Issue Background

Copyright

Our Goal:

Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty for the print disabled and reject unneeded changes to copyright law in any associated “implementing” legislation. The Treaty will afford 4 million print disabled Americans critical new access to copyrighted material worldwide vital to their education, work and quality of life. U.S. negotiators assured that the final text was fully consistent with our law. The Treaty thus can and should be ratified promptly unencumbered by legislation to substantively amend United States copyright law that will delay or derail its ratification. ALA also is committed to equally respecting the rights of authors and to assuring that overly restrictive copyright laws do not thwart the Framers’ intent that copyright is meant “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts….”

Accordingly, ALA has actively advocated -- and continues to fight in Congress and the courts – to strike a balance in copyright law.  This balance -- between incentivizing creativity with exclusive rights and affording all people the ability to access and use copyrighted works to create new works – is what the Framers contemplated when they included a clause in the Constitution defining the overarching purpose of copyright: “to promote progress in science and useful arts.” Today, as libraries transform for the 21st century, they seek to honor and implement the Framers’ vision by actively working for law and policy that will bring the full benefits of the digital age to all people everywhere.

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