|Weekly News Digest
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New York Is Poised to Be the Second State to Enact Ebook Legislation
Andrew Albanese writes the following in “New York Legislature Passes Library E-Book Bill” for Publishers Weekly:
New York is now the second state to pass a bill that would ensure public libraries the right to license and lend e-books that are available to consumers in the state.
After votes on successive days this week in the Assembly and the Senate, the bill crossed the finish line just before the June 10 close of the legislative session and is now headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk. If signed, the law would be the second such piece of digital library legislation to pass, following Maryland’s.
Like the Maryland legislation, which passed into law on June 1, the New York bills (S2890B in the Senate and A5837B in the Assembly) require ‘publishers who offer to license e-books to the public’ to also offer those e-books to libraries on ‘reasonable’ terms. The bill’s summary states that the law is designed to ensure that ‘widely accepted and effective industry practices remain in place while prohibiting harmful practices that discriminate against libraries and harm library patrons.’ And, also like the Maryland legislation, New York’s bill passed unanimously in the Assembly.
Notably, New York’s version of the library e-book law could take effect before Maryland’s. Maryland’s law doesn’t take effect until January, 2022, while New York’s legislation would go into effect just 19 days after it is signed into law. The governor has 10 days to sign or veto a bill if that bill was passed during the legislative session—which this bill was. And if the governor doesn’t sign or veto the bill within the allotted time frame, the bill automatically becomes law.
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