofit group dedicated to keeping the Santa Clarita libraries within the County Library system continues to subpoena former and present City officials in an ongoing lawsuit, the attorney assigned to the matter, Donald Ricketts, maintains that unwarranted access to the public’s information is the primary issue.
“What the lawsuit says is you can’t put the library into the hands of a private company,” Ricketts said, “because to do so you would have to give them information which is confidential and which they need to run the library.”
Ruling blocks laws that imposed severe restrictions on Internet content
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2010
Michael Bamberger, Esq., SNR Denton, 212-768-6756 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Horowitz, Media Coalition, 212-587-4025 x11, 917-701-5552 email@example.com
Christopher Ott, ACLU of Massachusetts communications director, 617-482-3170 x322, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON — Today, U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel granted a preliminary injunction against the online censorship law that went into effect in Massachusetts earlier this year. Massachusetts booksellers, trade associations, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed suit in July to block the law because it imposes severe restrictions on constitutionally protected speech on the Internet, on the grounds that such material might be “harmful to minors.” The Court enjoined the law because it did not require that such material was purposefully sent to a person the sender knew to be a minor.
“We are obviously pleased with the court’s decision,” said John Reinstein, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts. “It lifts a burden from the plaintiffs, who rely heavily on broad-based communication about issues or materials that touch on sexuality and reproduction.” Michael Bamberger of SNR Denton, lead counsel for plaintiffs, said, “Given the breadth of the definition of what is harmful to minors, all of which is not obscene and which adults have a constitutional right to receive, the injunction was necessary to ensure that all Internet communications were not reduced to the level of what is appropriate for children.”
“The problems with this law show the danger of legislating out of fear, and in a hurry,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “This case is a reminder that we need to remain ever-vigilant in the defense of basic civil liberties against lawmakers who try to capitalize on cases involving children to expand government power in ways that could be used to silence booksellers, artists, healthcare providers, and the rest of us.”
Signed in April by Governor Patrick and effective June 12, the law, Chapter 74 of the Acts of 2010, imposed severe restrictions on the distribution of constitutionally protected speech on the Internet. The law could make anyone who operates a website or communicates through a listserv criminally liable for nudity or sexually related material, if the material can be considered “harmful to minors” under the law’s definition. In effect, it bans from the Internet anything that may be “harmful to minors,” even though adults have a First Amendment right to view it. Violators can be fined $10,000 or sentenced to up to five years in prison, or both.
Plaintiffs in the suit against state attorney general Martha Coakley and Massachusetts district attorneys are the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Harvard Book Store, the Photographic Resource Center, Porter Square Books, and licensed marriage and family therapist Marty Klein.