Copyright, The Universe and Everything

Adam M. Eisgrau

Legislative Counsel, American Library Association ( ALA), Washington Office

Tuesday, January 19, 1999

8:30-9:00 Refreshments
9:00-11:00 Presentation

OCLC Auditorium
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH 43017

When the Clinton Administration first launched its "National Information Infrastructure" initiative in early 1993, few would have predicted that five highly contentious years of national and international debate over the shape of the nation's copyright laws would follow. Fewer still would have guessed that the debate would prove fodder for the editorial and front pages of the world's major newspapers and magazines. Virtually no one, inside the beltway or out, dreamed that representatives of the nation's libraries, educators, and consumers would play a leading role in shaping the outcome: two new international treaties and the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998," just signed into law.

If the Internet is the "information superhighway," then copyright law is its newly rewritten traffic code. Like it or not, everyone--especially librarians who work with and through them--will be profoundly affected by this code and new laws likely to be taken up in the coming Congress.

Please join us for a spirited presentation on "Copyright, the Universe and Everything" by Adam M. Eisgrau. Mr. Eisgrau is ALA's principal domestic and international lobbyist and spokesperson concerning intellectual property issues, including copyright. He was an active participant in the processes which produced the new copyright treaties and legislation, which will be principal subjects of a wide-ranging presentation on the nature of copyright law and its broad social significance. He will also touch on likely legislative contests yet to be fought in the coming months and years.

Mr. Eisgrau has been Legislative Counsel, ALA, Washington Office since creation of the position in June 1995. He also serves as ALA's liaison to the Digital Future Coalition, an alliance of three dozen private and public sector organizations dedicated to balanced intellectual property policy. Mr. Eisgrau actively participated in the World Intellectual Property Organization's 1996 Diplomatic Conference on intellectual property in Geneva for ALA, the Digital Future Coalition, and as a member of the International Federation of Library Associations ( IFLA) delegation.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.