AAP sues to block Maryland, New York library e-book laws

Dec 10 2021

The Association of American Publishers filed suit December 9 to stop a new library e-book law in Maryland from taking effect on January 1, claiming that the law, which would require publishers who offer to license e-books to consumers in the state to also offer to license the works to libraries on “reasonable” terms, is unconstitutional and runs afoul of federal copyright law.

In its filing, the AAP alleges that the Maryland law effectively “commandeers the rights” of publishers and authors.

“In short, the Maryland Act will bring to bear the considerable coercive powers of the State of Maryland to unilaterally force publishers to disseminate their digital literary works to Maryland libraries on an unlimited basis and on terms dictated by the State of Maryland, whenever publishers disseminate those works to anyone else, anywhere else,” reads the AAP’s December complaint. “The Maryland Act’s requirements are in flagrant violation of the authority granted to publishers by federal law to decide whether and on what terms to make their works available in order to achieve the full benefit and promise of the Copyright Act.” …

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