[Greater-baltimore] FW: Important court hearing in New York City on Wednesday, October 30

Melissa Ann Riccobono melissa at riccobono.us
Tue Oct 8 19:19:58 UTC 2013

Hello everyone,
If you can attend this hearing, please let me know as soon as possible. I
need to give Chris Danielsen information about how many people we can expect
to come from MD. This is extremely important, so please let me know if you
can make it. Please call me at 410-235-3073, or email me at 
President at nfbmd.org
Please do not reply to this message, as your reply will go to everyone on
the list.
Thank you,

-----Original Message-----
From: Danielsen, Chris [mailto:CDanielsen at nfb.org] 
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2013 3:49 PM
To: State President, Pennsylvania; State President, Connecticut; State
President, Delaware; State President, Maryland; State President,
Massachusetts; State President, New Jersey; State President, New York; State
President, Pennsylvania; Office Of The President
Cc: Jones, Mya; Pare, John
Subject: Important court hearing in New York City on Wednesday, October 30

Dear Fellow Federationists:
I am writing to you regarding an important court hearing that will take
place in New York City on Wednesday, October 30. The hearing, in the case of
Authors Guild, Inc., et al., v. HathiTrust, et al, concerns the issue of
whether blind university students and others can have access to digital
copies of works held by university libraries across the nation. An excerpt
from Dr. Maurer's 2013 Presidential Report explaining what is at stake
appears below. In October of 2012, the Federal District Court for the
Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the HathiTrust and the
National Federation of the Blind (see the press release linked below), but
the Authors Guild is trying to reverse this ruling on appeal. We need to
pack the courtroom on October 30 to let the Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit know that blind Americans want access to these digital materials and
that this issue is of critical importance to us.
The hearing will take place on October 30, at 10 a.m., in the Thurgood
Marshall U.S. Courthouse. The address for the courthouse is 40 Foley Square,
New York, NY 10007, and the hearing will be held on the 17th Floor, in Room
1705, and Entrance 1703. Those attending the hearing should plan to arrive
at the courthouse at 8:30 a.m. to be assured of getting through security and
being seated in one of the fifty-six seats in the courtroom. We would like
to fill at least fifty of those seats. Please advise me or Mya Jones, copied
on this message, as to how many people you think your affiliate can bring to
this important event by the close of business on Wednesday, October 9.
The court will hear several cases and ours is the last scheduled, so you
should be prepared to be in the courtroom for two to three hours. While
court is in session, you may not leave the courtroom or otherwise disrupt
the proceedings. Dress appropriately; business attire is recommended. You
may be required to leave your cell phone or other items at the security
station; if not, you should make sure that your phone is turned off
completely during the hearing, and you must follow all instructions of court
personnel to the letter.
Thank you in advance for making this important hearing a priority. I look
forward to hearing from each of you soon.
Chris Danielsen, Director of Public Relations NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE

Additional information
>From the 2013 Presidential Report:
The Google Books Project, which began almost ten years ago, seeks to create
digitized versions of books. It is estimated that more than ten million
books have been digitized. The library collections from many universities
have been scanned. The digital versions of books from this effort are being
maintained by Google, but digital copies along with the print editions have
been returned to the universities. Many of the universities have placed
digital versions of their books into an entity named the HathiTrust, which
is charged by the universities with the task of managing this collection.

The Authors Guild sued Google and the HathiTrust demanding that the
digitized books be destroyed. However, the potential value of this
collection was great enough that we felt an urgent need to protect it. The
National Federation of the Blind intervened in the lawsuit as a defendant to
assert the right of blind people to equal access to this information.

Last October the federal district court in New York issued a decision in our
favor. Although this decision is currently on appeal in the 2nd Circuit (an
appeal in which we are defending our opinion vigorously), current law states
that blind students and professors at the universities holding this material
have a right to equal access to the information. Furthermore, those holding
material may distribute it to other blind people in the United States
without violating copyright. Both we and the HathiTrust want all blind
Americans to have equal access to this collection of material. We believe
that we can create a mechanism to distribute the books. Blio, the accessible
book reader, manages digital content very well. When we complete the plans
for this joint project, every blind student in the United States, every
blind professor in the United States, and every other blind person in the
United States will have full access to an academic library containing the
books and reference materials of the finest academic and research
institutions in the world.

Link to press release on district court ruling:

Vehicle Donations Take the Blind Further. Donate your car to the National
Federation of the Blind today!  For more information, please visit
www.carshelpingtheblind.org<http://www.carshelpingtheblind.org> or call

Christopher S. Danielsen, J.D.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Office: (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
Mobile: (410) 262-1281
E-mail: cdanielsen at nfb.org<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>

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