All About ALA Policy Corps with Tim Vollmer

All About ALA Policy Corps with Tim Vollmer

Tim VollmerSara: Welcome to another episode of Copyright Chat. Today I have a special guest and member of the ALA Policy Core. I, too, am a member of policy core cohort three, and so is my guest today Timothy Vollmer welcome Timothy.

Tim: Thanks for having me on.

Sara: And so, I’ll call you Tim for short because that’s what I usually call you and Tim and I had met each other previous to becoming members of the policy core through copyright circles.
I know Tim works at University of California Berkeley, with Rachel Sandberg and Tim, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you do there and and your previous work history.

Tim: Yeah, sure thing. well I’m the scholarly communication and copyright librarian at UC Berkeley, and we have an office that helps scholars, understand, copyright law, the publishing process.
We also deal a lot with various intellectual property and information policy issues that come up in, you know, teaching and research and an academic writing.
So, we intersect a lot with copyright challenges copyright concerns that researchers have probably some of the same things that you experience working at a large academic institution.
But before I was here at Berkeley.
I also worked for Creative Commons for several years. And I’m sure a lot of your listeners are somewhat familiar with Creative Commons. This is a nonprofit organization that provides free copyright licenses for sharing all types of creative works, and
the licenses really help provide increase sharing on more open terms, then you know the default. all rights reserved. Copyright regime.
And I’ve also worked actually with the American Library Association, a long time ago, I was a Technology Policy Analyst at the ALA Washington office. And there we did a lot of research, and also policy advocacy on technology and other legal issues that
are relevant to libraries. So thinking about things like intellectual property and copyright issues.
Broadband policy, and also like organizing and educating alien members on copyright issues that come up in our library work. And then as you mentioned, I’ve been a part of the a la policy core, and we’re part of this.
The third year the third cohort.

Sara: Well, it sounds like you’ve had a variety of interactions with the library community over the years and also the copyright community so it seems like a perfect fit for your current position, and obviously we were both drawn to the ALA policy core.
And I personally was really interested in doing more advocacy with the United States Copyright Office, and just getting to know how to make an impact on policy nationwide because, of course, so much of what we do as librarians, is to try to get access
to information for our patrons and copyright is one of those ways right that we try to get access is, people think of it, a lot of times as a barrier, but I think of it as kind of one of those ways of means of access right through a lot of different ways
sex, you know copyright exception section one await of the Copyright Act and fair use and things of that nature.
But I wonder what drew you into deciding to join the policy core.

Tim: Yeah, some of the same reasons for you. I think there’s oftentimes like a public conception that copyright is like a bad or like a negative thing, but in my work, you know, working with the LA Creative Commons and now working in a library.
I think our role is really to educate and push on our users to exercise their copyrights and then flex their copyright muscles because because oftentimes, there are like you say limitations and exceptions such as fair use, and we need and are able to
take advantage of these.
And it’s an important thing that we can work on together with regard to the alien policy core.
I’ve really wanted to learn how to become a better advocates around a lot of different library issues especially some of the issues that we deal with on a day to day basis, you know, working in academic libraries.
So, looking into ways that we can help push for improvements and updates to copyright law. I’m looking at digitization issues. Access to research issues, open access publishing those types of things.
But I also wanted to get the more sort of plugged into policy issues, and other advocacy work for different types of libraries which I don’t have that much experience with.
I did start out working in a public library and also worked at the Wisconsin State Law Library and those are really interesting jobs as well but I kind of wanted to know how to advocate better for for other types of libraries as well and see how we can
contribute to those space spaces.
Um, so as a policy core has really provided a kind of a broad overview on how to do that and it also incorporate many different types of librarians and library workers so of course you and I are working in college and research libraries, but there’s a
a broad spectrum of other people so we have school librarians and people who are working in public libraries.
And people are working in community libraries, those types of things. So I think the policy core has really given me and this is sort of what I wanted out of it, a better understanding of not only the issues, the policy issue that those libraries sort
of encounter, but how we can work together to advocate for better outcomes. Better funding better public policy outcomes for all types of libraries.

Sara: That’s a really great point and I often when I teach about copyright at the high school at the University of Illinois. A lot of my students are surprised when they realize just how much copyright will impact their work right as, for instance, a school
librarian or a public library and I mean copyright is kind of one of those all inclusive topics and so it has really given, both of us I think an opportunity to grow our network and to kind of understand what the different areas are that different people
are struggling with through the pandemic there’s been a lot of funding issues, there’s been a lot of broadband issues.
And it’s been really interesting to kind of learn what people are handling right now and and and it seems like right now there’s also a lot of fights ago about freedom of information and right you know different books that are on the shelves that maybe
parents don’t want to see on the shelves in a children’s library or a school library so there been so many different issues that we’ve been hearing about which has been really interesting.

Tim: Yeah, you’re totally right like issues around intellectual freedom around broadband access for libraries, these are ones obviously that maybe you and I don’t deal with on a day to day basis but it’s important to be able to advocate for them, and with
them for other library workers and other libraries as well.

Sara: Yeah. And so we have the opportunity.
Not too long ago to go to Washington DC and to have a face to face meeting with our cohort of course our cohort began in the middle of Kovats so normally we would have done that much earlier but I thought that was one of the most useful parts of our training
because we learned some really fascinating.
Media techniques right and we’re kind of putting the hot seat with, you know, pretend that you’re doing like a video interview right now and what what is this going to look like.
I found that really challenging but also really interesting and helpful in terms of training and I’ve had some similar training here at University of Illinois but I felt like this was even more targeted because the folks doing the training or media specialist.
What did you find to be a kind of the most rewarding part of your training as part of the policy core.

Tim: Yeah, um, I will say that media training was a little bit outside of my comfort zone, I guess, but I really appreciate that we were able to do it, especially in the context of understanding how to best communicate a message with the decision maker or
a member of Congress, or with the media because crafting a clear, concise, usually short message about a policy topic that you’re advocating for is really crucial.
You know, one thing I was actually involved with last year as a part of the policy Corps was doing a virtual Hill meeting with a staffer
on on library funding issue so we were advocating for an increase in a library funding.
And, you know, one thing that was really interesting and important to know about in this meeting was really short, it was like a 10 minutes, like zoom meeting with a staffer and something that we talked about going into the meeting as we were as we were
kind of building up. What we wanted to talk about and how we wanted to deliver it it was like the understanding that a lot of these staffers.
They cover, you know, 10 issues or more.
And maybe library is just one of them, or maybe they only deal with library issues in their capacity as someone who’s involved in education. So, sort of understanding that we need to craft a very sort of deliberate and concise message about the policy
ass, or the policy issue that we’re talking about, is really important so that was one of the most interesting pieces from like the media training that I sort of took took took away from it, but also lots of other great sort of tips around how to, how
to host like events, how to get your message out in a variety of different forms so obviously it’s not all just meeting with legislators, it’s about creating campaigns and doing social media and thinking about sort of online messaging.
And I know we do a lot of that sort of in our work as well.
And then, you know, kind of talking a little bit more broadly with regards to the policy core and maybe some of our issues. There are a lot of different ways that we can we can advocate, you know, one of them is talking with policymakers and entering into
conversations and relationships with staffers that deal with intellectual property and library issues. But another thing that you mentioned earlier is dealing with institutions like the corporate office, because a lot of, not necessarily policymaking,
but a lot of public input and advocacy actually runs through groups like the copyright office. So looking at the various sort of ways and venues for advocacy around library and copyright issues, is something that’s been good for me it’s particularly with
regard to the policy car, and I think it’s been good for other people as well, just to kind of understand where are the leavers that we can pull and push to get better outcomes for my library policies.

Sara: Yeah. and when you were mentioning the day on the hill I participated in that as well the virtual one and it was really tempting when meeting with a staffer to just jump right into like.
Here are the 5 million things that our library has done for you, you know, and here are the things that we need for the community and to continue doing this.
But Shawnda Hines from a la policy was in my meeting one of my meetings and instead of law, allowing us to kind of launch in she, she started with a question, and she said to the staffer.
What is your experience in libraries, do you have a library card, and it was amazing because the response to the staffer was, oh I worked in a library all through college.
So not only, you know, almost, almost everyone I won’t say everyone but almost everyone has been to their library right so they have some experience, but this woman had more than the average amount of experience when she had been in the library, every
single day working behind the scenes and really knew the struggles of the library and was a real, true library supporter and so after that, after that knowledge, it was so easy to have that conversation because she was she said right off the bat I worked
in. I worked in the library all through college and I really love libraries and I really support them. And it’s like okay so you’re on our side like you know, you don’t have to do this hard sell here, you know, and it’s still important to like make your
points but it was really key to make that emotional connection with her because I think that if you just forget about that, then you don’t hear what their personal story is their personal connection, you might miss that golden opportunity right because
if you’re if you’re looking for funding for a specific thing maybe they have experienced with that thing right I mean, right now, the issue is broadband for a lot of libraries right because students from school, potentially don’t have internet.
Well, guess what, what if the staffer you’re talking to grew up in a rural area. What if they had no internet at their house like they would have a personal connection to what you’re talking about and you would never know that.
And so you really want to make that connection if you can. And I think, you know, one of the things that I learned also during that time Shonda spoke with us at the policy core training and said, You know, there’s a fine line between, you know, people
kind of treating libraries as, like, Oh, that’s so cute. You’re the library, you know, versus like you’re a serious part of our society right so you don’t you don’t want to make it like, oh, didn’t you go to story time when you were five, you know it’s
not a library story but like to understand that we that librarians and libraries really have an impact on our society, and that we need to fund them because if we don’t students can’t necessarily go to school or students aren’t going to learn or, or,
you know, if you don’t have that access.
You may not learn about science, or some other area that that you know you could have a future doctor who really doesn’t have access to these types of books at their school and comes to the library and read about it, or who knows what the experience might
be right. I know I read about a, an astronaut who grew up, and he was just tied to his local library right and always reading about like outer space and just had this big dream and became an astronaut one day I mean, these are the kinds of things that
libraries can do.
And, but trying to really make, make it real for somebody and I think so starting with that human element. To me, that was a really great lesson not to just launch into the logic, because we all just want to start with like here’s why we need this money,
you know, right, right.
But if we can connect with them on a human level like on a personal level, it’s going to make it a lot easier.

Tim: Yeah. Right on. Another thing I was thinking about is, um, you’re right and asking those probing questions and trying to connect with policymakers on a personal and emotional level is really key, but also doing our homework as well so how did have how
have they voted in the past, around library issues.
What have they supported what have they been maybe not so great on sort of understanding their history a bit with with libraries and and pulling those things up and having that those data points on hand is really helpful going into these meetings with
decision makers. Another thing that we did, which I think is really important in any sort of advocacy meeting and ask is coming, prepared with local data and stories and impact.
So, you know, in the meeting with the legislative staffer for representative Lee in my district, I talked a little bit about how the Oakland Public Library, which is, you know, the city where I live in how they were making content available and services
available during the pandemic and pulling out two or three or four top things that they were working on, which could and should require more funding to continue.
So coming up with those local stories and hearing from people on the ground is really important. In addition to, you know, really communicating the importance of funding or improving policies for libraries more generally.

Sara: Yeah, that’s very true having those data points but also those stories of like real life scenarios.
During the pandemic despite my being a copyright librarian who never does circulation, I was actually working in circulation, because we were kind of all hands on deck.
I mean, we had a lot of folks who couldn’t come in at all due to, you know, underlying medical conditions or family members with underlying medical conditions like before we have the vaccine available.
And we really had a call to the whole library saying you know who can come in and help so I had, I learned how to do some circulation, you know, which was really good and and and it really gave me some sort of knowledge of, you know, on the ground, of
what my colleagues go through on a day to day basis but it also gave me that crucial contact with patrons because I was really missing that interaction.
And so, you know, the pandemic really gave us an opportunity to like change our skill set a little bit, and to also like get to know our other colleagues like I don’t normally work in circulation so I don’t necessarily know all my colleagues in circulation
and so I got the opportunity to kind of spend time with them and to learn our patrons a little bit more and see what they were you know what their needs were.
So I think that there are a lot of stories like that and the public libraries really were doing tremendous thing, you know, this is an academic library but the public libraries to we’re doing tremendous things during the pandemic right to keep to keep
everybody reading and keep everybody engaged because really like we couldn’t for for quite some time in Illinois we couldn’t leave our house. So, you know, if the students couldn’t get on the internet and if you couldn’t, you know, read books at your
house, then you really didn’t have a lot to do, and especially education wise. So I think those stories are really important, I think you’re right.
And I really valued getting to know you know some different levels of service and different people in the library too.
So, I guess one. I wanted to change the topic a little bit and talk about you know what we’ve done.
Copyright wise, since we’ve been a member of the policy core. And one of the big issues that still isn’t resolved, is the CASE opt out for libraries you want to tell us a little background about that and how we were engaged with that.

Tim: Sure, so maybe to back up a little bit. So, the CASE Act passed at the end of 2020 and C stands for the Copyright Alternative to Small Claims Enforcement Act.
And this was a law and the aims of the law was to provide an alternative venue for copyright holders to pursue smaller dollar copyright infringement cases, instead of filing a federal copyright law suit which costs a lot of money, typically, and can take
a really long time.
And so, the case act sets up this copyright claims board that sits within the corporate office.
And the point of this copyright claims board is to adjudicate these smaller copyright infringement proceedings.
And we should note that these proceedings are voluntary.
So if you have a claim brought against you. So if someone accuses you of infringing their copyright and wants to take you before the copyright claims bar, you don’t have to agree to go through that venue, you can opt out as an individual.
And that’s a really important feature of this law.
And this is a from a library perspective, we see it it says concerning law for variety of reasons.
So, one thing, thinking about copyright and how copyright interacts with libraries and with researchers.
We know that researchers and teachers, they leverage these limitations and exceptions to cart braid all the time like fair use. So, you know, researchers use images or copyrighted content within their own original research, because we all know that scholarship
builds on the works of others and there are important limitations to cooperate that allows faculty and researchers to be able to do this.
But sometimes that might not be communicated to rights holders, you know. So, what we see coming out of this case that would be possibly, you know rights holders brain these infringement actions against, you know, a scholarly researcher, because they
think the scholarly researcher improperly used a piece of copyrighted content when in fact, perhaps a scholarly researcher was including that content under one of their rights under copyright like fair use.
So, there’s a big concern that when this copyright claims bar actually gets up and running. Are we going to have a ton of claims being brought against researchers or even students for incorporating copyrighted content under fair use in their research
and teaching, and what are the implications of that going to be, you know, of course the limits on what the monetary damages within the case act and within this copyright claims or are some are a lot less than what they would be with a normal federal
copyright lawsuit, but they’re, they’re not nothing You know, there’s a cap of $30,000 per infringement proceeding and another that’s nothing to sneeze at.
So, one way that this CASE Act is concerning is that you know it might be, it might be a chilling effect for researchers they might think twice about incorporating others copywriting content into their scholarship, if they’re afraid that they’re going
to be brought before this copyright claims board for use that should be covered under fair use.
But another piece of that is concerning is during the implementation. So, the Copyright Office has been engaging in NPR, and then NPR m sound stands for a notice of proposed rulemaking.
And these are things where the corporate offices looking for feedback from the public on how a particular law should be implemented. So, the corporate office has issued several, several of these NPR around the case act, about how it should be implemented,
once it actually is up and running.
And one thing that was up concerned for library is it for libraries is that while libraries and archives institutions can preemptively opt out of this.
What it doesn’t extend to our library workers so workers like you and I, who are working within libraries and we deal with copyrighted content on a daily basis, you know, we provide information and guidance around digitization projects, we’re involved
with things like interlibrary loan, we deal with copyrighted works. So what the NPR and was asking for is.
We know that libraries and archives as institutions are opted out, but they held in their, in their first sort of draft of this. Well, we’re not going to provide that, that, that opt out for library workers, And we thought, and a lot of libraries are
on country thought that this could be a very negative way to pursue for the copyright claims board because us working with copyrighted content on a daily basis.
We provide education.
What we don’t want is library workers to be dragged before the copyright claims board for infringement claims for things that we know and we are operating in good faith, under our limitations and exceptions to copyright. So maybe you want to talk a little bit more about sort of the advocacy and how we organize around that aspect.

Sara: Yeah, so we saw the proposed rule come out and it basically said that even though, as you said, the library can opt out preemptively and basically just opt out once and say, You know where this library is not going to participate in these.
Small Claims Act cases.
They, the US Copyright Office, read the CASE Act as only applying to libraries and not to their employees and kind of did so under an agency, sort of analysis saying, well, this is, you know, the employees can still be liable, potentially, it’s just saying
that there’s no like vicarious liability here for their lawyer, and my reaction to that was that that doesn’t make any sense right just because the reality is that libraries do not do the work, the work on a daily basis of the libraries is done through
their employees, and therefore if you don’t want to hold libraries liable.
You shouldn’t hold their employees liable. It makes no sense to me right. It’s like basically don’t go after the deep pockets here at the Library, which doesn’t even have that big of pockets but go after the, you know, staff member who made the copy that
doesn’t make any sense. And I really don’t think that that’s what Congress intended. When they enacted the case act and so what we did was the LA policy core members Tim and myself and Carla and along with la kind of came up with this, this, this letter
that folks could use if they wanted to submit it to the copyright act in response to their proposed rule, and it was just a form letter but allowed folks to put in their individual, you know position their name and what they do that, that gives them concern.
So for instance, I said you know I’m a copyright librarian at the University of Illinois. And if you are going to enforce this against me in the scope of my employment, that’s a problem because I deal with copyright every day.
This is my job right I have to make you know various determinations for my own news I provide folks with information about copyright. And so, you know, I could get 10 of these notices every day, you’re going to get sued every day.
And so the reality is it would really stifle me from doing my job. And so a lot of folks responded in fact the Copyright Office still has not issued their final rule on this and said that they had thousands of these notices because one of the notices
from library futures had an Excel spreadsheet with thousands of responses and there were at least 135, I think, responses so they got a lot of feedback from librarians, basically saying this is not going to.
This is not a good thing. Right. I wanted, I still think the door is open. If Congress really feels that they the Copyright Office got it wrong to come through and say, No, you know, they I guess they could amend the case act and say, no, this really
means also employees.
I did reach out to Senator Durbin, from Illinois, saying hi Senator Durbin I know you supported the case act but you couldn’t have possibly meant that this doesn’t apply to library employees right and trying to put it on his radar because I know the final
rule isn’t out yet but if the final rule does still apply. If the Copyright Office says it does still apply to library employees within the scope of their employment.
Then I really think my next step is going to be to talk to Congress and say, Is this really what you meant because I don’t think so.
Well, I still hold out a little bit of hope that we made some progress with our arguments.
And our common sense to the copyright office but we haven’t heard back yet. So what do you think Tim.

Tim: Yeah, I think you touched on a lot of good points there, um, one thing. Well, first off, I mean I’m really glad that the corporate office has issued these NPR M’s because it does provide a public venue for citizens and organizations to provide feedback
and commentary on how our particular this particular law should be implemented. And that is important, and the Copyright Office, there are reading these you know so it’s great that we have this venue.
And you mentioned that there are a variety of different ways to respond.
Like so. Some of some organizations such as the library. Copyright Alliance.
Individual universities and libraries I know from the, from speaking from the University of California. We submitted a letter, which was signed on but I think almost all of the UC schools, talking about what the negative repercussions of including library
workers as subject to these proceedings would be, and we provide very detailed and specific examples, and also talked about the legal aspects of it, like you mentioned, have some discussion around this idea of agency law, so that you know if the library
itself is able to opt out, why isn’t the library able to delegate that opt out to those who are working for it.
So on the one hand, we have institutions and schools, writing detailed responses to the CRM. And also we have the public who are able to provide individual stories like you and others, and and also just anyone can can file a response to this NPR.
So it’s important to kind of like, hit it at multiple levels, because the corporate office is reading these. It’s good that we’ve provided detailed responses.
And it also good that we’re hearing from the public, and from those workers that it’s going to affect.
Another reason that this is really important is that you know the CASE Act has been around for a few years, but only at the end of 2020 and did it gets pushed through into becoming a law.
And the way it did that was attached to a gigantic piece of spending legislation. And this is very problematic because there’s not really any opportunity then to have some back and forth and to have feedback from the communities that it was going to affect
you kind of got pushed through at the last hour before the end of the year, along with a ton of other bills.
And there was not that much opportunity for libraries and library workers to comment that that point. So it’s good that we can use some of these NPR on processes to lay out the issues and lay out how we think they should be improved, especially for the
Ah, so we’re going to keep our eyes open for that final rule and see, see where that goes. I mean I would read a huge sigh of relief, if, if we were able to sway the copyright office, and if they do find that when a library ops out its employees are also
opting out. But if not, like I said, then, you know, I will still feel that there’s some, some advocacy work to be done with with Congress and to say, Hey, is this what you meant because you have the ultimate word of what you met on the other side of
that though.
You know there is still work going on behind the scenes to challenge the the court or the board claims board when it does start hearing cases as unconstitutional.
So there are a lot of things going on here and it’s, nothing’s going to get resolved, super quickly.
I would say that this is one of those things we need we all need to keep an eye on because as things progress, we’ll know more and more and we will will need to kind of react to those changing environment.
So it’s a good thing to have to be aware of. It’s a good thing to keep track of. And, you know, I believe that the, they will start hearing actual claims in around June, at the latest that seemed like that was what they were doing so well I’m thinking
going to start hearing some of these final rulings coming out very soon. Another thing that we’re doing, and I’m sure you are and other schools as well is doing a little bit of education around what this law means and what does it mean.
So for our library users or our university, communities, if we were to receive one of these claims notices. Of course we know that everyone has the ability to opt out.
But it’s really going to be up to the individual. To determine that but we know that libraries can help provide education around some of these copyright policy issues on our campuses and we’re starting to do that right now.
And also being in communication with our legal departments within the universities because they’re going to probably want to know about these things as well, you know to what extent, our faculty or students or researchers, getting these notices.
What are they going to do about them and how can we provide education, you know with the knowledge that we can’t really provide legal advice but how can you provide education to help our communities make good decisions about what this means and how they
might want to proceed.

Sara: And that’s a really good point there so we, you know, as, as you mentioned, Tim.
This is going to be an issue for for everyone really whether or not the libraries, and their employees can opt out because we’ve still got scholars and students and other folks who could potentially be sued.
The other issue is that it does exempt. At least University of Illinois writ large because it’s a it’s a government or state institution, which seems to kind of go hand in hand with sovereign immunity, where, you know, the University of Illinois cannot
be sued for copyright infringement in federal court, either due to sovereign immunity. But then it leaves the question of what about the employees of the university within the scope of their employment, how does that work out.
And so there are still some questions that really don’t have great answers. And it’s very similar to the library opting out, and the employees, maybe being on the hook what’s, what do we have what happens when the professor is in a similar situation so
it’ll be really interesting. I mean from from a standpoint of like a lawyer, right it’s kind of interesting to see this play out and see these cases go forward but from a standpoint as a librarian it’s a little frightening, to be honest with you because
I would not want a patron say faculty member to come to me and say I just got this, you know, what do I do, and then oh I got this two months ago I forgot to opt out now I have to go.
You know, and then see what happens it’s like that would be scary and not a fun experience so yes we definitely need to educate folks so that they do know if they can opt out and figure out why they might want to opt out versus go through.
I mean, in my opinion, and this is not legal advice but I would, I would opt out every time I mean, I’m not sure why would go to this board, and you know willingly.
Because, you know, federal court is much harder for them.
There is, it’s harder for the plaintiff and there’s a lot more they have to pay and go through. So, I’m not sure what what would motivate someone to go to the small claims court I’ll be interesting to see what types of cases end up there, although that
scares me to that some of the claims that end up there the folks who, you know, didn’t really pay attention to the notice and it just laughs and then all of a sudden, they have they have to go.
I don’t like that idea, because, to me that’s not really voluntary that’s just like I didn’t really pay attention.
Right, but I’m thinking that’s going to be some of the cases unfortunately because that’s that happens in, you know, in regular court too is you get what’s called a default judgment because the other person just never shows up.
And, and that can be good for the plaintiff but it’s that’s never going to be good for the defendant and if they are professors or students.

Tim: That’s not good. I wouldn’t like, I would not like to see that happening so yeah i think one possible mitigating factor is, it seems like the law and the corporate office has been doing some due diligence, about what gets put into these notices and making
sure that they are official, they are served using the how other things are served on people so sending you a notice through the mail, sending a bottle up notice within that 60 day window if you didn’t get the first one, it’ll be interesting to see actually
how it plays out. But hopefully there are some of those measures that are set up that will allow people to be able to have information to make those decisions.
Before that 60 day window runs out because you’re right. Otherwise, we’re just going to have a lot of default judgments because people are going to be like well what is this and is this just spam or as am I being trolled here I don’t know so that’s all
uh to be determined yet.
Well, and even in, even in quote unquote regular court right default note default judgments happen, and even there where you have to show proof of service right that you know they were personally served
and and the the notices are very clear and, you know, you have to do this and answer within 20 days and whatever folks still don’t get their act, gather all the time.
Now of course you can’t opt out.
In that instance like you know you have to show up it’s like, no, don’t even do anything it’s like they just sit there then they get a default judgment so I’m a little concerned and I’m especially concerned I’ll tell you about students, because I do think
professors I think professors if they get this notice like, yeah, they’re probably going to try to figure out what to do. I could see a student just being busy and just thinking like, I’ll deal with it later and then forgetting about it.

Sara: I could see that happening. And that would bother me a lot if that’s if that happened because
I know some students will be right on top of it right and and finding out all the information they need to but but yeah I just will see maybe I would hope that, that, that people aren’t just go, you know, raring to go and try to sue up as many students
as possible I mean that just seems like a terrible outcome of this limit of this legislation which I do think some of their goal was to deal with, you know, photographers, for instance right who posts maybe some of their work on their website but other
people are stealing it and things like that and I do understand that, you know, there are issues with folks who are saying, well, I I’m losing money but I don’t have enough money to go to the federal court system.
I think that’s where they wanted, that’s like the sweet spot where they wanted to get this legislation to hit but you know I really hope that it doesn’t play out in a different way.
And I know the legislation also I think you pointed out recently, to me at least was that there’s kind of an anti trolling mechanism, kind of trying to prevent folks from just spam, you know suing everybody.

Tim: Yeah, there was a there was a provision of one of the most recent NPR, that suggested that there be a cap by Bob, I believe, 10 claims, per year, per rights holder.
So I think that that could help because I think one of the fears, when we saw this originally is. Well yeah, they’re just going to be copyright trolls that are sending these like hundreds of them out, you know, and see what sticks against the wall or
see which they can get default judgments on but if this actually does go through where there’s an actual limit, I think that would go a long way into tamping down on some of the abuse that a lot of people have been critical of this process.
Yeah, so I i hope that is the case and that we don’t see an you know an abuse of the system.

Sara: Well, it’s been a really great chat we’ve had here and I want to respect our listeners time so they feel like they can, you know, go and do some advocacy on their own and one thing we learned through a la is tag, tag your congressperson tag your legislator,
if you’re doing something on Twitter. And it’s you know about your local library doing something amazing, or you need funding for something or what have you tag folks on twitter, so that they see it.

Tim: Yeah. Right on, I mean there’s so many issues that are that are coming up over the next few years, relevant to copyright in libraries. I mean, we have controlled digital lending, we have a lot of these state ebook laws that are being challenged now.
There are other things that will come up within the next year or two. So it’s important to stay involved, it’s important to to engage with decision makers and there’s a variety of ways of doing that.
We can do it through social media. We can do it through getting involved in organizations like like the ALA, we can subscribe to like legislative alerts.
We can help out in some of the organizing that sort of new groups are doing, like library futures. And just follow along. There’s a lot of ways that we can all work together and be involved in a lot of these policy and copyright issues that affect libraries.

Sara: Yeah, and that’s a great point because one of the things that we also learned it, and policy corps that it’s not just about us right. I mean, we are learning these tools and we are going to, we are empowered to pass them along and and so I hope this episode
kind of inspired listeners to get more involved in to follow their local legislators on Twitter and kind of see ways that they can advocate for libraries as well.
So, and also obviously pay attention when a la has a policy alert and wants you to call your local senator or your local legislator, you know, give them a call because that’s one of the ways that we can make an impact right.

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