Free Expression

30 Jun

Free Speech Victory: High Court Bars Enforcement of COPA

On Tuesday, June 29, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld a lower court ruling barring enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) and remanded the case back to District Court. A broad group of plaintiffs -- including the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), A Different Light Bookstore in San Francisco and West Hollywood, City Lights in San Francisco, and Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon -- hailed the decision as a victory for the First Amendment.

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17 Jun

Free Speech Defeat: Supreme Court Sides With Littleton, Colorado

A recent unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision -- in a case in which chain store Christal's challenged a Littleton adult-business licensing ordinance on the grounds that it violated the retailer's First Amendment rights by not allowing for prompt judicial review -- ruled in favor of the city ordinance. And, while the judges' decision confirmed that First Amendment cases required a prompt review and ruling, they noted that accelerated procedures with two-to-three day time limits do not apply to city ordinance licensing.

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16 Jun

ABFFE Online Auction Closes Friday

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression's (ABFFE) online auction will close Friday, June 18, at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

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10 Jun

ABFFE Launches Online Auction

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has launched an online auction featuring many unique items from BookExpo America (BEA), including posters autographed by bestselling authors and hundreds of new autographed books. Like the three-day Silent Auction that ABFFE runs during BEA, the online auction offers bargains on the latest books, book sidelines and services, and a wide variety of entertainment items, ranging from DVDs and video games to airline tickets and hotel stays.

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05 Jun

Live From BEA -- Day 3

Politics and business mixed on Saturday, June 5, at BookExpo America, as Day 3 featured a political lunch, an update on the Campaign for Reader Privacy, and a presentation of petitions to Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, as well as ABA's comprehensive seminar exploring ways to improve profits.

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27 May

Senators Introduce Bill to Repeal Patriot Act Sunset Provisions

On Friday, May 21, 10 Republican senators, led by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), introduced a bill (S. 2476) that would repeal the sunset clauses of the USA Patriot Act, essentially making the entire bill -- including Section 215 -- permanent, as reported by Secrecy News. While civil liberties groups and some members of the Senate decried the bill, many believe that the senators lack the support necessary to pass the bill.

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26 May

ABFFE Joins ACLU Patriot Act Challenge

On Tuesday, May 25, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) filed a brief in support of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenge to Section 505 of the USA Patriot Act.

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20 May

CRP Petitions Should Be Sent to ABA Now

Though booksellers should continue to collect signatures for the Campaign for Reader Privacy (, ABA is asking booksellers to send in all signed petitions as soon as possible, so that the signatures can be counted and included in its CRP presentation during BookExpo America. (Petitions should be mailed to ABA, Restore Reader Privacy, Attn.: Oren Teicher, 828 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.) Every signature counts!

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19 May

ABFFE's BEA Highlights Include George Carlin Concert and Patriot Act Panel

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will have something for everyone at this year's BookExpo America (BEA). Events range from a panel on free expression issues to award-winning comedy to ABFFE's ever-popular silent auction.

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13 May

Linda Ramsdell and Trina Magi Win Hefner First Amendment Award

On Monday, May 24, at a ceremony at Chelsea Piers in New York City, two women who helped organize a grassroots campaign to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act will be among those honored with the Playboy Foundation's 2004 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award. Trina Magi, past president of the Vermont Library Association (VLA), and Linda Ramsdell, owner of the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont, will receive the First Amendment Award in the field of Education. "I'm excited and honored that we're recognized," said Ramsdell.

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12 May

Harry Potter to Help Raise Funds for ABFFE

Limited edition button (above) and T-shirt (below) that urge people to "Fight for Harry Potter and Free Speech for Kids!"

On May 12, the American Bookse

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11 May

Booksellers Urged to Send Petitions by May 17

Booksellers should note that phase one of the Campaign for Reader Privacy (CRP) ( petition drive will soon culminate with a CRP presentation during BookExpo America, which will be held from June 2 - 6 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

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06 May

Phase I of Reader Privacy Campaign Continues Through Next Weekend

The first phase of the Campaign for Reader Privacy ( -- a nationwide grassroots petition drive calling for an amendment to Section 215 of the USA Patriot to ensure the privacy of bookstore and library records -- continues through the weekend of May 15. ABA has been asking booksellers to send in signed petitions whenever they have collected a few hundred signatures, and then on May 17 to mail in all remaining petitions.

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29 Apr

Momentum to Amend 215 of the USA Patriot Act Continues to Gather Steam

The grassroots effort to amend Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act continues to gain momentum. Last week, Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called on President George W.

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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