Free Expression

13 May

A No-Decision Decision: Supreme Court Sends COPA Back to Court of Appeals

In a complex decision that provided neither side with exactly what it wanted, on May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that had declared the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) unconstitutional. In a vote of 8-1, the Supreme Court vacated a decision of the Third U.S. Court of Appeals, which had held that COPA was unconstitutional because the law’s use of "community standards" to identify material that was harmful to minors was "substantially overbroad."

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09 May

ABFFE Online Auction Extended; Adds Autographed Items From BookExpo

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has announced that it is extending its online auction and adding many autographed items from BookExpo America, including concert posters signed by the Rock Bottom Remainders -- Stephen King, Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, and Kathi Kamen Goldmark. The Remainders performed at New York's Webster Hall on Saturday, May 4.

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03 May

Day 2 at BookExpo America -- Book Sense Round the Clock

And the Winners Are….

At this year's Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America, Leif Enger's Peace Like a River (Atlantic Monthly) won the Book Sense Book of the Year award as best adult fiction title.

The winner for adult nonfiction was Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House), and the winner of the rediscovery award -- presented for the first time this year -- was given to My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (Random House).

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29 Apr

On Capitol Hill, Free Expression Groups Question the USA Patriot Act

On April 25, at noon, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and other free expression organizations gathered on Capitol Hill in the Senate Hart Office Building to voice their concern over some of the anti-terrorist measures adopted by the federal government following 9/11. The group -- which included Senator Russell D.

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23 Apr

Judge Strikes Down Vermont Cyber-Censorship Statute

On April 19, in the case of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) v. Dean, U.S. District Judge J. Gavan Murtha enjoined a Vermont statute criminalizing any material posted on Web sites considered to be "harmful to minors." The complaint challenging the law was first filed on February 7, 2001, by a diverse array of individuals, businesses, and civil rights groups. The plaintiffs had claimed that the law violated constitutionally protected free speech rights and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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18 Apr

Tattered Cover Decision Receives Widespread Coverage -- and Strong Support

The Colorado Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding the right of the Tattered Cover Book Store to ensure the confidentiality of the book-purchase records of customers from law enforcement scrutiny has received widespread national attention, and the strong support of the bookstore’s community.

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15 Apr

Ohio Governor Will Sign H.B. 8 on May 6

Ohio Governor Bob Taft will publicly sign House Bill 8 on May 6, 2002, almost three months after the bill passed the state’s legislature. The proposed legislation amends Ohio’s sex offense law to include computer-based material that is deemed harmful to minors. There is concern among booksellers and others in the industry that the law could be construed to include material with sexual content sold on their Web sites.

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11 Apr

Colorado Supreme Court Says Tattered Cover Doesn't Have to Turn Over Customer Records

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on April 8 that Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store does not have to turn over customer records that had been sought by local law enforcement officials, who had argued that the information would assist in a case involving the manufacture of methamphetamines.

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09 Apr

CIPA Trial Closes; Decision Due in May

Final arguments in the case that will decide the constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) were heard on April 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The legal challenge was brought by the American Library Association (ALA) -- together with 10 other plaintiffs -- and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (whose own legal challenge to the law was consolidated by the court and heard together with ALA’s case). Indications are that the panel of three judges will rule by early May.

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27 Mar

Virginia Festival of the Book Rooted in a Community of Rich Culture

For two centuries, Charlottesville, Virginia, has drawn men and women of letters to live in its cultured environs: from Thomas Jefferson (whose Monticello is three miles east of the city) to current residents John Grisham, Rita Mae Brown, and National Book Award-winner John Casey.

And for the past several years, Charlottesville's annual Virginia Festival of the Book has attracted thousands of visitors to a five-day menu of some 150 literary panels, talks, and readings staged in venues all around town.

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26 Mar

ABFFE Author Auction Launches Online

Thirty booksellers will win the opportunity to visit with top New York authors during BookExpo America by entering the first ABFFE Author Auction. The online auction kicked off Wednesday, March 26, at 9:00 a.m. EST on the Web site of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), www.abffe.com. The auction ends on Friday, March 29, at 3:00 p.m.

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21 Mar

Blume, Hamill, Rosenblatt, Zelinsky Join ABFFE Author Auction

Bestselling authors Judy Blume, Pete Hamill, Roger Rosenblatt, and Paul Zelinsky have added their names to the list of authors who will participate in next week's online auction sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

The ABFFE Author Auction will give booksellers a chance to get to know 15 of their favorite authors, including Michael Moore, author of Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation, which is now topping many bestseller lists.

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19 Mar

ALA's Court Fight Against Library Filtering Set to Open

Starting on Monday, March 25, in Philadelphia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania will begin hearing a case that will decide the constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Monday’s trial will be the culmination of a legal challenge by the American Library Association (ALA) and 10 other plaintiffs -- including the Freedom to Read Foundation and a number of state library associations -- to CIPA. Last July, a three-judge federal district court ruled against the U.S.

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15 Mar

Ohio Governor Bob Taft Will Sign House Bill 8

Ohio Governor Bob Taft will sign House Bill 8 [H.B. 8], according to a number of sources close to the situation. The proposed legislation amends Ohio's sex offence law to include computer-based material that is deemed harmful to minors. This could include such things as sexually explicit content or movie violence. There is concern among booksellers that this could be construed to include material with sexual content sold on their Web sites. (For earlier coverage, click here).

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14 Mar

Rock Bottom Remainders All-Star Band Reunites to Play BEA

Move over Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The latest reunion news in rock ‘n’ roll is that BookExpo America’s house band is returning.

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