Judge in Maryland strikes down library e-book law

Jun 13, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 5:57 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — In a legal case closely watched by libraries and the publishing industry, a federal judge in Maryland struck down a state law requiring publishers to make e-books available on “reasonable terms” to libraries if they were also being offered to the general public.

The Association of American Publishers, the industry’s trade organization, had contended that the bill violated the United States Copyright Act by allowing states to regulate publishing transactions. The Maryland law was passed with overwhelming support a year ago, and included provisions for fines up to $10,000 and higher.

Maryland U.S. District Judge Deborah L. Boardman issued her decision Monday, four months after she had enjoined the Maryland Act, writing at the time that the law’s “practical impact” would force publishers “to offer their products to libraries — whether they want to or not — lest they face a civil enforcement action or criminal prosecution.”

The state effectively conceded in April, with attorneys writing that “that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.” But the Association of American Publishers was still seeking a permanent injunction. Boardman ruled Monday that the injunction was unnecessary because the law was “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

AAP President and CEO Maria A. Pallante praised Monday’s announcement, saying in a statement that Boardman had delivered a “clear decision that protects the exclusive rights that are the basis of the United States Copyright Act and the means by which authors and publishers make so many intellectual and economic contributions to society and the long-term public interest.”

Publishers and libraries have fought for years over providing e-books to library patrons. Publishers have worried that unlimited, or near-unlimited access to free e-books from libraries would damage sales and have responded by restricting their use and raising fees charged to libraries. Libraries have contended that it is part of their mission to make books as available as possible and that encouraging reading, for free or not, benefits everyone.

In New York last year, Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill similar to the Maryland Act that had passed by wide margins in the state legislature. She wrote that “While the goal of this bill is laudable, unfortunately, copyright protection provides the author of the work with the exclusive right to their works.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

Britain’s Boris Johnson resigning as PM amid scandal

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday amid a mass revolt by top members of his government, marking an end to three tumultuous years in power in which he brazenly bent and sometimes broke the rules of British politics. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as Johnson stood outside […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey gives his state of the state address at the Arizona Capit...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Ducey backs Robson as successor over Trump pick

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday endorsed businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson to be his successor, adding his name to a growing list of mainstream conservatives looking to boost her past Donald Trump-endorsed frontrunner Kari Lake. Robson, a political newcomer, has used her family’s vast wealth to blanket the airwaves and narrow the […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks on July 25, 2019, as she introduces the Zero Waste Act at t...
Associated Press

Florida man sentenced in death threat to Minnesota Rep. Omar

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a former Trump supporter to three years of probation and a $7,000 fine for sending an email threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and three other congresswomen. David George Hannon, 67, also must undergo mental and substance abuse treatment and have no contact with Omar […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney instructs potential jurors during proceed...
Associated Press

Limits set for lawmaker testimony in Georgia election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers appearing before a special grand jury in the investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally meddled in the state’s 2020 election have broad immunity but can be asked about their conversations with people outside of the legislature, a judge has ruled. A former state lawmaker and Georgia’s […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Wisconsin court rules against transgender sex offender

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority said Thursday that a transgender woman cannot change her name because she is on the state’s sex offender registry and the law does not allow people on the registry to change their names. The court’s 4-3 decision upholds the rulings of two lower courts, which […]
7 hours ago
A Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehi...
Associated Press

Lithuanian crowdfunding drive gets Ukraine an armed drone

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania will present a combat drone to Ukraine that was donated by the Turkish manufacturer after a private crowdfunding campaign among ordinary Lithuanians, who raised nearly 6 million euros ($6.1 million) for the purpose within days. The campaign’s success inspired Turkey’s Baykar defense company, which makes the Bayraktar TB2 drone, to […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Judge in Maryland strikes down library e-book law