Fair use advocate to testify on behalf of libraries at House Judiciary hearing

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/01/2014


Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

Washington Office



James Neal, Columbia University librarian and vice president for Information Services, will serve as the voice of libraries to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on April 2, 2014, when it holds a hearing on preserving and reusing copyrighted work. The hearing, “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works,” will take place at 2:00 p.m.in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2141.
Leaders and witnesses present at the hearing will explore a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitization and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation and deteriorating works. As institutions that preserve and lend cultural, historical, local and scientific works, libraries rely heavily on the fair use doctrine of the Copyright Act. During the hearing, Neal will discuss the ways that fair use is integral to the principle library mission of making information accessible to the public. Additionally, Neal will detail the ways that existing orphan works legislation benefits the public and does not need to be amended.
“We proud to have Neal represent libraries and fair use at the congressional copyright hearing,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling. Neal served as a former treasurer of the ALA, and is currently an Executive Board member of the library organization.
As the university librarian at Columbia University, Neal provides leadership for university academic computing and a system of twenty-two libraries. He has represented the American library community in testimony on copyright matters before Congressional committees, was an advisor to the U.S. delegation at the World Intellectual Property Organization diplomatic conference on copyright, has worked on copyright policy and advisory groups for universities and for professional and higher education associations, and was a member of the U.S. Copyright Office Section 108 Study Group.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.