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Weekly News Digest

December 14, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Library Futures' 'Statement on the Association of American Publishers Suit Against the State of Maryland'

Kyle K. Courtney and Jennie Rose Halperin write the following for Library Futures:

We are dismayed, but ultimately unsurprised, by the Association of American Publishers’s decision to file suit against the State of Maryland for their ebooks law, passed unanimously by the General Assembly on March 10th, 2021. This law is set to go into effect on January 1, 2022. It represents the Maryland Library Association’s efforts to simply request equal access and pricing in digital content. Nevertheless, the AAP’s complaint calls Maryland’s law ‘radical.’

What is ‘radical’ is the lawsuit’s multiple spurious claims regarding the intention of the law, attempting to deflect the blame for the price gouging and rent-seeking behavior for library digital content on technology companies rather than its own members’ behaviors in the market. …

The AAP’s suit does not represent the view of authors, creatives, or even most publishing companies other than a minority of the biggest media corporations in the world. This famously litigious trade organization has tried to stop libraries before, and they have lost every time. Ultimately, the lawsuit represents a pattern of behavior that demonstrates the commercial publishing industry’s continued disdain for the librarians, educators, and the public who simply want resources to provide access to materials, combat misinformation, and provide quality education in the State of Maryland and beyond.

For more information, read the post.

'AAP Sues to Block Maryland, New York Library E-Book Laws' by Jim Milliot

Jim Milliot writes the following for Publishers Weekly:

The Association of American Publishers filed suit December 9 to stop a new library e-book law in Maryland from taking effect on January 1, claiming that the law, which would require publishers who offer to license e-books to consumers in the state to also offer to license the works to libraries on ‘reasonable’ terms, is unconstitutional and runs afoul of federal copyright law.

In its filing, the AAP alleges that the Maryland law effectively ‘commandeers the rights’ of publishers and authors. …

The suit seeks an order declaring the Maryland law ‘void and unenforceable because it is preempted by federal law and unconstitutional,’ as well a preliminary and permanent injunction against enforcement of the act.

In addition, the AAP made public a letter (signed by a number of other copyright industry groups) to New York governor Kathy Hochul, urging her to veto New York's version of the bill, which passed in June.

For more information, read the article.

'Copyright Alliance Commends AAP for Opposing State of Maryland's Unconstitutional E-Book Licensing Mandates'

The Copyright Alliance released the following statement from its CEO, Keith Kupferschmid:

We commend AAP for seeking to prevent the state of Maryland from creating what is effectively a compulsory license for literary works. The Maryland law raises serious constitutional and copyright law concerns. It is an alarming intrusion into the exclusive rights of copyright owners, and it sets a dangerous precedent that, if left unchecked, would threaten the wide range of creative industries that rely on copyright to support the production and dissemination of creative works, including books, movies, music, software, photos, newspapers, and more.

The copyright community and the broader public benefit from an effective, uniform national copyright framework, and we are deeply troubled by Maryland’s misguided encroachment into an area that is exclusively the province of Congress. We hope the court quickly recognizes that Maryland’s effort to commandeer the system of exclusive rights that empowers authors and copyright owners to create and disseminate their works is at odds with the Constitution, the U.S. Copyright Act, and the public interest.

For more information, read the press release.

SirsiDynix and Lyngsoe Systems Integrate Their Products for Streamlined Library Management

Lyngsoe Systems and SirsiDynix signed a collaboration agreement to integrate SirsiDynix’s Symphony ILS with Lyngsoe Systems’ IMMS (Intelligent Material Management System). According to the press release, “This exciting development will enable libraries using the Symphony ILS to benefit from the transformational changes and efficiency experienced by libraries already using IMMS, such as Aarhus and Copenhagen in Denmark, Helsinki in Finland, and Sacramento in the United States. These libraries have seen significant reductions in the amount of staff time focused on material handling, enabling increased focus on delivering exceptional public services.”

For more information, read the press release.

Owl Labs Publishes Report on the State of Remote Work

Owl Labs released its fifth annual report on remote work, “State of Remote Work 2021,” which looks at “how U.S. employees feel about remote and hybrid work, how their behaviors have evolved since the pandemic, and how employers are adjusting to new hybrid expectations.” The summary continues, “Employee expectations permanently shifted, with many choosing to resign for a better work life balance or more flexibility in where and when they work. And with nearly 70% of full-time U.S. workers having worked remotely—with many still doing so—employers started adjusting their workplaces to fit a new hybrid working model.”

Findings include the following:

  • 90% of employees say they were as productive or more working remotely when compared to the office
  • 84% of employees shared that working remotely after the pandemic would make them happier, with some even willing to take a pay cut
  • Of those that have returned to the office, 78% say that they feel more included when at the office [and] 57% say that they prefer working from home full-time
  • 1 in 3 would quit their job if they could no longer work remotely after the pandemic, with an additional 18% still undecided

For more information, visit the webpage.

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