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Contact: Andy Bridges
ALA Washington Office
For Immediate Release
February 27, 2008

MacArthur grant to bolster public interest, advocacy in digital copyright


WASHINGTON — The American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) announces that its major digital copyright programs and initiatives to strengthen the public access to information, especially in libraries, will be supported by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


The grant of $385,000 will cover calendar years 2008 and 2009, and will fund such OITP activities as the International Copyright Advocates, the Copyright Advisory Network, and strategic assessment of technological and societal trends to enable proactive action by the library community.


“The conflicts over the rights to digital works continues unabated - in the Congress, courts, and increasingly in the international arena,” said Dr. Alan Inouye, OITP Director. “This generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will provide OITP with essential support to help ensure that the public access and library community perspective is represented in policy debates that will shape the future digital world.”


“In supporting OITP initiatives, the MacArthur Foundation has made a tremendous impact in strengthening the role of libraries and archives in the global information society,” added Janice Pilch, Head of Slavic and East European Acquisitions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and OITP International Copyright Advocate, “and in advancing their efforts to shape copyright law and policy in the common interest of knowledge, education, and creativity, on both the national and international level.”




The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution helping to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media. With assets of $6.8 billion, the Foundation makes approximately $260 million in grants annually. More information is available at