Thursday, July 14, 2005

Last Entry: Difference Between CPPA, COPA, and CIPA

Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (Child Pornography Prevention Act)

The Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA) expanded the definition of child pornography. CPPA criminalized the creation of what is called “virtual child pornography,” or “morphed” child pornography. Under CPPA images that appear to depict children but do not, including images of youthful-looking adults or images that are computer-generated would be illegal.

The Free Speech Coalition filed a lawsuit to overturn these provisions of the CPPA on the grounds that the restrictions violated the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Free Speech Coalition, and in a decision handed down on April 16, 2002, found these parts of the CPPA unconstitutional on two grounds:

First, the law, as written, is overbroad, prohibiting otherwise legal, non-obscene images depicting teenagers engaging in sexual activity, such as filmed depictions of Romeo and Juliet or Lolita.

Second, the prohibition on child pornography is based on the link between the creation of the image and the sexual abuse of the children shown in the image. If an image is created by use of computer technology or by photographing adults pretending to be children, there is no basis in the law to ban the image.

The Child Pornography Prevention Act affected only those who create films and images. It did not affect libraries. The Freedom to Read Foundation, however, joined an amicus curae (friend of the court) brief in support of certain First Amendment arguments.

Ashcroft v. ACLU (Child Online Protection Act)

Congress passed The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) to replace the Communications Decency Act. (The Communications Decency Act was held unconstitutional in a 9–0 decision by the Supreme Court in 1997.) COPA prohibits the transmission of any material over the Internet deemed “harmful to minors,” if the communication was made for a commercial purpose.

The ACLU challenged COPA on behalf of a group of plaintiffs who provided commercial content for the Internet or who received such content. The trial court found the law unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the law was unconstitutional, but said it was unconstitutional because of its reliance on “contemporary community standards.” This made the law overbroad.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Third Circuit’s decision on May 13, 2002, on very narrow grounds. The Supreme Court did not decide on the constitutionality of COPA, finding only that COPA’s reliance on “community standards” does not by itself make the law unconstitutional. As a result, the Supreme Court returned the matter to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for a fuller consideration of the First Amendment issues raised by COPA’s restrictions on Internet speech. All nine justices agreed that the injunction preventing any enforcement of COPA must remain in place while the lower courts further examine COPA’s constitutionality.

Because COPA addresses only material sent over the Internet for commercial purposes, it does not directly affect libraries. FTRF joined an amicus curae brief in support of the parties’ First Amendment argument.

ALA v. United States (Children’s Internet Protection Act)

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires libraries and schools to install filters on their Internet computers to retain federal funding and discounts for computers and computer access. Because this law directly affected libraries and their ability to make legal information freely available to their patrons, the American Library Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation filed a lawsuit to overturn CIPA, but the Supreme Court on June 23, 2003, in a 6–3 decision, upheld the constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Although it does not make the lose any easier to bear, the decision in United States v. American Library Association was a plurality decision. [According to “The Modern Problem of Supreme Court Plurality Decision: Interpretation in Historical Perspective” by Adam S. Hochschild, “problems arise when there is less than a clear majority speaking for the Court—when the leading opinion of the Court is a plurality opinion. A Supreme Court plurality decision holds ambiguous precedential value. . . . [A] plurality opinion, which represents the rationale of less than half of the Justices, is . . . problematic. A majority opinion may command more authority than a plurality decision, but precisely what authority does a plurality decision command? In other words, how should courts apply a plurality decision to subsequent controversies involving similar issues?]

Citation: "CPPA, COPA, CIPA: Which One Is Which?." American Library Association. 2005. (Accessed 14 Jul, 2005)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sample Wikis

Some examples of WIKIs from my 776 class.

San Francisco Supervisors Reject RFID, Increase Materials Budget

Hi guys. Attached is the link for an article from Library Journal on July 8. RFID is definitely a hot topic right now. Here's a brief article about one Board that rejected RFIDs...

Monday, July 11, 2005

818 (Special Libraries) Chart


As I showed some of you on Sunday, I took Bruce's lecture notes, which are summaries of the articles, and made it into a chart. Take a look.


Article links

Here are some links to articles we discussed on July 10th:

  • Robert Taylor: Question-negotiation and information seeking in libraries. College and Research LIbraries, 29(3), 178-194. If this link does not work, I found a summary at:

  • Heyman, Martha: Building Successful Relationships with IT Professionals. Information Outlook, Vol. 5, no. 4, April 2001.
  • Nielsen, Tom. Four Steps I Took that Transformed my Library. Marketing LIbrary Services. Volume 16, Nos. 6/7 • Sept./Oct. 2002.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Corrected Link Re: Grokster

An additional viewpoint on the ruling:

Grokster Decision

Hi Everyone!

Not sure if it will come up or not, but this recent
Grokster ruling (Intellectual Property Rights) seems
to be creating a lot of buzz. I've been reading some
of Lawrence Lessig's views, very interesting!

Other than that, poring over notes, etc.
Thanks for all the good articles everybody!


We know more

In going through notes from Vera Fessler's 603 class, I found the following:
David Snowden emphasized the essential understanding
1. We know more than we can say
2. We will always say more than we can write down.

I think this is a good idea to keep in mind as we wrack our brains for comps.

Also, a short, to the point article about Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCR) is by David Ensign, Title: Copyright Corner , Source: Kentucky Libraries 63 no1 22-3 Wint 1999 This is available through Aladin.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


The most common faculty comment when someone fails comps is: "Didn't answer the question!"

Words are important. Be sure you know what the question is asking before you start. There will be a dictionary in the room if you need one. Here are definitions of some verbs often used in comps questions:

Compare and Contrast
To discuss both similarities and differences between or among two or more things

1. A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
2. A critical discussion of a specified topic.
[NOTE: critical is defined as “exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation”]

1. To characterize; to tell the facts, details, or particulars of
2. To trace the form or outline of

1. a. To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word, for example).
b. To describe the nature or basic qualities of; explain: e.g., define the properties of a new drug;
a study that defines people according to their median incomes.
2. a. To delineate the outline or form of: e.g., gentle hills that were defined against the sky.
b. To specify distinctly: e.g., define the weapons to be used in limited warfare.


1. To investigate by reasoning or argument
2. To present in detail for examination or consideration

1. To make plain or comprehensible.
2. a. To offer reasons for or a cause of; to justify
b. To offer reasons for the actions, beliefs, or remarks of.

To ascertain the origin, nature, or definitive characteristics of.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Rangathan's five laws of library science

Good recommendation!

S. R. Ranganathan, considered by librarians all over India to be the father of library science, proposed five laws of library science. Most librarians accept them as the foundations of their philosophy:

These laws are:

1. Books are for use.
2. Every reader his or her book.
3. Every book its reader.
4. Save the time of the reader.
5. The Library is a growing organism.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Here are some articles from Clay's Entrepreneurial Librarian class. Sorry, don't know if these are online, as he hands out paper copies in class.

The future of books and libraries. Sidney S. Berger in Against the Grain, Dec.2002-Jan.2003.

Future librarianship: preparing for an unconventional career. F.W. Lancaster. Wilson Library Bulletin, May 1983

Entrepreneurship and the library profession. Herbert S. White. Journal of Library Administration. vol. 8 (1) Spring 1987

Innovator's Dilemma: Disruptive Change and Academic Libraries. David W. Lewis. Library Administration and Management. Spring 2004

Secret of Library Marketing: Make Yourself Indispensable. Marylaine Block. American Libraries. Sept. 2001


Friday, July 01, 2005

Notes from Study Groups

Hi everyone,

I'm posting the notes I've taken from our study sessions on my CUA webspace. If you can't see them, let me know-- I can e-mail them to you separately or post them on the blog. Hopefully you can make sense of my notes, since it really looks like chicken scratch...