Free Expression

21 Jan

Rocky Mountain News Calls for Amendment of Patriot Act

The following editorial appeared in the January 12, 2004, edition of Colorado's Rocky Mountain News.

Amend Patriot Act to Protect Libraries

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15 Jan

Patriot Act Petition Campaign Update

In early January, ABA launched a petition campaign to gather signatures of bookstore customers who support amending Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which stripped away protections for customer privacy. The goal is to garner at least one million signatures.

"We are very pleased by the enthusiastic response that has greeted the launch of our petition campaign," said ABA COO Oren Teicher. "We hope all members of ABA will seriously consider participating."

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08 Jan

Michigan Booksellers Challenge Censorship Law

On Tuesday, January 6, six independent booksellers, the Great Lakes Booksellers Association (GLBA), and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) joined publishers and magazine distributors in filing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of a new Michigan law that makes it illegal to allow a minor access to any material that is "harmful to minors."

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08 Jan

Customer Support Sought in Campaign to Amend Patriot Act

While booksellers and librarians have taken a leading, and crucial, role in efforts to restore the protections for customer privacy that were eliminated by the USA Patriot Act, ABA now wants bookstores to call on customers to lend a hand to the cause, too -- literally.

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08 Jan

Booksellers Urged to Sign On to Protect Customer Privacy

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is urging booksellers to add their store names to the growing list of those endorsing the Book and Library Community Statement Supporting The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157); The Library and Bookseller Protection Act (S. 1158); and The Library, Bookseller, and Personal Data Privacy Act (S. 1507).

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11 Dec

In "Harmful to Minors" Case, Arkansas Judge Has Questions, Not Answers

On Monday, December 8, a federal judge in District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock said he needed answers before he could rule on whether amendments to an Arkansas statute that restrict the "display" of material that is "harmful to minors," among other things, violates the First Amendment, as reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In June 2003, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), Arkansas' That Bookstore in Blytheville, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, and others challe

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11 Dec

Booksellers, Publishers, and Other Book Industry Groups Asked to Sign Statement Supporting Legislation to Protect Customer Privacy

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is asking all ABA bookstore members to add their store names to the list of 84 bookstores from across the country that have already endorsed the Book and Library Community Statement Supporting The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157); The Library and Bookseller Protection Act (S. 1158); and The Library, Bookseller, and Personal Data Privacy Act (S. 1507).

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25 Nov

Paddling on Both Sides of the Canoe

Here, Andy Weinberger, co-owner with his wife, Lilla, of Readers' Books in Sonoma, California, takes a look at customers who take it upon themselves to act as morality cops, and he makes the case for tolerance, diversity, and the public's right to information. This column originally appeared in the November/December issue of "One for the Book," an occasional newsletter from Readers' Books.

By Andy Weinberger

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25 Nov

Statement Allows Booksellers' Customer Privacy Concerns to Be Heard in Washington

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is asking all ABA bookstore members to add their store name to the growing list of those endorsing the Book and Library Community Statement Supporting The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157); The Library and Bookseller Protection Act (S. 1158); and The Library, Bookseller, and Personal Data Privacy Act (S. 1507).

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20 Nov

ABFFE to Senate Judiciary Committee: 215 Will Create Chilling Effect

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) sent letters dated November 14 to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) expressing the belief that Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act "will create a chilling effect on the exercise of First Amendment rights." The letters were included in the record of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, "America After 9/11: Freedom Preserved or Freedom Lost?" which was held Tuesday, November 18. Leahy is the ranking member, and Hatch the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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20 Nov

BTW News Briefs


More Good New for Retailers from Ernst & Young, Consumer Confidence Index

This past month, consumer survey after consumer survey has predicted that this will be a banner holiday selling season for retailers -- Ernst & Young's 2003 Holiday Sales Forecast is no different. It anticipates that the 2003 retail holiday sales increases for November and December will be 5.2 percent -- compared to a 3.4 percent increase for the same period last year.

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20 Nov

Booksellers Called to Action to Protect Customer Privacy

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is urging booksellers to add their store names to the growing list of those endorsing the Book and Library Community Statement Supporting The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157); The Library and Bookseller Protection Act (S. 1158); and The Library, Bookseller, and Personal Data Privacy Act (S. 1507).

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13 Nov

An Urgent Request From ABFFE President Chris Finan

Dear Booksellers,

Congressman Bernie Sanders needs your help today. He is trying to win approval for an amendment that denies funds for conducting searches of bookstore and library records under the USA Patriot Act.

Although Sanders initially failed to get this amendment added to the Justice Department's appropriations bill in July, he was successful in attaching it to another spending measure. He is now trying to make sure that the amendment is included in the final appropriations bill that is negotiated with the Senate.

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13 Nov

Bookseller Calls for Seattle to Pass Anti-Patriot Act Resolution

The King County Council of Seattle is presently considering a resolution to oppose any amendments in the USA Patriot Act that it deems to infringe on the constitutional rights of its citizens -- including Patriot Act amendments that allow for invasion of privacy, expanded government surveillance, and denial of due process, as reported by the Seattle Times.

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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